The Commercialization of Christianity

faith chips

Not long ago I received something in the mail that really troubled me. It wasn’t anything dirty or mean, but it bothered me nonetheless. It was a Christian merchandise catalogue, with all kinds of Christian trinkets you could order. There were Christian wallets, Christian tools, Christian watches, Christian toys (a “Faith Works” play tool set for boys, a “Praise Ponies” play set for girls), and get this- a “Faith Chips” poker chips set! I’m serious- “Real 11.5 Gram Poker Chips“, the brochure proudly proclaims, with sayings on them like, “Don’t Gamble With Eternity“, “Take the Sure Bet- Jesus“, “Jesus Knows How To Hold’em“, etc. Now, I have no problem with wearing your faith on t-shirts, wristbands, bumper stickers, and so on, but I am beginning to feel like something is terribly wrong in our American version of Christianity. Since when did faith in Jesus become big business? When did we become our own little sub-culture, with our own toys, tools, and trinkets? Are we trying to isolate and insulate ourselves so much from the world that we need to come up with our own version of worldly things? Do we think our clever slogans and cute merchandise will keep us unstained by the world, or will help us be a witness to the world? Sure, God says in the Bible that we are to be a “peculiar people,” but He means in our clean living, our love for God and each other, and our compassion for those in the world around us. No wonder the world often looks at us as strange and out of touch. We say and do some weird things sometimes, that may not always represent Christ very well.
I just want to be a guy who loves my Father, lives to bring Him honor, and points others to Him with my life and my words. The merchandisers can keep their silly gimmicks. I’ll keep a pure walk with Jesus as my focus.
“And my God will supply all of your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

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