Why Do You Think Multi-Level Marketing Can Lead to Materialism?

Question from a reader:

I have a question about Multi-Level Marketing and have read your book, Money, Possessions and Eternity, regarding Multi-Level Marketing and materialism. I have a friend who joined MLM and she is a Christian. I am confused when she told me that MLM business will not lead her into materialism.

Do you have experience with people telling you that as long as you have Jesus in your life you will do just fine and MLM business won’t lead you into materialism? For now, my friendship seems to be at stake since I don’t believe it is good business for Christians to be involved. I do believe there is a lot of cheating in this kind of business. But most of the time, I do not know how to defend my idea against the idea.

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

What I said about MLM in Money, Possessions & Eternity is about the extent of my knowledge and opinion. I only know what I’ve seen, the conversations I’ve had with people deeply into MLM and the reports I’ve heard from pastors and others.

Materialism is often a big part of it, but those in it think it isn’t because they give some of the money away. It’s not the money that’s wrong, of course, it’s the obsession, the domination of the product or service in one’s thinking, and the using of people in which relationships are abused because everyone is seen less as a brother or sister in Christ or a person who needs the Lord, and more of a potential customer.

As I say in the book, this is not an absolute no-no—we shouldn’t be legalistic about it. And certainly there’s nothing wrong with sales. Some Christians have managed to maintain a balance while in MLM. But many have not. This is a fact that almost everyone has noticed—except many of the people involved.

For more information on this subject, see Randy Alcorn's book Money, Possessions, and Eternity.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries