Friday, April 9, 2010

Capitalism vs. Grace

Here's just a few random thoughts after our focus on Jim Wallis...

Our whole western society seems to be built around the idea that humanity is self-centered and independent.

Our science says "Survival of the fittest."
Our advertising says "You only get out what you put in."
Our religion says "What you reap is what you sow."

We operate out of our idea of 'justice' - that a person gets what they deserve, whether that be through good actions that leads to reward or through bad actions that lead to punishment. We're responsible for our own skins. Individualism.

So our identity was in what we produced (what we do), and now is more in what we consume (our rewards for what we do). At a party, we ask "What do you do?" and "Have you seen that movie/read that book/been to that place?". That is how we identify ourselves. Do we have inherent worth?

Church plays this game as much as anyone. Religion is about individual performance ("Am I sinning?") and consumption (entertainment-driven church services and youth groups etc.). We are plagued by guilt and fear over whether we're "good enough" to have God's forgiveness...

We are too self-obsessed.

So what is grace? What does it look like in our society?

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