Jesus…On Sale, Aisle 6

30Jul07

Have you seen shirts that have the really clever phrases that speak of our “Christian” culture? I am sure you have. There are all kinds. Some look good, some look terrible. Some are clever, some are dumb. I have been ranting in my head lately over what seems like and increased volume of “Christian” marketing. It drives me nuts that there is a “Christian” music style. What is that anyway? Does that mean that it is a certain musical style? Does it mean it is because the lyrics are Christian? Does it mean that the person performing or writing the songs is Christian? (unfortunately, most CCM experts would say that last one does not define a Christian musician.) See my confusion/frustration. We (and I say this, because I support this industry by buying it’s products) have successfully created a box in which we have placed the Gospel of Jesus and then have slapped a price tag on it. Has the marketing of Jesus truly spread the Gospel of Jesus? Has a t-shirt, claiming that “Jesus Is My Homeboy”, led someone to the transforming Grace of God? Maybe? If none of these “products” were available, would the Gospel of Jesus still be heard and preached…Yes.

This is all something that is extremely confusing and also frustrating to me. I have bought into the Christian celebrity. If so-and-so has written it, it must be God breathed and valuable, especially cause it’s the biggest and most expensive item here. I don’t know how you guys feel about all this. Please hear me. There are amazing authors and songwriters and poets and teachers out there. we need to hear from these people. There is a ton of wisdom that can be gained by their experiences with God. In the same way, are we limited to this knowledge and wisdom by how much we can spend or what a publisher or record label or radio station thinks we should read, see or hear? It is a maddening circle.

I have been so encouraged lately to hear of churches like Life Church and New Spring and many others that have decided that there resources should be free and there should not be a price on getting the Gospel of Jesus into their community’s hands. I respect this so much. I have been thinking about, what if, our church offered all the sermon CD’s for free? Have we limited the spread of the Gospel by a price on a CD? I know the heart of our staff and they would be horrified if that were the case. I don’t know if it is, but it is something that should be discussed.

So anyway, I don’t know if I gotten anywhere with this besides taking on a good rant. I read this post today and it made me think more about what has been on my mind for the last week. I was referred to that post by this guy here. Take some time to read these articles and comments. I’d like to hear what you think.

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7 Responses to “Jesus…On Sale, Aisle 6”

  1. 1 Deb

    I’ve thought all day about this before commenting…because of the conviction. When I finished the CD, I’m embarrased to say that the “money” or lack there of was too much of a motivation to me…..until I gave the first one away πŸ™‚ Through a process, God has taken my missplaced thoughts and motives and replaced them with a healthy desire to just win souls to Christ. The T shirts? Well, honestly I love some of them, and when I wear one I am constantly prayed up and ready to give witness when questions are asked. I know that you are not a “star struck” person, and I believe you eventually develope a quick sense of God on people, or just a fleshy act. I pray now, that my witness will be my total life, not just around people, but always, and to have “product” available is ok, for a memory or to enjoy, but not to solely rely on for winning souls. People get too sucked up in the “look what I have” and not “Look Who I have”. Thanks for the reminder….this is good stuff!!!!

  2. 2 Brent Hodge

    Thanks for commenting Deb. It is all about intent. Why do we produce CD’s or write books? Hopefully to share the stories God has given us through our life lived out in Him. It is a way to encourage and instruct those around us.

    Keep it up Deb. And don’t ever let someones opinion…even/especially mine…keep you from expressing gifts that God has given you. Do it for Him. He may choose to allow many to see or hear it, or maybe just a few. Either way, you have been faithful and He is pleased!

    Besides…I kind of like your music πŸ™‚

  3. 3 Cheryl

    Your post reminded me of the Left Behind series which I unfortunately got sucked into. By the 6th or 7th book I was getting ticked b/c huge chunks of it started being passages from Revelation…I have a Bible. Then Jesus does return but then they go on and on. So, I know that it is fiction but at what point does it become marketing? Thank goodness I didn’t buy all of them but when I think of the wasted gift cards I used at B&N on them only to have them continue ad infinitim! ARGG!

  4. 4 Brent Hodge

    Cheryl – I don’t think that series will ever end…or has it? I don’t really read fiction stuff, but I guess that series was good entertainment.

    I hope you understand, that I don’t believe that buying a Christian book is bad, but I have to think through and balance the marketing of Jesus. I talked to a friend yesterday that said they buy little things to give as gifts, hopefully as encouragement to the people receiving them. I agree with that.

    It is the whole idea of creating a market of goods based on nothing else than the fact that we are “Christians”. That is a bit strange to me and I am trying to figure it out.

  5. 5 Cheryl

    I get what you’re saying…I’ve never really been into Christian fiction either…or non-Christian fiction come to think of it…except for this one instant and I got suckered! I thought it would be over and then I turn around and there’s another book in the series…I find it rather strange that Jesus has returned and still there are other books after that. I’m sure someone out there loves the series but they have a lot of other gear that is connected with the series too. To what end and what purpose? Or maybe it’s just me who thinks this is messed up. lol

  6. 6 amy

    This reminds me of Keith Green’s decision to make his music available to whomever. It was a huge controversy and still is to a certain extent. I cut my philosophy of Christian music teeth on him and have read Melody Green’s biography of Keith entitled “No Compromise” several times. (I think I’ll pull it out and read it again this next week.) I struggle with my desire to make music for free but also the need to pay bills. I also struggle with the idea that there is a term like “Christian Music” or “Praise and Worship”. I appreciated what Rick Warren said in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” that there is no such thing a “christian music” because all music was created by God. Okay, I think that I’m finished blathering now.

  7. 7 Brent Hodge

    Amy – I am with you. I was there at one time and kind of still am. I am paid to sing…kind of. Being a Pastor is very strange. i am paid to minister. Oh well, that could be a whole discussion in itself.

    The culture of “Christianity” is what bothers me. The “Bubble” the church has created. God said to go into the world, but it seems so often that we are creating a “Safe world” for us to live. I don’t think that God ever intended us to be safe, only secure. Here is a great qoute from the God’s Blogs book I just read.

    “You have built a bubble around yourselves and used insider thoughts to try and influence outsiders…and they aren’t getting it…I didn’t send my Son to die so you could form a club and dance at your own recital. I did it so that all people could see Me and experience Me and understand forgiveness and grace and mercy and love, and so everyone would dance at My recital.”



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