The Religion of Consumerism
The disestablishmentarianism of the First Amendment makes religion a matter of choice at the national level, and the states in varying degrees have tended toward the same position. This sentiment preceded the Bill of Rights as well. On the demand side, people tend toward the religious community that best aligns with their interests.
These interests are heavily shaped by family and cultural mores but not determined by them. On the supply side, however, religious groups face the requirement to provide a high quality product. If a church preaches that through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, one can experience forgiveness, grace, and transformation, they actually need to be able to deliver the goods, so-to-speak.
But what is the alternative? No, established churches today tend toward the less exciting but far more humane problem assuming one views it as a problem of rampant cultural faith. And Western countries that still retain established churches also still have a religious market—they just offer subsidies and privileges to the religious body of their choice, skewering the market toward a partial monopolistic arrangement for the established church. All this is to say that if people are leaving churches in the United States because they feel more in touch with God elsewhere, more welcomed by the community, and so on, the solution is not to complain about the competition but to spend some time in self-reflection.
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How well does it live that out? He has also lectured on a wide variety of topics, including Orthodox Christian social thought, the history of Christian monastic enterprise, the Reformed statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper, and academic publishing, among others.
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He writes, Without even thinking about it we have gotten used to having it our way. He continues, Faithful believers who once came to church with an attitude of obedience, worship and a willingness to serve God and neighbor now come to get something: an inspiring talk, an uplifting experience, a spiritual poke or a clerical joke.liobacutici.tk
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During the revolution, the availability of consumer products substantially increased with the rise of the use of machines. Each Monday, the paper's journalists will address burning questions in the Opinion section, offering Singaporean perspectives on complex issues. The primers, as well as five campus talks helmed by editors and correspondents, are part of this paper's outreach programme called The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz, nicknamed The Big Quiz. The nationwide event, whose presenting sponsor is the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, aims to promote the understanding of civics among pre-university students.
Over the years, buying goods became a way of life and spread to other countries. In the s, after World War II, the American consumer was even praised as a patriotic citizen for aiding the recovery of the country's battered economy. The consumerist culture now involves people spending more on consumer items like cars, gadgets and clothes, instead of savings or investments. Consumers also buy these items often so as to keep up with trends, and are constantly looking to upgrade the quality of products and services.
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Nanyang Technological University's NTU professor of marketing and international business Gemma Calvert said that although, historically, the United States has been held up as the "prototypical" example of a consumerist society, its position has been challenged by emerging markets like India, China, South Korea and Brazil. However, consumerism is less prevalent in countries with poor economic growth.
Communities bounded by religious beliefs may do more to decry consumerism too. Consumerism is rife in many economically developed countries.
The mass production of luxury goods, the saturation of media with advertisements and promotions for branded products and services, and even rising levels of personal debts signal that more people are buying goods excessively. Other signs include a rise in product innovation, as well as developments that veer away from tradition, such as hawker food delivery and Western-inspired flavours of mooncakes, said Mr Hansen Yeong, an economics lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic's TP School of Business.
Growing consumerism can also be seen with people buying goods and services to publicly display economic power, buying them "just for fun and pleasure" and buying without a plan or a budget, said Dr Joicey Wei Jie, lecturer in the marketing programme at SIM University's UniSIM School of Business. Culturally, a typical sign is "celebrity worship", she added. This includes following the social media accounts of favourite celebrities and purchasing the same brands or products that they use or endorse, she explained.
The only real benefit of consumerism is to improve the economy, said Dr Seshan Ramaswami, associate professor of marketing education at the Singapore Management University SMU. What has been the impact of consumerism? Michael Craven talks about how consumerism has undermined the family and the church. The family has been adversely affected by the time pressures created by a consumer mentality. Family time used to be insulated to a degree from employment demands.
That is no longer true. The signal that is being sent throughout the corporate world is that you must be willing to sacrifice time with your family in order to get ahead. And that is exactly what is taking place. But I believe it makes the point that families are suffering from consumerism and this study parallels other studies that have looked at the decline in quality parent-child interaction at home. Frequently children and their needs are sacrificed on the altar of career success. The marketplace trumps family time more than we would like to think that is does.
The church has also been undermined by consumerism. Busy lifestyles and time pressures crowd out church attendance. Weekly church attendance has reached an all-time low in America.
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And even for those who try to regularly attend church, attendance is sometimes hit-or-miss. Years ago I realized how difficult it was to teach a series in a Sunday School class because there was so little continuity in attendance from one week to the next. Craven points out that those who are dissatisfied with a consumerist-created lifestyle turn to church for meaning and purpose.
Tragically, they do not realize it is not their lifestyle that is in need of salvation, it is their very souls. Consumerism also affects the way we go about the Christian life. Religious consumerists add spiritual disciplines to their life in the same way they approach work as a task to be fulfilled with measurable goals. In the end, spiritual activity becomes one more item on a to-do list.
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Craven reminds us that Jesus Christ is not to be treated as one good among many. Jesus Christ should be the supreme Good and the source of all life. Craven talks about how consumerism has undermined community and how it has also undermined virtue and character. This has an adverse impact on citizenship. People are no longer citizens but consumers. Citizens have duties and responsibilities to their fellow citizens. Consumers do not.
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They are merely partaking of what the consumer economy provides for them. Citizens care about others and their community.
Consumers only care about what the society can provide to them. Consumerism also undermines virtue and character. With this view of life, things become more important than people. Having is more important than being. And it is a lifestyle that pursues distraction sports, entertainment, hobbies, etc.