Last Christmas, this column reviewed odd and bizarre Christian retail items. I dubbed these the “Bad Burrito Awards” as a tribute to great ideas that develop in the middle of the night (possibly brought on by spicy food) and that, frankly, don’t make much sense the next morning.
To be considered, the bar is set fairly low. A product has to be real, able to be purchased or obtained, not deliberately designed to be anti-Christian and probably should make non-believers scratch their heads.
Here are my second annual award picks:
Tasty Treats Awards: This award goes to Logia for its foods based upon Scripture. Products include food bars, meal replacement powders and herbs. My favorite is the Bible Bar, inspired by ingredients found in Deuteronomy 8:8 — “A land of wheat and barley and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey.”
Fashion Awards — Poor Taste Division: Because we live a culture of bumper stickers and sound bites, there is a temptation to boil the message down to something that can fit on a t-shirt. This goes beyond the cutesy shirts that imitate popular culture such as “Desperate Housewife” or “Jesus died for Pedro” accompanied by a Scripture reference, to create something truly offensive.
• INTOLERANT with John 14:6 in white print on the front of a black shirt; on the back is “HOMOSEXUALITY IS SIN” “ISLAM IS A LIE” “ABORTION IS MURDER” and (in smaller letters) “some issues are just black and white” from Operation Save America.
• “Liars Go to Hell” with a Revelation 21:8 reference from A Different Direction.
Fashion Awards — Bad Theology Division: There is clothing that broadcasts theology that is just bad, with Satan cowering from the wearer, or a condescending nudge to the reader. Winners in this category include:
• “I'm God's favorite,” which comes in t-shirts, hoodies, baby bibs and dog t-shirts from Cafepress.com.
• “Satan is a nerd” from Full Armor Entertainment.
• “Christian Outfitters Beat the Devil with a Big Ugly Stick” at www.christianoutfitters.com.
Biblical Literacy Award: This one goes to the Nuremburg, Germany, Lutheran youth group in Katzwang. Der Spiegel reports that the group decided to produce a 2006 fund-raising calendar to spark interest in Scripture. Youth members posed in biblical scenes. Oh, did I mention that the calendar would be erotic? Scenes include Eve standing in the church, Delilah cutting Sampson’s hair and more. There is no word about a 2007 edition.
Toy Awards: Last year I noted Bible action figures but missed this site of Job dolls (light- or dark-skinned) complete with sores from Train Up a Child Inc. For another dramatic experience, order the complete set of 10 plague finger puppets from TES Inc.
Handy Appliance Award: Finally, if you want to really bless your food, why not order a Jesus Pan and put His image on everything you cook?
Whether you want to laugh, cry or shake your head, remember that each believer, our churches and our faith are on display to a lost world. What message are we sending to others — and how are they receiving it?