The most recent list includes such well-known names as JC Penny, GNC Nutrition, Neiman Marcus, Lucky Brands (not so lucky after all), Brooks Brothers, Pier 1 Imports, and True Religion.
Yes, True Religion is bankrupt. True Religion is a high-end clothing company whose empire is built on blue jeans. As the founder of the company stated, “There is only one religion in the world. That’s people, and we wear jeans.” Evidently anyone wise enough to purchase a pair of their pricey jeans had gotten religion.
Sadly, many people’s true religion is founded in consumerism, in buying and having, in wearing and displaying. This company had branded itself perfectly, making people feel that to own their jeans was to be part of something larger, even humanity itself. It was a call to make us feel good about ourselves while making us feel part of something bigger, for just a few dozen dollars. That is the epitome of American religion—feel good about self, have a vague feeling of being part of something (without actually doing the hard work of touching and loving it), and turn a hefty profit. All such religion is eventually bankrupt.
Colossians 3 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another…And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
We are the people clothed in Colossians religion, not blue jean religion. It takes prayer and hard work to build our lives not on the vainglory of our possessions, but on the everlasting grace of a resurrection reign that has no end. True Religion will go under. But God’s true religion will always rise. Stay faithful, friends.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana