Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Approaching Christianity as a brand"

If consumerism is not the most serious threat to the church in the United States, it's close to the top. Consumerism is, of course, simply the latest, greatest form of worldliness. And worldliness is a particularly wicked threat because it's subtle, pervasive, and easy to deny. Out of Ur is shining the light of truth on worldliness this week in reminded us that "in a consumer culture the customer, not Christ, is king":
No longer merely an economic system, consumerism has become the American worldview—the framework through which we interpret everything else, including God, the gospel, and church.
And how has consumerism affected the church?
Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, co-authors of The Churching of America, 1776-1990, argue that ministry in the U.S. is modeled primarily on capitalism with pastors functioning as a church’s sales force, and evangelism as its marketing strategy. Our willing indoctrination into this economic view of ministry is so complete that most pastors never question its validity or recognize how unprecedented it is within Christian history.


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