Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christian Industrial Complex - Missional Response?

I read this article the other day:

The Christian-Industrial Complex

How should we respond to this?

We can't deny the argument, because it's true much of the church does run on the dollar.

But what can we as missional believers do about it?

Is it time for a cleansing of the temple?

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Chuck Warnock said...

Jerry, two points here. One, these organizations are not "the church" in my opinion. They are either entertainment targeting a "Christian" market segment, or they are political action groups using "Christian" issues to raise money. Followers of Christ need to discern between real ministry -- giving a cup of cold water in Jesus name -- from money-making companies. If we don't, who's stupid?

Missional Jerry said...


But I wonder does the CIC tarnish the church in anyway?

Chuck Warnock said...

I think the answer is "yes" these groups (CIC) do tarnish the church, but only because the real church does not publicly disavow and distance itself (ourselves) from stuff like this that is predatory and abusive. Okay, so that may be a little strong, but not much.

John said...

Did all of these groups start out with the purpose of being money making machines, or was there at some time a real heart to do something for the Lord. For example Promise Keepers? Did they get this way because they took their eyes off the Lord or was this their plan from the beginning?

I'm not sure really how to respond to it? I don't really do conferences and don't buy nearly as many "Christian" books as I used to. Maybe that's the best response. Let's all use the money we would spend to "buy" this stuff to give and help missionally or at least in building community.

When the market dries up, these will go away.

Cindy said...

I don't think it's too self aggrandizing to say that this concept (I love the term, CIC,) is one of the reasons I feel like a caged animal in an overcrowded sweltering zoo at Christmas-time. The messages we decry- Keep Christ in Christmas, Wise men still seek him- are literally hawked on the corner for profit. It's one of the greatest antitheses of modern times.

And then the constant harping from the far right to boycott stores that won't say Merry Christmas... (MY father in law kept sending me these pressure emails from the AFA- did I mention feeling like a caged animal?.

I do think the CIC tarnishes the image of the Church in the eyes of others. How to fix it? Geez. I don't know. One year, when Christmas fell on a Sunday, my husband and I were at my parents' home for the holiday and we chose to go to Church. So the rest of the family had to wait on us. Boy were they ticked. It's a conundrum. If we're true to our faith in an authentic way, the unchurched are often offended. If we fall in line with the commercialization, then we invite the criticism that we're no different. We've (the Church) created a mine field for ourselves through our inattentiveness (or apathy) to the CIC, and now we can barely take a step without setting off a charge.