Today I will be going over the historical framework, contemporary issues, and the Christian worldview for consumerism. Consumerism drives the world today, but do we really know how consumerism came to be in the first place? Where did consumerism come from, what sort of issues did it bring with it, and how does the Christian worldview relate to these issues. Matthew 6 says this about consumerism: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ Matthew 6:19-22. This quote perfectly describes how consumerism can affect our lives and how it can drive us to abandon our morals or Christian worldview if we are not careful. So, I will be discussing how consumerism came to be, what sort of issues it brought with it that still affects us today, and some of the Christian frameworks that we can use to understand consumerism.
For my conclusion I would like to leave you with a quote from Christ and Consumerism, ‘Sociologists tell us that people interpret their lives through basic narratives, that provide a framework within which to understand the world and to establish goals and values. If there is any overarching metanarrative that purports to explain reality in the late 20th century, it is surely the narrative of the free-market economy. In the beginning of this narrative is the self-made, self-sufficient human being. At the end of this narrative is the big house, the big car, and the expensive clothes. In the middle is the struggle for success, the greed, the getting-and-spending in a world in which there is no such thing as a free lunch. Most of us have made this so thoroughly ‘our story’ that we are hardly aware of its influence.’ (Bartholomew 2). This quote tells us about how the history of consumerism is self-made and self-sufficient, and how it has created a struggle for success in a world where nothing is free; It shows us how we end up with all of these material possessions and we don’t even recognize that all of this was subconsciously influenced by consumerism. Most importantly it shows us that we all indulge in consumerism, but we should be giving back to our community instead of buying pointless material possessions, and that is how consumerism is related to the Christian worldview.
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