Black Friday: Altar of Consumerism

Black Friday

Once upon a time (a really long time ago), Christians in America celebrated the holidays leading up to Christmas with fellowship meals and gift giving in a spirit of love and generosity. The word “holiday” was initially derived from the phrase “holy day.” A holy day indicates a day that is ‘set apart’ or ‘sacred.’ Holy-days were often a series of sacred days, hence the word: “holidays” (plural).

In America, we have long abandoned the idea of anything sacred. Particularly the day after Thanksgiving when we engage the consumer-driven celebration named by the media: “Black Friday.” It’s a day where people lay their lives on the line for the best deals in town, a day when the beast is unleashed. It is a very dark day.

Every year it gets worse, and every year I’m more disheartened by the conduct of people who literally behave like wild animals to save a few dollars on a new television or cell phone. On Black Friday the sheep don’t realize they’re being led to the slaughter on the altar of consumerism. I could preach for hours about this culturally concocted human frenzy, but I’ll let the media images speak for themselves.

I’m not sure when Black Friday was born. I suppose it entered the world when we decided that one day of gratitude is all that’s needed. The dissatisfaction unleashed on Black Friday makes one wonder what kind of beast lingers beneath the surface of the human spirit. No matter how much it acquires, it never seems to have enough. Like gerbils on a spinning wheel, people turn the cogs of the machine, all along knowing it’ll never satisfy their empty soul.

If anything bears witness to the ‘Anti-Christian’ spirit of modern society it’s the annual orgy of selfish crowds fist-fighting over holiday (holy day) bargains. Miroslav Volf says, “There’s something profoundly incongruous between the gratitude of the Thanksgiving Thursday and the Black Friday’s mad rush to acquire…” No doubt, this celebration of acquisition coming the day after Thanksgiving is indicative of a deadly disease.

Think about what we’ve accepted as normal. On Thanksgiving, we gather with family and friends to express gratitude for God’s provision. On Friday, we rush out in pandemonium, trample anyone in our way, and worship on the altar of consumerism. Black Friday is reminiscent of a pool of piranhas when blood drips in the water. The sale prices are revealed, the doors are open, and the turkey-eating pilgrims staring killing each other for the best deals.

Society has been brainwashed. It’s sad to see so many people manipulated by the prospects of a bargain. Black Friday is nothing to celebrate. With the desire to acquire people believe they are becoming owners and making smart decisions when in reality they’re being enslaved. There’s no better day than the Black Friday to witness the madness that’s set in on the human psyche. As Black Friday becomes a celebrated holiday (holy day), it’s a sure sign that the sacred is lost.

Some of you may say, “You’re being too hard… Lighten up.” I get it, there’s nothing wrong with buying Christmas gifts for those we love. However, when Black Friday becomes a violent celebration of blood-thirsty bargain buyers, I’d rather pay full price on Saturday than get swallowed up on the altar of unrestrained consumerism.

(Sources: Brian Zahnd; Miroslav Volf; Biblical Times News)

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