The almost too good to be true message of the gospel…

About ten years ago I took the song “Jesus is the answer,” and changed the lyrics. For those of you who do not know the song, the original lyrics were:

Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above him there’s no other Jesus is the way
Jesus is the answer for the world today
Above him there’s no other Jesus is the way

If you really want to hear the music and harmony, I’m sure a quick Google will satisfy your curiosity, but the music was very reminiscent of a 1980s Coke commercial.  The song  sounded more like “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” than a song of praise and admiration to God. Well, being the snide and troublesome person I am, I rewrote the lyrics:

Jesus is not soda, Jesus is not Pop
He’s not Pepsi-cola, he’s not 7-up
Jesus is not root beer, Coke , or RC
Jesus is not Soda, loaded with caffeine

I’ll admit, probably not the most Christ like thing to do, and my apologies to the author of the song, but dang it! A worship song should not sound like a soda commercial! I really felt (and still feel) bugged that the song sounds like a jingle, because a jingle’s job is to sell and advertise a product.  Christianity is not a product and it is not something you “sell.” We’re not a bunch of snake oil salesmen, and we’re not trying to make a profit (OK, some of us aren’t – but that’s a different subject).

I work two jobs in television. Because of confidentiality and professionalism, I won’t mention any names, but I can tell you one of my jobs has a lot of religious programing.  I was sitting in master control not too long ago when I hear an announcer say:

The almost too good to be true message of the gospel

Maybe I’m just cynical, but the way he said this made him sound like he was on late night television trying to be the next Tony Robbins (or at the very least,  Billy Mays’ replacement). Granted, the context the announcer said this in was indeed trying to sell something (a CD of a message), but Come on! Firstly, the gospel is NOT “too good to be true.” It is not even “almost too good to be true.” The Gospel IS truth – but that’s besides the point.  Why do we feel the need to sell the Gospel? Why do we write songs that sound like soda jingles to present the message of Christ? Why do we insist on using late night infomercial sales theory? I realize that things have changed since the first century AD, but I really doubt  Peter and Paul had an advertising budget, and they seemed to do just fine without one!

I’ll stop here, because I feel like I’m going into a rant, but I must say something in closing. Instead of buzz words and jingles, how about we rely on the strength of our message? I’m sure the author of “Jesus is the Answer” and the anouncer on the unamed religious program had all the best intentions, but instead of trying to sell the Gospel like soda, money making schemes, or shamwows,  how about we show what the Gospel does to our lives instead?

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2 Responses to The almost too good to be true message of the gospel…

  1. Avatar Rachel Hommel
    Rachel Hommel says:

    From someone who was raised to be an “ad man” (okay, woman) for the church of my childhood (handing out tracts, “hi-pressure” missions, lessons on how to “witness” to complete strangers, etc..), I could not possibly agree more. I’d rather be an example of God’s Love working in my life than proselytize with that sort of hollow and seemingly insincere kitsch. Ugh.

  2. Hmm! a contrary voice on too good to be true news which is the gospel. But wait, all u based your reason is simply based on informercial jingles not on any sound research of ancient greek history which some preachers i have heard have emphasised.