Study Guide: Consumer War

Sunday November 17, 2013 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

We live in a warzone where there are powers trying to derail us from living a life like Jesus. One of these powers is consumerism. In this sermon, Greg shows us how consumerism is anti-Christ, and we should change our mindset in order to fight back.

Extended Summary:

We are called to wake up to all the things in our culture that are not consistent with the Kingdom. One of the calls of Jesus is to live a life that is reflective of the Kingdom. This means that if there’s anything in our lives that is not a part of the Kingdom, then we need to take a look and try to change it.

Consumerism has an antichrist dimension to it. Many people see the antichrist as a person in the future who will lead the forces of evil in the battle of Armageddon. However, the New Testament authors saw all the spirits that fell with Satan as antichrist because they function opposite of Christ. So, consumerism functions this way. Not metaphorically, but actual entities sucking the life out of us. Consumerism hinges on people being dissatisfied with their life and always needing to buy something in order to make it better. This is antichrist because Jesus wants us to be unselfish with our resources and not depend on things of this world to satisfy us.

When we rebelled, we misused our authority on Earth. The same thing happened in the angelic realm. When Satan fell and took other angels with him, these beings started to abuse and misuse their authority on Earth. Instead of things working together in harmony, Earth became a warzone. And we still live in that warzone today.

Every culture that has something that dehumanizes people is a result of the fallen powers’ influence. We see, throughout history, that every culture has its demons that affect it. Some cultures were influenced by paganism. Some were influenced by warfare. And ours is no different, as we are influenced by many demonic influences. We need to realize that we still live in a war zone.

People think differently when on vacation compared to living in a warzone. When people are on vacation, they relax and treat themselves to comfort. And people need this time. However, when people live in a warzone, there is no time to relax and treat themselves. The problem with American society is that we are constantly being told to relax and treat ourselves all the time, and not treat our lives like we’re living in a warzone. By following Jesus, we can live the life we need to live.

Jesus rebelled against these powers by the way he lived his life. Jesus was radical when it came to wealth, treatment of women, socioeconomic stratification, and nationalism. Jesus exhibited a lifestyle of warfare. He was starting a Kingdom of revolution. Jesus wanted his people to follow in his footsteps.

We win by living like Jesus. When we live a life that follows Jesus, we begin to fight back against these antichrist powers in the world. By not adopting consumerism, we begin to use our resources for good. When we ration our comfort in this world, we begin to free up time and money to help other people, and we’ll be read to answer the call of God on our lives.

We should live with a warfare and rationing mindset. Ask God, what do you want us to ration? God wants to show you exactly where you can cut back in your life to free up resources. It’s our free will that has us listening or not listening to God. But if people in World War 2 could ration for their war effort, then surely we can ration ours for God’s effort.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. How do you see the power of consumerism being antichrist?
  3. In your own life, how has your satisfaction with life been derailed by feeling like you don’t have enough?
  4. In what areas of your life do you think God might be calling you to ration yourself?
  5. How do you see yourself beginning the rationing process?