Engaging Culture

Brands: Our “Household Gods”

“Household Gods” have historically been referred to as deities worshipped in the home for various purposes.  From ancient Rome to Japan, household gods have been involved in numerous cultures and cover a wide variety of mostly pagan rituals.  They were particularly common in Greek, Roman, and Norse paganism.  We consider household gods an ancient, superstitious belief, and yet they’re not that different from the
brand names we worship today.

Our homes are filled with objects of worship, from the Mercedes in the garage to the Rolex on the nightstand and the Gucci handbag in the closet.  It’s almost as if we have a “pre-Christian” connection to a desire to worship at the altar of something, and today that “something” is a brand.

Why we put such faith in the power of brands is a connection that dates back thousands of years.  We desperately want to believe in something, and our tragedy today is that too many place that belief in a temporal, empty object rather than an eternal answer.

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5 Comments

  1. Sure Phil, you are correct.

    The way I understand it is this: Jesus wants to Manifest Himself in every man, woman and child on this planet.

    Abraham Lincoln said, “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

    Thus, perhaps we should care not for a man’s Christianity whose Jesus cannot manifest in his soul the better for it!”

    Speaking to your observations on the over-used “community” word, it is perhaps our lack of faith in each other’s ability to Manifest Christ, that we tune out of the world, even at a coffee shop!

    As for me, when I go out, I’m always looking for life, for the life of Jesus manifesting in the next fellow. Then I salute him for it. I say, “I salute the God in you!”

    Thus, behold, Jesus comes quickly!

    The problem is, VERY FEW PEOPLE honor the other, the other in whom Christ is. This is the way of I AM.

    Proud religion, bad church…. well, they HATE and disavow all true manifest-God-bearers. Right? That’s what killed Jesus. And it is what kills us, too!

    This message is the MAIN difference between Twentieth Century broadcast ministry…. and the yet-to-be-delivered Twenty-First Century broadcast ministry. The rest is fluff.

  2. How about the brands outside of the house? Like our “progressive” or “emergent” church, where we sing songs by our latest uber-hip Christian worship band, and we all show up dressed in our bohemian urban chic clothing and our name brand sunglasses. And back inside the house, we have the latest Christian books on our coffee table, written by the latest cutting edge author. Brands reach far and deep, escaping our scrutiny especially when dressed down and/or Christianized. It seems that through “branding”, Christianity has become an industry. We’re selling it through books, cds, jewelry, clothing, bumper stickers, . . .
    Let’s not mistake the container for the content.

  3. This is so true. Persons tend to worship brands i have never seen it in this light before. I had always said persons tend to worship commodities, but it is sometimes the branding behind the commodity.

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