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Friday: Further Thought – The Influence of Materialism — 4 Comments

  1. Please take the time to read Ellen White's "The Two Crowns." It opened my eyes to my own condition and made me reevaluate my standing on materialism.


  2. I found this question from Hope SS of interest: Do we love things and use people, or do we love people and use things? Successful marketing effectively links both services and goods to the elements which are fundamental to life. These elements are first security and then fulfilment of the person. Unfortunately, the promises made by marketing do not actually provide the security and fulfilment that we need. But they do distort (or even destroy) the underlying values of the person and society which would truly provide the security and fulfilment that we need.

    For example, the one percent who work through the state to ensure and increase their wealth at the expense of all others do not understand that the economic disparity they are making will create social forces that will ultimately strip them of their security and influence. Those who look with longing envy on the self-serving rich do not understand that wealth is not necessarily linked to intelligence, virtue or financial acumen, but instead to being in the right place at the right time (that is, chance) and being connected to the right people.

    So where does that leave the Christian? Jesus said it rightly: Love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbour as yourself. If our focus is on the Way, the Truth and the Life, we will find those objectives whether we have much or little in the way of wealth, influence and power.

  3. Last quarter we discussed about adjusting the meaning of the Ten Commandments the gospel in order to make sense out of Paul’s teachings.
    This quarter we are challenged with other important concept needing a little polish to get it of misconceptions built up over centuries.
    The Ten Commandments made crystal clear that we have a problem needing a solution beyond our capacity. Some will get stuck lamenting on our misery while others will cross the red sea by faith.

    Who we are is the question that every human being needs to answer in order to start walking in the right direction. Our basic problem is one of identity and the bible up front states categorically that God is our creator and father. This earth is momentarily our home and we need to learn to be happy “down here” because happiness is not delayed comfort. God is with us and wherever God is, there is happiness. Christians are called to be assertive, empowered individuals in the name of Jesus. Granted, in this world we find incongruence and injustice that cause affliction and require a transcendental remedy, but biblical faith prevents that we walk around like victims.
    If we know who we are, it will be easier learning how to live successfully.

    A powerful commandment of Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 is vital for a powerful living. He commanded that we become a net of people bonded by his love and to prevent corruption of the net, we are commanded to put him at the center of that net. Forming a net is a powerful concept (think of the internet), but all nets not having God at its axis, become corrupted and are bound to self-destruction.

    Now that we know who we are and how we should relate to one another, the bible also teach of the immediate threats to our identity. There is a master conspiracy created by Satan (part of the Great Controversy) to steal our identity and chain us into slavery. Because Satan knows about our vulnerabilities, he tries to seduce us to believe that our humanity is measured by wrong standards and one of them is materialism. Materialism is not exactly looking for money and the goods that it brings, but defining ourselves by what we have and not by what we are.

    God gave us the material world outside our bodies to enhance our happiness, but we are measured by relationships and their quality, not by what we own. We are subjects and not objects of the kingdom and whoever attempts to degrade our nature, does not come from God, either be the devil, another person or even a physical institution like the church. Yes, a church may also become materialist, like the church of Laodicea claiming to have it all, best message, best finance, etc.


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