Is God an Insurance Salesman?

NEWSFLASH! The Christian faith is being hijacked and packaged as life insurance. Take a closer look at this picture. You’ve probably never noticed it before, but doesn’t the middle logo in this State Farm sign resemble a Trinitarian symbol? Sadly, this isn’t too far removed from where our faith actually lies. The most popular form that Christianity has taken in the past decade or so has been about being Christian so we’ll go to Heaven (or more accurately, being Christian so we DON”T go to Hell).

This has been extremely prevalent in the ways that we have ministered to youth as well. It’s the rhetoric behind tons of youth services which end in altar calls, as if to say “Come up and ensure your place in Heaven. Do it now, before it’s too late!” This line of rhetoric is so damaging to fostering any sort of deep faith. And one could say, and because I’m here I will, it’s this kind of thought that breeds generations of legalists who follow every rule of the Bible tooth-and-nail to make sure they’re in. But it’s the “in or out” mentality in and of itself that’s so damaging.

Faith is not just about salvation.

If the only reason we believe is to get to Heaven, then God is nothing more than an insurance peddler (albeit a very successful one). Of course that’s not all of who God is. So that can’t be all of what our faith consists of. Being a Christian is a commitment to a way of life that was put forward and exhibited by Jesus Christ. This way calls us to enter into places of Godforsaken-ness for the sake of loving and being with our neighbor.

Bonhoeffer said that when Christ calls someone, he calls them to come and die. He does not call them to come and die for the sake of deciding which direction they’ll head in the afterlife. But he calls them to places of death so that through death, we can bear witness to the hope of the resurrection.

In what ways do we serve the God as cosmic life insurer model? What kind of practices do we have that perpetuates this? Does this speak to your experience at all?

And did you ever notice that about the State Farm logo before?


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