Watch Out Elmo! Here Comes Jesus: How Jesus is Becoming a Hot Consumer Product

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Jesus is a profitable individual.

Figure out how to teach him, how to market him, and how to positively present him to people, and you’ll be rich.

Professing his name is a great marketing tool in that it will give you access to billions of dollars managed by evangelical Christians.

It’s ironic.

Jesus is the product.

We’ve got to make him appealing.  We’ve got to find how he address our needs.  The churches who master the art of marketing enjoy the most ‘success’.

Jesus is a multi-billion dollar industry.

I feel uncomfortable when I watch videos that say Jesus is a product and some of the most successful salesmen are leaders of mega-churches.

Is Jesus a product?  Is he something we need to sell to people?

Wouldn’t the pursuit of a profitable Jesus lead some hearts astray?  I think it probably already has.  I personally know the temptation to give preferential treatment to the rich.

This week I read a book that attempts to mentor new ministers.  It talked about how church leaders have got to learn to play the politics.  On the one hand, I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that’s absolutely true.  We’ve got to learn to identify what the unwritten contractual agreements are.  We ought to, for the sake of healthy church politics, find a way to meet as many of those expectations as possible.

On the other hand, if we embrace a needs-based ministry, the needs of individuals within the church may take precedence over the will of the head of the Church, Christ.  That’s why Paul would refuse support from the churches with whom he worked.

All of us who teach and preach the word of God must use compassion and gentleness, but we must also be willing to preach a prophetic word regardless of what it does to church profits.

I prefer to think about men like Jeremiah.  He stood outside the temple gates and told people that if they think they are safe from the judgement of God, they had another thing coming their way.  I bet he didn’t sell many copies of his book that day.

I’m not opposed to Christian authors writing massively successful books.  In fact, my life has been blessed tremendously by Christian literature.

I do wonder what Jesus would say about multimillion dollar Christian organizations.  How would he feel about church leaders who are also CEOs of multimillion dollar businesses?

I’m uncomfortable with it all, and by reading the gospels, I think Jesus envisioned a different form of Christianity.

Let’s make Jesus the source of our love and devotion, but let’s not make him a product that we need to improve to make him more marketable.

 

Comments

  1. Nate says

    Because that is what money is, i would have thought it’d be fairly obvious but i suppose its reached a level now where you can’t ignore its blatant flashing lights, somewhat like the signs on these mega churches. The christian church has used jesus as a profitable figure for the last 1000 years. it gave the church its power and also people the false hope they would pass straight to heaven, you give money, you get a ticket to heaven. of course the church used this power to achieve most of its power, i mean how do you get so much money without even selling anything?? ah yes, apart from heaven and jesus. what you see nowadays is just capitalism. hyper capitalism and lets face it, most Christians buy whatever is endorsed by other christians

  2. irene howard says

    “I do wonder what Jesus would say about multimillion dollar Christian organizations. How would he feel about church leaders who are also CEOs of multimillion dollar businesses?”
    I think he would throw them over like the moneychangers in the temple and demand them to leave His presence, He does not know them, or their followers. We have mega churches cropping up, all over our area. They are very appealing with the huge buildings, lights, bands, soothing different gospels for itchy ears, mega screens to see the show…many from our smaller town churches are being lured away to them, leaving our pews half empty, but not for a better church. I was invited to one…it was too big for me. In my church, I know the Pastor, personally, the people and their families, sitting around me. He also answers to people over him, which I find rare, if at all in the mega churches…Yes, I dont think Jesus would be impressed, just full of zeal for “His” Church.

  3. says

    Well Regina as you know we stopped doing Halloween when you were young. We didn’t stop hanivg parties, or even masquerade parties; we just made an effort to change who and what we were celebrating and why.Traditions are hard to let go, unless you have a concret reason for doing so; and when you take something away, what do you add to take it’s place? These are questions that each person must answer in their own heart. I just say that whatever you do, know why you do it; and whatever you stop doing, know why you are stopping. I mean really know why. Know the true story behind the tradition so you can explain to your children with knowledge and clarity. Let them know what you are putting in it’s place and its signifigance. As you know we made our own family traditons, and we made so many and have so much fun that no one actually misses Halloween.So remember the woman with the turkey in the small pan. Don’t just do things because you’ve always done it that way. Buy a larger pan. LOL My pan is called Jesus.

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