Rachel Hollis: What is She Selling?
Rachel Hollis is a popular blogger and best-selling author. She is also a 36-year-old mother of four. Her 2018 book, Girl, Wash Your Face, spent 46 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Her newest book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, is also another brisk bestseller. Hollis is also a “professing” Christian. And her books have become very popular in many evangelical churches.
Fans love her Southern speak (even though she’s from California) and her humor. They also love her transparency. She has shared openly about her brother’s suicide, drinking problems, and her rags to riches success story of starting her own business.
SO…what is Rachel Hollis selling in her books and blogs? She has compared herself to Tony Robbins (the new age motivational speaker), while her critics compare her to Joel Osteen, the popular prosperity preacher in Texas. Hollis does seem to have a good dose of the prosperity gospel in her message. Her self-help manifestos are mostly stories of her own successes, where she addresses “lies” women should stop believing, and “excuses to let go of” if they want to reach their goals like she did.
Success for her is typically in material terms, and she’s unashamed about it. In Girl, Wash Your Face, Hollis writes about her burning desire for a thousand-dollar Louis Vuitton purse. The day she made her first $10,000 from consulting, she drove to the Beverly Hills Louis Vuitton store and bought one.
In her new book, Hollis writes that one of the goals on her “dream list” is “I only fly first class”, and in a chapter titled, “Good Girls Don’t Hustle,” she addresses friends who criticized her decision not to be a stay at home mom when she wanted more money and influence:
“My goal is simple, even if it’s grandiose: I want women to understand they have the power to change their lives. It’s at the core of everything I do. It’s the platform I’ve built everything else on, and I truly believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do. I’m building a media empire around the idea. No, I did not mistype. Yes, I just said A. Media. Empire. Not a company, not a side hustle, not a small business—an empire.”
Beyond her blatant materialism, did you notice her words: “I want women to understand they have the power to change their lives.” Say what? The whole point of the gospel is precisely the opposite. We do not have the power, within, to change ourselves.
Many Conservative Christians have reacted negatively to Hollis’ message, and rightly so. There is lot of religious pluralism, self-promotion and self-love. This all seems quite opposite of the message of service and self-sacrifice that Jesus calls Christians to. In the words of Jen Oshman (writing for the Gospel Coalition) the message to Rachel Hollis might be, “Girl Follow Jesus!” I’ve included the link to Oshman’s recent blog which offers a kind, but biblical critique of Rachel Hollis’ latest book.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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