I just can’t take it anymore and I’ve got to get this out! My stomach turns at much of what I see in Christian bookstores. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m embarrassed to walk in with my kids because of what they have to see to get to some simple, solid content. For instance…
Do we really need a “Princess Bible”? I mean, it’s sweet and all, but we already fight a “Barbie” saturated culture for little girls thinking that romance is just a “kiss” away. Look, I have not boycotted Barbie altogether at all. We have some dolls and a few movies. But I don’t need the marketing or the appearance that scripture is a fairy tale, or that my sweet daughters are already little princesses, good and all waiting for Jesus their “prince” to come along. While there is some corollary with a “princess” and being a “child” and certainly Jesus is the “prince of peace.” But is that really what’s promoted here? No, it’s just another sorry marketing ploy to get people to buy a religious product for their kids.
We live in a weird culture when it comes to kids. I know I’ll brush with probably too broad of a stroke here, but bear with me. We seem to live in a time of gross extremes and they can be seen within the church today.
On one side you have the set that seems to hate children by just not having any. We are seeing the lowest birth rates in this country EVER. Europe has been going this way for decades. Just do some research on the French birthrate compared to the birthrate of the Muslims who reside in that country. Where do you think that country will go when the Muslim birthrate is 5x that of national French? Well, it’s not a matter of ethnicity, but it is a matter of a biblical worldview and we are very simply commanded to “be fruitful and multiply”. Again, there are lots of factors here, but I’m speaking mostly of folks who have the ability and means to have more. Basically, your regular middle / upper-middle class folks just have one, maybe two kids, because that’s what fits their hope for their financial and personal freedom.
On the other side, you have those who deify their kids. Whether one or fifteen, there are some who just treat their individual children, or their children as a collective, as the end of all things. They give them “the world” if you will. But that’s the very reason we are to instill a Christian worldview in our homes. I battle the “world” in my home everyday (at least on the days I don’t roll over and give in). That’s my problem with stuff like the “Princess Bible”.
Do I really need to boost the self-esteem of my daughters by giving them a Bible that makes them feel like a princess? No! I want my daughters to know their prince in hard places like mission fields and the neighborhood having hard conversations with lost friends. What would a little girl in Ethiopia think of the Christianity of my little girls if they’re toting around a “Princess Bible”? Don’t tell me that it’s a different culture. Of course it is, but is our Christianity to be so culturally entrenched that we have to change our Bible covers to communicate the gospel that can only come from that word?
What kind of gospel is perceived from our witnessing ties; our t-shirts; our jewelry? I’m not saying these are all bad (although ties of any kind, well…), but they’re not necessary as a means of sharing the gospel, and too often replace intentional evangelism in life, deed and word.
Music? Well, if I see one more CD in a Christian bookstore of a secular artist who has never given any indication of knowing Christ I don’t know what I’ll do. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t listen to only Christian music, although I am strict on the content and language with all of my music. Madonna and Prince (from my generation) both prayed before concerts and “thank God” on their CD jackets. Yet they go on to espouse the things that Christ died for. So, what’s the difference if you get a Country / Western artist who sings some Christmas carols, sells some CD’s at the Christian store, but the rest of their records speak of sinful relationships, a sorry and unbiblical view of marriage, and looking for a “heaven on earth” with no mention of Christ?
I’m just saying be consistent! If the bookstores are to be Christian (which is distinguished by the gospel), then be a Christian bookstore. Stop selling the junk that makes our children feel that Christ’s return on that white horse will be something out of a Barbie cartoon rather than a warrior who will gather His redeemed and exact a righteous judgment. Stop telling people that you are being evangelistic if you wear this tie or this t-shirt. Being culturally relevant is NOT ripping off the marketing of secular products and sneaking in a Christian message. Tell the world that the gospel is for TODAY. That’s cultural relevancy…that the message of Scripture is still for today!
Okay, I’ve said too much.