I woke up early (yes, it’s one of those rare occasions) and listened to JR Vassar’s podcast. He had led the men’s conference at the Village Church and preached for the congregation that same weekend. I had missed it because I was in Cali with my girl, Michal. Great message and it’s the titles that draw me in hook, line and sinker every time. I have a definite weakness for witty, clever or intriguing titles. This excerpt below I decided to share with each of you because I love and care for you all’s souls. That, and because it stood out to me. One of my greatest loves and passions is sharing nuggets of wisdom and insight that the Lord puts in my path. Spreading the joy! This was the last part of his message and I focused more on the perspective of how consumerism vs. convent culture can pervert relationships. Feel free to comment and leave your own thoughts.
Small Excerpt: JR Vassar’s sermon on Hyper-Reality and The Bread of Life
To reflect Christ: the best way to do that is to live as Covenant people who keep covenant to God by being faithful to Him and to keep covenant with one another by actually being committed to each other. By saying, “Just as when Jesus does not cast me out when I perform poorly, I will not cast you out when you perform poorly.”
Consumerism is rooted in radical individualism and radial individualism says this: I want minimal commitment with maximum return.
The covenant life says: I am giving you maximum commitment with minimum return.
We live in a culture that is afraid of commitment – desperately afraid of commitment when there may be minimum return.
We are seeing a lot of this in marriage. We are seeing a lot of men delay marriage. You know why women are delaying marriage? Because men aren’t pursuing them for marriage. Why are men delaying marriage? Because of a fear of commitment and the responsibility; something that every culture has considered to be a great joy, except our own.
The NYTimes just had an article that read that the happy marriage is the “me” marriage. Tara Parker Pope wrote the article with the underlying theme of: People use relationships for their own self-expansion and their own well-being and personal happiness.
Again, it’s consumerism. Using people to build up and enhance your life. Instead of saying, “I will lay my life down, to build up and enhance someone else’s life.”
Apple is genius. With them you’ve seen the personalization of commodities (i.e. the iPhone does this for you….). We are beginning to treat people like goods we consume for our own joy and pleasure. So we use people. We don’t enter into relationships saying/thinking. “How can I enhance this person? What can I bring to this relationship to make the person more of what God dreams and intends them to be?” Instead we ask the question: What can I get out of this?
We are seeing the breakdown of relationships, post-covenantal attitudes expressing themselves in various ways: anti-commitment, allergic to responsibility, church shopping – as if the church were a place that doles out religious goods and services. Consumerism trumps covenant culture.
The Covenant life says: “We are going to lay down our lives for each other, love each other, serve each other; not cast each other out when we perform poorly.”
Consumerism mentality says: “The minute the relationship becomes difficult, the minute I feel you’re a threat to my personal fulfillment and expansion, the relationship gets terminated.”
To listen to the full sermon: Hyper-Reality and The Bread of Life