Not many people consider this question, especially because the decision to buy any sort of Christian publication is a personal one for many people – Where would the church be without Christian publishing companies?
There stands your preacher, teaching his sermons every time. Armed with only the Bible, but not having Bible references, periodicals and journals that enhance his understanding of the Bible. Imagine that you do not have any hymnals, choir music and only a few Bibles on each pew. The big question is whether the teachings would reach people without all of these publications.
Of course, the word would get out. In several parts of underdeveloped countries, Christianity is taught under such tough conditions. So how does Christian publishing impact the church?
Christian Publishers, especially those owned by secular publishing conglomerates, seek to expand their profits by appealing to the market, rather than truly meeting the spiritual needs of the readers. There are small publishers who seek to enhance the spiritual lives of their readers. Publishers tend to concentrate on the personal link between the reader and God, rather than the link between the reader and the Church.
Unfortunately, many readers have embraced this kind of thinking, and look more towards their own personal relationship with God, rather than their relationship with the Church. The Bible warns that appealing too much to the market may lead to publishing untrue or outright heretic material. The Apostle Timothy warns of this when he says that people will have itching ears to accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and turn away from listening to the truth, (2 Tim 4:3-4).
Well, Christian publishing on one hand may seem to be a detriment to the Church, but let nobody forget just how much it has done for the Church in the past and will continue to do so. In the last Century, Christian publishing has energized the Church. There was a true reform of theology and the churches resurged, thanks to Christian publishing.
There is a large number of youth who are turning to the church at an early age thanks to publications that they read. This will give rise to a largely Christian adult generation in the future. Christian publishing is playing a greater role now, more than it did in the past.
In the second half of the 20th Century, Evangelism has been the major publisher as compared to any other denomination. Christian publishers played a great role in the proliferation of the Bible, and hence the Church. One can see the large number of translations that were put forth, and also the reference material, which enhanced the understanding of the Bible. Christian publishing did make a great impact on the Church in the past, and is set to make an even greater one in the future. The answer to the question above is that Christian publishing, when done properly, has a great impact on the growth of the Church and should be lauded.
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