Monday, March 7, 2011

Commercialized Christianty?

Who practices hospitality entertains God himself. ~Proverb

This was not the post I planned to write today, but then God often has His own plans...and when I am listening, I sometimes get the message. This is a topic more common at Christmas time, perhaps even Resurrection Day (notice I do not use the term "Easter"), but it is not limited any certain time of year.

I have just a few Christian touches in my home and wearable items also: prints of paintings and drawings, a small tapestry, crosses, plaques, figurines, music CD's, DVD's, screen printed T-shirts, jewelry, and so forth. Some of those things were gifts, but still as I look around, I wonder if all that money would have been better spent helping people somehow. Then, I often feel just guilty if I am shopping for a gift somewhere besides a Christian book and gift store, even though those stores are usually more expensive.

I remember when I lived in Florida, some years ago now, that there seemed to be a movement to get Christian women to consider a part of hospitality was to have lovely things in their homes to make people feel more welcome. We even had Christian women invited to our church to speak on how to decorate the home! It seemed to me that they were confusing hospitality with appearances and even commercialism.

I am not against all displays of Christianity; I think there is a balance. I readily admit that when I enter a home, I feel a connection when I see Christian "things" around and if it has nicer things, it seems more inviting, the same time, if the children of that family are watching the Disney Channel, I cringe because of the overbearing secular commercialism of it. Perhaps, at this point of my life, I think I am less likely to appreciate the appearance of hospitality than I am the actual practice of it.

So ladies and gents, here are my questions:

  • What are the purposes of the Christian "things" in your own home?
  • Do you think Christians allow children to be too influenced by commercialization...perhaps adding to the debt problems of which many Christians have struggled even before the economy when bad?
  • Do you feel that you purposely combat secular commercialism with the use of Christian commercialism?

I would really appreciate reading your thoughts either here or, if you have much to say on the subject, place a link in a comment to your blog post. Thank you!

~ My Lord, I know you have been showing a great deal about true hospitality through those who do it so well. May I put what I have learned into better practice. ~


  1. Seeking: I'm not a knick~knacky person so we don't have much of that sort of thing. I am really trying to get rid of all excess this year to the point of a minaminlist [yuk, just can't spell that word this morning; good luck!] look. Our bibles are worn & battered. Ditto our CDs. Dearest & I have never agreed about the place T.V should have in our lives. I think it should go altogether but he doesn't. Of course there is too much commercialism but if one listens to the Spirit one reaches the happy medium for their own home & family ~ & for each that will be slightly different. You have not because you ask not James says ~ & that is true for all sorts of things & conditions, including wisdom in this area.

  2. Seeking, I have a bible in my home.I also have a ceramic angel,that once belonged to my mother. As for the tv,we have always had one. I no longer feel that the tv is the do all end all,that I once did. I believe that we would all be better off without one. as for commercialism there's just too much of it. I don't know if I answered all the questions,but I tryed. Blessings jane

  3. Ganeida: I am thankful that we have given up the TV and were in agreement about it. I think I am the one who used it as a crutch the most, probably more so before the child and when I had back problems as I could do little else some days. I just think that TV in general makes us want more stuff instead of being content with what we have. I am with you in spirit on the minimalist idea, but I can barely part with anything for which I think has a practical use...however, I have been trying to implement this concept: either use it soon or get it out of the way.

    Jane: Apparently, I am more of the Christian "things" collector than I thought I was, although in my area I feel I have less than most in this area.

  4. You know... I never actually gave this any thought, but as I sit here, looking around my home I can't see a single "Christian" thing. Weird huh? I have family photos and paintings and such, I have a few knick-knacks, but those are mostly vintage or antique things that speak to me somehow. Honestly, I think my lack of "Christian" stuff has more to do with what appeals to me visually rather than a strongly held conviction against the stuff. Most of the plaques or statuary or odds and ends just aren't that attractive to me aesthetically... I'd rather have something real, KWIM? That said we do have Bibles and various books about spiritual things. We have our computer, but no tv, although we have recently gotten Netflix (a gift from my mom.) We watch more on Netflix than I think is good for us, still there are no commercials, so that's a plus.

    As I said, we have no tv in the house and haven't for about a decade now. I was pretty ignorant to the unbearable drivel that passes for entertainment until recently. I recently started sitting with an elderly neighbor lady who has Alzheimer's for a few hours a coupla mornings each week. She watches game shows and I have to tell you that I simply cannot bear to watch the things. I honestly feel as though I'm going to jump out of my skin if I have to watch one more silly person making an utter fool out of themselves for an exercise bike, or an assortment of kitchen gadgetry, or an all-expenses-paid-trip to somewhere nobody's ever heard of. I hate to sound harsh, but there it is. I think I'm going to start bringing old movies over .... anything, anything, ENN-EE-THING to avoid watching another episode of The Price is Right.

  5. Diane: I absolutely loathe game shows. Actually there's very little t.v I can actually sit & watch & even then I've generally got to be pretty exhausted before I can do it. My Dearest likes sport ~ which is why we still own the horrible thing. :(

  6. Okay, you ladies put me to absolute shame...not on the TV issue, but on the decor issue. Most in my home have been gifts or items with purpose, like VeggieTales teaching of my daughter.

    I just did not present the subject well in this post, because I was struggling with just how to do that, so maybe I will may another attempt after a bit of prayer on it.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.