I'm back in California, my car is in Buckeye, Arizona, and I'm still at work. Good times. Tonight I should be finishing my movie and I'm excited about that. It's about selling God. I'm fascinated by the fact that millions of dollars are spent each year on things that feature the image of Christ. It's disgusting to see all the stuff that's out there and saddening to know that people are buying it. And why, I don't know.
If people buy the stuff to evangelize, I question their faith system. If your faith can be described on one article of clothing, say, a belt buckle, it's far too simple. If people buy the stuff to notify others of their beliefs, I question their motives. What makes you assume that people care what you faith you hold? Heaven forbid they see your actions and interact with you and find out that way! Oh, no, it's much better to advertise. If people buy the crap because they want to fit in, I question their self-esteem. Does the Christian ghetto protect you, or coerce you to fit in? So the one place you should feel accepted you instead feel judged. If people buy the Jesus junk to support the Church, I question their sensibility.
People, not God, are making money on this crap. People, not God, are receiving income by targeting Christians and marketing products towards them. And surely no one believes that a large percentage of the profits go towards Christians who spend them wisely. Let's take the belt-buckle. It costs $5. Here are all the places I can imagine the money being taken away by non-Christians who are unconcerned with the goings-on of the church: the mine for the metal, the truck driver, the ore processor, the shipper, the machine manufacturer who stamps the buckle, the owner of the building, the electric company, the laser-etcher designer, the blah-blah-blah. The point is, if you want to support the Church, give to it, not a shop owner.
I think what bothers me a lot is the blatant ripping-off of pop culture. Since pants have been around, people have needed a way to keep them up, and a belt with a buckle has done well. Why do we insist on slapping the image of Christ on one? Why don't we invent a better way to hold up pants instead of making money off God? At least then we'd be creating and God might be blessed that we are reflecting in a tiny way the creativity of God.
A note to those who make Jesus junk: If you do this to make money, good job. If you do this to pay bills, good job. It is the American way, after all. Who can blame you? You found a great niche market (the Christian:probably rich, probably wants more stuff) and are capitalizing on it. Nicely done. If you do this to evangelize, you are missing the point. Jesus died for a world that is painfully lost and confused and came back to life to give that world hope. He didn't die so you could put his smiling face on a pen. Oh, I know you have good intentions. You have to get by and make ends meet. But don't you dare turn God into your dollar sign. He doesn't need product placement. He doesn't need your endorsement. He doesn't need anything.
He wants you to love your neighbor more than you love anything else but Him. He wants you to love Him more than anything else. And He wants the same for me. So pray for me, and I'll pray for you. That's what He wants, anyway.
3 years ago