“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
Idolatry is SO on trend nowadays.
It’s true. Pick up “The Secret” or any book related to what’s now been called “The Law of Attraction”; if you just click your heels and affirm, “It sure feels great to be driving my new BMW”, a big black Beemer will be sitting in your driveway in no time at all.
(Actually, the technical term for what I’m describing is “prosperity teaching” … but it means pretty much the same thing.)
Something you should ask yourself: Why is it so terribly important to drive a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus as opposed to a Hyundai, Kia, or Fiat? It seems that Madison Avenue has succeeded in convincing a good portion of our society that they’re somehow lesser human beings because they’re driving something less expensive than a Mercedes or BMW.
The Law of Attraction (for those not in the know) stipulates that “whatever you focus on, manifests”. If you’re worried about spilling coffee on your shirt, according to the LOA, you’ll spill coffee on your shirt. If you’re worried about being late for work, guess what? You’ll be late for work (God/The Universe will see to it).
That said, if your focus is on a BMW (or a big house … or an expensive diamond ring … or a 72-inch flat-screen TV … or an all-expense-paid vacation in St. Bart’s), then it stands to reason that your focus is NOT on God.
In Deuteronomy chapter 5, verse 7, God commands, “You shall have no other gods before me.” If the central focus of your life is on anything OTHER than God (be it a BMW, an exotic vacation, or whatever), it is idolatry. You have made a creation of man — a thing, an inanimate object — into an object of worship.
The prosperity teachers often justify the Law of Attraction by citing John 14:12 (“[W]hoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.”) and John 14:14 (“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”).
Christ ALSO says in the very next verse, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 … which brings us back to Deuteronomy chapter 5, verse 7 — “You shall have no other gods before me” ).
The next time you see that Beemer or that Lexus parked next to you in the church parking lot on Sunday morning, think about the driver for a moment. You don’t know their history. You don’t know the story behind that car.
You can’t see the abusive relationship, the philandering spouse, the alcoholism or drug addiction, or the painful, expensive divorce that the owner may have been caught up in. The person who owns that car may have to work 80-hour weeks in order to afford it (For that matter, the car may be on its last legs; for all you know, it could be 20 years old and held together with kite string and chewing gum under the hood).
There’s also the little matter of Envy, which is a sin. The Enemy/The Evil One/The Devil uses envy to entice you into his clutches.
Think about your motives — why is it so important to have these expensive luxuries? How much of what you’re feeling is due to programming by Madison Avenue? Corporate America has a vested financial interest in cultivating feelings of envy within you (the more dissatisfied you are with your current state in life — and the more that you’re convinced that buying this or that product will resolve it — the more money THEY make).
The Takeaway: Be grateful for all that you have. If you have a house, a car, a TV, and broadband Internet access, be grateful for it (no matter how puny it may seem to you). There are millions of people across the nation who don’t have ANY of those things.
A nation of happy, satisfied people who don’t feel the need to “aspire” to own such expensive luxuries would be nothing less than Corporate America’s worst nightmare. If a Kia can run just as well as a Mercedes or BMW for a lot less money, what would be the point of “upgrading” to the more expensive car (other than for vanity’s sake)? It would most certainly wreak havoc on Corporate America’s profits!
Think about it …