Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category

Let me respond a bit more regarding my concern over the Advent Conspiracy film (and for all you friends of AC, I was contacted by the creative director of AC, Tony Biaggne and had a great conversation with him — which I look forward to continuing at a later date). I need to make clear that I’m reacting to the 2008 video since that’s all I’ve seen. I have not read the book, I had not even seen the blog, or the facebook page until Tony told me about them, so all I know of AC is the video — and it’s the video to which I’m objecting.

Passing over some of the assertions that are made (which I do have some questions about), there is certainly a great deal said that no one can argue with:
— Do many people spend more than they can afford on gifts and sin by going into unnecessary debt? You betcha.
— Do we have a problem with materialism in our culture? Indeed we do.
— Do we often think that money and things can bring happiness and contentment? We sure do.
— Do we fall into the trap of focusing more upon the hassle and the expense of gift-giving than we do upon the privilege of giving or upon the far more valuable relationships God has given us? Absolutely.
— Should we spend more time together with loved ones and work on building our relationships and loving one another? Of course.

But, you see, if this was the point of the video, then it would simply be an exercise in stating the obvious. Nobody, however, goes to the trouble and expense of producing a snazzy video to say things that everybody already knows, right? So the question is, what is the real message here?

Here’s the way it hit me: “Why are we spending $450 billion on Christmas when it would take only $10 billion to solve the world’s drinking water problems. What’s more important? An unnecessary toy or saving lives? An ugly sweater or water that won’t kill people? A stupid gift card or giving a cup of clean water? And you could accomplish that for only 2% of what you spend on these useless, unnecessary, mindless gifts. What is wrong with you? When are you going to quit being so selfish and materialistic and start caring about someone aside from yourself? Stop wasting your money on Christmas, you fat slob, you eat too much anyway and you already have too much stuff. It’s not going to kill you to eat less, and not have a new toy. Quit being such a selfish pig and try being compassionate for a change.”

Ok, that’s over-stated, and Tony has assured me that this is not the message intended, but honestly, that’s how it came across to me (and to quite a few others as well).

My question is this: If you’re tithing and being generous with your wealth, is it wrong to spend your money on “unnecessary” gifts and celebration? Should you feel guilty that you’re doing so? Is it wrong to buy things already made or should I try to make all the gifts I give? Is it wrong to give something to another that is not needed? Does my son need that truck or space ship or xbox? And if not, is it wrong to give it to him anyway? The implication of the video is that it is – or at least, it is not the most God-honoring use of your resources. (more…)

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