enter to win...what!?!

If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ll know my disdain for the uncritical embrace of consumeristic and individualistic values by Christians in North America. We spend so much time trying to be cool for Christ, we forget to be faithful to Christ.

Well, when this ad popped up on a website recently, I just about choked on my sandwich:

Puts a new spin on these words of Jesus, that's for sure:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it unless you're one of our lucky winners and get to avoid all the hard stuff" (Mt. 7:13-14, addition mine)

Ok, I know this is an extreme example of what I like to call the "ugh" of modern Christianity, but I'm also challenged by it. A few questions to ponder:

-How should churches seek relevance, popularity, or growth?
-How should churches and Christian ministries market themselves? Or should they?
-Is Christianity supposed to be attractive to your average North American person?

These questions remind me of one of my earliest posts on this blog: "Faithful or effective?" I'll close with a quote from that post:

When considering how we comprehend God’s reign in the world, the key is not to conceive of a detailed approach to exactly how, where, what, when, or even if the kingdom of God can be understood in the grand scheme of history and the world, but to be faithful in what we know God is doing. Faithfulness, not effectiveness, then becomes our measuring stick to participating in God’s kingdom. After all, it is God’s kingdom, not ours - "your kingdom come, your will be done" (Mt. 6:9-13) This is especially refreshing in our present age where effectiveness in all areas of society, particularly the church often trumps faithfulness. This results in church practices and individual Christian expressions that simply emulate the surrounding culture. Many confuse effectiveness, church attendance perhaps, with faithfulness.


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