The materialist school of philosophy passed from England to France, to be taken up and developed further by Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and his followers. These French materialists did not limit themselves to criticisms of religion, but extended them to all institutions and ideas. They challenged these things in the name of Reason, and gave ammunition to the developing bourgeoisie in their struggle with the monarchy. The birth of the great French Bourgeois Revolution of 1789-93 took as its creed materialist philosophy. Unlike the English Revolution in the mid-17th century, its French counter-part completely destroyed the old feudal order. As Engels later pointed out: “We know today that this kingdom of reason was nothing more than the idealised kingdom of the bourgeoisie.”
Sometimes teenagers (and their parents) allow the people of the world to determine how they will dress. They often forget that God has spoken on the matter of our attire (1 Timothy 2:9, 10). You will not find "modest apparel" at the public swimming pool nor on the dance floor. Our Lord warns us "that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). The man who lusts after a woman has sinned. However, if a woman dresses in immodest apparel, she is just as guilty of sin. She would be "sharing in other people's sins" (1 Timothy 5:22).
Materialism - A Question of Belief
Materialism, at its simpler level, involves the focus on material "things" as opposed to that which is spiritual or intellectual in nature. We live in a world surrounded by and composed of matter. It is natural, therefore, that we may become distracted from spiritual or intellectual pursuits by material possessions, but this is frequently where problems occur. We can become obsessed by a desire to obtain them, or simply frustrated by the need to maintain them.
The questions this attitude should cause us to ask are, "Are material things really more important than anything else? Is material success the highest goal? If things are all there are, what's life all about? Why am I here at all? If life is really just about materialism, why should I even try to live a moral life? What does it matter how I treat others or how I live, as long as I have what I want? Why does what I believe about the origin of life matter?"
In a court of criminal law, a conviction arrived at by any jury requires proof beyond a shadow of a doubt. Current theories of materialism appear to be clouded by shadows and doubts. We needn't conclude that it is necessary to take a completely opposite view. After all, as . Lewis once said, "God … likes matter. He invented it." Consider, instead, how what you choose to believe affects how you live, for as Lewis also said, "different beliefs about the universe lead to different behavior." What we believe must either be true of false. Before settling on the position you choose, you owe it to yourself to keep seeking the truth about life, death and the universe.