There is a fine line between marketing and greed. The poor begging for money is one thing. It's not what anyone would suggest is ideal but it's understandable. The rich begging to get richer is another thing. Who could tune into American media without noticing the advertisers attempt at stirring up discontentment? Who could tune into American media without noticing the apparent discontentment with which the ads themselves are created? These creative solicitations are effective because the people stirring the pot are often discontented. They are experts in the field. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule but by and large this is what and who is driving our culture.
And we listen to them.
But here's where it gets turned on its head... this is why discontentment doesn't have to win... The more dissatisfaction grows, the more the soul becomes exposed. The more the soul is exposed the more it searches for answers. The more a soul searches the more it realizes cheap answers cannot satisfy.
The advertisers get it right when they tap into discontentment.
They get it wrong when they don't offer something substantive.
So, we crumble under the weight of wanting more. And I'm guessing this is right where our spiritual enemy wants us to be. But the very act of crumbling, failing, realizing our own confidence is faulty, means we're accessing the way to victory, succeeding, understanding our confidence has to come from somewhere else. It's the stereotypical movie scene where the heroes become trapped in a cave somewhere because of a rock slide only to discover that the while the boulders have blocked the primary way, a secondary way has opened up far off in the corner.
We are simultaneously watching the fall and rise of our generation... the crumbling of what we glory in and the salvation of the glory of God.
The problem with religion is that sooner or later it's defined by who's following the rules and who's not... kind of like the public swimming pool with fences, wristbands and lifegaurds watching your every move. A relationship with Jesus is more like the diving board at the public pool. When you're on one all you do is dive and invite others to do the same. There are places for structure. But when we subordinate 'the relationship' to rules everyone loses. If rules could saves us we wouldn't need a Savior. (my paraphrase of Galatians 3)
I'm married (Johnna) and have three children (Quincy, Shay and Evan). I've done some school (K-12th, College, Post-Graduate work... I think 2nd grade was my favorite). I'm currently planting a church (actually it's God planting the church. I just get to be the lead follower) in Overland Park, KS called Mission. Check it out at missionchurchonline.com.
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