In response to this take on car sponsorships at churches, cup holders for your Starbucks in the sanctuary, and a wristband to keep you from spouting at the mouth, I say:
1) I’m surprised car companies haven’t cashed in on the religious market sooner. It’s so easy to pigeon-hole a religious community or denomination; so why not use it to inspire a marketing campaign? In fact, why doesn’t a car company spearhead a new series of cars aimed at the Christian community?
Each car would be equipped with horns that play your choice of three tunes: “Amazing Grace”, “Shout to the Lord”, or “Onward Christian Soldiers”.
Stitched on the air bags would be the phrase “There but for the grace of God go I”.
The cars would each be named for saints (hit up those parishes! the Catholic crowd will come running), the reformers, or the twelve disciples. “Peter” will be a big hit with both Catholics and Protestants because it will be the “head” of the disciple fleet and be able to drive through water at high levels, nearly amphibious!
Chrome hood ornaments would come in a vast array of figures: a dove, a spinning cross (full crucifix comes at an extra cost), a flying angel, thirty pieces of silver (for the Judasmobile), and for the militant Christian they will offer a special edition NRA-endorsed chrome rifle.
And why get a stock model when you can pimp your ride just like the rest? If you love Jesus, you should show it off, right? So forget the “My boss is a Jewish Carpenter” bumper stickers and the icthus fish stick-ons. Go whole-hog with the “Holy Bling!” package. This package includes your choice of body kits themed for the armor of God. We’ll give you 20″ rims with spinners that read off your favorite verse reference when your ride is moving. Let the world know where your treasure is when you roll by with “John 3:16” on your wheels. And if that wasn’t enough, we can add hydraulics to boost your car above the crowd. The last may be first, but a car on hydraulics will bring you closer to God.
2) If your church advocates caffeine addiction, so be it. But who’s at the door checking to make sure people are bringing coffee into the sanctuary instead of Jack Daniels? Do you serve communion in 16-oz insulated cups emblazoned with your church logo too? Or will your cup holders come with an expandable “blood of Christ” attachment?
3) All joking aside–and, in light of this idea, all sarcasm aside as well– I think this is a fabulous exercise, and I wonder if I should give it a go. As you can see from the above paragraphs, I like sarcasm when using it to point out the flaws in an idea, the rediculous nature of a situation, and things like that. But I’ve also found myself using it as an under-cutting way of sneaking in an insult or complaint during conversation. It’s rather insidious.
I’ve heard it said that women talk much more and much faster than men, and we use our tongues as our weapons against them and against each other. I know how much words can hurt–even kill. So why do I find myself using a quick tongue to tear anything or anybody down? Even if I do it in jest, I can have no excuse.
So perhaps I need to find my way to 21 days of no complaining, no sarcasm, and no gossiping. Do check out that article to get more information on the church that did this experiment.