Many great quotes could be pulled from this article by Eugene Peterson on the consumerist church, but here’s a couple to tempt you to slug through the whole article yourself:
The major American innovation in the congregation is to turn it into a consumer enterprise. Americans have developed a culture of acquisition, an economy that is dependent on wanting and requiring more. We have a huge advertising industry designed to stir up appetites we didn’t even know we had. We are insatiable. It didn’t take long for some of our colleagues to develop consumer congregations. If we have a nation of consumers, obviously the quickest and most effective way to get them into our churches is to identify what they want and offer it to them.
and this one:
Scripture is not about us, either. It is about God. God has revealed God’s self to us in scripture so that we might know and respond to God, understand where we are in God’s creation, what it means to be called into a life of God’s salvation. We do not primarily read scripture in order to develop a better self-image, or to discover the hidden treasures in our lives. Scripture is not about us. Basically, we are listening to God revealing God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
and one more:
American spirituality has an indiscriminating love of technology. We like getting things done, no matter how. Use the fastest and most efficient means at hand, but get it done. Fastest and most efficient almost always means impersonal. People ask questions, act stubborn, make mistakes and get in the way—so bypass the personal. Under the influence of technology, we have acquired the habit of reading the scriptures technologically, scripture depersonalized into information used to get things done more quickly.
I hope he’s not talking about reading the bible on your iPod. I’ve brought my bible to church a lot more since putting it on my iPod. 🙂