LifeWay Stores, a bookstore chain operated by the Southern Baptist Convention that sells anything from rank heresy to Heaven-tourism to try to make money has announced that they will be closing a number of stores due to an “accelerated rate of erosion.” Thom Rainer, President of LifeWay said in a letter sent out to employees on January 15,
We prayed and hoped that our investments in and commitments to the LifeWay stores would prove fruitful. That just has not been the case. To the contrary, we not only continue to see an erosion in the brick-and-mortar channel, we have seen an accelerated rate of erosion in recent months. It was our hope that greater traffic would result in greater sales, and that with our expense reductions and product cost savings, we would be able to offset sales declines. That hope has not been realized with the declines we have seen since September.
In simple terms, a strategic shift is required for moving more and more of our resources to a dynamic digital strategy.
In 2016, LifeWay trustees authorized the sale of their downtown Nashville campus for $125 million so they could relocate the nearly 1100 employees working at the location to a new 227,000 square foot facility. “We dedicate this building to God,” Thom Rainer said at the ribbon cutting ceremony in 2017.
LifeWay has been one of the premier promulgators of heresy in the Christian media industry. LifeWay peddles doctrinally aberrant materials such as Jesus Calling and various prosperity authors such as Joel Osteen and the non-Trinitarian, TD Jakes. LifeWay has even taught modalism in its own VBS children’s curriculum.
In 2015, Pulpit & Pen broke the story that Alex Malarkey, the personage of the well-known Heaven-tourism book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven had actually made the story up, recanted it, and asked that LifeWay stop selling it. LifeWay ignored these requests for weeks while continuing to profit from the sell of the book, even though the story made national news.
To this day, you can still walk into any LifeWay store and purchase just about any doctrinally deviant materials you want. If they don’t carry it in the store, they will gladly order it for you. You want prosperity gospel? Go to LifeWay. You want Roman Catholicism? Go to LifeWay. You want false prophecy? Go to LifeWay. You want non-Trinitarianism? Go to LifeWay. You want homosexual propaganda? Go to LifeWay.
As of January 17, Thom Rainer has not announced how many stores or employees will be affected by this closure.