Materialism aka consumerism is such a seedy and destructive faith.

Consider the story of 15 year old An who was sold by her parents to a brothel in Bangkok in Thailand. She was proud that her earnings allowed her mum and dad to buy two motorbikes and a fridge.

Thai people are traditionally Buddhist but Thailand has been invaded by the western consumerist religion that reduces everything to profit and pleasure. We urgently need to notice that materialism aka consumerism is gobbling up traditional religions like Christianity and Buddhism.

It is the juggernaut faith today!

Buddhist Thai scholar Sulak Sivaraksa is horrified by what he sees as a perversion of the teachings of the Buddha.

“They’ve lost their way”, he said. “Monks are supposed to renounce money. The teachings of the Buddha have been killed by the demonic religion of consumerism.”

Sivaraksa said this because consumerism turns Buddhist monks into salesmen for amulets and Buddhist ‘products’.

Consumerism is not only destroying the planet but it turns children, like An, into sexual commodities. Hardened consumerists believe that An is just a ‘piece of meat’ to be consumed on holiday. The planet is just there to be conquered and violated.

Consumerism destroys individuals, communities and God’s wonderful world.

Why do we not grasp that materialism aka consumerism is the most influential and aggressive faith today?

Why don’t we teach this in RE lessons in our schools?

If you would like to know more about materialism and how understanding it can help us in mission and discipleship do consider taking our brand new RealityBites course Slave Chronicles and Dangerous Beliefs: Discipling Others through Creative Storytelling.

Mark Roques
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Mark Roques

Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Education at Prior Park College, Bath, for many years. As Director of RealityBites he has developed a rich range of resources for youth workers and teachers. He has spoken at conferences in the UK, Holland, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a lively storyteller and the author of four books, including The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. His work is focused on storytelling and how this can help us to communicate the Christian faith. He has written many articles for the Baptist Times, RE Today, Youthscape, Direction magazine and the Christian Teachers Journal.