Culture At Large

American Duty: To Consume or To Give?

Chris Salzman

So, perhaps you're aware, but the US government is giving each of its tax paying citizens an Economic Stimulus Package. For me, this means $600 of seemingly free money. I don't begin to understand all of the economic ramifications of said money, but I do know that it creates a bit of a conundrum. Do you do what the government wants and spend it on 'stimulating' the economy? Or do you do something else with it like save it, or give it to charity?

I won't tell you what to do with yours (other than urge you to pray about it before you hop in the car to go buy a new iPod), but David Swanson over at Out of Ur, thinks churches should be talking about it and wants to know what yours is saying about the Package.

He's not necessarily advocating that your Stimulus be signed over to become your church's Stimulus, but at least asking that old chestnut, "WWJD?"
“I thought that spending my check from the government was supposed to be the patriotic thing to do, but I’m not sure it’s the Kingdom thing to do.” That is how my friend Chuck began explaining his idea about what our congregation could do with the economic stimulus payments that begin arriving in the mail this week. After hearing so much about the sluggish economy and our responsibility to jumpstart it through consumption, he was wondering if there might be a better way to invest Uncle Sam’s rebate.
On Sunday, I invited Chuck to join me in front of our church. I asked him to explain why spending the money on himself was not the best thing he could do with it. “As I read about the government’s plan in the news, the more the idea of spending money on myself seemed to be at odds with the values of God’s kingdom,” he said. He told us he’d been reading Jesus’ words in Luke 12 and it appeared to be opposed to the message that we can spend our way to prosperity, security, and happiness....
Hop over to Out of Ur to finish the article and chime in there if you want to let him know what your church is doing.

For ThinkChristian's part I'll ask you a few questions: have you thought about what you're going to spend it on? Anyone finding this money to be a godsend? Have you received your Stimulus Package yet? Other thoughts?

Topics: Culture At Large, Business & Economics, Money, News & Politics, Media