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Social Responsibility, Materialism and the Economy

Do you recycle? Compost? Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth? These simple, actions can be offences or a force for good, says The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s international policy analyst Jocelyn Durston. How much more the actions of Canadian companies abroad? Bill C-300 is calling on the Canadian government to firmly address the corporate social responsibility of Canadian companies operating abroad. “If passed,” says Durston, “it would serve to better protect God’s creation in all its forms around the world.”

Somehow, it seems, social responsibility, materialism and the current economic crisis are all related. We are stewards of the Earth and (as the Church) citizens of the Kingdom of God. But our vision has been clouded by consumerism. We feel its emptiness. With the age of indulgence almost at its peak, says Geez magazine editor Aiden Enns, “disillusioned consumers need gentle instruction concerning retreat.” He offers some new “religious rules” for asceticism today.

Can you imagine that in economic hardships there can be blessings?

Churches aren’t escaping the current economic hard times, writes Joshua Sklar for ChristianWeek. But scaling down expenditures, cutting back on luxuries and learning to differentiate between needs and wants can be good for church administrations as well as for individuals. Faith often grows most, he points out, when obstacles abound.

The opposite is true for a new bookstore venture. In spite of almost three dozen Christian bookstores closing in the past year, three businessmen opened a large, new bookstore in Toronto last week. Larry Willard, one of the three, admits it’s a risk and faith venture, but on opening day 3- to 4,000 showed up. Why the success? Because it offers something new, says Willard.

On a different topic, we would like to also invite you to read Barbara Kay’s recent article in the National Post. She is concerned about the rise of “Christophobia” – the fact that Christianity has become fair game for criticism.

For more articles and news commentary added this week, please visit our homepage.


Daina Doucet, Online Editor





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