If you get a chance to grab the USA weekend edition dated July 15th, there's a "great" story on page 11A (it's a short read) about the Christian Retail Show going on this week in Denver. I admit, I was bothered on several accounts.
First thing that catches your attention is the picture that's used in the story. It's a display from the convention entitled "Scripture Candy: Reaching The World One Piece At A Time." I read this while eating lunch, and I almost saw my lunch again. This is about as embarassing as it gets, right up there with the whole Tammy Faye thing (fill in the blank with whatever part of the whole fiasco that is TF that suits your fancy), along with the Prayer of Jabez paperweights and boxers. Come on, do we really think candy will lead people to God? I guess the same people believe that who think non-Christians watch or listen to Christian media.
The remainder of the article highlights much of the "Jesus Junk" that is available at your local Christian bookstore. I am well aware that this stuff exists, since I visit these type of stores on occassion. But I also know that non-Christians DON'T usually visit these stores. It was my hope that we could all avoid some level of embarrassment if the average person didn't know about the wide array of Jesus Junk that is available. Now, millions who might pause and laugh at the Scripture Candy picture in their USA TODAY and who happen to read about some of the ludicrous products being hawked in the Christian subculture, well, they'll probably just laugh like they often do at the Christian community. I guess when you're in an industry that just grew to $4.34 billion in 2004, you don't care a lot about what others might think. Or the fact that we might just be able to take a couple of steps forward if it weren't for the giant leaps backward we inevitably manage to do.
Anybody got a Testa-mint? My breath is awful...