To begin with, ( and I know this is controvercial and many would disagree with me, but this is my blog... so... yeah) I'm not sure that I agree with Christians making a profit off of God. There's something that just deosn't sit right with me when I walk into a room full of books, music, and art all meant for the glory of God - that has become overpriced merchendise marketed to a hungry Christian 'target group'.
I know we're not all called to live in poverty, and there's a place where you just need to enjoy the wealth God blesses you with, but I also think that when God pours out His Spirit on his children to create or exhort, that He wants that gift used to edify the body and serve the hearts of our brothers and sisters, not marketed with the promise of new life by chapter ten, or freedom from addiction once you've completed the workbook, not displayed and sold with a matching diary, supplementary workbook, and bookmark, all produced to maximize a profit margine.
I can't be in a place like that without imagining Jesus barging in with a whip, tearing down walls of t-shirts with catchy Jesus slogans, overthrowing stands of bookmarks, cross necklaces, picture frames, Psalms stationery, proceline Mary figurines.
"GET THESE OUT OF HERE! HOW DARE YOU TURN MY FATHER'S HOUSE INTO A MARKET!" (John 2)
I also understand that printing books and producing CDs costs money, and that many of them are indeed worthwhile and edify the body - but would they cost so much if they weren't being marketed for maximum sales? if there weren't book deals and photoshoots and lawyers involved? What if book costs covered the cost of printing and distribution alone? What if some wealthy person in the body covered that and we gave them away, and what the Spirit was speaking was heard by all? What if gifted worship leaders recorded the songs God put on their hearts and then encouraged people to burn copies and spread the worship far and wide?
Before I'm accused of communism, I'll just say I'm not really saying 'this is how it ought to be,' but it doesn't hurt to think about how things would be different if the creative bride gave more priority to increasing glory given to God, and less to maximizing profit.
Secondly ( I bet you forgot there was a first of all), Christian culture annoys me. I walk around in places like that and think, is this what being a Christian has become? Wearing the right clothes, reading the right books, marking your place with a WWJD bookmark, and listening to the Christian version of White Zombie? What would Paul think, or the martyrs?
The bride of Christ is not a marketing group to be manipulated and squeezed for profit. All right, ending the rant. You can direct all your arguments and controversy to my comment box - I don't want any indignant phone calls.
In other news, Someone made a documentary about Deitrich Bonhoeffer, my personal Hero. It's called "Bonhoeffer" and its at Blockbuster. Check it out - and then read Discipleship (Bonhoeffer). This man has a powerful message for our generation.
Bonhoeffer's last words: "This is the end. The beginning of my life."