Shut up and give culture your money… (the mugging of Christians)
Martin Luther often referred to Mammon as the chief god of this world. Indeed, the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil (all evil?). Nowhere is this becoming more clear than in the “culture wars” of our time. The money that Christians have is coveted.
Consider the Duck Dynasty fiasco, where for years companies have profited from the very much outwardly Christian Robertson family. This has made millions for both the family and for others who have cashed in on their success.
Take the current “War on Christmas” or whatever you want to call it. Stores have had special sales going on for this for months, some stores only exist for this holy day. Economic reports of holiday spending are used to measure either the ailing or thriving economy. Money spent on random stuff makes the country a happy place.
Take also for example Thrivent Financial (for Lutherans?) (for a good summary of the situation click here). Recently they have come into the spotlight for their Choice program which sends a lot of money to a lot of places, most of which are good, but some of which are horridly evil. Money is key here, both in new clients (the recent decision to expand the fraternal association to all folks who confess the Apostles Creed), and in organizations wanting to cash in on the benefit of the Thrivent Choice program.
But all of this money comes with a price. The culture is more than happy to make money off of Christians and Christian Holy Days, but there is a line which culture is drawing, a sharp distinction between the wallet of the Christian and the confession of the Christian. Phil Robertson speaks something everyone could have predicted he would say, and bang, the world jumps all over it. Christians seek to bring Christ (and the Mass or Divine Service) as the focus for the Holy Day of Christmas, and the world responds with ridicule and mockery, vandalism, and in places where persecution is something more than that (where persecution actually means the shedding of blood, see here) there is much worse for the confession of the faith at this time. Again, they will take our money, they will even set out to use our Holy Day to make even more, but don’t you dare try to bring up the reason for the Holy Day.
Now onto Thrivent. As of my writing this they have not made any new decisions regarding their recent removal of Planned Parenthod and suspension of “pro-life” groups (what criteria were used for that distinction?). The outcry against Choice dollars going to Pro-Choice groups was loud, but it brought a punitive reaction – fine, no money for pro-life groups either. Then of course there are the LGBT (what other letters can we add to that list?) groups which have been getting funds from Thrivent. They have given no answers yet (most likely due to the time of year). The general direction they are heading is on one side to declare themselves to be fraternal and faith-based, but on the other side to claim neutrality on a point of confession. They seem to want money without the confession please.
The problem with all of this is where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Let your money match the convictions of your confession and do not let anyone mug or muzzle you.