Vanity, Vanity, Ain’t It All Just Vanity?

Well, I started my new job working from home yesterday.

I took a temporary job converting engineering drawings that were drawn in one type of computer software into another type of software. Although the salary will be less and it’s not a long-term job, I’ll have less expenses going to and from work and, of course, it’s a job….which came just in time.

One of the things I’ve been able to do yesterday and today while working from home was listen to my radio while working on my computer. I’ve never been able to do that in the engineering offices in which I’ve been working in the past.

The radio station I’ve been listening to is the most popular Christian station here in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex. Anyone from this area would immediately know which station I’m referring to because it’s popularity dwarfs the other Christian stations.

A while back, I noticed my wife had quit listening to this Christian station and had returned, at least occasionally, listening to a local popular country station. I kind of got on to her about it, and she told me she was sick of the ads on the aforementioned Christian station and that the stuff being advertised on the country stations weren’t anywhere near as offensive as the popular Christian station. 

Well, after a couple of days of listening again to this Christian station, I see what she was complaining about……and it ought to turn the stomach of every Christian in the DFW area.

First of all, in nearly every commercial set there is some kind of laser hair removal advertised. Much of the advertisements focusing on women and their bikini line. Next, on and on again are commercials for various kinds of weight loss. The amount of these commercials are unbelievable. Pills, hypnotism (yes, that’s right, hypnotism being advertised on a “Christian” station), weight loss centers and the like. Then there’s the bariatric surgery centers. Ad after ad for these various doctors offering these types of surgeries.

As I’ve stated here earlier on previous posts, I’m a firm believer of taking care of your body. Eating right and getting enough exercise. Caring for the temple of the Holy Spirit that God created us with. But as I listened to the ads on this Christian station, I couldn’t help but believe that it was more than that.

The final commercial I listened to this evening was being done by one of the morning DJ’s advertising a hair removal center. He stated that he had spent the last couple of weeks during the holidays visiting with friends and family and how when you’re doing a lot of visiting, you want to look your best. You want people to see you at your best. This could, of course, be accomplished by removing all of that unsightly hair.

I can’t help but wonder what’s at the root of this? Have we American Christians finally become so saturated with Your Best Life Now and The Me I Want To Be books and sermons that even listening to our worship music has to be flavored with this kind of idolatry?

Would persecuted Christians in Indonesia, Pakistan, Chad, or China care about whether or not their bikini line was properly coiffed as they were being beaten for their faith? What about Egyptian and Somali Christians who can’t even buy food because they’re kept from trading in the marketplaces? Do they worry about the need for a weight-loss center?

I guess I’m amazed at my fellow American Christians at times. We look at things as being “needs” yet our perception of “needs” don’t seem to line up with the needs of other Christians anywhere else in the world. I can’t help but wonder if we Christians in America haven’t made ourselves one big golden calf out of our Christian radio and television stations and we’re dancing around it calling it “Yahweh” while all along we’re falling headlong into idolatry.

It’s easier to discern right and wrong when watching secular television and listening to secular radio that it is doing the same with so-called Christian media. I have such a hard time any more consuming any type of Christian media. Most of it turns my stomach.

Looks like I’ll be dusting off some of my worship CD’s over the coming days.

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