Thursday, April 21, 2011
It'll Give You A Complex
I grew up in the Bible Belt. When I became a Christian, I learned I didn’t have to stop buying stuff – I just had to start buying Christian stuff. An entire world of retail spending possibilities lay before me: the Christian industrial complex. There were Christian t-shirts, bumper stickers, even Christian candy (“Testa-Mints”—peppermints wrapped in a bible verse). We were taught “secular” was bad, and supplied with charts that countered popular mainstream bands with a Christian alternative. We burned our old tapes (which is what we listened to back in those days) and went with the Christian albums. We were often sadly disappointed. It just didn’t sound like Metallica. As a friend of mine quipped, “All these Christian artists say, ‘God gave me this song,' and then you listen to it and understand why God gave it away.”Amen to that. From Part Two:
What we need right now, especially in the world of Christian retail stores, is creativity and courage. We don’t simply need to ride the wave of the market. Instead we should be making new ripples for the Kingdom of God.I disagree with Shane about some of the particulars of his idea -but I agree with him entirely that creativity is the key.
See, here is the thing. "Christian" merchandise should not need to be labeled as such to prove its identity. If we really are creative then w will make the BEST stuff. People will not but it because it is "Christian" - they will but it because it is good. (I think God said something abut that as He created stuff.) This idea might spell the end of Christian retailing, becasue if stuff is that good, it will easily be picked up by regular retailers. (Sorry Shane)
Think about many of the great artists of history - Shakespeare, Bach - their faith inhabited their work, and it was consumed by the general public. In fact it was the pop culture of its time.
Really makes me wonder.