In a move that is designed as a challenge to "consumerism as usual" and a reminder of the dominance of money in our lives, the Methodist Church in Britain has launched an alternative Credit Card containing a "buy less" message.
While US TV evangelists talk up Mammon by using the name of Christ, an actor with no faith has been hailed a "prophet" by a leading biblical scholar for his dramatic attempts to challenge the enslaving religion of consumerism.
Methodists all over Britain will mark Lent 2008 by only shopping for essential items. They will try to reduce their carbon footprint and focus on the essentials of life, raising awareness of the true cost of consumerism.
The future of global Christian cooperation is at stake in a contest between the kind of unity-through-relationship imagined by the Bible and unity-through-consumption modelled by MTV, suggested World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia in India yesterday (14 February 2007).