The Tennessean presents a list of companies that are “rooted in Christianity.” The post features the usual companies: Chick-Fil-A, In-N-Out, Hobby Lobby, and a few that hardly seem to count since they primarily sell Christian products: Thomas Nelson and and Lifeway. Lists like this raise all kinds of questions:
- What is the purpose of listing companies who are “rooted in Christianity”? Should I be compelled to buy a greasy Chick-Fil-A “sandwich” just because they are closed on Sundays?
- What does it mean for a company to be “rooted in Christianity”? In-N-Out has Bible verses on their cups, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays, and Precious Moments features angelic children with freakishly large eyes in “christian inspired” scenes. What Christianity is this? Does this rootedness lead to business practices that honor God? Products that honor God?
This list reminds me of a trip my wife and I took to the mall yesterday to buy her some clothes. She bought a few shirts from Forever XXI, and when we left I was surprised to notice John 3:16 printed on the bottom of the bag. I was shocked to find out that this was a Christian company since the atmosphere of the store seemed to promote an utterly vain, club lifestyle. Obviously, I don’t think there is anything wrong wear wearing attractive clothing, or buying clothes from stores that promote non-Christian worldviews (if I did I would probably be naked), but I was surprised that a company which seemed to be so explicitly appealing to vanity would also explicitly market themselves as a Christian store.
I have no strong conclusions to draw from these observations, except that we should be discerning when companies claim to be Christian and those companies or others in the Church imply that we should support them because they are “rooted in Christianity.”