Friday, April 06, 2012
The Ultimate Consumer Culture
I think you are getting the idea. Today you might have trouble finding a Bible that is just a Bible with no Christian celebrity endorsement or agenda attached as a companion to Scripture. The Bible is a great work of art, but we have reduced it to a vehicle to advertise our brand or promote our specific political bent.He goes on to give three reasons:
Look, I have no problem with businesses making a profit, if the goods or services they sell are legitimately needed by consumers. For instance, blue jeans are a necessity, especially in Oklahoma where they can pass as formal wear in most situations. But does anyone really need $200+ jeans? The answer is no, they don’t.
And I am all for books and music and other forms of art that draw a person’s heart upward to Christ. But is there ever a need for Scripture candy? The answer again is a resounding No.
So, just why are Christians so gullible? Why are we such easy targets for those simply out to make money? In short, why will we buy any item that has a Bible verse or religious-sounding phrase on it? I can think of at least three reasons.
- Safety. We are seemingly obsessed with protecting ourselves and others (especially others) from sin in any art form.
- Religiosity. This actually goes right along with safety. There is great safety in religion. Religion is form and procedure and policy.
- Guilt. Oh sure, you used to like listening to Christina Aguilera, but now you are a Christian, so you listen to BarlowGirl, not because you like their sound or their lyrics, but you would feel guilty listening to and enjoying Christina Aguilera now that you have been saved.
I want to expand/consolidate these ideas into a single important point.
We live in nature, but God is supernature - beyond. We are looking ways to make Him "real" to us. There are two problems with that. For one, God has made Himself real to us, it's called the incarnation. That's uncomfortable because where it leads is the whole death and resurrection thing - a death and resurrection that we have to participate in in some fashion.
Which is the real problem - The incarnation was meant to transform us into beings that could experience supernature in some fashion - not reduce it to nature. In the end, Christ was establishment the way for the Holy Spirit. Christ' work was intended to transform us into vessels capable of holding the Spirit.
Our problem is we seem to get Spirit stupid (miracles and healings!) or ignore Him altogether. We need to transcend with Him. Like it or not, Christianity is mystical and material. Selling Christian junk is a direct result of ignoring the mystical part of that.