Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Promotion, Sales and Conviction

Todd Rhoades expresses dismay at hype and fictionalization in the sales of Christian, well, whatever. Look there are a couple of things I want to get off the table immediately. 1) There are pure hucksters out there - Pure rip-off artists putting on Christan clothes. Don't want to talk about them. 2) There are pure marketers out there - their job is to sell something. Many of them are secular companies with a religious branch or division. Don't really want to talk about them either. What I want to talk about are people that borrow the methodology of those groups to sell either charitable work, or perhaps the gospel itself.

Remember the parable of the woman that gave her last shekel quietly and the rich guy that gave a lot in a showy fashion? Jesus points out the woman made the bigger sacrifice, and what He is looking for is sacrifice.

Now, here is my question - if what Christ is looking for from us is not necessarily results, but character change (sacrifice in the parable) can the techniques of sales and marketing produce that. Yes, they are known to alter behavior, but Jesus is looking beyond mere behavior to motivation. IN fact, if you think about it, isn't that what the whole message of Christ (and the Holy Spirit!) is really about? Behavior is not enough.

Most marketing technique appeals to the animal in us - it modifies our behavior, as the behavior of animals was modified in the work of B.F. Skinner and those that have followed in his intellectual footsteps. God, on the other hand is trying to pull us out of our animal nature into the nature that is in His image. So one approach reinforces what the other seems to want to eliminate.

Maybe we need to think about this some more.


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