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Chuck Swindoll said, The world system is committed to at least four major objectives, which I can summarize in four words: fortune, fame, power, pleasure. First and foremost: Fortune, money. The world system is driven by money; it feeds on materialism. Second: Fame. That is another word for popularity. Fame is the longing to be known, to be somebody in someone else’s eyes. Third: Power. This is having influence, maintaining control over individuals or groups or companies or whatever. It is the desire to manipulate and maneuver others to do something for one’s own benefit. Fourth: Pleasure. At its basic level, pleasure has to do with fulfilling one’s sensual desires. It’s the same mindset that’s behind the slogan: "If it feels good, do it."
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
Madonna said, "Money . . . sex . . . food. . . . they’re not what’s going to make us happy. They’re not real. They don’t last. There’s only one thing that lasts, and that’s your soul. And if you don’t work on that, and you don’t pay attention to that, then all the money in the world is not going to help you." Madonna conceded she’s looking for answers. [When said this], she [was] investigating Hebrew Mysticism." Citation: David K. Li, “Again Like A Virgin,” www.NYPost.com. (10/7/02). Madonna on Materialism, www.preachingtoday.com. 5/11/05.
Personal Priority Inventory (from sermon: The Foolish Rich Person, Sermon Central)
1. There is a time in my life when I made a decision to give up the things of this
world to follow Christ. ___yes ___no
2. If confronted with that choice today I would follow Christ even if I had to give up all possessions. ___yes ___no
3. My life style indicates that I have made such a decision to follow Christ rather
than material pursuits. ___yes ___no
4. I believe it is necessary to make such a choice in our day. ___yes ___no
5. It is difficult for me to determine the difference between materialism and normal provision for life’s needs. ___yes ___no
"TO JESUS ON HIS BIRTHDAY"
The American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once wrote a biting, ironic poem called "To Jesus on His Birthday." Surely none of us can deny guilt in some of the areas it includes in its brief scope:
For this, your mother sweated in the cold,
For this you bled upon the bitter tree:
A yard of tinsel ribbon bought and sold;
A paper wreath; a day at home for me.
The merry bells ring out, the people kneel;
Up goes the man of God before the crowd;
With voice of honey and with eyes of steel
He drones your humble gospel proud.
Nobody listens. Less than the wind that blows
Are all your words to us you died to save.
O, Prince of Peace! O, Sharon’s Rose!
How mute you lie within your vaulted grave.
The stone the angel rolled away with tears
Is back upon your mouth these thousand years.
Perhaps this poem...
Christians ought to rise together in defense of spiritual and moral values against the pressure of materialism and moral permissiveness.
Brennan Manning: "I learned what a wise old Franciscan told me the day I joined the Order -- 'Once you come to know the love of Jesus Christ, nothing else in the world will seem as beautiful or desirable.' "
One highly successful advertiser stated "I am a success because I can convince people that the longing they have in their lives can be fulfilled with the stuff I have for them to buy. I know that they will buy into my item and in turn buy my product only to discover that after a short time this product did not fulfill their inner hole. So then they will try another one of my products to fill this void. This becomes a money making circle for me."
FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE
"Starting next year, high school and college students in Thailand will reportedly be graded not just on academics, but on ’goodness’ as well. Concerned that the competitive education system puts too much emphasis on materialism and not enough on morality, officials told the Associated Press that they have a plan to record students’ community service and emotional ’quotients.’
Critics in Thailand say goodness is too abstract to assess fairly. For the same reason, this kind of proposal wouldn’t get very far here.
That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of folks in the US who believe young people are searching for some goodness guideposts.
One of them is Peter Gomes, a longtime professor and minister at Harvard University...
Through his courses on subjects such as the Bible, and also through the way he lives...
CHURCHES AND CULTURE
In survey after survey, researchers find that the lifestyles of born-again Christians are virtually indistinguishable from those of nonbelievers. The divorce rate among Christians is identical to that of nonbelievers. Christian teens are almost as sexually active as non-Christian teens. Pornography, materialism, gluttony, lust, covetousness, and even disbelief are commonplace in many of our churches.
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, The Way of the Master, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 191.
If you would take your riches into the life to come, convert them into good ...