Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Selling Faith

inthenews

The August 2005 issue of Reader’s Digest, a special issue that examines “14 Amazing Trends That Will Change Your Life”, identified as a societal trend the growth of Christian merchandizing.

From GodPods to holy golf balls, marketers have found religion

Note the following short excerpt from the feature:

A lot of conservative Christian’s don’t like the fuzzy line that’s been drawn between believers and nonbelievers. They want to be able to tell the secular from the sacred, Young says. But more and more young believers “enjoy obliterating the lines and appreciate the mystery in that and feel it gives a lesson in not judging.”

So Christian entrepreneurs have found their formula for success, and it’s in stretching the traditional bounds, if not obliterating them. For every person who fells that the shirts being sold – or the books or the gadgets – are a betrayal of the faith, there are plenty of others who see a faith that’s speaking to today. In this age of market evangelism, the ring of a cash register can be sacred music.

Page 185, August 2005 Reader’s Digest

Analysis:

“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself… For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:3-5, 10).

The report in Reader’s Digest is without bias, noting that some are agreeable to the merchandising of the gospel while others are not. As can be seen from the text above, the Holy Spirit is not so understanding. It is shameful that some are so ready to make a profit from faith. The Catholic church was doing it centuries ago with the sale of indulgences to fund the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This is just more of the same. Those who do such things should be ashamed.