There I was this week, standing in line at Cabela’s, feeling extremely guilty about my ridiculous American consumerism. Sure, I was participating in Cavanaugh’s “free market” system, “voluntarily” with no “interference” from others, and under no undue “pressure” to make this transaction.  I was contemplating my “sacred canopy” and my lack of self control “above my desire” to have just one more sporting goods item in the “wasteland” of my hunting closet.  At this point, I fully understood my “preferences and wants” far exceeded my needs.
My conscience was working overtime. I certainly had the “freedom from” unnecessary guilt, but I am not so sure I had the “freedom for” another frivoulous purchase.  This conundrum was fully compounded when I explored the “graceful choice” I was faced with, but when I honestly looked inside myself I realized that there was only an “internally generated” desire that contained no shred of helping someone “outside of myself” and certainly nothing in this purchase that would help draw me towards the “higher good”. 
Did I spend the money anyway? Yep! Unfortunately, it gets worse.
I continued reading Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire, where he explained General Motors marketing as being “the organized creation of dissatisfaction.”  The consumer must always be made to feel the newest model of car is necessary to one’s self-esteem. I understood what the author was saying when I put it in the context of my Cabela’s shopping trip. I received SEVEN catalogs from Cabela’s this month alone. I also was granted a postcard with a promise of a $25 gift card if I would only purchase $35 of product. But like a “programmed zombie”  I succumbed to a certain provocative image, and even worse, a false inner fulfillment. Instead of only spending the $35 necessary, I’m sorry to say I upgraded and spent $45 additional dollars because another special item was going of sale in just two days. The more I thought about it, the madder I got at myself. I fell trap to one of the oldest tricks in the consumeristic world–my self-created dissatisfaction with not having the newest and shiniest. Then I found out that Cabela’s mis-use of information and power somehow knew that I had done a search for this very item on their web-site just two weeks ago, and they targeted me with a personal Facebook ad that so happened to include the very item I searched for, on sale no less…
Now, let’s connect Cavanaugh closer to faith as well as my dissertation guru, Dave Ramsey. Does Financial Peace University hold undue power over a struggling family by preying (with information) on their massive stress over poor money management? Not to mention, Dave makes BIG money on every family who takes the class, which when multiplied by millions of families, adds up to a massive fortune. Then, add the fact that CHURCHES are financially supplementing the classes (in the name of discipleship) by paying for utilities, food, childcare and the not-so-cheap leaders guide. One could say Dave is making bank on the backs of the local church at the expense of the financially strapped.
Don’t get me wrong, I love FPU. It has helped me and hundreds of people I facilitated a class for. I have personally met and spoke to over 12,000 people about Biblical stewardship. I have attempted to start, and even paid for, up to 43 FPU classes nationwide. I am a Dave Ramsey guy, and so are some of you in our Cohort. However, I can see where some people might question if Dave has plugged into some deep seeded Christian desire, which in the end, benefits himself greatly. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but critical thinking skills challenge me to drill deeper.
Should I cringe because I am somehow fostering a capitalist mentality of greed, all the while masquerading the Bible as a Godly tool to push responsible Christian stewardship? It could give me a head ache critically thinking about what I might be supporting, especially when Cavanaugh goes into his final chapter about scarcity. 
Yes, Dave Ramsey encourages generosity, even extravagant generosity! However, Cavanaugh says, “One can always send a check to help feed the hungry, but one’s charitable preferences will always be in competition with one’s own endless desires.”  Is it true that generosity is being implied by Cavanaugh to be a cover up for making me feel better about my own selfish care? Ouch!
I can now see why my brother, who has reviewed this book, says Cavanaugh has gone too far.
Therefore, the only true compass to return to is Scripture, and I am reminded of the Parable of Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.  Jesus explains it all belongs to the owner (God), not everyone gets the same amount (sorry Socialists), because it is up to the owner how much each person gets. But, no matter how much you received from the owner, you would have to give an accounting when the owner returns, and answer for how you stewarded the owner’s resources. Each temporary manager was then either told, “Well done good and faithful steward” or he was kicked out where there would be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” In fact, to those who handled it well, he gave further responsibilities and rewards, and was allowed to share in his Master’s happiness.
This totally helps me understand the talk about the Eucharist by both Miller and Cavanaugh, when explaining eating the flesh and drinking the blood points us to Jesus return, and reminds us of eternal life in heaven with our Lord and Savior! Amen, come Lord Jesus!
Slayer, Cone. Cabala’s Screenshots, Images and Pictures. Giantbomb.com. July 22, 2008. Assessed February 14, 2018. https://giantbomb.com/cabelas/.
 Cavanaugh, William T. Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2009. Kindle. Loc. 111.
 Ibid., Loc. 119.
 Ibid., Loc. 124.
 Ibid., Loc. 138.
 Ibid., Loc. 205.
 Ibid., Loc. 237.
 Ibid., Loc. 243.
 Ramsey, Dave. Financial Peace University Logo. daveramsey.com. July 2, 2011. Assessed February 14, 2018. https://daveramsey.fpucentral.com/
 Cavanaugh, William T. Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2009. Kindle. Loc. 927.
 Ibid., Loc. 956.
 Barker, Kenneth L. Zondervan NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008. p. 1510.