Sometimes I struggle with Christianity’s commercialism. We’re slick, self-promoted, and marketed. So what’s the difference between peddling the message and promoting the message? Do we package faith for a profit? I understand marketing. I’m a published author with a book on Amazon and bookstore shelves. I’ve got a dog in the fight and yet it’s a real struggle. I watch and I wonder at the difference between promoting and peddling. The message needs to get out, but not at the price of bogo offers or a free gift with any donation (tax deductible gift). Send us money and we’ll share this wisdom. I realize people have to make a living – bills have to be paid. But, the gospel is free – isn’t it? It’s a gift. We need to know the difference between promoting it or peddling it. Peddlers are a definite turnoff. Are we prophets or profits?
Here’s the case. I was driving down the road in my wife’s Jeep and tuned to a couple of Christian stations. Rarely do I ever listen to the radio, but tonight I listened to some programming. I think it’s a control thing as I like to choose what I listen to rather than have someone else randomly decide for me. I listened to a little bit of music and then switched to another station. I caught the tail end of a teaching ministry’s program – sales and gimmicks. The message was fairly typical. Keep this program on the air tomorrow by giving today. If we receive your gift today, we’ll send you an autograph copy of the latest book. It’s yours today for a donation of any size. Really? I missed the teaching, but caught the timeshare sales pitch on the infomercial. I thought to myself, there’s got to be a better way. I was unsettled; this was peddling and not promoting in my opinion. Where do you draw the line? What’s the difference?