Mark 4:21-25 How To Become A Mindless, Ranting, Consumerist

21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

How To Become A Mindless Ranting Consumerist

Jesus is talking here about the Kingdom of God.  It is whispered about in private, but these things that we talk about quietly in our churches and friendship groups are the things that should be changing the world.  We were not meant to restrict our religious commitment to private life.  The modern movement of secularism stands in contrast to the passage above.  Secularism creates two spheres for living.  You have the private sphere, where you are entitled to religion if you want it.  Then you have the public sphere where all religion is left aside.  In effect, in public people must think and act from an atheist perspective.  Christians buy into this when they talk about secular jobs and church jobs, secular music and Christian music.  In the Kingdom of God there is no secular music, there are no secular jobs.  All of the world is sacred from the perspective of Jesus.  In every area of life, the way that we live should whisper about Jesus.  This is not just ceasing to cuss at the water cooler, it means seeing how Jesus has the best business practices; how Jesus has revealed to us how to teach; and how Jesus has revealed to us the science that is the basis of every technological advancement.

We must take the Kingdom of God and realise its power in public, but also what we expose ourselves to in how we live our lives will affect our heart commitment.  If we orient our lives around getting time to watch a movie and switch off, we will mindlessly assimilate the values of the media that we engage with.  I think this is more vital to understand now than ever before.  The Millennial or Mosaic generation is media saturated and media brings values, beliefs, and opinions.  Youth often oppose anyone directly telling them what to do, but songs, movies and books embed strong values, beliefs, and opinions in them.  Whatever bias is embedded in movies that are watched uncritically will show up in the lives of those who thoughtlessly assimilate their truth.  The children that Barna tell us are leaving the church do not adopt new values at that moment.  The worldview of college students has been chipped away at for years.  The transition away from Christianity at college is a simple final step away from a system of belief that had been undermined for years.  Those who first of all fill their mind with right beliefs, right values, and right opinions and act on them will be given more than they started with.  Those who measure out to themselves more mindless entertainment, more consumer advertising, and more ranting rock songs will find themselves mindless, ranting consumerists.

Prayer

Jesus, I know that I try and escape as often as possible.  I just want a little time to play a compute r game.  However, I don’t always play games that are the most wholesome or in line with my beliefs.  I am constantly receiving brochures through the mail that create discontent with the furniture, appliances, and lifestyle that I have.  Help me to continue to start my day with you.  My whole day looks different if I start it with my eyes on you.  If I start with you, you are on my mind and you tend to slip out of my mouth in public.  If I don’t start with you the whole day seems to be one of silent atheism.  I am sure this is different for different people, but I know this is how my life needs to be more disciplined.  I am grateful for the way you are changing things in a positive way these last few years.

Questions

  1. What does no-one do with a lamp?
  2. What should one consider carefully?
  3. How is Jesus describing a right reception of the Kingdom of God?
  4. Why do so many who claim faith in Jesus become mindless, ranting consumerists today?
  5. How do you talk about God’s Kingdom (rule and authority) in your private and public life?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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