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Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Is More Like It

While I think The Story of Stuff video I posted last Saturday makes us stop and think, I don't think it offers us an answer.  I don't agree with the end message.  I don't believe we can change this world.

You see, I believe that we live in a fallen world, a world destroyed by sin.  No where in the Bible does it command us to go out and change society, to change our world system.  In fact, it is to be expected that this world system will become increasingly corrupt as time goes on.  But we are commanded to go out and reach people and change their lives through the gospel message.  We are commanded to love and by this all will know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

So, please take a moment and watch this video.  Tell me what you think.

For more information, you can visit adventconspiracy.org.


  1. Shannon,
    I completely agree with your take on where we are going. I think when this life is all over & we are with God we are going to look back on a lot of things differently.
    I really like this AC thing... For the last couple years, in large part due to necessity, we have tried to keep a pretty low maintenance life. We have also chosen to stay in the small town where we would rather live than 'go where the money is' upon graduation. This fits very well into how we have chosen to celebrate. Relational giving & real love is always going to give you a better return than bills you may or may not be able to pay. For the most part, I want my Christmas celebration to reflect my relationship with God. Only the truly important stuff matters, though you won't see me turning down any Christmas cookies! =D

  2. Actually, I think we as Christians should be doing more than just trying to change the world.

    The Lord's prayer begins with:
    "Thy Father who art in Heaven,
    Hallowed be Thy name
    Thy Kingdom come
    On earth as it is in Heaven"

    For a reason. I believe that if we live the way that Christ taught us to live, then we would bring the Kingdom of heaven onto earth. This means that we should be able to, if we see things that are manifestation of our fallen world, to pray that God's kingdom would come and take control over that area of our life. It is a quite powerful concept. I couldn't really watch the Story of Stuff because it isn't captioned and I'm deaf. But if I'd guess something about it, I'd think that what is wrong with the video is it asks people to do things out of their own strength and effort. It also makes people feel guilty about having stuff, and I don't think that is the kind of thing that would come from God. I believe that if we live the way God calls us to live, we would be able to have an abundance without the headache and distraction that comes with having random stuff. The problem isn't the stuff, the problem is more a lack of focus in our life.

    It is noble that they are looking to improve people's life. But that isn't kingdom values. Kingdom values is where you allow Christ to reign in our lives, and everything we do should seek to establish His kingdom in our surroundings. That, in turn, would lead us to want to see a better life for everyone else. Then as we go out and make disciples, we would be expanding His kingdom.


  3. 1) These people just jumped on the band-wagon.
    2) Christianity is not equal to the world. It would mean that only Christians should/would consume less?
    3) The Adventist is just a small sect of Christianity, so why bring that forward at all in this "band-wagon video"? If they want all Christians to listen, that is.

    China, India and their satellites will consume as we do, within a decade or so. Do you think that it is realistic to first make them Christians and then change the world?
    Conclusion: Religion will just side-track any global solution. Any religion.


  4. Umm, no offense Henry, but I don't read this as a (7th Day) Adventist thing. Traditionally the advent refers to the immediate time before the birth, the 'advent' of the birth. Same frame of reference for an advent calendar or advent log.
    Also, this seems to be meant as a personal 'solution'/lifestyle change with possible global impact. So why the negativity???

  5. Well, the premise of this video, from my perspective, is to CHALLENGE people. "MOST" people are "ALL" consuming consumers. Meaning that ESPECIALLY at CHRISTMAS TIME, "MOST" AMERICAN people are cramming stuff into bags, going into debt over gifts they feel compelled to "have to" buy for "everybody", to "make" them all happy and feel loved. Meaning, to the consuming consumer, that spending excessive money, going into debt, and fulfilling whatever unrealistic expectation that they have in their mind, or in their family structure equals a "good Christmas", and a huge expectation of this is HOW Christmas "SHOULD" be done!

    The CHALLENGE [in the video] is to be _challenged_ to be OTHERS motivated, OTHERS focused, giving to OTHERS, rather than heaping up THINGS for yourself or your own family. Meaning, IF we chose---as individuals--- to do even 1 thing to better 1 other person or family, GLOBALLY we could change the world. The CHALLENGE is to see if YOU can make a difference. If YOU can think of someone else besides your SELF.

    It's not talking about changing the world to Christianity!! Only GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT can change a heart or mind!! It's HIS work within the human heart and spirit that can catalyst change!

    If you, as the viewer, choose to allow the video to challenge YOU to change just ONE thing---to be OTHERS motivated, rather than be SELFISH and SELF motivated, your life can be bettered. Religion doesn't change a life, religion traps and stifles. Mandated human regulations can't impact people and change lives for eternity! Only receiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour can! Only the Holy Spirit can prick your heart for change. The one who's been forgiven much, knows how to love much.

    Just my opinion. I'm challenged, not condemned. I already saw a few of these videos and took them as a CHALLENGE for myself, not a public mandate for global conversion. In fact, in the book of John, Jesus prayed for those that were _His_ own, not global prayer, but for His disciples [and by proxy each one sequentially that has received Him as Saviour]. I've been considering that for the last two weeks. Just my opinion.

  6. Sandy,
    Very good comments, exactly the way I see it.

    You seem to have missed my point that we are not to try to change this world. And I am not advocating religion here, but love--the only way we can truly love others is when we realize how much God loved us, while we were sinners, and sent His only Son to die in our stead. Anything else is a pseudo-substitute.

  7. First to Tim:
    The video "The Story of Stuff" has subtitles.


    Second. What I reacted on was the title:
    "This Is More Like It" by Shannon
    As I understand, Shannon means that the Adventist message is better. OK whatever, but then there is this conclusion by Shannon: "I don’t believe we can change this world."

    So, thus we are back to the spiritual thought. What i wanted to point out is that only some (maybe) 20 % of this planets population are Christians.
    When about 1 billion households in China and India also want a fridge and all the other stuff, (that they are entitled to), the world will lack both natural resources and energy to produce all that.

    It does not matter if the Christians one-sided comes to the conclusion that we should consume less.
    Or the Muslims, or Hindus or whatever religion.
    The movie "The Story of Stuff", does not tell from what layer of society you come, or what religion. And there is a reason: This is not a religion-based question.
    Any religion can take part of this from its moral bases, but there is no reason to look upon it from "one religion only"-direction.

    Additionally, those that comments here, seem to see the world as 90 % USA, when the truth is that USA is about 10% of this world.
    Try to think about the question in global terms.

    I understand that it can be hard to see it, but let me put it this way:
    - When the middle class in China, India, Russia and e.g. Brazil will grow to much bigger proportions, and have money to buy, the price of metals and oil will sky-rocket. This will happen within a decade or two.

    The question is not "What will we do?" We have no say anymore. They have money so they are entitled to buy the same stuff as we do. The problem is that this planet can't take it. There is always a limit to everything.

    The question is "What will happen to you/us?"

    It is not a question about giving to your fellow man. The question is much larger.


  8. Henry,

    You may be right that the resources will eventually be tapped out. Mankind may very well be destroying the earth. But God is not surprised, He knows the end from the beginning and He has a plan. Isaiah 46:9-11 I won't debate on the issue of saving the earth, we won't see eye to eye on that one.

    My point with the first video was that maybe we shouldn't be buying all the stuff. Now, with this video, I'm saying we should find something better to do with our time and money.

    I think even Annie Leonard would agree that it's better to help build a clean water well for people in a third-world country (or even feed the homeless in your own city) than buy a bunch of useless things for Christmas.


  9. Tim,

    I agree with you for the most part. When I said we are not called to change the world, I really mean the world system. If we would all obey the call to love then the world would be changed--it's a by-product of the great commandment. And when I say change the world, I'm thinking of world policies, environment, economy, etc. These are things that can distract us from our calling to reach people. People are what matter most, not the earth, it is secondary. The Story of Stuff focuses on economic models and our environment. I know these things affect people's lives, but some of these things will never change because man in general has a sin nature and greed and selfishness will not go away, until, as you say, His Kingdom comes!


  10. Shannon!

    I very much agree!