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Podcast episode 27

Chris the Prophetic Voice - Christians Who Sell Jesus

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Read the profile here. This series on "⁠⁠⁠⁠Christians Who Sell Jesus⁠⁠⁠⁠" takes profiles that represent real-world scenarios wherein well-meaning individuals are actively engaged in the Jesus trade, often unwittingly.

Chris has a timely message and warning for the Church. He’s filled with a passionate and prophetic urgency to admonish evangelicals about the dangers he sees looming ahead if they do not repent and reform in seven key areas. So he has written a book in the form of a letter called Dear Church: Seven Lies Seducing Evangelicals. In the book he talks about how these lies are slowly infiltrating Christendom, and he desperately wants people to be aware of the dire consequences. Speaking from decades of pastoral experience, he believes that God has commanded him to sound a wake-up call to his people, and that he would have blood on his hands if he failed to raise these concerns. Chris has shared in multiple interviews that he had no intentions to write another book in his life, but God made it clear to him that he needed to help deliver people from the deadly deceptions of our anti-Christian culture.

Since Chris is already a well-established author, he published his “letter” with a legacy publishing house. There are two options to choose from: a Kindle version for $14.99, and a hardback for $21.99. It is not freely available in any format, and copying it or sharing it is strictly forbidden in the “All Rights Reserved” notice at the beginning of the book.

As we’ve already seen from other profiles like that of “Joe the Author,” what Chris has done is a clear violation of Christ’s command (Matt 10:8) and the wider teaching of Scripture (e.g. 2 Cor 2:17, Micah 3:11, 2 Cor 9). But from a purely pragmatic perspective, Chris’s choice for spreading his timely message is completely insane and hypocritical. It is evil, cruel, and illogical. Why?

  1. When you write a letter to someone, it’s an insult to require money from that person before allowing them to read it. It goes against the very definition of a letter to charge the recipient for it.
  2. It is both illogical and evil to put a paywall between people and urgent warnings. It’s illogical because, if you truly want to save people from imminent harm, you want them to get access to your warning as quickly, effortlessly, and freely as possible. For example, if you charge a fee before people can hear a hurricane or fire warning, it reveals that you don’t truly want to save lives, nor do you have any real “urgency” in your heart. This paywall is also evil and cruel because it ensures that many people will suffer harm or death because they didn’t hear the warning, especially the poor. Chris, by putting his book behind a paywall, has sealed painful consequences for many people, for which he will be held accountable at the judgment (by his own assessment and admission).
  3. People who are the most vulnerable to these lies of our anti-Christian culture are often the least likely to pay for a book in order to find out how they’ve been seduced. Many people who are deceived believe with all their hearts that they’re walking in the truth. They scoff at the idea of going out of their way to pay someone to tell them what lies they’ve fallen for.

Ironically, Chris has contributed to the lies that harm evangelicals by believing and promoting a lie himself: the lie that Christian exhortation and messages inspired by the Spirit of God (speaking truth) can be turned into merchandise. He is not only aggravating the current crisis by keeping his important letter behind a paywall, but also helping to spread the deception that the only way to warn people is by selling that warning.