The following material was researched and compiled by Bud Press, Director of the Christian Research Service, www.christianresearchservice.com, 7/9/06. This is must reading!
THE CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE INDUSTRY
Deception in the Databases
About three years ago, Christian Research Service (hereinafter CRS) began what turned out to be a large-scale, time-consuming project to research, document, and inform the Christian bookstore industry about the non-Christian authors and materials that had infiltrated both walk-in and online Christian bookstores worldwide.
What began as a small handful of authors, eventually developed into a MASTER LIST, which has now expanded to approximately 15 pages of documentation (now in PDF). Every author and book contained on the list is from an online or walk-in Christian bookstore--or both. Not one author or book has been compiled from a secular bookstore.
As proof, one online Christian bookstore, Books for Christians, is a one-stop shopping mega-center for the New Age Movement, Spirit Guides, Channeling, ESP, Tarot Cards, Witchcraft, Zen Buddhism, Lesbian Studies, homosexuality, yoga, Buddhism, Shamanism, and more.
Then, there is Christianbook.com, "the online home of Christian Book Distributors," whose "basic goals and principles" are to "offer customers the very best in Christian products at the best prices and with the best service around" (Company Profile).
But along with "the very best in Christian products," Christianbook.com advertises and promotes the very best in non-Christian products, such as:
False Prophet/False Teacher
More False Prophets/False Teachers
Feminism and Kabbalah
New Age Movement
Homosexuality ("Openly homosexual Rev. Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University, also insists on reinterpreting the Sodom and Gomorrah story. In The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind, which argues for Christianity’s acceptance of homosexuality, Gomes says that even Jesus 'was under the impression that Sodom was destroyed because it lacked hospitality.'" Refer to "Sodom's solemn warning," AFA Journal, Nov/Dec 2003).
You Can Do! (includes yoga video)
Advanced Yoga, DVD
10 Minute Solution DVD (includes yoga)
Ultimate Senior Fitness Collection DVD (includes yoga)
The Firm: Power Yoga, DVD
Yoga for Christians
Mindful Moments for Stressful Days (includes information on yoga, aromatherapy, and feng shui)
Aromatherapy Massage from Head to Toe
Upanisads, Translated (Hindu scriptures)
The Rig Veda (Sanskrit hymns)
Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Indeed, it's enough to make one's skin crawl.
Over the years, CRS has contacted and provided documented information to Books for Christians and Christianbook.com, as well as major distributors, publishers, presidents and representatives, owners, managers, and employees of other major online and walk-in Christian bookstores worldwide. Officials within the Christian Booksellers Association and National Religious Broadcasters were also contacted and provided with the information.
Most were polite and complementary, and gave assurances that major changes would take place. However, while changes have taken place, the MASTER LIST continues to grow, with additional names and books added on a regular basis.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
Because of the research and documentation that has been made available to the Christian bookstore industry and to the body of Christ, CRS has been asked numerous times, Are there any online Christian bookstores that CRS recommends? The answer is No. This is due to the fact that once-removed authors and their materials have a way of returning to haunt the online bookstores and their databases. Therefore, CRS does not and cannot recommend any online Christian bookstore, or the expensive "Affiliate Program" that many of them offer.
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it (Titus 1:9).
For example, once they were informed, most of the major online Christian bookstores wasted no time in removing certain authors and books from their websites, but allowed other like-minded authors and books to remain. Of course, an author's popularity and sales contributes to the "bottom line" and survival of a bookstore--even at the sacrifice of solid Biblical teachings and the welfare of Christians and those sincerely searching for the real Jesus Christ.
This is a sad, tragic legacy to those who, when presented with the facts, continue to openly and defiantly advertise, promote, and sell books written by the false prophets and false teachers of our day. They follow the tune of a different drummer, and boldly resist the clear-cut commands and warnings of Scripture:
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
And people scratch their heads, shrug their shoulders, and wonder if God is executing righteous judgement upon the Christian bookstore industry, by allowing it to self-destruct within its own self-absorbed world of compromise.
He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (John 12:48).
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
This is what happens when Christians compromise the faith, and open the doors of their Christian bookstores to the heretics, false prophets, cultists, occultists, lesbians, and homosexuals.
Christian bookstores are frequented by individuals from all walks of life--every race, religion, creed, and color--all of whom Jesus Christ suffered and died for. With a mission-field at their doorsteps, Christian bookstores have a wonderful opportunity to be light in the midst of darkness; truth in the midst of deception; and love and compassion in the midst of violence and hatred.
But when was the last time you walked into a Christian bookstore and had an employee ask if you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? When was the last time an employee demonstrated more concern about your spiritual welfare than selling a book, an item of jewelry, a statue of "Jesus" holding a lamb, or the latest album from a heavy metal/hard rock band?
Where is the real emphasis? The appearance of the bookstore? Marketing? Sales and service? Bottom line? Or, is the emphasis on Jesus Christ, the truth of His word, and defending the faith? While many would be quick to say, Jesus Christ, the ongoing trend seems to place emphasis on everything except Jesus Christ.
For example, the International Christian Retail Show 2006 is billed as the "largest Christian retail event of the year," and is scheduled to be held on July 9-13 in Denver, Colorado. The ICRS 2006 is promoted by the Christian Booksellers Association, and will include Training and Workshops for the estimated "thousands of aspiring professional Christian retailers and hundreds of leading suppliers" expected to attend (Ibid.).
But after a close look at the ICRS 2006 Training and Workshop page, apparently, not one Training session or Workshop is devoted to:
* teaching Christian bookstore owners, managers, and employees the importance of putting books and materials to the Biblical test, and not compromising God's holy word under any circumstances;
* encouraging those within the Christian bookstore industry not to compromise the faith by catering to authors and books that promote non-Christian beliefs and religions;
* to deny authors, books, and materials that are in opposition to God's word from entering their stores;
* apologetics, cult-evangelism, guarding the spiritual welfare of the believer, and defending the faith;
* witnessing to the lost, and gaining discernment through the study of God's word;
* placing emphasis on the salvation of the lost, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance, Bible study, and that there is a real hell and eternal separation from God.
Despite the fact that the Christian bookstore industry has seen its better days, it is slowly but surely dying. Much of the emphasis seems to be on motivating bookstore owners to produce more sales through new and improved/sure-fire marketing techniques. In other words, the survival of the industry and the overall "bottom line" (the financial aspect) is foremost.
But instead of putting a band-aid on a deadly wound, Christians' within the Christian bookstore industry need to return to their first love, Jesus Christ, Who said:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine,
you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15:4-6).
Returning to Christ, repenting, and following His teachings and commands of Scripture is the true "bottom line," because the time will come when every Christian will kneel before Jesus Christ, and give an account of what he or she did as a Christian:
But the real "bottom line" is this:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
Every Christian will kneel before Jesus Christ, and give an account of what they did as a Christian. This will not be the time for excuses, and placing blame on others. We can fool each other, but we can't fool God.
But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you (Galatians 2:4-5).
There is a counterfeit Jesus, counterfeit gospel, counterfeit spirit, and savage wolves roaming the shelves and databases of the Christian bookstore industry (2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:6-9; Acts 20:27-31). But the good news is that Christians serve the Almighty God, and we don't have to yield in subjection to them, not for one hour, one minute, or even one second.
For further information, articles, letters, and news releases concerning the Christian bookstore industry, go to Christian Research Service's "Christian Bookstores?" page at http://tinyurl.com/o668g .
Researched & Compiled by:
Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service