The BBC has noted an interesting development in China. The rise of capitalism is driving Chinese young people away from not only Marxism, but also away from community and family. The Chinese societal structure is rocking, and oddly enough, Christianity is the beneficiary:
For the young, in the stampede to get rich, trust in institutions, between individuals, between the generations, is breaking down. As one of China's most eminent philosophers of religion - Professor He Guanghu, at Renmin University in Beijing put it to me: "The worship of Mammon… has become many people's life purpose. I think it is very natural that many other people will not be satisfied... will seek some meaning for their lives so that when Christianity falls into their lives, they will seize it very tightly."
I have written before about the dangers of capitalism's siren call. Odysseus lashed himself to the mast so he wouldn't give in to the song of deception; we download it in our ipods and use it as a soundtrack for our lives. I love the free market system, don't get me wrong, but as an economic system it has it flaws. Capitalism does not equal godliness, as we so often conclude. What lesson should we Western Christians take away from what is happening in China? We embrace capitalism as the proper economic way for Christians to express themselves and use their money; in China, that very same economic principle is driving people to Christ because they are empty and disconnected.
Hmmmmm. Either the Chinese Christians or the American Christians don't understand the spiritual implications of capitalism. I'm going with us.