The Poison Of Consumerism

In Activism by Chris Marlow7 Comments

I just watched Chris Seay’s talk on Consumerism from Q Conference last year. If you plan on speaking on consumerism anytime soon this talk is a great resource. 

In the talk Chris starting sharing large scale global issues that we are facing in the world such as clean water and illiteracy. According to Chris it will take something like 11 Billion Dollars to bring clean water to every child in the world. That’s it? Serious? Yet almost every time I discuss the vision of HELP it seems like people don’t have the faith or believe that we can cripple extreme poverty. (extreme poverty is an enemy in my opinion) 

There is no doubt that issues of poverty are complex. But here is what I was wondering:

Are millions of kids perishing because the church simply lacks the compassion to sacrifice deeply and make a difference?

Could you imagine if we had visionary leaders who simply will refuse to allow this kind of tragedy to continue. 

I think we can do better, I think the church can be the voice of justice. I think we can gather a global tribe of Christ-followers and work with all religions and people across the world to eradicate hungry, free the trafficked, bring clean water to the thirsty, give medicine to the dying, help kids learn how to read and help parents get jobs. I call this Gospel Justice, I think every Christ-follower has a call to engage in Gospel Justice. 

I’m not talking about aid only. I’m talking about partnerships and long term development. At HELP we have a 5 point strategy:

1. Find a qualified leader who is already making things happen to fight local poverty. (this could be Africa or America)
2. Bring immediate aid if needed. (starvation, sickness etc.)
3. Create network of partnerships with key organizations who are experts in their respected fields. (such as micro-finance, clean water advocates, etc.)
4. Develop a sustainable vision for local community development. (think 3-6 year plan)
5. Work with and through the local church in that community to help bring change. 

I think we can create a tribe of people who are willing to sacrifice deeply and make this happen. We can fiight consumerism in the West and use those extra resources to help end poverty wherever poverty exist, both local and globally.


  1. Todd Hiestand

    My thought isn't so much that we lack the compassion and sacrifice… i think you hit on it already in this post. we lack the understanding that how we live makes an impact on how others live and that we actually can do something about it.

    this is where we need people like you to keep advocating for the poor and telling us a different story!

    good thoughts bro.

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  4. chrismarlow

    Thanks man. I think most people truly want to help. But it seems we're so busy trying to maintain our lives that we can't pause, see the issue at hand and act.

  5. Phil Whittall

    I think the link between consumerism and poverty is important and it's a good place to start, that if we don't spend so much on ourselves we can help people in desperate poverty. But I think that's only a starting point in our challenge to consumerism, that's about greed and consumerism is so much more subtle – it offers people fellowship, purity and beauty, meaning and purpose (sound familiar?), consumerism offers people an alternative identity – who needs a renewed mind when you can get a total makeover?
    So we need the twin attacks on the spiritual imposter of consumerism and the injustice of poverty to raise an effective challenge. Thanks for the post, keep on it!

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