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By Paul Proctor

January 31, 2007

OK, escort your kids out of the room - lock the door - sit back down at your computer and go to: Christian Heritage Bookstore

Now, brace yourself and type the word "X-Rated" into their website's search engine and click on the word "search."

Get the picture?

Ever think you'd see that on a Christian website?

That's right - "Christian Heritage Bookstore"

Want to know what their Mission Statement is?

How about their Statement of Faith?

No problem…

About Us

Next - notice, if you will, at the bottom of the front page, it says: "Sponsored by Christian Book Network."

Go ahead - Click on their link too - and when the page comes up, click on "Shop CBN" - up near the top right-hand corner of the page - and when that page appears, try the same search again on "All Products."

Lovely, huh?

Friends, we've got a serious problem in the online Christian bookstore industry. In fact, someone really needs to ask the question:

Just what is a Christian Bookstore?

You would think that a Christian bookstore is a place where only biblically sound materials are sold. If you take the scriptures literally, like for instance: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." - 1st Thessalonians 5:22 - and in your heart, believe them to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God, then anything that contradicts it cannot legitimately be considered "Christian." But, that doesn't seem to matter anymore, does it?

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" - 2nd John 1: 9-11

Unfortunately, many bookstore owners today believe it is perfectly acceptable to call their online stores "Christian" or imply that they are such, while offering for sale some of the most unchristian merchandise produced. How they justify it before their conscience, their customers and their Christ is beyond me.

By calling their businesses "Christian bookstores," are they trying to convince us that all they sell is Christian books or that the people who work there are all Christians? Maybe they're just Christian-owned; or maybe it's a semantic game they're playing with us. Maybe they're actually operating a secular bookstore where only Christians come to shop. Is that it? Technically, any of these could be called "Christian bookstores." But, doesn't it seem at least a little deceptive when online bookstores represent themselves as being "Christian" while continually offering the very same junk secular bookstores offer?

I know I'm dating myself here, but it kind of reminds of the old public drinking fountains back in the 1950s and early 60s when signs hung over many of them with racial designations of either "Whites Only" or "Colored." I doubt anyone would have raised a stink back then if a white man drank from a "Colored" fountain; but I'm not so sure a black man or woman would have gone unnoticed or even unpunished for drinking out of the "White's Only" fountain. It does seem a little silly though when you consider that the water both fountains dispensed came from the same pipe, and that there was absolutely no difference in the porcelain sinks or metal spigots. So, what made the White fountain white and the Colored fountain colored? That's right - the silly signs hanging over them.

Well, isn't it just as silly when bookstores hang a "Christian" sign over their door or a banner at the top of their webpage and then offer the same worldly merchandise as all the other mainstream bookstores? It's funny though - I've yet to hear of a single instance where Barns & Noble, Borders, Davis Kidd, or Half Price Books publicly referred to themselves as "Secular Bookstores," but then I've purchased religious materials from them numerous times; so I guess they're just being honest, aren't they?

How's that for irony?

One of my best friends and associates from days gone by was a well-known tight wad. Everyone used to tease him unmercifully for it too. He was good-natured about it though. Well, one day he was caught with a water hose filling up one of those gigantic plastic bottles that sat atop a dispenser he had in the lunchroom of his business. It belonged to a drinking water delivery service that replaced his empties each month with full bottles - for a fee, of course. Well, when somebody asked him why he was filling that bottle up with plain old tap water, he replied with a sheepish grin: "Ah, they won't know the difference."


It makes me wonder if this could be the reason many owners and operators of so called "Christian bookstores" secretly offer books and materials they know are unbiblical and spiritually dangerous to their unsuspecting customers - because they won't know the difference.


But, you know, I think they're going about it all wrong. Instead of spending all their precious time, money and manpower promoting themselves as being "Christian," only to waste more time, money and manpower deleting countless unchristian books and materials from their websites because of critics like me, why not just simply delete the word "Christian" from their name and be done with it? At least that would be more accurate…and honest. Then they could proudly peddle their poison to the whole world and nobody would care.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure anybody cares now

Do you?

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."- Matthew 7:16-17

Related Articles:

1. Beware of 'Christian' Bookstores!
2. Dear Mr. Wildmon
3, Beware of Christian Bookstore Hypocrisy
4, Gay-Friendly Authors Populate SBC's LifeWay Site


© 2007 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved