Sabbath Rest and the Moral Limits of Consumption – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Sabbath Rest and the Moral Limits of Consumption – The Gospel Coalition Blog.

That Christians in America have taken up the uncontrolled greed and consumerism of American society is another example of syncretism that has infected the Church like a virus. Why do we engage in such practices in anticipation of celebrating the birth of Him whose purpose in being born was to grow up and give His life for us?

If we must celebrate His birth (there’s no command or even suggestion in scripture for us to do so, and it should be noted that the Puritans who colonized parts of America didn’t celebrate it), then should we not do it by giving of ourselves (and, no, I don’t mean engaging in uncontrolled greed and consumerism to give gifts to our family, friends and others)?


5 thoughts on “Sabbath Rest and the Moral Limits of Consumption – The Gospel Coalition Blog

  1. I do not think that you are without knowledge. In fact you do hold an important truth. Here are some scriptures to consider:
    If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1Corinthians 13

    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

    16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5: 13-26

      1. With no disrespect to you; I would like to humbly point out that you come off angry. You blame those following Christianity for corrupting the church; when in fact the church has corrupted their believers by replacing Holy traditions with pagan ones.
        I think you have a valid and provable point in this post. It can be over looked by your tone. This is why I shared the scriptures I believe mighty help you understand where I am coming from. Blessings..

        1. I’m not sure how it is you see (in my response to the article I linked) the emotions you claim are there, but let me just respond to what I think is a misunderstanding on your part regarding the nature of the Church and “those following Christianity.”

          The Church is collectively the people to whom God has granted salvation (you referred to them as “those following Christianity”). The people aren’t separate from the Church, they are the Church. All of us to whom God has granted salvation are collectively the Church, are collectively Christ’s body and individually parts of that body. You implied that I shouldn’t blame them for infecting the Church, but should instead blame some entity that you call the Church (an entity somehow separated from Christians), but I’ll get to that a bit later. Do I blame Christians for the syncretism Christians have allowed to infect the Church? Absolutely.

          The consumerism of American culture is the consumerism in the hearts of so many American Christians and these Christians are part of the American Church. We’re supposed to be different – as different from the world as light is from darkness. What was it that Paul asked in 1 Corinthians 5:6 (ESV)? “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (See also Galatians 5:9).

          You suggested that it was “the Church” responsible for bringing pagan traditions into the Church (like celebrating Christmas). Even if I accepted that argument (and I don’t), it might excuse the people of pre-Reformation Europe, but it doesn’t excuse the American Church. The Puritans who settled some of the colonies in New England weren’t perfect (the Salem Witch Hunts were a serious black spot on the Puritans), but they were right in not celebrating Christmas. (There’s an article linked at the bottom of my original post about the Puritan “War on Christmas;” it’s interesting reading).

          As much as I would like to see Christmas go away, I would settle for American Christians repenting of and casting aside the consumerism.

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