Thursday, June 28, 2007

Consumerism Reigns King

The new iPhone comes out in a matter of days. The product is another hot item off the apple product list. It's sleek and cool looking, with some fancy new features. People are already lining up to buy this new product, and are prepared to fork over the fortune that it will cost them. But what should Christians think about the iPhone?

I suppose at one level the fact is that the iPhone is entirely neutral as a product. It has no moral issues, nor does it necessarily generate sin in the heart of its buyers. But, as will all consumerism, it has the potential to become a god. Lining up to buy the iPhone may just suggest the worship of materialism that is rapent in our country. It may suggest the reign of Mamon on our "Christian" continent.

Beyond the foundational issue of idolatry is the issue of responsibility. How many people will fork over the hundrends of dollars required to buy this phone, and the thousands it will cost to keep it running every year, and will fail to live up to their other duties? Such scenes remind me of the Apostle Paul's words, "all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful."

This is not intended to be some legalist rant, shaking my finger at those who buy an iPhone. Perhaps I am just being envious and need to evaluate my own heart first. But we must all confess the reality that in America Consumerism, not Christ, is King, and this goes for the Christian too. So consider carefully before you buy an iPhone. It's not a sin to own, or even to wait in line to buy an iPhone, but check your heart and examine your motives. Sin can be subtle friends, and the iPhone might be just cool enough to distract us from proper judgments.

So buy your iPhone wisely, with discernment, and as a god-fearing Christian. And if you still decide to buy one...could you let me check it out?



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