Jesus Junk

Making a whip of cords, he drove them out of the temple… And he told the pigeon-sellers, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” John 2:14-16

USA Today reported in 2009 that American retailers “sell about $4.6 billion worth of Christian products annually.”

One cannot help but wonder how big that figure is today and how big it would be if the rest of the globe were included in the statistics.

According to the report, you can now wear a “Jesus Christ wants to be your friend” Facebook shirt and an “iPray” hat while listening to your iPod. Preachers can buy material for sermons based on the popular television reality series “Survivor”.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Christian merchandise include dolls, jewelry, stationary and a host of items sporting designs that are oftentimes trademark rip offs of well known brands like Coca-Cola (“Jesus Christ—Eternally Refreshing”).

Other designs are totally original, like the one that has Jesus dressed as a hockey goalie accompanied by the words “Jesus Saves!” And then there is the rubber Jesus duck for your bathtub, and the “Wash away my sins bubble bath” to accompany it.

I still have my three-decades-old coffee mug with St Francis’ Peace Prayer on it. And I have joyful memories of buying my first Christian bumper stickers shortly after my conversion. But I think we have lost it somewhere between the Jesus revolution of the early seventies and today. The new vision of a culturally relevant Messiah, expressed joyfully and colorfully by Hippies who had become “Jesus People”, appears to have become a corrupt money-making machine.

In fact, I am quite convinced that we would see a repetition of the events described by John above if Jesus were to return today.

3 thoughts on “Jesus Junk

  1. Steve Simms August 29, 2012 / 11:09 am

    Good point! I get sad when I walk into a Christian bookstore and see very few books and tons of trinkets.

  2. naturalchurch August 29, 2012 / 11:59 am

    Hi Steve. I agree. And it’s even sadder if the books are also written to appeal to our consumer instincts instead of assisting us to “learn Christ”.

  3. Steve Simms August 29, 2012 / 12:26 pm

    True. I seldom find a book that I want to read in a Christian bookstore. They are usually so shallow. I have to go to secular stores to find serious books about Christian spirituality.

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