Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Materialism Christ-like?

I thought this was an excellent column by Tibor Machan.

He touches on the oft-overlooked point that participating in a free market is the most compassionate thing one can do for fellow man.

Keeping market conditions such that profits are high and, hence, employment is too serves the well-being of other men and women as much as anything we can do.

That's not to say we should purchase in excess or shirk our responsibilities to serve the poor, but to say that materialism is selfish is really to ignore basic realities of economics.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Economics blahblah.......... Now Christ is being blamed, yet again, for the mistakes of human beings. Please...

People are too materialistic plain and simple. The people with adequate means have no interest in helping anyone but themselves. The people otherwise are barely able to afford a night out at McDonalds to allow their children to play in the tubes.

WWJD? I don't think he would buy a 2007 Lexus. I think he would walk to Damacus in a pair of sandals. Did Jesus wear gold chains? Um...... that was too stupid to deserve an answer.

If you choose to blow your bucks on every 'this or that' that comes out in stores - have at it. You are not supporting the U.S. anyway. You are supporting a communist country mfg. our goods or a third-world country where most of goods purchased in the U.S. are manufactured. The average human being in America is not profiting from anything in the retail industry.

Barton Poulson said...

Only 11 months later...

I just had a talk with my father about apparent (or readily evident) materialism among some of my church leaders. I love and respect these people but I finally struck me today that Christ-centered leaders should not be driving $150,000 Mercedes-Benzes. I do, in fact, have some (not complete) faith in the idea that a free economy is a good thing and that it does serve many people to "keep the money moving." However, I suddenly realized that does NOT mean that the money has to be spent on oneself nor does it have to be spent on extravagant items. Does the money not move around just as efficiently if it is given, for example, to a charity, which will spend the money to provide services, etc.? The answer seems obvious to me.

As I see it, there is, therefore, no excuse for personal indulgence in the name of the greater good. The money would have moved just as well -- probably better -- had the young ruler sold all of his possessions and given the money to the poor as Jesus asked.