Sold Out


Well, the glorious fall semester of my senior year has rubber to roaded and I’m glad to be back and crackin. One of the first main things that’s bouncin through my mind – and has been prior – is the idea of a Christian living like one in the advertising world.

A glance at my schedule will reveal 3 guilty classes: public relations, marketing, and advertising. I’m up front: should a Christian even be in those realms? Stop. I know what you gon say. You’re gonna throw out the 1cor10.31s, the col3.23s, the 1cor9s. Look, I’ve thought about these things. But we gotta stop actin like as long as you do something with all your heart the Lord is pleased. What was Paul’s take? He adjusted to bring folk to Christ, but he was also the same dude that said everything is permissible but not beneficial. I still don’t think someone can rationalize ‘working as unto the Lord’ by raping schoolchildren, dedicating life to pushin crack, or throwin out a few f-bombs in a sermon to emphasize how real they are for the Lord. Allow me to upset you even more by suggesting anything that is sin is not working as unto the Lord. Even when sin is not what we think it is. Only in this generation would that seem foreign. My goodness we’re in a stinkin twilight zone.

So here I sit in 3 different classes under three different Christian professors questioning the very foundations of these disciplines. Do I believe Christians need to be in the ruggedest sections of marketplace thought? All day bebe. All I’m puttin out is bein in and not of is one of the hardest pursuits in the Christian life, and if you want to go to the big leagues please come to America. I’m readin through my textbooks and am already perturbed at the whole idea of selling something that I don’t even believe in, under the guise that I’m…

Adding value to someone’s life. I hate that phrase. It’s been so misconstrued. I hear all these Christians throwin out ‘we need to work redemptively in culture by adding value to all our spheres of interaction.’ I’m not so upset at the syntax as I am the origin. That’s not rooted in the Bible, it’s just a pop-progressive phrase that sounds less offensive and cold than commands in Scripture.

The front page of my syllabus says marketing is about adding quality, service, and value. What does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means, because – from a Christian perspective – it’s no better than a load of trash. You mean to tell me all these utilities that I’m branding in people’s mind is adding quality and value to their lives? On whose definition of quality and value? And therein lies the race. This storming race by such a dwindling remnant that – yes – has a problem with replacing the bedrock doctrines of faith with modern so-called relevancy. I’ll tell you what quality of life is: knowing Jesus Christ. And don’t think it’s that easy. You have no clue what ‘knowing’ means; you have no clue what ‘Jesus’ means; and, you have no clue what ‘Christ’ means. And we’ll go deeper: I’ll bet your (and my) understanding of what ‘knowing’ means and Who the real Jesus is is so overwhelmingly based on extra-biblical wisdom that if you could know the contrast you’d vomit. And so would I.

I’m sorry, but this is really getting down to what we really believe. If you only believe that Christ and His call is a section, a department, or even an umbrella – and not life itself, then this stuff shouldn’t bother you one bit. But if I’m supposed to conform in every – I’ll say ‘fiber’ since the Brian McLaren camp may be dropping by – to the image of Christ, and this conflicts, I gotta go the route less taken.

Now, all that said – if it is indeed true that these frameworks of advertising and marketing are biblically feasible, then heck yeh we need Christians all up in em. That’s a big reason ya guy’s in media in the first place. That’s where the race is. But I want a satisfying explanation. One, is this idea of invoking felt need in people (when in reality all they need is to forsake their wickedness and turn to a jealous God who has only quelled His wrath on His Son) Biblically acceptable? Second, if it is, how in the heck does a Christian live Christianly? In reference to the second question, I’m not saying be a Christian in name, doctrine, and creed, but then being lazy and just looking like everyone else around you. I’m saying sweatn and crammin questionin demandin to look like Jesus though you may be the only one.

These are difficult objections and I truly hope my teachers offer more than just colloquial homilies that come from academia and not from personal struggle with their walks with the Lord. I’m sure they have, but at this point, I’m confused as a mug. We’ll just have to see how this one plays out. Aight na.

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