Monday, August 07, 2006

Hawking Jesus: Shameless.

The 2006 International Christian Retail Show in Denver, CO is the place to be if you're in the market for Virtuous Woman Christian perfume; "Follow the Son Flip-Flops" with patterned soles that leave the message "Follow Jesus" in the sand; camouflage baseball caps marked with a red cross; Gospel Golf Balls with the slogan "a great golf ball with a greater purpose;" Scripture Candy with Christian chocolate; or Queen Esther action figures or Christian pirate decals. (The Christian retail market reached $4.3 billion in sales in 2004.)

Is it just me, or has the church degraded so low that we are in effect taking the Lord's name in vain in this shameless hawking of goods, all under the banner of "Christian," for some pragmatic "greater good?" Oh, how we've so cheapened the name "Christian!"

Acts 8:18-22 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

Luke 19:45-46 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house [My NAME] shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

You tell me - Am I on the mark, or way off course?


At 8/09/2006 3:07 AM, Blogger Bob said...

Hey what's the big deal?! Those sandals are leaving a witness to Jesus every step you take!

Seriously, I whole heartily agree with you. The fear of the Lord is being extinguished, and in its place we have a cotton candy kind of theology. With a cotton candy Christian market niche to go with it. Keith Green of all people lamented this as when he went into a "Christian" bookstore to find a piggy bank that said "Jesus Saves" on the side. (THIS IS NOTHING SHORT OF MOCKERY OF WHAT CHRIST DID) Green was so angry that he bought all the banks and broke them outside. I think somebody should break them without buying them!

At 8/09/2006 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly enough, you aren't way off base. I wish I could say you were. Evangelical Christianity has bought, hook and line, into cultural relativism.

The Church is no longer concerned with proclaiming truth and righteouesness. It is too busy trying to be relevant to a dying world. It is a time of purging within the household of faith. And we will not escape the judgment of God that is sure to come.

At 8/09/2006 4:07 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Wow, that's crazy. I think I'd be tempted to overturn a few tables.

I'm familiar with some nearby churches that give me the same feeling. They have coffee stores with trendy names, bookstores that sell every Christian trinket you can imagine, etc. And the ferocity with which members will defend these things is surprising!

At 8/10/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truly. : ) That's ridiculous. Now little kids can play "Teenate Mutant Ninja Turtles vs. Jesus?" A Jesus action figure is just, well, blasphemous really.

By the way, nice Calvinist picture on your blog! ; )

At 8/11/2006 2:48 PM, Blogger Renee said...

I really agree with you on this. How sad is it that this sort of stuff has such a market? As Jeff said, I have been into a lot of churches that make me feel the same way. The church shouldn't mirror consumerism. It just makes you want to start turning over tables. . .

I think a lot of Christians are so "retreatest" from the rest of the world, that they can't accurately see how silly this makes the church look. They cry, "But this stuff is Christian!"

By the way, I have started a post talking about spiritual mentors, reminiscent a bit of your "Who's Your Hero" post.

At 8/14/2006 1:52 AM, Blogger Jackson said...

I'm not too sure why you chose the passage from Acts 8. I don't think that people are trying to sell the Holy Spirit, but they are trying to make a buck by exploiting faith of their target market.

And on that note, I agree with you and the others that there are some very big tables that need to be overturned. I think that refusing to buy any of these products would be a good place to start. Jesus didn't say, "And they will know you are My disciples by your 'Jesus is my Homeboy' t-shirt."

Theology Thursday


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