THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET ABOUT MANY ONLINE CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORES
By Paul Proctor
February 6, 2007
What they don't tell you about their problematic publications
The purpose of our efforts to reveal some of the unfortunate items being offered for sale in many of today's online Christian bookstores is not to condemn their owners or operators but rather to raise awareness of an old and reoccurring problem in the industry itself and in the process, warn unsuspecting Christians of the dangers lurking within these seemingly innocent outlets before they or their children find out by accident.
Again, this problem is not new. And, the dirty little secret about the filth and heresy being marketed in a lot of Christian bookstores is this: Even after customers and critics complain and questionable titles are removed, more often than not, they come back. This allows the bookstore owner to repeatedly say: "We removed those books" without ever mentioning that they might someday return or maybe already have. Clever, huh?
So, just because the junk goes away for a while, that doesn't mean it will stay away.
But, in all fairness, it's also quite common for once-blocked books to reappear for sale in their online stores without their knowledge. This is the result of being "unequally yoked" to secular suppliers and why it is incumbent upon each Christian bookstore owner and operator to search their own sites regularly to know what they're offering for sale at all times. Sure it takes work and costs money to baby-sit your bookstore, but if you don't do it, who will? And, if you delegate your spiritual duty over to a pornographic provider, you have no one to blame but yourself for having to endure the shame and embarrassment of fellow Christians chastising you over finding filth on your website.
1. The authors must be blocked permanently.
2. Do not yoke yourself to suppliers and distributors who don't share your biblical values or convictions.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." - 2nd Corinthians 6:14-17
The Christian bookstore industry is huge; and frankly, we need your help to get it cleaned up. Bud Press, the head of ChristianResearchService.com, told me the other day that he ran a Google search on Christian bookstores that resulted in 731,000 hits! Obviously, that�s way more than he and I can check regularly for problematic publications.
Bud has a long history with Christian bookstores as well as those who own and operate them. He has been researching the business for years and is well acquainted with the ins and outs and the major players involved. He�s heard all the excuses and all of the lies; and he knows what it�s going to take to rectify the problem.
Furthermore, those in the industry KNOW that he knows. He's been offered lucrative consulting positions to gain his cooperation but has refused to take them because he will not compromise his convictions - even for a paycheck. This makes him very unpopular and often a target of undue criticism by not only those who own and operate Christian bookstores, but also those who are closely connected to Christian bookstore operators - people who might personally benefit from looking the other way and going along to get along.
What you can do to help us won't cost a thing but a little of your time. At the conclusion of this article is a list of major online Christian bookstores.
Parents, I would encourage you and any adults you know who are concerned about this horrendous problem, to do regular searches of their websites and any other Christian websites you frequent that sell books, by entering into their search engines controversial words, phrases, subjects and titles, as well as the names of unchristian or anti-Christian authors.
This doesn't mean that all of the books and materials that might appear in your search results are necessarily bad. Some of them with more controversial titles may actually address the issues in question from a healthy and biblical perspective. So, be careful to report only those publications that are clearly immoral and scripturally compromised to the owners and operators of the Christian websites you search. This is important.
Also, do Google searches on the authors whose books they offer and find out for yourself where each of them stand on controversial issues like homosexuality, abortion, the occult, and the New Age - and if they are teaching and proclaiming the same Jesus and Gospel you are. There is often sufficient information about such authors on the Internet to make a reasonably accurate evaluation. Many even have their own websites.
Here's something else to consider about controversial authors whose products are offered at online Christian bookstores:
If Charles Manson wrote and published a children's book on relationships, would you consider it acceptable to offer it for sale in a Christian bookstore as long as he never mentioned anything in it about drugs or mass murder? What about an unrepentant homosexual or lesbian activist who writes a book on living the Christian life? Is it okay to sell that in a Christian bookstore as long as he or she avoids the subject of sex? And how about those books by popular "Christian" authors who embrace various aspects of Eastern mysticism or encourage the practice of certain pagan or occult rituals to enhance the reader's "Christian" experience? Is that suitable for sale in a Christian bookstore as long as they shun terms like "New Age," "witchcraft" and "sorcery?" Just some food for thought�
Mr. Press has compiled a Master List of published authors that can be viewed at ChristianResearchService.com. This list is both informative and self-explanatory and provides users the opportunity to effortlessly cut & paste names from that list into the search engines of online Christian bookstores across the web to see just who and what they are selling. Using his list to cut & paste names makes your search much quicker and helps you avoid spelling errors that might yield false results and erroneous information.
When you find unacceptable merchandise for sale on a Christian website, you can then notify them of your objections by email, letter or phone. This will let them know that their customers are now paying very close attention and will no longer tolerate them hypocritically marketing that which is grossly unbiblical while calling their businesses and/or ministries "Christian" or implying such to their visitors.
Nowhere in scripture did Jesus Christ express more outrage than when he confronted hypocrisy. There's simply no room for it in the Church or in the Christian business community. It is deceitful, dangerous and disobedient to the Word of God.
"Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully�" - Jeremiah 48:10
Part of being a witness for Jesus Christ is encouraging the brethren to hear and obey God's Word and calling the unwashed to repentance and faith. That's not being unloving or arrogant - that's being faithful. As I've said many times before, the most loving thing you can do for someone is tell them the truth; and by telling them the truth with firm and loving convictions, we carry out our calling as followers of Jesus Christ. When we do this, the Holy Spirit often enables the lost, the wayward and the confused to see the error of their ways and repent as we point them toward the Cross of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1st John 1:9
Major Online Christian Bookstores:
Family Association's Resource Center
bookstore features X-rated flicks
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�