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We would be smart to take a lesson from the Beatles

By: Tim W. Callaway

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 11:03 am

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“After pausing in December, Albertans came rushing back to malls, shops and car dealerships,” said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. “Alberta’s record-setting sales are yet another indicator of an extremely strong economy.” – Calgary Herald, March 21

There’s one tidbit of advice the Beatles dispensed that I wish my generation would grasp: “I don’t care too much for money; ‘Cause money can’t buy me love.”

Wise, that! Nevertheless, here we are some 50 years later - still captivated by the notion that cents is equivalent to sense, that money and its accordant power to purchase is pretty much the cure for everything. Except that it isn’t.

Not that I wish to rain on anybody’s parade merely for the sake of raining on anybody’s parade, please understand. I’m as appreciative as the next dude for the numerous benefits that accrue due to living in one of the most fabulous economies on earth. I, too, like to see people prosper. I, too, enjoy the positive vibes a flourishing economy creates. Share the wealth, baby!

I refuse, nonetheless, to (ahem) buy into the non-cents implicitly trumpeted by many who would have us believe affluence is equivalent to utopia. Don’t be fooled, friend; it’s as true today as when John, Paul, George and Ringo sang it half-a-century ago: money can’t buy me ________ (you fill in the blank).

Such, of course, was one of the primary messages articulated centuries ago by Jesus. To hear some modern religionists tell it, you would think Jesus spent most of his time talking about matters like homosexuality and abortion. Not true! Jesus did spend a large portion of his abbreviated career modelling and uttering perplexing ideas like “it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The implications of that statement are immense and ultimately challenge the myopic thinking that fuels much of the capitalistic rationale so pervasive in Alberta. Homes in Bearspaw can burn down just as quickly as homes in Forest Lawn. A BMW may get you to the next red light faster, but still ends up in the junkyard. There is no provincial or federal bylaw that prohibits a woman from wearing the same evening gown to two events in the same season.

“Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools,” the Bible says regarding the Romans. There are days I can’t help but wonder if history is repeating itself in Alberta.

Tim is pastor of Faith Community Church. He can be reached at


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