In Matthew 21:13 we read:” And He declared to them, ‘It is written: My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it a den of robbers’.”
In John 2:16 “To those selling doves He said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Is there a fine line that we cross when we perceive believers in Christ as potential marketing subjects?
This is the world’s way of thinking and Christian business people are constantly bombarded by the world to “target their marketing efforts to their niche”, i.e. Christians. After all, “we (Christian business people) need to make a living too!” ‘It’s complicated’, isn’t it?! It can easily lead to mixed motives.
One thing is sure, the events where Jesus cast out merchants from the (outer courts of the) temple occurred within the temple precinct. That was the crucial factor. It revealed a lack of acknowledgement of what the divine purpose of the temple was: a place of prayer and worship! Not a place to accommodate people’s needs for various commercial transactions before entering the temple. Worse still: in the process, making a hefty profit! (This was shared by the (then corrupt) priesthood. Read more about what happened to the temple tax monies in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleansing_of_the_Temple…)
An ethical issue remains; the issue of “dying to self”, “taking up the cross and following Christ”; the most selfless person that ever lived! Even if we make a distinction where to conduct our marketing endeavours and exclude the church premises and congregations, limiting them to “the world out there”, where Christians are likely to be found.
So, we promote our product, not ourselves (obviously), right? When we say that we are trying to sell our products, we declare that it is in order to “serve” people. Mixed motives, again?
And that’s where I hit a brick wall in my feeble marketing attempts…and find that I am in danger of falling prey… to mixed motives!
What are your thoughts? How, as a Christian business person do you approach the whole issue of business promotion (which is marketing) of your products (of interest to a Christian clientele)?
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