Saturday, April 16, 2005

CHRISTian consumerism?

i don't usually ever criticize other churches - or at least i try not to. i figure that none of us actually get this CHRISTianity thing right and between all of us maybe we'll at least do a decent job of worshiping CHRIST. yet this week i saw something that i just have to say something about and it concerns a church bookstore.

personally i am not a huge fan of church book stores. i actually would love church book stores if they really had anything to do with spiritual formation. my problem with church book stores is that nowadays they usually have nothing to do with spiritual formation at all. you won't find classics of CHRISTian thought or books dealing with the depth and mystery of CHRIST within most church book stores. nope, what you'll find is a bunch of self-help crap and dumb trinkets for sale. that's where my criticism comes in. in my opinion church bookstores or only slightly better than lifeway book stores which are only slightly better than family CHRISTian bookstores.

this past wednesday one of the teens within our student ministry showed me a stick of lip balm. it was custom printed "God Chicks" lip balm with the church's name on it. i figured it was just a trinket that the church gave out to get people to remember some message or event that they were doing. personally, i think giving things out that remind people of what the church has done or is doing is a great idea. we need to help people remember significant times within their lives and small everyday items are a great way to do that. of course, i was wrong about the church giving the lip balm out to remind people. nope, the church book store was actually just selling the lip balm just for the purpose of having something to sell. she said it had been given to her by a friend who saw it in the church book store and thought she would like it so she bought it for her. what in the world does lip balm have to do with the kingdom? i mean give me a break. what does selling specially printed lip balm have to do with spreading the gospel? this idea has to be even dumber than "testamints. this comes from a good, strong church that i would expect better from.

why is it that we feel the need to sell junk in the name of CHRIST?

if you really want to see something that will make you sick go to the site starts off with a flash presentation of john 3:16. i guess the implication is that GOD so loved the world that HE freed us to buy crap.


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