Thursday, November 11, 2010

Commercial for Christianity

You may have seen the latest ad campaign by the Mormon Church. The commercials are all similar in style. They each tell the story of one of their members and conclude with a phrase like the one I saw last week, "I'm so-and-so. I'm a blonde. I'm a Texan. And, I'm a Mormon."

(Let me just say right off the bat that the following statements are not intended to be a 'Mormon vs. Evangelical Christian' reflection. These observations could likely have just as easily been made of another religion, and I am only contemplating how we ought to live as Christians comparatively.)

The purpose of the commercials, as I have interpreted them, is to show just how "normal" the Mormon is, how his or her life is so similar to that of the rest of us...that the individuals are "just like you". It isn't until the end of the commercial that you learn that these people (who could be your neighbor!) are actually of the Mormon faith.

As I see these commercials and listen to the stories told, I can't help but imagine what a commercial for a Christian would look like. Comparatively, if the Evangelical Christian community made a 30-second national commercial, I would think that instead of showing how we as Christians are "just like you", the purpose would be to show how we stand out. We should look different than those around us. If we look the same as our non-Christian neighbor, if our action/speech/motivation is so comparable with others...there's something wrong with how we're living our lives as followers of Christ.

Secondly, in the list of the individual's defining qualities at the end of the commercials, their defining themselves as a member of the Mormon Church falls at the very end of their stated characteristics. I would hope that in a commercial for Christianity, if there were such a thing, the first defining characteristic would be that the person was a Christian. Before defining an individual as a mom/wife/sister, or a teacher/nurse/chef, the first and most important description of one's self should be that they are a Child of God.

Forget needing a national commercial to show the world who we are. The world is watching us, anyway.

"Do I stand out from those around me?"
"How do I define myself?"
"Is being a Christian the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about what and who I am?"

Some things to think about.

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