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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Shopping for the Truth
By Lauri Gruen
03/08/07


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At the risk of sounding like a rude, judgmental New Yorker, I hesitate to say that a particular state on the West Coast is a virtual spiritual mega-store.

HOWEVER. . . few can deny Hollywood is located in the state of California. And there is strong evidence that the pulse of America’s heartbeat seems to gain strength from this glamorous community. Yes, New Yorkers have been called savvy, trendy, but many of society’s role models seem to emerge from the Hollywood tabloids and then drift eastward.

When it comes to spirituality, Hollywood surely provides a mouthpiece for the latest trends. On and off the screen, movie stars communicate values and beliefs that feed a spiritually starved culture.

Jared Shapiro, news and entertainment director for Life&Style Weekly, recently told FoxNews.com, “Scientology is the Kabbalah of 2007," In other words, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ celebrity religion has replaced Madonna’s star-studded endorsement of Kabbalah on the A-list of religions. Following rave reviews and testimonials of Scientology’s benefits from this famous couple, Kabbalah’s place on the spiritual shopping list will most likely drop a notch or two. So now when you go into Barnes & Noble, the section on Kabbalah will be moved to a secondary bookshelf and Scientology resources will get prime marketing exposure.

The shopping list of popular religions grows each day, fueled by multiple Internet Search Engines. Demographics aside, anyone on a spiritual search for whatever ails them at any given moment can find inexhaustible resources. It’s like going into a 4-story, gazillion square foot mega-mall and walking from one store to another store, shopping for that prized possession: inner peace.

If a real-life spiritual mega-mall did in fact exist, who knows if people would be breaking down the doors to enter the [true] Christianity store? The One Way Only motif does not generally attract those on the Broad Way. The Cross is not exactly an appealing incentive for “It’s all about Me and connecting to my inner self.” In spite of low traffic volume and limited repeat customers, it is necessary to keep the doors open for that one day when that weary shopper stumbles in, broken and ready not to purchase, but to be purchased.

Although Jesus primarily contended with the sole religion of the first century, legalistic Judaism, it comes as no surprise to Him that so many religions exist today. Perhaps some of the same ones existed 2000 years ago and some have been formed as recently as yesterday when a group established a website. But Jesus is not in the religion business. Since before the earth was created, He’s still after the same thing – our hearts and not our works.

Regardless of how many religions you or someone you love has shopped for, know this: We have a patient, faithful God with a unique, eternal promise. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

God’s faithful character, His Word and the fact that He has placed eternity in our hearts offers hope to those who are still shopping for the Truth. The door is always open; keep knocking and grab hold of the One offering the invitation.


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This article has been read 405 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patricia Casey03/08/07
Well written creative approach to this week's topic. Let's keep that door open. Well done!

In Jesus' Name,

Patricia
Jan Ackerson 03/10/07
Sounds like the basis for a really powerful sermon. Nicely done, well-organized and set forth.
Myrna Noyes03/12/07
I very much enjoyed reading your insightful and interesting essay! :) God Bless!
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
True. Many are out there buying religion when they have already been "purchased" by the savior. All they have to do is accept the gift he offers. Good pov.
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
True. Many are out there buying religion when they have already been "purchased" by the savior. All they have to do is accept the gift he offers. Good pov.