Amazon.com has gotten into the Jesus business. The online retailer now offers Amazon Instant Church (AIC) to their Amazon Prime customers who want accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but find the time commitment and tithe to be a tad too much.
By giving just five percent of their income to AIC, online congregants enjoy streaming Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services. Communion kits are shipped weekly, so Amazon worshippers can eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ along with the program.
So far, response to AIC has been incredible. “We’ve definitely tapped into a growing market of consumers who crave Jesus without leaving their homes, but at a more affordable price, without paying sales tax or shipping,” said Reverend Inman K. Hoots, who oversees AIC from Tai Wan.
““I love AIC,” said Tomeka Cameron, 31, a montessori teacher in Stockton, California. “I appreciate being able to go to church when it’s convenient for me, say when my kids are asleep or after I come back from the club, and I love being able to buy extra shoes with the money I save on tithing.”
““I’ve wanted to take my kids to church, but buying Sunday school clothes and tithing every week is beyond my family’s budget, what with saving up for little Missy’s medulla oblongata transplant, “said Barney Harris, 29, a convenience store clerk in Walla Walla, Washington. “With Amazon Prime Church, we can stay home and attend church in pajamas, as well as receive free two-day shipping on millions of items, no minimum order size, unlimited instant streaming of a thousands of movies and TV shows for just $79 per year and five percent of my after-tax income.”
Some local churches express alarm over the outsourcing of faith as they’ve seen their membership decline. “How can you discount Jesus?” asked Edgar Thomas, 48, Pastor of the St. Sebastian United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “Church is about fellowship and community? How can virtual church compare to real-time?”
““Frankly, I find AIC to be more fulfilling than going to an house of worship,” said Megan Waldrop, 35, a salesperson for educational software in Dallas, Texas and mother of two. “It’s a like this fetish chatroom I frequent. Sure, I could hook up with a man of color in my town or find another bi-curious mom in the PTA directory, but in a chatroom I can log on and get off in half the time–and I don’t even have to shave my legs. Attending church on my Kindle Fire is just as inspiring as planting my butt on a pew, and if I save a little money, all the better.”