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Pushing the Jesus Junk (another name for the International Christian Retail Show 2008)

July 17, 2008

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”  Chapter 2 of John’s Gospel

The picture of Jesus frolicking in the flowers with a lamb over his shoulder is smashed after reading these verses.  Jesus-whip-angry-throwing tables-chasing people; those words are not normally found in the same chapter, let alone in the same paragraph.

He was outraged at the commercialism of Judiasm. These money changers charged exorbitant prices for their services.  They were making huge profits at the expense of the very heart of Judiasm.  Jesus was ticked, and rightly so!

So, how do I make the transition from Jesus whipping and chasing out the money changers in the Temple to one of the biggest events for Christian Bookstores in America?  Unfortunately, it is very easy.

The International Christian Retail Show 2008 is taking place this week in Florida this week.

The world around us is changing rapidly…from the way we communicate to the way we work and so much more. The world of retail is no different. Consider the technology challenges and increased competition seeming to come from everywhere. However, there is hope! We serve a big God, and we have a mission that is not of this world. You need to attend the International Christian Retail Show to work on how to achieve your mission and reach the fullest potential of what God has planned for your store in this New Day for Christian Retail.

Blogger and author Ed Stetzer is there and reporting on all of the ridiculous items that are peddled.  He has posted some pictures at his twitterpic site.

I’ve been wanting to write on this crass church commercialism for a while now.  Watch the video below to see some of the crap that is being sold in the name of Christ.

So, we just slap a Jesus sticker on anything and that makes it Christian, eh?  I couldn’t believe the “Christian Poker Chips”!  But sure enough, they are a real product for sale! That is just unbelievable!  And the “Christian” tape measure and “Christian” flip-flops?  wow…

All In for Jesus!  Sure Bet Jesus!  Don’t Gamble With Eternity!  OY!!

And if “Christian” Poker Chips aren’t your thing, how about a Jesus action figure that is a bull rider or rides a Harley? Honestly, you have to click on that link to check it out!  I personally want to order the Jesus in camo fatigues holding a dove or the Jesus Rock Climber.

There is so much Jesus Junk out there that I could fill up way too many blogs writing about it.

Could you see Jesus with a whip at one of these conventions?  I think I could.

What would happen if all of the Christians who bought this junk actually gave that money away to help people who really needed it?

Please don’t get the impression that I am some sort of monastic stuff hater.  I sure have accumulated my share of junk.  And I’m not against poker playing or art.  I’m just saying, if you need some poker chips, then buy some poker chips!  Let’s just not justify our love of junk by emblazoning Christ’s name on it!

Leave some comments and let me know what you think.

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