Our modern world is truly one world. It is indivisible. More than anything else the missionary enterprise has driven home that fact. But our world is also a sadly divided world. Yet, what happens in the U.S.A. or Western Europe has its impact on folk everywhere. How strong are our spiritual defenses?
Mother’s Day is behind us. What of the American home? Kermit Eby, eminent social scientist, is alarmed about certain trends in our American economy that are a continuing threat to the home (Christian Living, April 1957). He writes on “Pressures on the Family.” What are they? He lists the following: 21½ million women working in shop and office, desertions of families by fathers rapidly increasing, mass-purchasing power financed by credit and debt, the blessing or bane of installment buying, loan companies charging from 6 to 14%—and the consequent strains on millions of families in America. Eby is convinced that the price we pay for our comforts is all too high. “We have produced an economy in which major satisfactions demand the extra earnings of the wife; as a consequence the American home is being radically changed—children are ‘farmed out’ or allowed to roam the streets.” But the pressures to keep up with the Jones’ continue. “The pressures are blatant and constant; and few of us there are who can resist; we believe our happiness to be intimately bound up with what we have or want.” Presently, Americans owe 28 billion dollars for luxury necessities.
Has the Church anything to say concerning usury, the use of leisure, the submarginal groups among our people caught in this economic squeeze and rampant materialism? Watchman, what of the night?
Walter Schlichting’s “Christians, Luxury and Sacrifice” (Moody Monthly, March 1957) tells ...1
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