Monday, September 21, 2009

Is Jesus marketable?

Now there is an obvious answer to the question, is Jesus marketable? Obviously, on the market you will find t-shirts, music, books, etc. with Jesus as the main point not to mention all the festivals in the summer and conferences held throughout the year. Jesus and Christianity is not left unscathed by capitalism. I fear that Capitalism has influenced our churches more than simply getting us to make a buck off of Christ. Instead of making disciples, the church has made consumers. If they don't like the product or service at this church, just go to the one down the block. I have heard some Christians say we are in sales, we are selling the Gospel, Jesus Christ. Is Jesus really marketable?
As a product, Jesus stinks. If we were to be authentic, we would have a Jesus doll with a string in the back. Pull the string and Jesus says, "If anyone wants to follow me, you must take up your cross." or maybe, "you must lose your life to gain it." or "blessed are the poor, the meek, the persecuted." We could have set of dolls--add to it the Paul doll who tells us "everything is crap compared to Jesus" or "have the mind of Christ who obeyed to death."
I believe there is a marketable Jesus--the cheap grace Jesus--He forgives and loves but never mentions any of the lines above. But the love and forgiveness of Christ leads us to losing our life for his sake, taking up a cross, being peacemakers and meek. If his love doesn't lead us there, then perhaps we have not truly experienced his love.
How do we market a Jesus who calls us to be peacemakers, meek, to lay down our lives? Jesus as a product doesn't work. But as a Savior, Jesus rocks. As a Kingdom builder, Jesus is second to noone. As a God, Jesus is above all else.
I am not sure I am called to market Jesus. I am called to be conformed to his image. I am called to be His hands and feet, which if we remember correctly walked this earth, healed and touched people, and were nailed to the cross. He then rose again which is where all our hope lies. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps we are salespeople. I am finding enough challenge in just being like Jesus. I don't know when I will find the time to learn sales.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Starving for Authenticity

Working in the ministry, I realized I am starving--not spiritually, I have found places to be fed spiritually. But I am starving for authenticity. Now there is a difference between being wise in speech. I believe I have to be careful in how I word things so I am not accusing or saying something that is unbiblical. Yet there are times I want to just look at Scripture and say, "What in God's Name was God thinking when this was included int the canon?" There are times I look at Scripture and want to ask, "Is God really calling us to the extreme of this?" There are times I want to say, "I am tired. I don't feel like giving my best right now." or "I am struggling. I am struggling in my faith or struggling to exist right now." Yet there are not many avenues for this.

I am also struggling with the Church. As I have stated in my last post, there are churches which love their building more than people. I am starving for a congregation who says "this is who we are--no, we are not what we were in our glory days, no we are not perfect. We are on a journey to be more like Christ. We struggle with what that looks like." Right now that is not what I am finding. Our churches are defining success by how many people attend, how magnificent our building is, or how many people we have on staff. I am not sure these are Kingdom issues. So how do we as Christians recapture authentic lives, authentic churches?