Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is it just me, or does this make you want to vomit?

Angela recently wrote a post about an obnoxious commercial encouraging men to buy personalized teddy bears for their wives or girlfriends (wink, wink!) from the fine folks at the Vermont teddy bear company. This post is sort of in the same vein. I want to say for the record that this post has been in my draft file for about a week, so I'm not riding her coattails or anything. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. I often get inspiration for posts from other bloggers.) I just wanted to point out that she and I must be on the same wave length. Which is super duper cool for me, but probably a bit unsettling for her. (For the record, that commercial also makes me wants to make me throw up.)

Actually, in comparison to this next little gem, it only rises to the level of a vurp. (To those of you new to my blog, that means vomit + burp -- you're welcome.) Without further adieu, I give you The Prayer Cross:

There are so many things in this commercial that anger me that I will have to dissect and analyze it a bit at a time:

"Watch as people gaze in amazement as the experience the magic of the prayer cross for the first time." Errr, magic? Didn't I read somewhere in the bible that magic is a bad thing?

"Creating not only a magnificent piece of jewelry, but a one of a kind spiritual accessory." You mean like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? That kind of spiritual accessory? Oh, wait, that's the Fruits of the Spirit. Everyone knows that it's really tacky when you wear fruit as an accessory. Nothing at all like this necklace.
"When held up to the light, the entire Lord's Prayer becomes instantly and almost miraculously visible." Well, at least they said "almost miraculously". Don't want to be stretching the truth or anything.

"Each prayer cross comes with a certificate of authenticity." Which is reassuring. Because you'd probably go straight to H-E double hockey sticks if you get one of those fake prayer crosses.

"The prayer cross is the perfect way to say Happy Easter or Merry Christmas." Hmmm...I kind of think the best way to say Merry Christmas is to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world (the One who left His perfect home in paradise where He sat at the right hand of the Father to die an excrutiating death on the cross for the atonement of our sins) and to give comfort, encouragement and hope to the marginalized in society. You know, like Jesus did. And while the prayer cross is undoubtedly "blingtastic", If I chose to wear a cross, it would be something simple. Not necessarily made of wood and stained with blood, sweat and tears, but a more humble representation of the ultimate price that was paid at Calvary.

"...and is sure to bring joy and comfort to all who wear it." I don't know about you, but wearing a shiny cross made out of genuine Austrian crystals and sterling silver does not bring me joy or comfort. The very idea that a person might believe they can purchase a trinket and it will somehow fill that giant, God-shaped hole their heart is both infuriating and heartbreaking. (Not to mention blasphemous.)

This is just one more thing that feeds into the heretical teachings of the prosperity gospel, leading people to believe that God is for the express purpose of blessing them (instead of the other way around); that your financial status is directly linked to your own personal holiness; that if you are poor or sick or you have lost a loved one and your heart is breaking, it is because you are of little faith. And speaking of well known biblical passages, how do these health and wealth preachers explain the beatitudes? Would someone PLEASE explain to me how you get around that particular passage of scripture?

I know that there are a few pastors who read my blog. (Don't worry, I won't turn you in the secret society of holiness.) I am sincerely asking why, with the notable exception of John Piper, more highly visible Christian leaders aren't speaking out against this blasphemy? I am totally off base with this? Please give me your honest opinion, anonymously or otherwise. Because as far as I'm concerned, the Christian community as a whole should be involved in the spiritual equivalent of roaming the streets in an angry mob with torches and pitchforks to expose these people for who they really are. (In Christian love, of course. Always in love.)

When I picture the Perfect Gift, during communion or simply during quiet time, my concept of beauty looks more like this:
(End of rant. I'm going to go cry now...)
Update: Joanna reminded me that there are other high profile pastors speaking out against this stuff. So, thanks for that. Piper just seems more appropriately pissed off about it.


Joanna said...

It really does suck. To make it even worse, it is most often the needy and the desperate in the christian community that fall for it in a big way and end up giving/buying more of this stuff than they can afford. You know.. the kind of people we should be helping not asking for money from? Time magazine did an interesting story a while back on one of the ways it can cause problems,8599,1847053,00.html#?iid=perma_share

There are some people speaking out against it. I think i've heard Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren denounce prosperity gospel. There's not enough people doing it though.

I'm working on a blog post dealing with refuting some of the bad interpretation and quoting out of context that is used to support such doctrines. Hopefully i'll get that posted soon.

sherri said...

I'll have you know that I have one in gold, and silver, and I felt "Complete" the moment I put one around my neck!

Awhile back when I was sick, you remember.... my healing came the instant I put the necklace on!

When I hit the fire hydrant awhile back (while applying my makeup while driving) and I wasn't hurt....I was wearing the necklace!

When I can't think of a blog post to write that is inspiring...I wear the necklace and inspirational words just start flowing from my fingertips!
*NOTE: It does NOT work on typos though :(

So don't knock it till you try it katdish.

*I'm offering them FOR FREE (that's how much I believe in their majical powers)to anyone making a donation of $1000 or more to my blogsite: http://matteroffactsite.blogspotcom

VURP! (Excuse me)

sherri said...

P.S. I take checks and money orders, but prefer CASH in large sums.

I will also accept car titles,home deeds and large shipments of velveeta chesse, IN ADDITION to the $1000 cash.

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Oh goody! Sherri already crossed the line of taste by making a funny comment on a serious post. So now I can.

When I watched this, some small part of me was all, "Ooooh, shiny. What a cool gimmick! I must call the number on my screen!"

I know. I'm a marketer's dream.

RE: your rant:
I totally agree with you. And I think Joanna's right - usually the people who don't have extra money for such a frivolous purchase are the ones who buy that stuff.

Also, because I like to suck up to Sherri after she prophesied over me, I'll put on my editrix hat and point out:

"also makes me wants to make me throw up" Wha?

It's "without further ado" ;)

Now it's time for me to bid you adieu.

WV: ovensup
What you say after a tornado hits your house.
"Well, the cows are in the next county, and the ovensup in that thar tree."

Marni said...

I can't remember if it's Rob Bell, Erwin McManus or Donald Miller, but one of them,said "The Lord's Prayer has made more liars than any other spoken words in the history of man". Whoever said it was talking about how just about NONE of us can forgive as we've been forgiven. For that reason, it truly bugs me when people flippantly use that prayer. Why "pray" it if you don't believe it? It's just mindlessly repeated simply because it's so well known.

And then to add it to a Mr T necklace, sell it, and blaspheme in the ways you described..well, then I'm pissed too. Where do I pick up my pitchfork and torch for my part of the angry mob?

Thank you for the reminder of what we should consider beautiful and what we should consider a gift.

Jeff said...

Well, I guess this means I should can my idea for the "Sermon on the Mount car prism." You hang it from your rear-view mirror, and when the light hits it, the beatitudes appear all over your car.

Along with kind of a disco ball effect.

WV: prospie- A tasty round treat for prosperity gospel preachers.
"Mmmm, that dinner was fantastic! Can't wait to try the prospie! Oh, and thank you Lord that this will be the most abundant, tasty, and attractive prospie ever eaten.

And thank you in advance for the amazing parking space I'm going to get at the mall later today.

katdish said...

Joanna - thanks for the link. I actually read this article when researching a couple of previous posts. (Yes, I do research when I write a serious post. Close your gaping jaws, Steph and Sherri - You're drooling.) Here's the links if you're interested:

The Prosperity Gospel: cue the scripture referenced justification hate mail
Prosperity Gospel: Let the ranting continue

Sherri - Why does it not surprise me that someone who suffered an excessively bleeding head wound because they fell off their 3 inch heels and into a metal utility meter would own a magic cross?

Steph - Since when have you needed someone to open the door for you to cross the threshhold of good taste?

Marni - Do you see the crap I have to put up with?

BTW - Joanna is new to comment here. She's from "The Great Down Under" (that's what she said), so everyone say "G-day Mate!" with your worst Paul Hogan impersonation! (Those Aussies LOVE that!)

sherri said...

Jeff, maybe you and I can market our products together!

But take ONLY DONATIONS (of $1000 or more), never come right out and ask for it up front like we're selling the items. That just wouldn't be right.

sherri said...

And, in all seriousness, I'm only laughing to keep from crying. This stuff burns me up, but they will ways more costly than they bargained for.

There's no way to come out ahead selling the gospel.


katdish said...

The little blue guy made from a guitar string, two spitballs and a broken pick would be my pastor, the Esteemed Reverend Hogan, who I assumed would enlighten us with some deep theological pearls of wisdom. But you know what they say about what happens when you assume anything:

ASS = U + ME

So I'l just repeat my earlier comment: Do you the crap I put up with?

Actually, Jeff probably puts up with a tad more crap from me. (If you can imagine...)

Carol @SheLives said...

Preach it, Sistah! I like the whole, "...spiritual accessory."


You know, there's going to be more and more of this as we get closer and closer...

Annie K said...

What's the number to order mine? I lost the paper that i wrote it on. Sherri, I'm hoping you can hook a sistah up?

wv: liturn

This liturn prayer cross of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
this liturn prayer cross of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine...

Anonymous said...

Had to take a couple of antacids after that one. Sign me up for an extra large pitchfork, because I'm afraid of fire and can't carry a torch.

You guys know that Carol is right. Don't you? It's going to get a lot worse before that trump sounds.

wv: carype = Have and old junker car? Make everyone think that prosperity has parked on your doorstep with the new Ronco Carype! Make that old car look new! And it's yours free for a small donation of $500.

Stacy from Louisville said...

Know how I ususally have stupid contests and give away tacky crap? This would have made the giveaway pile.

That's not a compliment. Just to clarify.

And what's up with the little girl looking into it? She's not old enough to read...

JML said...

"Because you'd probably go straight to H-E double hockey sticks if you get one of those fake prayer crosses."

So true. Christian marketing makes me mad because this is a means to "fleece" the church and get some cash out of some well-meaning, probably dumber than they need to be sheep.

This is what happens when you filter Christianity through the "American Dream"

Wonderful post--can we get together and picket this someday? Totally joking.