Christian “Stuff”

I read today that more money is spent every year in the Christian retail industry than all the budgets for all the Christian churches in all of India and China combined.

12% of Americans spend more than $50 a month on religious products. One third of them made those purchases at a Christian bookstore. The industry has topped $4.5 billion. All of this is according to a Baylor University report.

That’s a lot of money. Lots of money spent on Christian t-shirts and Christian flip-flops and Christian bracelets and Christian bumper stickers and Christian paintings and Christian stuffed animals.

I spend money at Christian bookstores…but not if I can help it. $4.5 billion, or even just the $50 per month would feed a lot of hungry people.

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7 thoughts on “Christian “Stuff”

  1. Pastor Brandon-

    Today I was at a Christian bookstore. Guess what they had on the clearance table?

    A Christian tire pressure gauge! Guess that’s for travelling mercies!

    Blessings!

  2. Pastor Tony,

    You’re right. There is some crazy stuff out there.

    My favorite are the flip-flop sandals that have the Bible verse on the bottom from Isaiah: “How beautiful on the mountains (or maybe the beach?) are the feet of those who bring good news…”

  3. You are so right – Christianity has been way too commercialized. I imagine if Jesus were to come back today, He might be overturning some tables again! Haha thanks for the thought-provoking article!

  4. “just the $50 per month would feed a lot of hungry people.”
    Good point…although I do enjoy feeding my mind with a great selection of books, often we spend it in ‘trinkets’ stamped w/ Jesus. We really need to re-think how we spend money.

  5. I appreciate what you are saying but I’m not sure if I agree with you. I own both a brick and mortar Christian store as well as an online Christian store. Real fact, only 20% of those who clain to be a Christian have ever stepped foot into a Christian store.

    Our purpose is evangelism (it’s a good thing I have another job because I couldn’t survive on what I make at the brick and mortar store). Whether it’s a t-shirt, a sweat shirt, flip-flops or tire guages, it’s about getting the word out. There are many ways to spread the gospel. We see golf balls with scripture verses on them. Could it be used? Ask God.

    If every customer I have would spend $50.00 a month in my store, I would be a millionaire. I am only priceless in the eyes of God.

    Mike

  6. We do have a lot to be repentant about since we WILL be required to give an account of ALL we have been and done in the earth. The question I would raise is this, ‘If we are so into saving the lost and reflecting Christ to the nation that we ‘sell’ the gospel in every conceivable form, then why is it that even in the Church we still have spiritually dying and dead brethren?’

    When exactly do we fall on our faces before God to effect real change in our world?

    How will we account for the high rate abortions, divorce, adultery…sin in our world and IN our churches?

    It’s great to produce merchandise…everyone has to make a livelihood but it is VERY easy to loose sight of the primary issue…saving the lost. As we sell or market our products, do we really lace our every effort with INTERCESSION or focus, i.e. draw attention to ministering to REAL need?

    So… I buy that gorgeously sanctified pressure gauge for my tyre, it may even have a scripture passage lasered on and embossed in gold, but like the Ethiopian, how will I understand unless I am taught…one passage is unlikely to snatch me from certain death.

    Having said that, as a tool into which someone…or a whole company…poured their time, efforts and intercession for my salvation it may become an anointed tool with great potential in the Hand of God…but do we do this or has the priority slowly crept toward the ‘bottom-line’?

    As I’m on the subject…of private jets…sort of… the maintenance cost alone could feed a small village for a year! A few may be God ordained, but the rest?

    Bless!

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