Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Down With Black Friday! and Pass Me Another Turkey Leg

Don't shop on Black Friday!
Stay home and drink more gravy.
Christians I admire and appreciate are taking to the internet to rail against Black Friday. The posts and tweets I've read had made some good points but a few things annoy me.

"Standing against" Black Friday costs you nothing. C'mon, you weren't going to go out Thursday night anyway. You made the sacrifice of writing a blog post and as long as you stay home Thursday night it's all good. See? I'm not a hypocrite. I stood against the evils of Black Friday! No, you just stayed home which is what you were probably going to do anyway.

Maybe you stayed home because you're a slice of pie away from a diabetic coma. You have more gravy running through your veins than blood.  It's all well and good to condemn the sins of over-consumption and consumerism on Black Friday just keep your hands off Gluttony Thursday! You ate how many turkey legs? Don't you know there's starving children in the world? You paid how much to make that feast? It's OK. I'm sure you invited the homeless into your home to enjoy the meal with you.

I've been holding out for an iPad mini and I might go buy one Thursday night. Oh no! The people who are posting about the evils of Black Friday are typing their posts on what? An old Royal portable typewriter? It'd be difficult to pick up WiFi. No, they're using devices that people are going to buy on Black Friday. So it's holier to pay full price earlier in the year than it is to buy it on sale on Black Friday?

If Christians want to rage against the machine of consumerism, over-consumption, materialism, and indulging ourselves in things we don't need, how about fasting on Thanksgiving? You can still celebrate together as a family and praise God for the many ways He has blessed you this year. You could still have that special time of fellowship with friends and family. Just don't eat anything. Now that's taking a stand!

Or, how about an agape feast? I mentioned the homeless above. The Love Feast of the early church was a form of wealth redistribution. The Lord's Supper was a full meal celebrated in a believer's home that became associated with communion. Everyone contributed as they were able so the poor were able to benefit from the contributions of the wealthier brothers and sisters. That would be a wonderful alternative to Black Friday consumerism.

I obviously don't have the same convictions about Black Friday that other believers have and that's OK. I just find it humorous that those who have a problem with excessive consumerism on one day of the year buy whatever they want instantaneously online the other days of the year on devices they already own that are not OK for others to buy on this one day. If there's more to life than "stuff" than that truth ought to apply every day of the year. It there's more to life than gross consumption than wouldn't that apply to the day before Black Friday too?

It's always easy to stand against the sins of others and it's always more costly to remove the log in our own eye. It certainly takes more than just staying home when that's what we were going to do anyway. On that note, I will quit poking at the speck in the eye of other blog posts and consider what windmills I'm tilting at. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy Black Friday shopping! I know I will.

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