Consumer Christianity has plagued the Western world (but not limited to) for over a century. What is “Consumer Christianity” you may ask? It’s a warped version of Biblical Christianity that seeks to satisfy the desires of our human nature first and foremost rather than obeying the Biblical model of living life before God.
Same Old Devil
In the Garden of Eden Satan tempted Eve with the fruit through four very attractive avenues:
1.) Her eyes would be open and she would be like God
2.) It was good for food
3.) It was pleasant to the eyes
4.) It was desirable to make one wise
If you think about it these techniques of Satan have not changed over roughly 6,000 years of history! Satan is not very creative, God is.
John recognized these things and wrote about them so that we would be aware how the Devil works in tempting us.
1John 2:16 – For all that is in the worldthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Infiltration of the Church?
But Satan does not just tempt us in these ways to bring us in to sin, he has infiltrated many Christians lives and brought them to a place where they believe that their Christian success is based upon themselves. How self centered can you get!
Consumerism is based on what makes the customer happy, it drives the world system and all of it’s industries. Ever notice how Apple, Sony, and Hollywood make products that please their customers more and more? If they get behind on the times they will loose business so they must stay ahead of the culture and make sure to draw in the masses anyway they can.
However, Christianity is quite the opposite! We exist to serve God (not the other way around) and that often calls for discomfort, challenge, sacrifice, and self denial! I hope you are beginning to see the drastic difference between the Biblical model of Christianity and the altered, cultural Christianity.
The Results of Consumer Christianity
1.) God Serves Me
Consumer Christianity believes that if you go through the motions Sunday mornings you can ask God for anything and He will have to give it to you. They think that God’s #1 purpose in life is to serve them, not the other way around. An extreme form of this belief says that because God loves me so much He must do anything I ask, even without obedience! However scriptures such as John 14:15 and Proverbs 15:29 show otherwise.When you serve God and put Him first the things that you really need and even some things that you want will fall in to your lap, but only when you have already given it up to God. Matthew 6:33
2.) God Failed Me
This mindset also has very bad implications for the individuals faith once they discover the truth that God is not their personal Yes Man! For example, Tom comes to Christ, Tom’s parents decide to divorce, Tom prays to God that his parents would not divorce, Tom’s parents divorce none the less. Because Tom believes that since he is a Christian that God must answer every prayer he now thinks that God has failed him. This is a common occurrence which often ends in people “shipwrecking” their faith because God does not come to their every call. The truth is that God’s #1 responsibility is not to do whatever we want Him to, it’s to love us consistently. Often there are events that happen that are mysterious to us but God only wants us to simply truth Him through the hard times. The real problem in this case is the person failing God, not God failing the person. James 1
3.) Christianity Does Not Work
Because a Consumer Christian believes that it’s all about them feeling good and wanting what they want instantly (even if they are good things) when they don’t get what they want instantly they conclude that Christianity does not work or is not real. They become like a small child having a fit about not getting what they want when they want it. Christianity is a process (work out your salvation with fear and trembling) and it takes sacrifice on your part because the sacrifice and work on God’s part is already done.
You might even simplify it and say that True Christianity is a response to God, but Consumer Christianity is the expectation of God’s response to our decision. With these people Christianity has not failed them, they have failed Christianity.
Luke 14:28 – “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it
Luke 14:33 – “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:34 – “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?