Monday, October 22, 2012

Selling Jesus

Okay, so admittedly, the title is a bit far fetched.
Or is it?

But it has to do with a conversation my husband, brother-in-law, and I had Saturday night at the Matthew West concert. Now, mind you, I've been to a jillion (yes, a jillion) Christian concerts in my short 25 years. I've purchased CD's, t-shirts, posters, and the like from the merchandise stations in the foyers of said concerts and I haven't thought twice. Saturday night, however, as we walked in the doors at Victory Church and strolled past the merch tables on our way to find our seats in the sanctuary, my brother-in-law made the comment that he wondered how Jesus would feel about these merchandising tables, if He would overturn them like He did the money changers in the temple.
Matthew 21:12 (KJV) says, "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves."

And that started a very interesting dialogue between us - mostly hubs and b-i-l at first because their questions and comments were making me think and I honestly didn't want to think. The conversation then turned to actually selling tickets to Christian concerts or even those labeled "Worship concerts," or selling "Worship CD's." The question arose, "Do we (as Christians) try to sell worship?" I made the point that you can't actually "sell" worship. Worship is an action and therefore something that you choose to do. A song is not an actual song of worship until you make it a song of worship in your heart. However, the point was made.

First of all, is it wrong for concerts that are held in a house of worship to have tables selling merchandise? Is that not like the money changers in the temple? What about those churches that have book stores? Honestly, I'm throwing out questions. I do not claim to have the answers.

Later that night, hubs and I started talking about how we as a Christian culture have marketed Jesus. We put Him on shirts, key chains, bumper stickers, bobble heads, you name it. Now I see the idea behind shirts that can create opportunities to share Jesus with someone who might make a comment about it. But have you seen Jesus bobble heads? That is  - ridiculous. Have we reduced the King of Kings to a bobble head? I used to hate those "Jesus is my homeboy" t-shirts that were so popular a few years ago. Was it a few? Could have been 10 years ago and at this point, that feels like a few. Anyway, I just thought they were downright degrading. He is the Name above all names, the risen Son of God, and we have the audacity to make him a trend on a t-shirt? And that's exactly what those shirts were - a trend. Friends, Jesus is NOT a trend. I just want to make that clear. He is, was, and always will be. End of story.

So I guess I wrote this in hopes that I'd get some feedback. What are your thoughts? Are we as a Christian culture trying to "sell Jesus?" Is it okay to sell artist merchandise at tables inside a house of worship? Let's dialogue. I don't claim to know the answers and I certainly don't want to start some nasty debate so if you're interested in leaving feedback, please be courteous. Scripture welcome too...


Really?