Paul Vander Klay
May 12, 2010
Wow. That is really worth spending some time thinking about. I think I spend a lot more time being brand-centric than I do being overwhelmed in my devotion to the Lord. If I were to be honest with myself, I think I would say I spend a lot more time thinking "what should I do as Christian" for the sake of appearance than I do thinking "what would my love for the Lord and knowledge of Him as revealed in Scripture compel me to do in this situation?"
As a runner and now a bicyclist, I've noticed, while looking for sports equipment on-line, that there is a Christian bicyclist retailer that features bike jerseys with "Christian Logo" stuff---rather like the CCM tee-shirt designs for fans, big iron-looking crosses, the fish of course . . . .
You seem to be giving brand preference a bad name. Brand preference can go very deep. For example, substitute the word, â€œChristianâ€, for â€œApple brand adherentsâ€ in this list.The Apple brand commands strong loyalties, its users are not fickleApple brand adherents will pay almost any price for their brandApple brand adherents are emotionally connected to their brandApple brand adherents enjoy each otherâ€™s company, forming â€œuser groupsâ€.Apple brand adherents respond early and enthusiastically to new Apple productsApple brand adherents have put up with criticism and persecution from Windows usersApple brand adherents witness and attempt to convert other computer usersApple was the first company to employ evangelistsApple adherents are proud of their computer company and itâ€™s leaders, hanging on to every word Steve Jobs uttersThe Apple brand stands for simplicity of use and was the first computer promoted for everyoneThe Apple brand stands for creativity and is preferred in the creative communityOnce a computer user converts to Apple, they never go backAnd, yes, Apple brand adherents proudly display their affinity with bumper stickersSure, there are posers who put an apple sticker on their car but never paid the price for an IPad or Iphone. Just as there are some who would affiliate with Jesus without repenting or really knowing Him. But as Jesus said in the parable of the sower, they fall away quickly. Its not our job to rip the tares out from among the wheat. It ruins the field.No Christian with half a brain thinks that â€œsalvationâ€ is conferred upon the Christian faithful by virtue of their brand loyalty, thatâ€™s a pretty negative characterization. I despise the old cliche, which is untrue, that salvationâ€ among evangelicals, is reduced to Christian code talk for individual hell avoidance. Evangelicals 50 years ago were disabusing people of the notion of salvation being a â€œFire insurance policy.â€ I know, I was there. This is an old liberal criticism of evangelicals. Letâ€™s not arbitrarily assign titles likeâ€œcontentâ€ Christians and â€œBrand preferenceâ€ Christians and pit them against each other. Its so easy to accuse the other person of being shallow.
As a Salvationist I always cringe at our ( New Zealand) Salvation Army T.V. adverts for the 'Red Sheild' appeal.They end with - "Thank God For The Sallies" and I always want to reply - No,the Sallies Thank God for God. There has been so much emphasis on 'Church Growth' lately that the Church seems to have become a commodity, just another business competing for the dollar -- oh & we might as well have your soul while we're about it ! My Jesus isn't just a concept, He is God Almighty the most real reality of my life, no bumper sticker could get that fact across.
This is a very bold thing for you to say. I think A LOT of people are doing their "Christian" thing for appearances, whether they realize it or not. If it's okay, I would love to use this in my own correspondences.
If its a brand, its not Christianity. If its Christian, it won't take a brand.
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