Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Christian Bookstore or Why I Take Prozac

What do pewter "pocket trinkets," the ESV study bible, and lawn ornaments have in common? That's right! They can all be found at your local Christian Bookstore! Not only that, but you can also find a dizzying array of conflicting theology all on the same shelf (for those in the know, I saw Rob Bell, Kevin Deyoung, and Mark Driscoll all next to each other. My brilliant wife pointed out they were probably in alphabetical order. I thought Deyoung and Driscoll would kick Bell's tail if they had been present in bodily instead of book-ily form). What is up with commercial Christianity that such a place can exist?

My cynicism-ometer was rising. I started to unravel one of the decorative --"Painter-of-Light"-- rugs so I could go all John 2:15 on the owners but my wife saw what was up and pushed me into the bible aisle. Regaining a semblance of composure, my search for an economical ESV "giveaway" New Testament began. All was well until my darling decided to show me the T.D. Jakes aisle, someone who does not hold to the trinity... you know.... like Jehovah's Witnesses.

Disparate or heretical theology aside, what really disappointed me were the lawn ornaments. and the pewter pocket trinkets. the ones inscribed with Love or Jesus. Pocket rocks are cool and all, but these were advertised to promote "Good Thoughts." Since when were we trying to promote good thoughts?

Why are we so susceptible to trinkets and trash? My guess, we look for little physical manipulatives to feel religious because the gospel has lost its reality. Too few Christians really know what the Gospel is or how it relates to their everyday life.

As long as there is pathetic preaching from the pulpits, where the sheep are not shown the reality of the Gospel, we will continue to drown in commercial crap as we strive to fill the ever-growing hole in our souls.

In closing, if your pastor preaches the bible faithfully, week in and week out, I want you to thank him. Today. Right now. Send him an email, give him a call, or go all old-school and write a note. These men work hard so that we can see the Glory of God on display. Their sermons are not to be overlooked. They are not the stop-gap between the singing and the donuts. They are exhorting you from the word of God. Love these men. They love you.

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