Wednesday, March 13, 2013

#270-Materialism... Because you sold God for a pair of $1,000 shoes

I remember when I used to worry about being politically correct about this blog. The sad part is that I still care enough not to use names...

But at this rate, it won't be long...

In the mean time... the picture above was posted on Instagram.

Normally, a picture of shoes wouldn't matter that much to me. Because, girls like shoes and they like really weird, materialist things that do no matter one iota in the kingdom of God. Apostolic girls are weird. They actually think absurd clothing matters. The rest of the world realizes how dumb this idea is, and chooses to apply make-up to just make themselves look better. Yet, Apostolic girls try compensating (horribly) for their inability to use make-up to look pretty by wearing RIDICULOUS CLOTHING AT RIDICULOUS PRICES hoping to look important....

Case in point: The above picture.

This picture from Instagram is a Valentine's treat from hubby to wife...

Isn't that cute?

Except the shoes in question cost over $1,000. 

This is not a joke. I wouldn't have noticed this at all. Normally I wouldn't even know this since I don't have an Instagram. Yet I have considerate friends who know enough to e-mail me about the crisis of shoes and say "Dude, people are doing stupid things and I think you should know..."

Plus, without even biblical insight, my own girlfriend, who is not "Saved" wears shoes from 10 years ago that cost thirty dollars.... and wait for it: She has graduated from Juliard, Yale, and is getting her doctorate at the University of Michigan (all of which are on a full-ride.. but hey, I'm not bragging about things that actually matter)....

And the minister and his wife who were generous enough to provide us with the above picture are both UPC.

And not only did the pastor's wife appreciate the gift (because it's romantic).....but she thought it was completely acceptable to brag to the entire world how shallow and empty she was....

Which is a weird world...

Because if someone gave me a $1,000 pair of shoes, even if it was my wife, I'd disown the giftgiver immediately. If it was my girlfriend, I'd break up with her. No one should ever, ever care about the things of this world so much as to brag about owning a $1,000 pair of shoes that may or may not look fancy and/or hideous when the rest of the third world is in misery and trying to figure out how to install a working water-well in their own town....

 Because, shoes can be bought on the cheap... and Jesus preached opposite of any message that would promote materialistic gifts (because, simply put, it's not biblical at all).....

And yet, the some young ministers in the UPC are so empty of heart and giving and unselfishness  that it finds it right proper to allow a minister's wife to promote her own valentine's gift of receiving a pair of shoes that will be worn on 3-4 occasions completely appropriate for the kind of minister that they want to have within their ranks....

Usually I go in depth about how abhorred behavior like this is, but I won't. Because, if you're reading this post, and thinking it's cool to own a pair of one-thousand dollar shoes, and still consider yourself loving and Christian in relation to the rest of mankind, then I have nothing else to say to you. Because you are a bad person who deserves nothing but the kind of role you play in the story you tell yourself about how God loves you and everything is right and well with the world and no one needs anything outside of a 1,000 dollar pair of shoes to show off to your friends on facebook, so happy to call yourself "saved" with possession of the full truth....

I won't argue scripture to you if you're one of those people (since, like we have Matthew 25 and a whole lot of Paul to argue against you), but I will say... "Get thee behind me Satan..."

Err... I mean... Just how out of touch with the rest of humanity do you have to be, in order to think the above picture is acceptable? And then add in that you're Christian... and it's just an Unacceptable performance.


  1. The thing I find hypocritical about this is that in the same verses they use to say no jewelry on women it also says not to adorn yourself with costly array. That's definitely costly array. ;)

    Honestly, I think if you have the money for it, then it's no one's business what you choose to spend your money on. Some people spend their 1000 bucks on vacations, some might spend it on shoes. It's no one's business how we spend our money and I think that just as materialistic as this might look, you also are being extremely judgmental with this post. So who's right and who's wrong here?

  2. UPC women do not wear jewelry, nor should we wear costly array. We are to be set apart from the world. We are to live humbly. That doesn't mean we don't have nice things, but $1000 for shoes is definitely costly array! The post may be judgmental, but flauting your thousand dollar shoes in front of the world is vanity at it's best, and opens one up to scrutiny...especially if you are the wife of a UPC pastor.

  3. This is my first time commenting on this blog. While I enjoy its amusing and sarcastic opinions, I am bothered by the fact that most people don't see anything wrong with this. What is considered costly array? Is a $40 pair of shoes costly? To the majority of the world - absolutely. Is a $15,000 car costly? Considering the fact that most countries don't even have running water, I would say a resounding yes!

    The problem is not with costly array, because to one person Banana Republic is costly but to another Old Navy is costly; there is no clear cut way to define what "costly array" means. Somehow we have missed the entire premise of 1 Timothy 2:9, it is not about braiding your hair, or wearing gold or expensive clothing but rather it is about being known for our good works (verse 10) instead of our social status of clothing.

    When we will as a movement get over these non-issues in the Bible and focus on what really matters - showing the love of Christ to a lost and dying world? Please do not go down the road of "you have to be holy inwardly and outwardly" because you have no Bible basis for that thought. We need to get back to what matters to God, and to him nothing matters more than Ephesians 4. That is where you will find true holiness.

    Is there anything wrong with expensive shoes? No, as there is nothing wrong with a lot of things. We just need to be careful not to be brought under the power of any as Paul stated. Whether that power is possessions, social status, boosting egos or outright sin. Thanks for the post, hopefully some eyes can be opened.

  4. Those are a cute pair of shoes....That you can get a similar looking pair at Macys for way cheaper. You know at a time like this when the economy stinks and many people in the church are hurting, it really is sad that that this preacher dropped $1000 on a pair of shoes. In a way it shows you what kind of people they are and it is sad that the church is just as materialistic and egocentric as the world.
    If he can afford it and got it for her then okay but why would she need to tell the whole world her hubby bought her shoes for $1,000? Hello as a preachers wife "worldly" people are going to say "Oh yea I know thoes preachers are only after people's money." It looks bad.

  5. $1000 just screams luxury, but there was a time not too long ago when I would have blanched at paying $150 for a pair of nice shoes. If I bought shoes, it was at Payless. That was before I developed diabetes and the doc told me I HAD TO WEAR SHOES. No more barefoot, no more sandals, SHOES. So I've been buying pretty and sensible shoes that fit and work right from the box. And yeah, they're not cheap. But they last a long time

  6. I once heard of a church that wanted to purchase their pastor and wife a very nice gift - cars. They bought them each a $60,000 car. Here is where I feel something crosses over from a regular expense into costly array. They could have purchased cars that were $25,000 that would have been quite nice - new, nice extra features, and still would have been a very generous gift. It would have been a $50,000 gift instead of a $120,000 gift. The additional $70,000 (In my opinion) could have been gifted to a charity, or used to help people in the community who are in need. Which is what the Pastor's should have WANTED.

    I hear of the men back in the early days of the UPC movement who lived in their cars because all they wanted was to tell people about Jesus. A lot has changed.

  7. @apologetics: You've got to be kidding me if you're comparing "typical" American living with someone who's spending $1,000+ on a single pair of shoes (and boasting about said pair of shoes publicly on Facebook). Yes, owning a laptop, a car, spending money on a daily espresso, and watching cable TV may be "luxuries" compared to 80% of the rest of the world - but in the context of American life, this is "average" living. Owning a thousand dollar pair of shoes is not. There's a difference between living contextually comparable to the other members of your congregation and community vs. living frivolously excessive in comparison.

    Am I saying that if you're a missionary to Africa, you need to live in a straw-roofed hut? No. But in that case, spending money on cable TV (or satellite, in that case), a daily latte and owning a BMW may very well be inappropriate. And the $1,000 pair of shoes would be down right disgusting.

    How many people do you personally know who - here in the US, here in your community - who can afford to "save up" to drop $1,000 on a single pair of shoes? (As opposed to saving $1,000 for someone a little more substantive, like a family vacation, putting money toward college savings or making a home improvement?) If the answer is zero, then there's something wrong with the idea of minister choosing this for his family.

  8. so you then are the one allowed to place the value and what is or is not extravagant? Why is your 1,000 vacation better than a pair of shoes. The point is consistency. That is not consistent. I have seen pictures of people on a cruise or vacation to vegas that spent pretty near that amount that did not have any family. Extravagance is relative to the income of the purchaser by income volume is my point

    1. I think the key here is not that this is extravagant but rather we pick and choose what we want to harp on in the bible. Inconsistency abounds and is great when it comes to the external. 1 Timothy 2:9 says - "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;"

      We think we have the modest apparel, hair down and not wearing jewelry but what about the last one - costly array? We are the authority to say what is modest and what is not. We could debate all day on this issue but we have allowed certain people to draw the lines. The same goes with "the wearing of gold", we can go back and forth with numerous scriptures in the bible that are for and against the wearing of jewelry. Or if we want to get real with ourselves and follow the letter of this passage the Greek word for gold is simply that, just gold. So that means we must take off anything we wear that is gold; wedding rings, watches, broaches, etc.

      We overlook the costly array because it is too hard to decide what is costly and what is not. But I think that's the point, if we didn't make other things such a big deal and didn't live in so many inconsistencies people would judge a little better on things and acutally live modestly in more than just a skirt or neckline, they would apply it to every aspect of life.

    2. @Anonymous: Truth.

      I'm going to start making my own clothes, like the Amish. Just to be safe.

    3. @RealRealism: be careful, fabric is expensive these days! Make sure you don't get too costly or go overboard with the Bedazzler!

  9. @apologetics: You should really be ashamed of yourself. Seriously talking about the blogger like ohh you only make 30K and live with your parents...seriously? I do have a problem with this spending. This woman got expensive shoes and as a pastor of a big church Im sure he doesnt have another job to pay for her materialism. He makes his money off the backs of his church. Like that person making 30k a year. So while they are not living extravagent and may be on hard times she gets 1000 pair of shoes. ITS SICK!!!! And you wonder why tithes are down.

    1. I am thoroughly enjoying all your assumptions. We all know what happens when you assume, and you are looking like one, so congrats on that.

      Assumption #1: This woman got expensive shoes and as a pastor of a big church Im sure he doesnt have another job to pay for her materialism
      -YES he has multiple streams of income.

      Assumption #2: So while they are not living extravagent and may be on hard times she gets 1000 pair of shoes. ITS SICK!!!
      -they are not on hard times. He has a great secular education combined with a Christian education as well as more talent than one person could possibly have, he is very blessed. And he is a very humble person just to add to that.

      Assumption #3-And you wonder why tithes are down
      -Seriously? this comment just proves your worth. Tithes are not down.... Smh

      Now that you have spewed you venom and bitterness towards these people who you do not know and now that I have addressed your assumptions (not one fact was used in your comment) I hope you can reconsider your stance on these strangers.

    2. Assholes like you are why I quit church. You make me sick.

    3. So, to rephrase your 'multiple sources of income' argument, he makes so much money from his other sources that he doesn't really NEED to live off 10% of other people's money, but he's just gonna take it anyway and buy ridiculously extravagant gifts.
      Yeah that's completely ok.

  10. To elaborate on my earlier comments and respond to @apologetics:

    Yes - this is a subjective discussion of what constitutes "excess". But, IMO, what makes a $1,000 pair of shoes different than a $1,000 vacation is the sociology behind it. Again, I ask, how many people do you personally know - in church, out of church, doesn't matter - who would/could spend $1,000 on a pair of shoes? I don't know a single soul (or would that be sole? aka red sole? ha!). I know some who might spend $200-$500 on a pair of shoes, and those folks aren't in church and have pretty wealthy family backgrounds and professions.

    Now, look around you, and tell me how many people you know who spend $1,000 on a vacation (regardless of if they're single, married, family): I can name at least a dozen who've done so in the last year (be it spent on hotel/airfare, a cruise, etc). This is where perception becomes reality.

    Let's face it - $1,000 pair of shoes in American society is considered extravagance by (ballparking here) 90% of our population. Probably even for a good number of people who own these shoes.

    The Anonymous who replied directly to your last comment really hit the nail on the head. You can in no way argue that it doesn't constitute "costly apparel" - yet at the same time, we'd be horrified if she was showing off a new set of earrings or a necklace that cost 10% of what those shoes cost. Tell me there's not something wrong with that.

  11. Bottom line: If your income is dependent on your congregation giving up 10% of theirs, your LIFESTYLE should be in line with THEIRS. AKA, unless everyone in the church wears $10K shoes then the pastor and his family needn't. I want to know what the 'least of these' in their church, that struggles to pay their tithes, that can't keep food on the table, I want to know what they think of the shoes? The shoes bought with their tithe money? I dont care about anyone back and forth "well, society says" malarkey. If you are in the ministry and you live an extravagant, luxurious lifestyle you're going against scripture. Stop trying to figure out what level they live on and if the shoes are consistent with that lifestyle, it doesn't matter. If I went to that church I'd rip those shoes off her pretty little feet in the parking lot and head straight for Craigslist.

  12. A shephard is to guide and serve his/her people. And yes, this is completely frivolous, especially knowing that the income there is from tithe money. But at the same time, calling out someone like this and blasting them publicly isn't exactly the right thing to do. It's somewhat resembling a modern day Pharisee. And referring to those types of people as Satan... are you not scared of speaking against the annointed? I have a stronger fear of God than that. Let Him deal with these people, and people like you and me should be focused on reaching the lost rather than bashing the pretentious.