When NewsWithViews.com writer Paul Proctor wrote in a new column that parents should make sure their kids are out of the room and the door is locked before going to a Christian Heritage Bookstore website, he was serious.
Because among the items featured at the “Christian Heritage Bookstore” along with 14-karat gold cross earrings and the like are the X-rated “Playboy: X Mates, Vol. 1 – BMX/Wakeboards,” and an adult 4-pack of “classics” titled “Debbie Does Dallas,” “Deep Throat,” “Behind the Green Door,” and “The Devil in Miss Jones.”
A page snapshot showing an X-rated “Cinderella” at Christian Heritage Bookstore
Right there on the same page that quotes Psalms 119, verse 111, “Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart,” is a listing for “Rated X – A Journey through Porn.”
And it’s only $12.99, a huge 13 percent discount from its regular price.
“Ever think you’d see that on a Christian website?” Proctor asks in his column. “That’s right – ‘Christian Heritage Bookstore.'”
The company lists its “Mission Statement” as: “To enable every church, ministry and Christian individual to open and operate a professional Christian online bookstore affordably and to help them succeed with superior customer service.”
And its “Statement of Faith” follows those of many Christian organizations, starting with: “We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God and is the final authority in all matters of our faith and practice,” and continuing through: “We believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross paid the full penalty for our sins and provides the sole basis for God’s forgiveness.”
And it advertises “The Mammoth Book of Dirty, Sick, X-Rated and Politically Incorrect Jokes,” “The X-Rated Bible: An Irreverent Survey of Sex in the Scriptures,” “The X-Rated Videotape Guide,” and “A House of Decadence (X Rated).”
“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?” Proctor wrote.
“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.’
“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,” he continued.
A page snapshot showing “Behind the Green Door, Rated X – A Journey Through Porn and a package of classics from Christian Heritage Bookstore
“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.”
“Christian Heritage Bookstore” provided only an e-mail contact. It has a link to a group called NSE-National Sales Enterprises, and that lists a street location in Bemidji, Minn. However no telephone number is listed. The Bemidji Chamber of Commerce had never heard of the operation.
And a WND e-mail sent to [email protected] asking for a comment on the X-rated products on a “Christian” website did not generate a response. Its website notes that the “Christian Heritage Bookstore” is part of a family of companies that also includes “CyberMall Warehouse,” “Health & Wellness ADVANTAGE,” and “HOME Shopping Mall.”
Proctor called it “silly” that a bookstore would hang a “Christian” sign on its webpage “and then offer the same worldly merchandise as all the other mainstream bookstores.”
Other listings at “Christian Heritage Bookstore” are a “10K Yellow Gold Ichthus-Fish Pendant,” “The Perfect 14K Yellow Gold Cross,” “Taboo – The Original Adult Classic,” and “Shock X Treme Vol 1:Snuff Video.”
Proctor continued: “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.”
Proctor is a veteran of the country music industry and retired in the 1990s to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a biblical perspective.
At ChristianResearchService.com, which says one of its goals is to “alert and warn fellow Christians about spiritual deception outside and within the body of Christ,” Christian Heritage Bookstore and its related companies have been given the “Shelves of Shame Award.”
That organization also reported on some objectionable materials listed on the website for the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lifeway Christian Resources, although they dealt more with the fringe of theology rather than explicit sex. But the Research group noted that managers made changes in their stock lists when they were made aware of the concerns over their compliance with biblical teachings.
Earlier, Proctor had reported that LifeWay had removed more than a dozen books on yoga and Eastern Mysticism from its Internet catalogue after hearing concerns from Christian Research Service chief Bud Press.
Proctor also reported he’d found theologically objectionable publications being sold by the American Family Association.
“Remember Peter Singer? He’s that controversial fellow WorldNetDaily just wrote about in a September 14th article entitled: ‘Bioethicist’: OK to kill babies after they’re born.
“The WND piece begins this way:
“An internationally known Princeton ‘bioethicist’ and animal-rights activist says he’d kill disabled babies if it were in the ‘best interests’ of the family, because he sees no distinction in the child’s life whether it is born or not, and the world already allows abortion.”
WorldNetDaily went on to report that, in a recent question and answer interview where Singer was asked if he would kill a disabled baby, he replied:
“‘Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman’s right to have an abortion,’ he said.”
“Well, if you would like to read more about Mr. Singer’s family values, you can find a couple of his books for sale at AFA’s American Family Resource Center,” Proctor wrote at the time.
The AFA has responded by making changes in its product lists as well.
“Now before you lose your cool and fire off an indignant e-mail or letter to some editor, webmaster or religious leader, you need to know this: Many of them don’t know what they’re selling. That’s the good news. The bad news is, some of them do,” Proctor continued.
He suggested Christians be more diligent in researching the authors they purchase, and referred people to a master list compiled by Christian Research Service as a tool to begin.
“All that glitters is not gold, my friends! And so, it is imperative that each of us takes the time to find out just who and what we are buying, supporting and rewarding with our money before we bring their teachings into our hearts and homes because, as the scriptures repeatedly make clear, there are wolves among us,” Proctor said.
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