29 October 2014

Something for Nothing

by The Late Frank Turk

I wasn't going to post anything today because I have had a full week, but a few things have happened this morning which have caused me to reconsider, and I think they are worth the 15 minutes it will take to write this, and the 3 minutes it will take you to read this.

When I owned the Bookstore, with nothing but true love and affection for those people who did shop there, the singular lesson I learned about "Christian" retail and publishing is that it is what it is because that's how people are willing to spend their money.  People who wants something different from a Christian bookstore than what you can find at any ol' Christian bookstore aren't willing to spend their money on the stuff they say they wish was in there, and the people who are willing to spend their money on what they wish was in there don't want what's actually good for them: they want what they want to make them feel good about who and what they are.

That's why Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers are such big hits, and why they make tens of millions of dollars every year.  They are delivering the goods.

That's also why this is a hobby for me and not a way to make a living: nobody is going to pay for this stuff.  When we sound the horn that the problem is not gay activism but that the church abandoned marriage a long time ago (here and here), we didn't get even a HT from people who are now actually saying it publicly.

What I am not asking you to do, BTW, is to pay me or Dan for anything.  Our collective problem is that we simply cannot shut up, so paying us to do what we're going to do until they come for us to take us away seems like asking you to do something for nothing.  But I want you to think about this carefully, and ask others to do so also: even if you are not spending your money on TBN merchandise and the next Osteen book, what are you spending your money on, and why?  And if you can't explain it, then I think you're probably not as upset about the state of the local church as you might say that you are.


Michael Coughlin said...

Those who need to read this, won't.

FTR - I spend my money on coffee and coffee accessories. At least part of the time, that is.

Sharon said...

This just confirms the "you vote with your wallet" adage. Almost all of my charitable giving goes to my local church where there is accountability, and I know it will be spent wisely under the direction of godly Elders.

I rarely venture inside a "Christian" bookstore anymore because of the very reasons you cite. It sickens me to see what sells. I feel like I'm watching the money changers in the Temple. Without that table overthrow thing.

Anonymous said...

"They are delivering the goods. "

For all our complaints about Hollywood, the same holds true.

Andy Chance said...

I really appreciate Pyromaniacs, even without Phil Johnson.

But it's time to give up the "we didn't even get a HT"-type of remarks. This is not the first time that you have made this type of comment. You sound like a whiny, junior high girl. It even sounds, dare I say it, GCish.

You may have pure motives; you may not intend for it to sound that way. But it does.

As an appreciative internet friend and brother in Christ, please stop seeking recognition for yourselves. It's unChristian and unmanly.

Morris Brooks said...

Ah, II Timothy 4:3-4 in action, in real life. The principle behind these verses is brought to bear in the reality that Frank experienced in the bookstore. People don't want sound doctrine, whether from the pulpit, from the books they read, or even from the people they associate with. Why? Because sound doctrine makes you feel bad before it makes you feel good. People want to feel good about their bad self, not bad about their "good" self.

And, since you mentioned it. The church lost the marriage battle when it started turning a blind eye to divorce in its midst accepting divorce as normal, and not confronting those who were pursuing divorces for unbiblical reasons.

The church lost the war against sexual immorality three decades ago when it never spoke out against sex outside of marriage, and because of that silence, when it speaks out against homosexuality, it looks like the church is singling out the homosexuals, when the root problem in our society has been the rampant sexual immorality and the toleration of it by the church. A little leaven leavens the entire lump, and sin begets more and greater sinfulness.

The same principle is at play in both instances mentioned in this post.

Frank Turk said...

Dear Andy --

Thank you for the advice.

I honestly understand what you mean.

I stand by all of the Hitler Reacts video, and see it as an adequate response to this concern.

I will not bring it up again.

Michael Coughlin said...

I forgot about the you always commented Good Post, it's not your fault comment.

Larry Geiger said...

I read this yesterday (Micah 2:11):

"If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!"

Somehow that seems relevant.

Frank, I disagree a little bit with Andy. Now I'm not one who know enough to disagree very much, but anyway, just a little. We've been reading through Jeremiah, and Isaiah and Micah. Over and over the other prophets wander by and never give "a HT" to them. Now I'm not sure what a "HT" is but I assume it's some sort of recognition.

So even some of the folks who should recognize or mention what you said, don't. I don't think that is "unmanly" or "whiny". I think it's just how you guys roll. You point out stuff that we can notice and learn from. It doesn't sound like "seeking recognition for yourselves" to me.

Now I'm not very articulate or particularly smart but I get your style most of the time and I like it. It's sort of in the face of PC. That's a good thing.

Frank Turk said...

If only you could read the comments the SPAM filter is blocking.

Happy halloween!

DJP said...

Indeed. Better than one or two we've published.

ArkyTech said...

(I looked it up)

Frank Turk said...

Just want to remind everyone:

Comments here are under moderation. That means that when you hit "Publish," we take it under advisement. If your comment is on-topic, inside the bounds of the rules, and in any way useful, we'll also hit publish.

All other comments are filed for reference.

If your comments aren't showing up when you hit the button, there's a reason. If they never show up, there's prolly a different reason.

Also: Halloween is not excuse for being that scary.

Anonymous said...

"That's why Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers are such big hits, and why they make tens of millions of dollars every year. They are delivering the goods."

Bang on. I was blogging about this recently. My conclusion about Joyce Meyer was: " Joyce Meyer's teaching leads to false Christianity. A Christianity that is wrapped up in selfish ambition, narcissism, mysticism and borders on the occult. As someone once said, "If you want to hear from God, read your bible." In the same vein, if you want to grow in your Christian faith, ditch the Joyce Meyer books and read the scriptures instead. If you struggle to understand the scriptures, speak to your pastor, but make sure you attend a church that actually has a pastor who teaches the bible faithfully."

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how I have never seen that Hitler reacts video before, but it made my day. I know this comment doesn't advance any sort of discussion of the post, but I wanted to say that whoever made the video is a genius and should make many more.

Frank Turk said...


You always commented, "Great Post."