Worshiping Money

While trapped at Groove Toyota waiting for a ride home, I could not avoid “The Price is Right,” which was bombastically glaring and shouting at me. I could not shout back. I could barely think or pray.

I was peering into a phantasmagorical world of worship. People were whipped into an ecstatic frenzy, standing and cheering without shame. Contestants emoted egregiously in anticipation of receiving something for nothing based on their ignorant guesses of the prices of unnecessary objects. They cheered passionately for things to happen over which they have no control: the luck of the draw.

Two female models stood at each side of the mystical dispenser of manna, emanating beauty sheered of personality. They were perfect–and not there.

And a man is paid to be the master of absurdities. Some sad souls watch this by choice, and perhaps worship along with the throbbing throng.

Author: Douglas Groothuis

Author of Christian Apologetics, Truth Decay, On Jesus, On Pascal, and others. Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary since 1993. Head of The Apologetics and Ethics Masters Degree Program and Co-Director of The Gordon Lewis Center for Christian Thought and Culture. Senior Fellow for Apologetics.com.

4 thoughts

  1. When one doesn’t watch those kind of shows regularly, they are especially shocking to encounter, as per your frustrating detention at the car dealership. God help us when we no longer grieve for the people who produce and consume such drivel. There, but for the grace of God, go every one of us.

  2. Most American evangelicals that I converse with on this subject might actually hold an understanding of Christian duty toward money that defends the behavior you describe. This comes from a failure to take Matt 6:24 seriously. Is its text not structured into the logical syllogism of a constructive dilemma? Jesus would then seem to imply that to love God one must necessarily hate money.

    That is a higher standard than merely forgoing the love of money. By ignoring Matthew chapter 6, many Evangelicals tend to then define the love of money as an extreme form of behavior resembling something Ebeneezer Scrooge might do in Charles Dickens’ imagination, but something they could never possibly do.

    I’ve often seen the argument that such Christians believe they don’t love money because they don’t want the money just for themselves. Devout Christians of America want the money for their children, their family, and the opportunity to write larger tithe checks. Could this justification for the great care that financially successful Christians devote to their careers and their investments not also serve as a defense of what we see on game shows?

    If there exists a moral space for Christians to actively seek to make more money and to celebrate when they succeed in doing so, it’s hard to identify a qualitative difference between a lower class Christian showing glee for winning big on a game show vs. a more affluent Christian family celebrating daddy’s big promotion. If they both have a duty to hate money, then it would seem that no such moral space exists for either.

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