Thursday, April 13, 2006

Borrowing... (Part Three)

***This series begins in Part One and Part Two.***

2. I’m sorry that we made it into a T-shirt.

It’s not just that “Jesus Christ” looks sorta dumb as the Coca Cola logo. I’m not a fan of silly marketing t-shirts – but it’s not the t-shirts themselves. It’s that there was no relationship there. That somehow we forgot that relational truth is best communicated relationally. In other words, the good news of Jesus isn’t a message that you can easily print in newspaper unless you can also use ink to store real love.

Yeah, there’s part of the gospel that requires us to understand (head) a message of words. But it’s more to (heart) understand, you know?

And with marketing slogans, even though God never really does this with the lengthy, complicated Bible, we thought that simplifying or distilling would make this easier to digest. We tried it different ways: logically we simplified it down to just four laws, or emotionally some of us reduced it to saying that Just Jesus will take care of your TAM final and your boyfriend. And economically we made it into a marketing campaign.

So we’re guilty of oversimplifying, and presenting messages without any connection relationship. I’m sorry we made it into a t-shirt.

3. I’m sorry we made it into a bait and switch.
I think it’s been easy for us to be a bit embarrassed about what we really believe, and it’s natural to want to make it sound better. But I’m more embarrassed that we tried to make gospel pamphlets look like $20 bills so that you’d accidentally pick them up, or that we invited you to thank you business dinners turned into forced sermons, or that “would you like to take a quick survey?” turned out to be a gospel sharing appointment you didn’t ask for.

And sometimes it’s been an even gentler kind of bait and switch, where we tell you about all the good things that Jesus has done in our lives, and save the parts where we felt like crap, and were insecure, or our Dad died, or we didn’t get a good job – we sorta held back on those, because we didn’t want to make Jesus look bad. Like he’s less valuable because doesn’t make us happy or fulfilled. I do have a hope that I’d like to tell you about, but for now – I if have ever tried to sell you something that looks shinier or different than the real thing, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry we made it into a bait and switch.

***This series concludes in Part Four.***

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