Monday, February 23, 2009

Are Christian Businesses Any Better Then Secular Businesses?

The other day Louie tells me that I have a package from one of the Christian companies that we buy stuff from.  There was one problem.  I didn't order any materials from this company!

So I get here this morning and see the package.  I open it up and it is youth curriculum and DVDs amounting to around $200.  Of course none of it is anything I had ordered. 

Louie and I sat and talked for awhile.  I kept telling him that I didn't order it and he was coming up with plausible suggestions of why I received it and so on.  I finally look at the letter that was sent with the material.  Here is what part of it said:
"As a Preferred Customer you have received our brand new 2009 Youth Ministry Kit...If you use these materials and would like to purchase them, simply attach your payment to the bottom portion..."
Blah, blah, blah.

So basically because I have ordered from them on more then one occasion I am considered a "preferred customer."  This in turn gives them the right to send me material that I didn't order expecting me to either pay for it or send it back wasting my time (like in having to write this blog entry!)

Why can't Christian businesses be....Christian businesses!!!  All the calling, sending out material that isn't ordered, etc...  Here's the real kicker though.  The thing that really burns me.  You see, a secular business, as far as I know, wouldn't send out product unless it was requested by the customer.  Sure, they might make numerous phone calls and send out tons of literature, but they will not send out product.  Why?  By law a person can keep whatever product is sent without a request.  So why are Christian businesses doing it?  Because they are preying on the morality of Christianity.  It's a dirty rotten trick and one reserved for non-Christians.

Check out the last part of this letter. 

"We realize you can legally keep or discard this box if you wish.  As a non-profit ministry, our intent is simply to provide our preferred customers with the convenient opportunity to be one of the first youth leaders across the country to preview our newest resource."
Basically, we know you can keep it legally BUT because you are a Christian we know you will do the right thing and send it back.  That's why "we have enclosed a postage-paid return label for your convenience."!

Come on!!! Christian companies need to act Christian.  I expect a "non-profit" ministry to act like a ministry.  Send me a flyer, send me literature, send me a free book with the literature (I did get a free book out of the deal.  Not that it is of any real interest to me), but for heaven's sake don't act like all the other secular businesses out there.  Most importantly, don't play off of my Christian morality!!!

Am I making too much of a big deal over this?  Personally, I don't think so.  I know that if our church were to approach our congregation in a similiar manner as say a fraternal organization I think many people would be turnned off.  When a Christian business approaches me like a secular business, or even goes beyond the practices of secular business, I get turned off, and frankly, I don't want to buy material from them anymore.

So someone send this blog to BlueFish TV and let them know that even thought they are a non-profit organization that produces great material they need to treat their customers as the brothers and sisters in Christ that they are.

Now I have to decide whether it is morally acceptable to keep the darn box or not!!!


Louie said...

Right on Brother!!


CruxG said...

You're right. There are many "Christian" companies that don't act like it. Many business people put the fish on their business cards and that is as Christian as they get. They basically pull on the heartstrings of Christians to do business with them, but its purely a business move. Some just make mistakes because, as you say in your "about me" section, they are run by people who are struggling to be followers of Jesus. I would like to believe that this is the case the vast majority of times, and that people are just not taking the time to pray about things before they do them. I have led various prayer groups at area churches to try and get Christian business people to start looking at their businesses as ministries, which I believe totally changes the way they treat their employees, customers, and vendors. Check out my blog, where I discuss Christian business issues.


Pastor Brian B Van Dyke said...

Thanks CruxG!!