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Evangelicals Criticize Chevrolet-sponsored Tour

“Undiscerning believers think it a profound ministry strategy to join forces with unregenerate people in forwarding the gospel,” wrote Christian singer Steve Camp in a six-page open letter criticizing the Christian music community.

Christian recording artists Third Day and Michael W. Smith and author Max Lucado have teamed up with Chevrolet for a 16-city tour ending Nov. 23.

Seem like unlikely partners? It made good business sense according to a press release from General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company.

“Chevrolet recognized through research of the Contemporary Christian Music industry and working with Third Day first-hand, that the demographics of the fan base was a match for Chevrolet’s target audience—families and adults 35 to 54 with disposable income,” read the release.

But to some evangelicals the union is detrimental to advancing the Gospel.
“Undiscerning believers think it a profound ministry strategy to join forces with unregenerate people in forwarding the gospel,” wrote Christian singer Steve Camp in a six-page open letter criticizing the Christian music community.

Camp said in the letter that the event “does not function according to, nor is in practice consistent with the Scriptures; and, therefore, cannot be honoring or glorifying to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Unwittingly, they harness Jesus Christ, the Worthy One, with Belial or Satan, the worthless one, in an unholy alliance—the very essence of being unequally yoked … Allowing the world to sponsor and partner in the work of the ministry is foreign to any biblical writer,” Camp wrote in the letter, which is posted on his Web site, SteveCamp.org. “I don’t know of any other singular event that has allowed the world to conduct its business or trade where the worship of the Lord is to be given and the gospel proclaimed.”
Camp asked the Christian music community, “Has the church traded the great theme of ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ and adopted as their new song of praise, ‘Like a rock’?”

Camp also took offense at the idea of charging an admission fee for the event: “We have now actually digressed to charging people money to worship the Lord.”

The Evangelical Environmental Network expressed in a press release another concern about Christian artists joining with Chevrolet: Christians promoting eco-unfriendly vehicles.

“Through this gospel tour Chevrolet is promoting certain vehicles that get very low gas mileage and produce significant pollution, harming human health and the rest of God’s creation. Is this loving your neighbor?” Jim Ball, executive director of EEN, wrote in the release. “We’re asking the artists and audiences to take a good look at what’s happening here, and to ask, ‘What Would Jesus Drive?'”

Ball said the real problem is not the concert, but the cars. “If Chevrolet wants to promote family values, then they should start by creating a healthier environment for our children to play in,” he wrote.

The EEN plans on releasing their statement, an open letter to automobile executives signed by more than 100 religious leaders, and “What Would Jesus Drive?” TV, radio and print ads on Nov. 20, three days before the “Come Together and Worship Tour” ends in Detroit, Mich.

Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.

Also read:
Chevrolet’s Evangelical Concerts Draw Reaction
“What Would Jesus Drive?”