Sunday, August 31, 2008

Infomercial Lutheranism

If you had a cheapo gizmo that you wanted to make a killing on, how would you promote it? If you had a second-rate product which you wanted to sell to the American public, how would you promote it?


Use all the glitz and glam of various media, hire an enthusiastic "talent" with just the right look and a dynamic voice, combined with a adjective-rich script, plenty of testimonials, and an offer you cannot refuse.

And that doesn't look too terribly different than the Ablaze! / Fan Into Flame campaign.

No one is really asking whether the millions of dollars being poured into the Ablaze! campaign is money well spent. Since one cannot judge the effect that the Ablaze! presentations has on human hearts dead in sin, there seems to be no way of holding anyone accountable.

But is $20-million+ spent on consultants, ad campaigns, brochures, T-shirts and web development really anything more than infomercial Lutheranism? Isn't the Rev. Dr. Kieschnick and his ilk wasting millions of dollars on such things when it could have been spent on supporting ordained ministers of the Gospel to serve as missionaries abroad or in socio-economically depressed urban and rural communities here in the States or helping students at our teacher colleges and seminaries to graduate without being $40,000 in debt -- a debt very difficult to pay off with the types of salaries that LCMS pastors and teachers usually get?

The Ablaze!Program is infomercial Lutheranism. I'm not buying it . . . no matter how many "And wait! There's more!" they have to offer.

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