Could it be that the consumer values, both inside and outside the church, that form the uncontested foundation of our preaching, books and ministries are fundamentally designed to promote puerility and oppose maturity?
By which he means the focus so much of the church places on meeting the felt-needs of the congregation completely miss the point – the point that we are meant to be disciples of Christ! Jethani continues,
Self-denial, the surrendering of immediate desires, is the Christian life. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer so succinctly states, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” But this invitation is noticeably absent in the gospel of consumer Christianity. It promises joy and new life, a healthier marriage, more obedient children, a more balanced life, and less anxiety about the future – but nowhere do these promises carry the price of death. Never are we asked to deny ourselves. That is a value utterly at odds with consumerism: the sanctity of personal desire.
For people fully formed by consumerism, any God that expects personal sacrifice on the level that Jesus does cannot be seen as benevolent, and certainly is not worth following.
Go into any typical Christian bookstore, watch any typical God TV, open any typical Christian magazine and it will be full of the kind of consumer drivel that keeps believers from growing up. And are we surprised that our churches are full of sentimental women and drippy men?
God help us.