« A Day for Kites | Main | Consuming Culture »

April 16, 2008


thanks for raising this important issue. our leadership team is going to seize the teachable moment and beginning the first week in may we will do a series called, "the big give." what do the scriptures have to say about generosity? what is the best antidote to consumerism? is it un-american to give your rebate away (i have heard people say it is our patriotic duty to spend it all)? we will encourage people to do exactly what you are doing - use their rebates and engage in a personal giving project.

i truly believe this is a kairos for the Church in the US.

stay connected...

We are grateful for the upcoming stimulus because we have been unable to take care of some fairly large problems with our house that would eventually make it unsafe/unhealthy to live in. I guess we are "giving" our money to our kids to keep them healthy and safe. Maybe it doesn't sound as selfless as giving it to someone else in a foreign country, but I think it is a legitimate way of stimulating the economy and giving at the same time. Does that make sense?

Good comment Linda. I'm guessing that your repairs are not "wants" but "needs." That makes sense to me.

I'm reacting to the notion that consumption, usually self-indulgent and unrestrained, is what our government (both Reps and Dems, there's no difference on this and many similar issues) says will "fix" (that's right, like a junkie) our economy. At best it will only be a short-term Bandaid. We were told to do the same after 9/11. In the end I think there is something deeply theologically wrong with this notion. A recent National Geographic special proved that if every nation practiced consumption habits like Americans we would need five planet Earths to meet the demand for resources.

I hope no one interprets Tracy and my actions as a "holier than thou" attitude. We just know this is right for us and believe on this issue of finaces we need a public conversation (normally we wouldn't think anybody had any business knowing our giving patterns). Others will know what is right for them if they give it some prayer and critical thought.

I hope and pray the rebate will cover the expenses of the home repairs/improvements. Thanks again for the comment, sis. I look forward to seeing you all soon.


I couldn't agree more about the whole U.S. consumption/consumerism thing! It is a blight on our faith, culture, and planet. I especially appreciate the contrast (in your last comment) between the U.S. and the other nations of the world.

I guess I just wanted to point out that there are people who truly need the economic stimulus checks. Some will be stimulating the economy by purchasing goods and services that are needs rather than extras (wants) that would simply be nice to have.

And by the way, I am so pleased in your choices for giving. I hope that others may be spurred on to such giving.

We're looking forward to seeing you guys, too!

I agree Tim. It kinda saddens me to see so many willing to just gorge themselves on whatever personal items they can think of. I know that I am tempted to as well, which is the normal thing for people my age to do, but I have one solid goal in mind with my stimulus payment: debt reduction.

When my eager, curious self acquired a credit card more than a few years ago, it has been difficult to get out from underneath it. With the impending student loans about to roll in, my life looks like an influx of steady debt for a long time. I figured that this check, regardless of how big it is, can do nothing but help me by applying it towards the elimination of debt. Now if only other typical American minds could think this way, it would help relieve many other problems that occur in our country. Unfortunately, the message that is being painted is "Spend, spend, spend" and that message speaks directly to the brain patterns of the average American mind.

Hey Josh, thanks for your comment. One of the things that saddens me is the system that college students have little choice about: student loans. Very few graduate without debt. I understand the burden that you now carry from going to a Christian university. The irony is that you had to do it to receive a degree in ministry!

I say, "Pay down that debt! (But don't buy a plasma TV...)". More power to ya'.


Excellent points regarding the "stimulus" package. I am sorry I missed the faculty prayers meeting where you raised this issue and hope the discussion went in a good direction. I am looking forward to seeing the article getting picked up in the local papers, that should really get some talk buzzing too.

Right now my plans for the stimulus package have been put a little on hold by your thoughts actually. I planned to include it in some home improvements we are working on, but now...
I think it would be a shame to miss this opportunity to both do good with the funds, and teach my family that it is important to do so. Thanks for being the prophet's voice at this time. Blessings on you and your family.

Hi Tim,

I enjoyed your article regarding "What to do with our rebate checks." It has caused me to think, more deeply, about what my purpose on earth is.



Awesome stuff.

And inspired me here:
PS: Do you know offhand if MacPhisto ever sang "Acrobat."?

Love your mind.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Now available for presale

  • Buy on Amazon --
    U2: Rock 'n' Roll to Change the World

    From its beginning in 1976, U2 has consistently interacted with its environment, both influencing and being influenced by the world around. Giving as much attention to social, political and spiritual issues as it does musical creativity, this Irish quartet provides a unique case study in the intersection of artistic expression and cultural engagement.

The One Campaign

    Please join the ONE campaign to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

About Me

Tim Neufeld

  • Full-time professor, part-time pastor, husband, father of two small boys, news writer for @U2 (atu2.com), just trying to find my way in a new world.

© 2006-2016 Timothy D. Neufeld


  • WWW