Posted by: molly | July 28, 2011

Credit Card Christianity

I hate radio commercials.  I think they must be at least 950 times worse than TV commercials.  And yet, yesterday I found myself listening to my local “family friendly” station, enduring 14 commercials for ever song (note to self–charge my iPod).  Yesterday as I drove to and from work I was bombarded with not only regular commercials, but a telethon style push for me to help poor, needy children in Mozambique for a gift of only $68.  Only $68.  That was all to help these people for a whole year.  $68.  I think they must have said $68 dollar every 45 seconds during their appeal since $68 isn’t that much after all, is it?

There were two people begging me for my money yesterday:  a random guy who was from the ministry that helps these children in Africa and one of my least favorite radio personalities (I have several but she ranks pretty high on the dis-like scale).  The guys from the ministry was normal.  He appealed to the bleeding hearts with stories about rescuing children from horrible situations and armed these bleeders with statistical information so they could explain their charity to their more stoic spouses.  It was your basic appeal for money–nothing that I haven’t heard before.  It was the radio host who blew my mind.

I know that popular Christian radio appeals to a crowd of religious people who find keeping their kids from learning swear words the most important thing when searching for a radio station.  Yesterday I was more tempted to switch the station after hearing what this woman had to say than if she had lifted a scene out of District 9.

“Just a one time gift.  You give it and that is it–you never have to  think about it again.  But if you do think about it, you can puff out your chest a little knowing that you have done your part in taking care of God’s orphans.”

She nailed it.  Her audience heard exactly what they wanted to hear.  They could make God happy with them by whipping out their credit card and paying God off by giving money to the poor starving children in Africa.  An added bonus–since they had done something for God they were even justified in a little bit of self-righteous pride.

“Just think about it–you could spend that money on a blouse or going out to dinner at a nice restaurant.  Now, not that you shouldn’t get a blouse or go out to dinner, but maybe you could spend that much money on God’s orphans as well.”

With this she hit it out of the park.  You can now add to your list of “things you have done for God” a little bit of self-flagellation, since you are so self-less that you denied yourself a new blouse for this one time, forget it for the rest of your life gift.  Not only that, you are totally justified in buying that $68 blouse too.

When Jesus was on earth he met a rich young ruler.  This man wanted to make God happy.  He kept the law (or so he thought) and wanted the next step to achieving more spirituality.  He would have happily whipped out his 1st century “Jerusalem Express” and given Jesus some money for his ministry.  He would have been willing to give up buying an extra tunic to be assured he was doing enough to keep his ticket to heaven.  What did Jesus tell him?  “Just give me $68 and then you can forget about it.  You will be good for the rest of your life.”  No.  Jesus told him to give everything.  Jesus wasn’t worth everything to the rich young ruler and he walked away.

Jesus gave us a different example too–himself.  Jesus didn’t just give us money.  He gave himself for our sins.  Christianity is a life of sacrifice.  We are not just to give a little to salve our weak consciences.  We are to give everything, just like the one we claim to follow or else we are just like the rich young ruler and might as well just walk away.





  1. […] More from Icerocket blogs: Credit Card Christianity […]

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