Thursday, 11 November 2010

Greed as idolatry

The message of Jesus and of the scriptures challenges the very core of our culture. A core which Clive Hamilton in his book Requiem for a Species indicates is the growth fetish. He says “In affluent societies religious value seems now to be invested in the most profane object, growth of the economy, which at an individual level takes the form of the accumulation of material goods.”

Our whole culture, its society and economy, is built on the assumption that we cannot resist the desire for more and that we can create our own identity by what we own. Advertising trains us to covet. Not only does this showing complete disregard for the 10th Commandment, it denies our identity and life coming to us as a gift from God. If we are to set our minds on things that are above there is deep spiritual and personal challenge here for me and for you. To use a phrase coined by Byron Smith “To make wealth history”.

This is no easy task but if we are to ask ourselves what kind of faith we are passing down to our children and the answer is to help our children be good citizens in a culture that is built on denying our life as being in the image God and encouraging them to find our own identity by what they own then I believe we have completely lost sight of the gospel message. So in this matter of greed, which idolatry, how do I put death to it? How do I set our minds on the things which are above? How do you?

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