Another great topic, @SeanO!
We obviously live in a world of hype. We see advertisements all the time making fantastic claims. We hear all the time claims that if you purchase our product you will look younger, be the envy of all your friends, be successful; and the list goes on and on. You also hear the message, “Hey, I’m worth it. I deserve it.” The marketers seem to be saying that if you don’t buy our product, it would be an infringement on your right to be happy.
Trying to share the gospel in a society that is inundated with these messages can be very challenging in deed. I think we have to be very careful with how we present the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. I think Christians can get caught up with the marketing philosophies we see today. What comes to my mind is the so called “prosperity gospel” that was typified by the tele-evangelists. I remember one such evangelist saying that if you would send in $10 to the ministry, God would bless you tenfold.
So, as a Christian, I believe that we should “test the spirits” when it comes to sales pitches. I remember taking the Core Module a few years ago, and one of the instructors was teaching about recognizing logical fallacies. He challenged us to watch commercials and try to pick out the logical fallacies that are used. I found that very enlightening. I believe there is some truth in advertising, but I think it is greatly exaggerated. For example, I’ve used a certain shoe insert. They do reduce foot pain, however it doesn’t feel like I’m walking on pillows. Obviously, advertisers use a lot of hyperbole.
I believe that as a society that is drowning in sales pitches, we have become a bit jaded when we hear truth claims. We want to see instantaneous results. We want to see definitive proof of the truth claim before we buy into it.
I believe that as Christians, our presentation of the gospel, our sales pitch, should be manifold in delivery. Verbally, we can present the gospel on different levels such as, historical, philosophical and existential. Visually, by putting belief into action. We must live our lives that reflect what we verbalize. I think of commercials of SUVs. They have a still shot of the vehicle while the narrator tells you what a good deal it is and how nice it looks, and then they show action footage of the vehicle driving through creeks and over rocks as the narrator tells us how rugged and tough it is. We must be the same way.