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Love, Sex & Mammon
Posted By Eric Sammons On March 4, 2009 @ 6:41 am In Spirituality | Comments Disabled
I am an enthusiastic subscriber to Touchstone magazine , and I just finished reading their latest issue. It hit the ground running, as the opening editorial by Russell Moore  challenges all Christians to look at their own priorities in this time of economic crisis. An excerpt:
Some Christians, on the Left and on the Right, would tell us that economic matters are of paramount concern right now. They would assert that we’ve no time for the “luxury” of “culture war” discussions about “abstinence” or divorce or “gender roles” or other such matters. Instead, they tell us, we should concentrate on tax cuts or economic stimulus projects or Wall Street bailouts or home ownership.
They’re wrong not only because the family is, ultimately, more important than the marketplace, but also because the two are interconnected. They’re wrong also because, as Marxists and hyper-capitalists both correctly grasp (though wrongly apply), man as an economic being cannot be abstracted from other aspects of life.
A time of economic crisis is, therefore, a time for the Church to reconsider—and re-imagine—her priorities. The first step is to recognize that one of the roots of the family crisis all around us—in the pews we sit in or preach to every week—is the wallet in our own back pocket.
Consuming Ourselves to Death
It is no accident, after all, that our Ancient Foe first appears in Holy Scripture as a snake—imagery that follows the devil all through the canon to the closing vision of the Revelation to St. John. As philosopher Leon Kass puts it, “For the serpent is a mobile digestive tract that swallows its prey whole; in this sense the serpent stands for pure appetite.” Indeed he does—and the whole of Scripture and of Christian tradition warns the Church against the way of the appetites, the way of consuming oneself to death.
One of the great challenges to modern American Christians is our unprecedented affluence. Never has a people lived with such material benefits, and it appears that all of Christ’s warnings against money were sage advice; the love of money has destroyed the faith and the family of many believers. Moore is ecumenical in his challenges to the Church – instead of criticizing others, we who believe that we are faithful to the “hard” teachings of Jesus have to ask ourselves if we really trust Christ’s teachings about money above the false security mammon gives us. For example, Moore writes,
Why do Christian parents, contra St. Paul’s clear admonition in 1 Corinthians 7, encourage their young adult children to delay marriage, sometimes for years past the time it would take to discern whether this union would be of the Lord? Why do we smilingly tell them to wait until they can “afford” it? It is because, to our shame, we deem fornication a less awful reality than financial hardship.
Why do our pastors and church leaders speak bluntly about homosexuality but not about divorce? Because, in many cases, they know the faces of the divorced people in the pews before them—and they fear losing the membership statistics or the revenue those faces represent.
It is easy to criticize the ill-advised attempts to “solve” this economic crisis by government officials. What is harder, but more necessary, is to look inside our hearts and examine what we have done to foster it through our own personal materialism and greed.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/03/04/love-sex-mammon/
URLs in this post:
 Touchstone magazine: http://touchstonemag.com/
 opening editorial by Russell Moore: http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-02-003-e
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