The Commercialization of Christianity

Indi and I went to The Christmas Train last night. This is the first year it’s been running since they started renovations three years ago. Being big fans, we were excited to go back this year. Instead of a happy-joy Christmas experience, though, we left disappointed.

It’s still a western village, complete with church workers dressed in period garb. They still run the steam locomotive through a retelling of the Christmas (and Easter) story. They’ve added several nice buildings, a huge windmill, and a better organization structure. But they’ve also lost a boatload of the charm. There are multitudes of places to eat. Lots of the Christmas lights are gone. There was a stop-over on the train ride halfway, in Santa’s Village, that no longer exists. Gone is the old-fashioned candy shoppe, in are the three to four toy/trinket stores. Gone is the caroling and in-person appeal after the train ride, and in it’s place is a video presentation.

Nothing stays the same. I know that. I’m eager to roll with the punches and adapt as the world moves on. But there’s a difference between updating the message and bypassing your purpose.

On the ride home, Indi laid quite a challenge at my feet. She called me on my wishy-washy beliefs and struck me to my core. What do I believe? I don’t know anymore. I haven’t looked too closely, afraid of what I might find. I did some soul searching last night, and need a lot more. I’m not as strong a believer as I once was, and there’s the argument that when I start questioning some of the foundations of my religion, there’s a question around the entire religon itself.

I have no excuses. I got called out on my shaky grasp of Christianity and rightly so. I haven’t been a ‘good’ Christian for some time. I don’t know the God I purport to support. Either I need to seriously invest myself into what I believe or open myself up to believing something else.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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One Response to The Commercialization of Christianity

  1. baby girl says:

    Rhys, you have put into words what I have been feeling myself. Thank you.

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