While rereading Blue Like Jazz, this quote jumped out at me. It resonates with me, but I’ve probably also been guilty of what he says:
Here are the things I didn’t like about the churches I went to. First: I felt like the people were trying to sell me Jesus. I was a salesman for a while, and we were taught that you are supposed to point out all the benefits of a product when you are selling it. That is how I felt about some of the preachers I heard speak. They were always pointing out the benefits of Christian faith. That rubbed me wrong. It’s not that there aren’t benefits, there are, but did they have to talk about spirituality like it’s a vacuum cleaner. I never felt like Jesus was a product. I wanted him to be a person. Not only that, but they were always pointing out how great the specific church was. The bulletin read like a brochure for Amway. They were always saying how life-changing some conference was going to be. Life-changing? What does that mean? It sounded very suspicious. I wish they would just tell it to me straight rather than try to sell me on everything. I felt like I got bombarded with commercials all week and then went to church and got even more.