Alright, here’s a little nugget that’s gotten me a bit disgruntled for many years now.
I think it first started with listening to advertisements for Christian schools. The way things were phrased and the suggestions made about the quality of education received and the calibre of staff available.
I didn’t think it was a fair reflection on teaching and learning across all schools. Particularly when you consider the impact of government funding (or lack thereof) in public schools.
It seemed a slight on myself and my colleagues in a public school.
Whatever, I moved on…
But then I heard more advertisements on the radio. Sighted more advertisements in Christian publications… and I started questioning it all.
How do Christians advertise? And advertise well?
I’m an English teacher. I teach persuasive devices. I can’t count the number of advertising techniques I’ve identified and deconstructed in lessons with my students. I understand how it operates (as do many others who are blessed not to be in the classroom!).
I understand how it manipulates.
I don’t recall the quality of being manipulative listed in the fruit of the spirit.
It makes me think of the apostle, Paul’s comment in Corinthians:
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God
Sidenote: the NLT Bible uses the work ‘hucksters’ to describe these peddlers. There’s a word you don’t hear every day.
It appears to be North American English and is defined as a person who sells small items door-to-door or from a stall.
I think this is part of my issue.
As Christians we are not selling some small item. We are sharing the gospel of an Almighty God. There is nothing larger and nothing finer.
Therefore we cannot reduce ourselves to the ways of the world as though we were engaging in some online stall or start-up, regardless of what we are advertising.
Yet, what is the alternative? To not advertise at all?
Have I ever advertised this blog? No. Not yet. At this point in time, I am following what I believe God tells me at this stage but that doesn’t mean I will never advertise it.
That is to deny the physical world and attempt to be more human than God has made us. Are we wiser than God? Of course not. And he remembers that we are dust.
And yet still… I know I will turn on the Christian radio station or read an advertisement and detect the features of manipulation in what is set before me.
At the end of the day, I think it comes down to remembering what we are doing and who we are doing it for.
We are not promoting ourselves. Christians believe in promoting God and his good book. It’s not about getting ourselves out there.
Even if that means we write an unadvertised blog for four years.
Who knows? He might prompt me to start advertising it next week.
Or he may not. In all our endeavours, provided we remain ever prayerful, that is what matters most – regardless of whether we’ve got something to promote or not.
Yours in still typing away,