Christian Living Economics Ethics the Church

Black Friday Matters

Black Friday Matters.

 During my lifetime a new religious festival, a new holy day, has been developed in the Western World.  The media treat this every year as though it were an established, centuries old tradition.  My email and internet feeds have been filled with organisations telling me about Black Friday deals.   Deals which no go on for the whole weekend.

We used to be able to use this cartoon in the UK (and Australia) – no more.  We have followed America into the commercial Abyss.

I loathe ‘Black Friday’ and regard it as crass, commercial and cynical exploitation.   Again, this meme sums up how we are being suckered.

It’s even more depressing that we still have ‘Black Friday’ in the midst of a pandemic.

Here is a fascinating – and typically perceptive – perspective from Russell Brand…Black Friday in a Pandemic World.

 

Look at some of the things Brand says:  “This is a time for challenge – this is a time for awakening.  This is a time of dealing with loss and alienation by looking within…not purchasing.   We are ignorant of the fact that our structures and systems have failed us – what is being enforced world-wide is the man-based religion of consumerism.”  I don’t agree with all his analysis and his solution is woefully short – but he is asking all the right questions.

One of the reasons I post Brand is because I find very little from a Christian perspective. In fact, the very opposite.  Christian organisations have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon.  I was almost going to say that I was going to boycott any Christian organisation which sent me a Black Friday offer – but then I got one from The Banner of Truth!  Et tu Banner?!

Why do Christian organisations feel the need to join in this crass commercialism?  If your products are good enough, and they are for our spiritual edification and not for the purpose of making money or keeping your organisation afloat – then please spare us the special offers and commercialism.     Remember the teaching of the Christ we follow – “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

The solution that Brand is looking for, and which we should be presenting.  Is of another Black Friday.  What the English-speaking churches call ‘Good Friday’ the Germans call ‘Black Friday’ – it is the day when Jesus was crucified – the most solemn, serious and darkest day in the history of the Universe.  And yet it is from that pit, that hope comes.  Brand and everyone else will find what they are looking for when they come to the Cross.   We preach Christ crucified, not Christ commercialised.

David Robertson

Sydney

28th November 2020

Panic Room 13 – Black Friday? Or Good Friday?

Jesus’s Plea to Russell Brand – CT

Quantum 122 – The Times they are a Changing, Maradona and Armenian Heavy Metal!

 

9 comments

  1. Thank you for this, David.

    The quote from the idiot Brand is perfect, except for his last word. ‘Communism’ should have done duty as ” consumerism”.

    The reason why people like Brand feel aggrieved is because they know that they’re Leftist gestures are meaningless .

    What I mean by that is that if Brand left his mansion and moved into a squat for homeless people he’d feel even worse because he knows that at anytime he can return to luxury while his temporary fellow squatters would be left until the Law prevailed and property rights were restored to status quo ante.

  2. I do like the Batman meme and slap. I sometimes have joked that things have gone wrong because that’s what happens when you don’t hit your children. I’m guessing that joke won’t go down well in the light of the ban by the Scottish government of physical chastisement, with it allegedly being “assault”.

    And in case anyone reading this takes offense to the joke, consider this – what about psychological abuse or emotional abuse, coercion and the like? What is the government to do about this when parents abuse children? By taking offence, if you do, you are showing bias in favour of one kind of abuse over another. Let that sink in.

    The government have taken it upon themselves to say to parents that they know better in how to set boundaries with children than parents who choose a certain way of setting and maintaining those boundaries. I find that to be arrogant of the government. I think for the vast majority of parents, they know how to parent their children better that the government and should be left alone to do so.

    I digress.

    Brand, yes while asking the right questions and offering insight is at the same time pointing out issues without offering a solution. While this is popular in a Marxist – deconstructionist identity politic and virtue signalling zeitgeist, it is is little more than a moan. An articulate and somewhat informed moan but a moan nevertheless. It doesn’t do anything to keep away nihilism which inevitably leads to bitterness and resentment. So yes meaningless about sums up what Brand is doing here but it is not as harmless as that – it’s pernicious and leading to unrest.

    Overcoming nihilism and enduring sufferings in life that inevitably come along without becoming bitter and resentful is only achieved with there being meaning and purpose. And that requires that we take responsibility for our lives and how we engage with the world.

    When God created humanity he saw it was good. Each one of us carries the image of God though we know in a fallen world, all of us have fallen short of the glory of God. When Jesus came, it was to offer himself to make up that shortfall in our place, making a spectacle out of sin in being risen up on a cross, crucified. So that he might rise again and show victory over death. Death being the wages of sin. And so we will be able to say confidently “death where is thy sting?”

    For anyone with this awareness, this is how nihilism is overcome. Each of us, created in the image of God, has important work to do in the world, work that God has prepared for us in advance. And work we are able to engage with in joyful service. The joy of the Lord is your strength.

    This is how we can overcome the “more depressing” whether it be a Black Friday in the middle of a pandemic or a plethora of other things. How many times in the bible do you see “don’t be afraid?”

    Perfect love, the love of God casts out all fear!

    1. “For anyone with this awareness, this is how nihilism is overcome. Each of us, created in the image of God, has important work to do in the world, work that God has prepared for us in advance. And work we are able to engage with in joyful service. The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

      You better define “important”.

      It’s almost an insult of sorts to suggest that a god prepared – in advance – the work each and everyone of us is engaged in and must complete same “in joyful service”.

      1. John – the works prepared in advance is an allusion to this “for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians Chapter 2 Verse 10). I hear that you perceive this to be “almost an insult” when combined with “joyful service” which also has allusion to scripture with “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah Chapter 8 Verse 10) and that Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew Chapter 20 Verse 28).

        So being at one with God, created in the image of God and there with God’ Spirit in power love and sound mind with Jesus as lord, joyfully serving the world. I can’t imagine that being a bad thing if someone chooses this for them. And if the world benefits from this then all the better for everyone, you included.

        I hear you regard this as an “insult of sorts”. And when you consider the account of Jesus with him being crucified from a human perspective, it may seem foolish to adhere to this. The bible has an answer to that “we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1ath Corinthians Chapter 1 Verse 23). And that what might appear to be foolishness in this respect is wise and strong “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1st Corinthians Chapter 1 Verse 25).

        By “insult” therefore what is implicit in your claim about this is the offence of the cross of Christ. Respectfully, it’s no skin off my nose for you to choose to take any offence to this. In fact, I regard it as a blessing in disguise if you do.

        You say “you better define “important””. Please explain to me why you hold this view and why you feel I need to be told to do this by you.

  3. A really curious new one to me is-“we have a wealthy business person who is offering to match your donation”-which seems to be a clever and recession beating strategy from some Christian groups. At first it looked like a good deal, but now I am not so sure about this model of fund raising. Who is manipulating who, here, or does anyone care: provided the numbers add up sweetly?

  4. Well…….yes…….. I hear what you say
    but
    On Friday I took advantage of the Banner offer of five copies of the John Owen reprint, ‘Searching our Hearts in Difficult Times’ for £15. I am going to give these out to members of my congregation whom I think will benefit from the book. I could not have afforded to do this at the regular price. Thank you, BoT! Perhaps they could have done it last Wednesday or next Monday and avoided being lumped in with the ungodly, but would that have made the book any better?

    BTW, you really should recommend the book. It really does speak to our present time (though curiously it does not seem to mention Black Friday).

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