Monday, October 27, 2008

Christian Yellow Pages?

Todays blog is from post I read at and concerns the use of using only "Christian" resources. This is a trend that has taken a foothold in Evangelical circles in America, and is very pervasive. The defenders of this idea not only want to listen to "Christian" music, but they want to watch only Christian movies, and eat at Christian restaurants, and read Christian books, and have their overflowing toilets fixed by Christian plumbers. I used to argue with youth pastors who wanted me to burn my Guns 'n Roses albums by saying "Would you only go to a Christian butcher?" But now it seems they listened to me, as you can find these Christian Yellow Pages at many churches. I cannot fathom why the church would try yo get their congregants to quit associating others in the area, and become seclusionists, having no affect on the outside world. I guess they are not truly evangelicals then.

The fact is "Christian" is not an adjective you can add to a word. There is not Christian music or Christian dating site. I encourage Christians to make music. Please. In fact the church could use more artists. But what we do not need is more separation from the world we live in. We are told to be in the world, and not of the world. That does not mean to live with our eyes shut pretending the world does not exist. Its funny that the same people that lament how immoral Hollywood or Washington have become are often the same who told Christians to leave those venues, thus leaving the impact the were having on those venues.

I encourage you to read a secular book, listen to a secular band, and please use a secular plumber. You may find that you are living in a bubble and have lost touch with the culture you live in. You may learn a new skill, or find you like Sufjan Stephens. Its possible you'll find you prefer Monet over Kinkade. You may even befriend the plumber who comes to your house, and have a non-Christian friend.

Seth, the author of the blog that inspired this post, finished his post well. He said
I just wish that Christians would use more logic in their decision making and less emotional ones. Remember, just because something or someone has an Ichthus in their logo, on their CD cover or on their book flap, doesn't make them good or Christian, it just makes us the sucker of good advertising.


Dave said...

I'm curious about the conclusions that you have drawn. If I'm a Christian and a plumber, is it wrong to let people know? Is it possible that I can be evangelical and still desire to serve the body of Christ? I respect your right to use the atheist plumber and I applaude your desire to use that encounter for the Kingdom but I'm quite certain that there are millions of Christians who would like to do business with another believer as a way of supporting Kingdom efforts. There are dozens of Nichce directories that are very successful that have nothing to do with faith or religion, but thrive of of the principles of affinity and synergy.

Tim Faulted said...

I would most likely hire the most competent yet competitively priced plumber and pay no attention to his religion. I do not think asking a plumber, who happens to be a Christian, to do work for me serves the body of Christ. The kingdom of God is not of this world. If you are a Christian, it is not wrong to let others know, but I do think it is wrong to use it as a marketing tool, such as an Icthus fish in your Company logo to attract Christians as customers.

Dave said...

My guess is (from reading your blog and links) that we are very similar in our Theological perspective. I think your last email shows that the real issue you have is one of motivation - in other words, what motivates the Christian business owner to use faith as an element of his marketing. I would say that your comment about "serving the body" seems reactive and not thought out. However, my main point is that is is perfectly legit to market yourself as a Christian as long as the motives are right.

Tim Faulted said...

Honestly I don't think there is a right motive to using Christianity as a marketing tool. A few weeks ago we were discussing this at the Christian camp I work at. We now have tea with Bible verses attached instead of the TAZO tea we had before. We were making some snide remarks about making money off the name of Christ, when one of our coworkers said we do the same thing. As a Christian camp, are we not selling Christianity. I think the two are different, but it is something I am trying to work through.