This is an area where Christians can demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to even the intellectual elite by joining in rational critique and rejection of consumerist values. Christians more so than anyone else should be the first to point out that material goods, temporal pleasures and the right "image" can never be the object of a truly human existence.

More practically Christians should examine their own lives and carefully analyze their commitment to career and vocation and its relationship to their roles as spouse and parent and ultimately their relationship to God and His purposes for their lives. The Christian should be willing to forgo a promotion, for example, if such a promotion promises to alter the priorities of God, family and work. Sure, this may mean less money but you are modeling the appropriate hierarchy that these priorities hold in your life - not only for your family but those around you as well.

What about companies that ask employees to routinely travel on Sunday's or work weekends and holidays? (According to the Bureau of Labor, 32.8 percent of all full-time employees worked on weekends and holidays.) What if every professing Christian suggested [respectfully] reasonable boundaries between home and office to their employers? Would such suggestions be met with termination? Or instead, would Christians be asserting a truth that may actually inspire others and stop the continued intrusion of the marketplace into the private sphere of family? There is no doubt that such actions might place you squarely in the path of the cultural milieu and you may even be crushed in the process. However, complicity in the world's way of life that very practically undermines one's devotion to God and family is not an option for one who follows Christ!

*Originally posted August 8, 2006.

Copyright S. Michael Craven 2006

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S. Michael Craven is the Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture, a ministry of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. The Center for Christ & Culture is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to recapture and demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit:

Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.