The Apostle Peter in his Second Epistle spoke a stern warning to the Church of his time. Specifically, he spoke of those who would, through their covetous ways, make merchandise out of believers. II Peter 2:3.
Holy Potato Peeler
In the business model which is presented to the Church from the secular world, the most obvious thing is that a business needs a product, a service, something to merchandize, something to sell. If the business model yields significant success, especially in its ability to competitively market its product, then surely it must know its product and understand its attractive capabilities and how it is to be best presented to the world.
We are called to evangelize the world for Jesus. It is our Christian duty. Hear me well, there is nothing in God’s creation that is more valuable to Him than a human soul. The gift of His Son Jesus Christ is proof of how much He values us.
Certainly God would have us use the creative tools available to us for the purpose of saving souls. The medieval Church used the invention of the Gutenberg Printing Press to print bibles. We certainly can use satellite TV, radio, and the internet to spread that same Good News of Jesus Christ. It is still a life-transforming, soul-saving gospel.
However, many of us have on occasion watched late night television, come upon situations in which on one channel there was an infomercial for a do-it-all potato peeler and all around kitchen helper, a must have gadget for the perfect kitchen. And concurrently, on the next channel experience an appeal from an announcer pitching some religious product.
I have found myself sometimes switching back and forth between channels trying to decide between the potato peeler with the “never need to be sharpened blade” and the miracle spring water which will cure my bum knee and miraculously transfer the wealth of the wicked into my somewhat somber bank account where I can then buy hundreds of potato peelers.
The confusion is often compounded when the guy selling the potato peeler and the guy merchandising the miracle water or the twelve steps to healing or seven tapes teaching me how to have intimacy with God come to me with the same or very similar words, style, promises, conviction, and sincerity.
I do believe that Christ would have us use with great wisdom, the technological tools at our disposal. However, the very ability of media to shape, dominate, and make merchandise of even the human soul should make Christian believers very careful about how we use media and merchandizing techniques and how it uses us.
In a post-modern culture which is rife with literally hundreds of religious choices lined up like cereal boxes on a grocery store shelf, we do not market the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as a miraculous “Holy Snap, Crackle, Pop” cereal or some very special Holy Ghost Potato Peeler. (God forgive us.)
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever! Amen. (II Peter 3:17, 18.)
Yours in the Spirit of Love and Grace.
Please share your thoughts, insights, and prayers with me at www.greatlight.org or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Tripp is pastor of Great Light Church.