Do you ever wonder if Christian stores and those who produce Christian merchandise are authentic? I mean, do they really care about Christ and the gospel, or are they just catering to a niche market that is eager to fork over extra cash for a product emblazoned with a cross or a passage of Scripture? Exactly what makes an item “Christian” anyway? Does a product need to be, in some way, sanctified to be considered Christian?
For example, can I have coffee from a regular coffee mug or is it better to have my coffee from a Christian coffee mug with John 3:16 on the side? There must be something to having Christian symbols and Bible verses on products, because stores are selling anything and everything with them on it. You can find T-shirts, mugs, key-chains, stuffed animals, Christian versions of all of your favorite board games, etc. I once met two married couples who had exchanged their normal wedding rings for ones with crosses on them because they thought this was a more spiritual thing to do.
I believe the Bible teaches that everything comes from God and there is no need for it to be sanctified by Christian emblems. In other words, a regular old coffee mug will do…and it will cost much less than one with a cross on the side. In fact, I believe that the marketing of “Christian” products could teach a dualistic theology that says that ordinary products are bad, but spiritual products are good. It is the same type of thinking that leads people to believing that this earth (which is God’s creation) is bad and that our goal is to escape to another spiritual world (heaven).
Please do not get me wrong. I am not against T-shirts and mugs having Christian emblems on them. I am just against a mindset that believes that these items are in some way more appropriate for the Christian than their ordinary counterparts. I am also against turning Christ and Christianity into a fashion statement in the name of corporate profit much like Abercrombie and other marketers attempt to do with their products. I think it would be better for Christians to save their money by buying regular products that are less expensive and give the extra money to the poor, or their church, or a missionary.
What do you think?