The Sorry State Of Christian Retailing

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor, Rusell Moore blogged today about his interview with political scientist, non-believer and director of the
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College, Alan Wolfe concerning current trends in Christian retailing.  All in all, it’s a pretty sad commentary about Christians creating a retailing subculture so we do not have to engage the unchurched.  Products like Scripture golf balls, Bible-based Barbies and Prayer Of Jabez pot holders have made it easy for Christians to only buy "churchy" stuff.  Most of these products are a total turn-off to the unchurched of America and make believers look like . . . well, weirdos!  It’s a theme that the Los Angeles Times also reported on.

In his interview with Moore, Alan Wolfe pointed out that that he could not imagine an unbeliever coming to faith through, say, a
Christian bumper-sticker on the car in front of him. Buying the stuff
gives Christians an easy conscience that they are carrying out the Great
Commission without ever having to verbally and relationally engage
their unbelieving neighbors.

The Los Angeles Times reported that "the effect of such products is to create almost a parallel universe, one that allows
Christians to withdraw from the world instead of engaging it as Christ
commanded."  Alan Wolfe – also interviewed for the Times article – made the comment that, "It’s as if they’re saying the task of bringing people to Jesus is too
hard, so let’s retreat into a fortress."

I believe that Alan Wolfe and the Los Angeles Times have hit the nail squarely on the head. It’s time that the church takes seriously the idea of relationally reaching the unchurched of America instead of shoving a chessy Christian slogan in their face via some piece of "Jesus junk".

I realize that I’m a missional cheerleader when it comes to ministry, evangelism and doing church.  However, I think both of these sources prove my point!!!

The Sorry State Of Christian Retailing

One thought on “The Sorry State Of Christian Retailing

  1. Hey Chris!
    Good thoughts. Keith Green had concerns just like these 20-some odd years ago. He called our little Christian slogans and bumper stickers, innoculation shots that do more harm than good.
    Innoculation shots are when you take a little of the “disease” and introduce it to your body so that your own body produces natural resistors to the disease. Not saying that Christ is a disease, but when you see little pithy saying on church signs, billboards (ad nauseum) that little bit of truth causes non-believers to build up a natural resistance to those who really want to develope a relationship with them in order to introduce them to Jesus.
    I probably said all this wrong, but I hope you got the point!


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