Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who is our savior?

Now that finals are over and a new quarter has begun, I guess it is time to step back into the blogging world. Ready, set, here we go...

I had an interesting thought today while discussing Michael Budde's book The (Magical) Kingdom of God in class. When we look at culture and media who do we really put our stock into for our day-to-day salvation? In other words, does our peace of mind come from the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of entertaining myself?

Everyday we are being told that our salvation lies in the grasp of an iPod or a new car. (I say this as I write on my beautiful Mac Book Pro laptop.) Is there any room for Jesus in our need for stimulus and entertainment? We are being shown that to own a computer is to own a barrage of little programs and widgets to make sure that we never go a moment without a joyful glimpse of satisfaction to stimulate our minds. However, if this is true then do we have the patience to listen to God and focus on the Holy Spirit? I cannot remember the last time I prayed for more than 45 minutes and let alone committed a day to it. I am far too busy for something like that. If I have free time I am going to utilize it with my many assortment of tools and devices which I have invested in for my leisure.

A problem that Budde brings up is that through media we have been subjected and programed by messages that teach us how to be consumers. So as a Christian, I wonder if I am I guilty for becoming a product of my environment? This is probably the wrong question to ask in light of Budde's claims though, because it is not a question of labeling the point of fault, but of labeling the motivation of we as Christians to seek a world of faith and love beyond consumerism while still in the world which encapsulates it. Am I willing to slow down and listen? Am I willing to identify with the moments that I know I am being abducted by my materialistic upbringing? Am I ready to engage media and consumerism as a Christian who watches television and buys things, and set an ethic that show Kingdom values from within that context? Because it needs to be said that products themselves are not bad, but just like stealing, murder, lust, sloth and other sins, we can desire something so much that we try to get more than we ought. I think that is the lie that we must identify every day in the west - How much do I need and what do I do with the rest?

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