What is the greatest threat to developing fully devoted followers of Jesus? Is it humanism, hedonism, relativism, materialism, socialism, or statism? I would not argue against the negative impact of any of these “isms,” but I would like to add another one, consumerism. To understand it we must first contrast Consumer Christianity with Kingdom Christianity. In Kingdom Christianity:
1. Jesus is King Matthew 28:18; Isaiah 9:7; Revelation 19:16.
2. His primary agenda is to advance the Kingdom Matthew 6:9, 10, 33; Daniel 2:44.
3. The Kingdom advances by making disciples Matthew 28:19.
4. The key agent in this task is the Local Church Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:9-11.
Q. Where will the devil level his deception and attack?
A. The Local Church.
Q. What is the greatest threat to developing fully devoted followers of Jesus?
A. Consumer Christianity – a substitute brand of Christianity based on consumerism.
1. Consumerism is all about customizing choices to satisfy personal desires, styles, tastes, and preferences.
2. In consumerism the customer is always right and the customer is king.
3. Consumer Christianity is all about customizing and constructing my own Christian discipleship by creating a Christian lifestyle and church connection that conforms to my personal tastes, needs, desires, style, and preferences.
4. This is totally incompatible with Kingdom Christianity and discipleship as defined by Jesus where Jesus is King and we yield our tastes, desires, styles, and preferences to His Lordship and rule.
What happens if a religious consumer does not like the programs and services offered (Knowing that the moral absolute of consumerism is that the consumer is always right)? Religious consumers do what all consumers do when they are dissatisfied—they complain and will take their complaint to whatever level. Go to customer service and complain (murmur). Many even threaten to take their business elsewhere. Many even tell their consumer friends about how badly they were treated.
In a consumer culture the temptation for churches is to focus on attracting a crowd of consumers rather than developing fully devoted followers of Jesus. Consumer Christianity is totally incompatible with Christian discipleship as defined by Jesus. In consumer Christianity, the customer is king and customer is always right, but in the Kingdom Jesus is King and He is right.