Neither Product Nor Service

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by Ben Huot

You are now in the 4th Generation Subsection of the Writing Section

February 2, 2022

Christianity was not designed to be a business and should never be one. Unfortunately many see strong similarities between the way businesses sell things and the way Christians evangelize. Some of the big elements of this include the rush to get non-believers to believe and the free aspect.

Both of which are good but in the context of contemporary America, many are very suspicious of things that they are told they must do immediately and things that are offered for free. There are many companies that use similar strategies in trying to market their products and / or services.

Many Christians feel the need to adapt to our mainstream culture and fight the label of being irrational. I don’t think Christianity needs to fight for being rational as the Scriptures alone show the complexity and the importance of faith in Christ. Certainly there have been and always will be deep thinkers who are Christian in their faith.

But this struggle to make Christianity feel normal to people is hard to reconcile with Scripture. Most of the world will always reject Christ and this is throughout all of Scripture. We are told we are not going to be liked by the world as we are not even of this world anymore.

The world in its wisdom rejected God. That is a big part of why Christ died for our sins in the first place. God wanted to show us that even the weakness of God is greater than the might of men.

Certainly Christians should never abandon education (although they have in many ways) but they should never feel the need to fit in. Christianity is never going to be popular or respected and if it is then it is not very effective or faithful to Scripture. People in power realize that in the lives of Christians faith competes with the ideology of the government.

If people really follow God they are constantly going to be critical of the moral compromise at the basis of the concept of politics. They are not going to keep buying more and more stuff. Christians are going to speak out when they feel the government and industry are trying to take the place of God in their lives.

So many of the most dishonest business models are based on the idea that they are giving you something for free and you need to accept it right away. This is a big red flag for critical thinkers.

How do you think they could pay for the high salaries of many employees, expensive facilities and equipment, and stay in business long if they have no revenue source? So if the revenue source does not come from those who are getting the product or service this doesn’t add up. This is unless something else is going on that is not being advertised.

The other thing is that if they feel a need to hurry you in making a decision it makes the critical thinker wonder why would they need you to decide so quickly. If they are selling a legitimate product and they have have enough customers to stay in business than this would be hard to believe. This is also a big red flag.

Today many businesses do not find a business model until they have a certain number of customers. Then they are either bought out by another company or their management decides they need to fundamentally change the nature of the product in order for them to make money.

The default way of making money is a combination two things. The product is offered for free or at cost and the company expects a very small percentage of people to pay for essentially meaningless trinkets. The company may also be very aggressive in upselling them and limit the products so they aren’t useful without paying huge amounts of money.

On top of this almost every company, government, and organization is selling and / or buying personal information and this is often their biggest revenue source. It isn’t that we are trying to hide anything, but it makes us suspicious when people want to know about things that have no value for legitimate uses.

For all the costs associated with collecting and using the data I have a hard time believing it is actually very useful for advertising things to us. I can see on the other hand it being very useful to criminals, oppressive governments, businesses running scams, and individual hackers.

It is hard to build trust on deception and that is what the Church is up against today. Our entire society is running like a bunch of rogue intelligence agents running organized crime and the government watching and taking notes. In the context of the Church it makes sense that they want people to not take too long so they can be saved before they die. It is also reasonable to offer things for free because God does not need money. But people’s experiences with the world bring with them some emotional and financial trauma.

Today being normal is not good because normal means creepy. When your entire economy and political system are directly profiting from what would be considered crime if it wasn’t involving computers, businesses and governments have lost all credibility in the eyes of most their citizens. The Church should want to be different than society, especially today. Not morally compromising today is considered revolutionary.

So although the Church shouldn’t be different for the sake of it, people now want something different. The Church is different and should want to be seen as so. So continue the fight but share with the world that Christians are dealing with issues too. One of the big things keeping non-believers from the Church is that they think they are not good enough yet to be Christians.

Christianity is a completely different concept than the world is used to. People need to have time to wrap their minds around this. And those who really want to serve God and are serious about it realize it that there is more to pleasing God than a 5 minute prayer. And I believe God will give us the time necessary to plead our case before they die.

The Church today is the alternative to the Internet ideologically, practically, and socially. This is the best situation to be in because this is where the future of society will be going. Many people see the future as more computers, but this level of technology will naturally unravel society. If people of the future continue to advance technology, there will be no functioning society.