Sermon quotes on consumer Christianity

George Barna

American Christianity has largely failed since the middle of the twentieth century because Jesus’ modern-day disciples do not act like Jesus.

Think Like Jesus (Nashville: Integrity, 2003), 40.

David N. Bastian

I was told that our worship services should be designed with seekers in mind, and that unchurched people have neither the attention span nor the interest to give to the reading of Bible passages. The idea was that you had to give them a contemporary and, above all, relevant service.”

“Reader’s Forum: The Silenced Word,” Christianity Today, March 5, 2001.

Walter Brueggemann

The contemporary American church is so largely enculturated to the American ethos of consumerism that is has little power to believe or to act.

The Prophetic Imagination

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch

You cannot build a church on consumers. They’ll desert you at a moment’s notice because they have no commitments beyond meeting their own needs. Jesus can take twelve disciples and build a movement that changes the world. He could never have done that with consumers.

ReJesus: Remaking the Church in Our Founder’s Image, 100 Movements Publishing, 2022.

Richard Halverson

In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.

Quoted in James Twitchell, Shopping for God (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007), 20.

Skye Jethani

The god of Consumer Christianity does not inspire awe and wonder because he is nothing more than a commodity to be used for our personal satisfaction and self-achievement.

The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009)

Sally Morgenthaler

We are not producing worshippers in this country. Rather we are producing a generation of spectators, religious onlookers lacking, in many cases, any memory of a true encounter with God, deprived of both the tangible sense of God’s presence and the supernatural relationship their inmost spirits crave.

Exploring the Worship Spectrum, ed. Paul A. Basden (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2004).

Mark Riddle 

Conversion in the U.S. seems to mean we’ve exchanged some of our shopping at Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, and Borders for the Christian Bookstore down the street. We’ve taken our lack of purchasing control to God’s store, where we buy our office supplies in Jesus’ name.”25

Rant #2 — The Christian Bookstore,” TheOoze.com, April 11, 2002, (accessed June 6, 2006).

Ron Sider

Evangelical Christians are as likely to embrace lifestyles every bit as hedonistic, materialistic, self-centered, and sexually immoral as the world in general.”

“The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience,” Books and Culture, January 1, 2005.

A.J. Swoboda

We’re tourist Christians. We remain as long as we’re entertained.

A Glorious Dark