21st Century American consumerism thrives on marketing techniques that appeal to our desire for self-improvement and self-preservation. Our advertizing is fueled by the notion that adding certain products to our lives will increase our sense of fulfillment.
This creeps into our churches, as pastors try to market Christ as a commodity that we can add to our lives as a means of improving our self-image or avoiding hell. Ultimately, we (pastors) have failed in this regard: we have not cultivated a sense of individual inadequacy that is broad enough and deep enough to merit an individual’s forfeit. In other words, the condition of the individual is not revealed to be so wretched that anything other than complete and utter immersion into the life and death of Christ can restore.
So we buy shares of Christianity, and even then, only as many as we feel we can afford without risking the security of the status quo. Consequently, one may have an “ethical” Jesus or a “nostalgic” Jesus or a “recovery” Jesus and never know a “Lord” Jesus who is permanently active in every realm of their lives.