Today’s Verse: The Religion of Consumption

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

–1 John 2:16

It is important to read the preceding and following verses related to this passage to appreciate it in its full context:

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

–1 John 2:15-17

Avoiding Worldly Desires

Possessions and materialism are worldly things. Worldly things have their source – and it isn’t God – but the “ruler of this world”, the Devil.

It is Satan who drives worldly desires. These desires are a product of the desires of men’s hearts which create greed, lust, gluttony, and covetousness.

All of these things will pass away. We need to focus our minds and hearts on the eternal and spiritual, such as love and truth, for these are the things of God.

The Religion of Consumption

Writing for the Dallas Morning News, in a piece entitled “We are no longer bound together by religion, but by vacuous consumption addictions,” Joshua J. Whitfield poignantly points out that many people today have substituted religion for consumption.

In defining what he means by consumption, Whitfield says, our religion today is “binge-watching Netflix, consumption addictions to various social media, pornography, and the litanies of endless news, fake or otherwise.”

Modern media has brainwashed us with “the theology of advertising,” Whitfield says.

Thanksgiving, a holiday founded on the Christian principles of gratitude, has been usurped by “Black Friday.” What Thanksgiving is about has been forgotten.

Bible verses with gratitude expressions are no longer the norm. On Thanksgiving we engage in gluttony, followed by the lust to feed our greed for possessions by getting the best deal, saving money, which we generally use to buy more stuff.

And this, of course, is followed by “Cyber Monday” where we can purchase even more stuff online.

Religion is fading from society and the consumerism that is preached to Americans through relentless and ever-present advertising has played a significant role in making people increasingly worldly.

Whitfield is spot-on in his observations.