A Defense of Church Consumerism

All Things are Yours

banksy-consumer-society “Church Consumerism” is a term roughly defined as “shopping for a church family similar to how consumers shop for things in the open market.”

About a week ago I posted a blog post about how there is a lot of rhetoric that keeps people in bad churches, and keeps them from feeling freedom to look for a new one.  After I posted that post, someone on FB replied simply that he “didn’t like the defense of church consumerism” in the post.   That really got me thinking – I really don’t believe that I *had* defended church consumerism in that post, at least not directly.   But now that the idea was mentioned, I just couldn’t resist.   Ergo, I shall now begin this post as an all-out “Defense of Church Consumerism.”   Why?  Because the meme that “church consumerism is an awful, nonspiritual, wrong, detrimental thing which has no place in…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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2 Responses to A Defense of Church Consumerism

  1. Esther says:

    Thanks for re-posting this. I recall sociologist Rodney Stark saying that religion as a whole tends to thrive in highly competitive “markets,” in which each church/sect/etc. must strive to provide the most value to potential “customers.” In contrast, monopoly churches, like monopoly businesses, tend to grow lazy and their members/customers become apathetic. (The example he gave was of the state churches in Europe.)


  2. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Good point.


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