"The way in which religion allows itself to be reshaped by the larger culture, including markets, allows it to prosper and do well, but it also clearly changes its core values," said Charles Ess, a professor of religion at Drury University in Springfield, Mo. "The oldest Christians sold all their goods and shared them in common. They didn't shop and launch marketing campaigns."(emphasis mine)
Then again, Christianity seems to have done quite well by mixing worship and commerce. "Religion is like yeast in dough," said Michael Novak, a theologian at the American Enterprise Institute. "It's in every part of life, so for it to show up everywhere is only natural - in commerce, politics, sports, labor unions and so on and so forth."
Not that the intermingling of faith and commerce is anything new. Christians have always used all available means and venues to spread the gospel.
"Jesus taught in the temple and the marketplace," Mr. Warren, the author of the blockbuster "The Purpose Driven Life," said in an interview.
Jesus taught in the marketplace, but did He change His message to be accepted? Did He only speak on the blessings of God? I think not.
18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
19The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
20Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:18-30 (emphasis mine)
"That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." Yea, that sure sounds fun. Doesn't that sound just like what we hear out of the pulpits today? Nope. I can't remember the last time I heard a pastor say that, but I can't begin to count the times I've heard "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" get quoted.
The quote by Mr. Warren is true enough, but that's all you'll hear from him and the pastors that follow him. You'll only hear the "good news," and none of that "bad news" like Jesus dying for our SINS.