26 February 2016
Greed ‘one of the greatest sins of our time’ according to evangelicals
More than four out of five evangelicals think greed for material possessions is one of the greatest sins of our time.
The finding comes in new research released in the Evangelical Alliance’s idea magazine following a survey of nearly 1500 evangelicals.
Even more evangelicals find teaching in the Bible that encourages them to be content with what they have, with nine out of 10 saying it teaches them not to desire more possessions.
They also look to the role of God in creation as a reason to care for the world around them, with 96 per cent of evangelicals saying they have a God-given responsibility to take better care of the environment.
Dr David Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, commented on the findings: “Consumerism is the celebration of getting and experiencing what we want, and our instinct is to have it now.
“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the benefits of God’s creation but evangelicals clearly think that it is not okay for our consuming to degrade our resources and natural environment.
“The Bible tells us that we are all made in God’s image, and that means humanity must be treated with great dignity. Our consuming can never come at the cost of exploiting people, and we have obligations to future generations. Christianity helps us to identify the limits of consumerism.”
Advertising is seen by evangelicals as one of the great challenges of living in contemporary society, with more than four out of five saying they tried to resist most of the advertising messages they encountered. Two thirds also thought that the advertising industry should be more tightly regulated and nearly half considered advertising in general to be an unethical industry.
The latest issue of idea magazine looks more broadly at how to be an ethical consumer whether that’s in the jewellery we buy or the clothes we wear. Alongside interviews and features four members of the idea team did more than just write about consuming ethically, for a week each undertook a different experiment to live more ethically.
Editor Amaris Cole committed to wearing the same outfit every day for one week, in a bid to shop less and wear what she already owns more. Amaris commented on her challenge: “I’m in no rush to repeat this challenge, but I learnt a lot and will be changing the way I shop. I’m planning to buy more clothes that are produced ethically, but also to only buy items that I will wear 30 times or more – as championed by the #30Wears campaign. My eyes really have been opened to huge injustices of the fashion industry, and I’m going to try to do more to right these wrongs through my consumer choices. My new top can’t be worth supporting an industry rife with slavery.”
Notes to Editors
Notes to editors
1. The survey was completed by 1,461 people who described themselves as evangelical Christians.
2. The March / April 2016 issue of idea magazine is available to view at www.eauk.org/idea
3. The survey is profiled on pages 16-17 and the ethical living challenges on pages 28-30 of the magazine.
4. Amaris Cole, editor at the Evangelical Alliance, and Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy, are available for comment.
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