The religion of materialism


The religion of materialism


I’m in Edmonton for thanksgiving.  As I toured around I met some people who are cashing in on the Alberta “gold rush.”  Huge houses, new cars, big bills and an unflinching dedication to the acquisition of more stuff.  It is a religion all to its own.

A couple of people made remarks about our main family vehicle.  In my eyes the Toyota Echo is a remarkably efficient, adequately roomy, reliable vehicle.  In the eyes of the people I met it was a tin can not worth driving.  The acquisition of bigger and better things is the new religion.  The sinners are those who choose to live measured and moderate lives.  It made me appreciate Saskatoon so much more. 

I reject these values.  I love buying new gadgets when they become affordable but I see no need to live in a house that costs more to heat than I pay in rent.  I see no need to drive an expensive car.  What do those things bring us?  

  1. #1 by Rev. Mike on October 10, 2005 - 10:25 am

    As far as the house is concerned, I can’t speak to how taxes work in Canada, but here in the U.S., one would have to be nuts not to buy a house if at all possible, given the tax structure. For what it costs to rent here, one can easily afford to buy. Other than that, I applaud your desire to exhibit good stewardship. Here, to own a home would be better stewardship.

  2. #2 by Jamie Hollis on October 10, 2005 - 10:50 am

    Mike,

    Now this is something I am still working through…I am quite young and have never had a mortgage or done anything besides rent, so I am quite open to the fact that I may be wrong. But I actually (I know that I am in the minority here) believe that renting in the states is better stewardship than having a mortgage. Having a mortgage is still a game and you only come out ahead if things stay the way they are or if they improve in your favor, there is still the possibility that that won’t happen. The best stewardship, obviously a difficult thing to save up for, I believe is to save up and buy, or build, with cash and then to start saving so that your children will be able to do the same and then they can do it for your grandchildren. In the meantime, renting allows my husband and I the ability to come to God knowing that we owe no man something that we don’t have.

  3. #3 by Gil Dueck on October 11, 2005 - 4:01 pm

    I was in Calgary over the weekend and had many of the same thoughts. I never thought the day would come where I actually missed Saskatchewan.

  4. #4 by Moose on October 11, 2005 - 4:33 pm

    That is the same impression I had when I recently visited Lloydminster. Lots of money, lots of toys, but devoid of Faith. Reminded me of the church at Laodicea (Rev. 3: 14-19):

    And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

    (King Jimmy from Bible.com)

  5. #5 by Scott on October 11, 2005 - 5:08 pm

    Welcome to America, Leighton!

  6. #6 by Kevin Harms on October 11, 2005 - 6:09 pm

    Amen to that. Materialism is sick…

  7. #7 by Jerry on October 12, 2005 - 3:56 am

    “Welcome to America”

    Tee hee, that’s funny!

  8. #8 by Joseph Walker on October 12, 2005 - 12:18 pm

    Makes me think of a couple I know who said that they couldn’t have any more kids (they have 2) because their house was “not big enough”. Yikes! Square footage is now a form of contraception.

  9. #9 by Cactus on October 16, 2005 - 12:54 pm

    Don’t you think Jesus wants us to have freedom from debt? We are to ask for Him to provide our daily bread, forgive us our “debts” — all kinds — and then we are to ask to be delivered from temptation. Perhaps of coveting bigger and better.

  10. #10 by Kenny on October 19, 2005 - 9:56 pm

    Alas, my home Alberta (not currently). Though please don’t get the idea that we’re all like that. It’s the downside of material success, I think. And this, realistically, would happen in any/all provinces (except in BC, where the weed would calm everyone, tee hee).

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