A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

PS3: The God of Those Who Live Trivial Lives

Headlines from Yesterday:

"Gunmen Shoot Man Who Refuses to Give Up His Wallet"

"Man in Critical Condition after Being Stabbed in Chest"

"Two Men in Ski Masks and Sunglasses Rob Store in Ohio"

"Teenager Robbed with Gun Pointed at His Neck"

"People Injured in Mob Rush"

"Man Hospitalized after Being Hurt at Wal-Mart"

What connects these separate news stories? The mindless and greedy obsession with purchasing the new Playstation 3.

Merriam-Webster defines greed as "a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed." It defines idolatry as "the worship of a physical object as a god."

There is no doubt that the current obsessive, reprehensible and greedy behavior over the PS3 is nothing less than idolatrous, the worship of a physical object. Paul tells the Colossians that greed is idolatry (3:5). Why? Simply because greed puts something other than God at the center of our lives. What I am about to say is quite harsh, but anyone who waits in line for a week or even two days to buy an inanimate object is guilty of idolatry, the worship of a false god. Do a search on BibleGateway to see how often the Scripture connects greed with unfaithfulness to God.

Surely there will be those who object to such a claim, but Jesus reminds us that where our treasure is, that is where our hearts are (Luke 12:34). Human beings do not actually have to bow down before an inanimate object to worship it. Years ago, theologian Paul Tillich defined faith as that which ultimately concerns us. What do we worship? What concerns us ultimately? What are we obsessed with in our lives? What do we seek after? Where is our treasure?

Any persons involved in the PS3 obsession and who claim to be Christians, need to go to God and ask for forgiveness, because I would be willing to guarantee they are not that obsessed with Jesus. How many of those individuals waiting in line would stand outside for just a few hours to get into a worship service at church? How many of them would rush to share the Gospel with the neighbor down the street? How many would open up their wallet and part with hundreds of dollars so quickly to give to missions?

As one who has officiated at many funerals over the years, I have always been interested in what objects the family places in the casket of the deceased, which usually signify something important in that person's life. I've seen photographs of family placed inside, military decorations, and other kinds of objects that remind the mourners of certain accomplishments. I do hope that those who manage to push and shove their way into ownership of their PS3 god this year, make sure they keep it, so that their relatives can put it it their caskets after they are dead. If it too important to live without, it is too important to part with in death.

After all, we should want people to remember us for what was important to us and we should want them to reflect upon the contribution we made while alive. There will be those whose major contribution to the world will be their ability to master the most difficult video games in existence, because they will have spent most of their waking hours playing them. It is very appropriate, therefore, that upon their death, we put the PS3 controller into their cold, lifeless hands as a reminder of the treasure they sought while on this earth; and as a symbol pointing to the sad truth that there are people who choose to live trivial lives in the worship of false gods.

C.S. Lewis was right when he said that the problem with human beings is not that we cannot be pleased, but that we are far too easily pleased as we seek after the earthly things that pass away, instead of eternal things that stand forever.

I wonder how Jesus must feel when every year we celebrate his coming to this world as the Prince of Peace with pushing and shoving, unashamed greed, and idolatry.

'Tis the Season... unfortunately.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your thoughts here. Good and important reminders.

Michael Card, in one of his songs talks about the fact that things we own can own us. And this theme I can remember on at least one of his other songs.

An important theme in the Bible, to be sure. We as God's people need to truly be different here. That our treasure would be in heavenly things.

Anonymous said...


Thanks. Yes, we Christians must examine ourselves and ask the very difficult question, "Have we fallen in love with the spirit of the age.