Question: I have some Christian relatives who are involved with Amway. Besides “bugging” me to sign up, is there anything I should be concerned about for their sakes?
Response: Our knowledge and experience with some aspects of Amway has given us concerns of which you should be aware. While the corporation makes the disclaimer that it is a business and does not endorse a particular religion, there is an overt Christian emphasis among most of its leading “independent” distributors, who individually may have as many as 300,000 distributors under them. Amway’s business orientation and high-powered sales techniques, when intermingled with evangelizing, inevitably combine reaching people for Christ with reaching them for profit.
Many “Christian” Amway distributors concentrate their recruiting among evangelical Christians. Their instructed approach to potential subdistributors expressly avoids mentioning the name Amway in initial get-togethers (why is that?), and the pitch directed at Christians emphasizes that “by increasing their financial base they can be more effective for the Lord, in terms of time and money.” What happens in numerous cases, however, is that the faith of those involved becomes intermingled with PMA and positive-confession beliefs, and the required investment in the business of a great amount of time in the initial years results in devastated families already lacking time together.
An Amway distributor becomes a teacher/model/trainer/sponsor of those whom he recruits. While this may seem to be a good opportunity to present Christian principles in a discipleship format, the training materials and particularly the reading lists promote a dangerous mixture of “Christianized” success and positive mental attitude (PMA) concepts, mind-science beliefs, self-oriented psychology, and occult techniques and methods. The recommended book list includes such authors as occultist Napoleon Hill, PMA theologians Robert Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, motivational psychologist Denis Waitley, and positive confession writer/preacher Charles Capps.
Those in Amway make money not primarily by selling products but from a percentage of the Amway income of those they have recruited. Their recruits become subdistributors who in turn recruit others to become subdistributors and the more subdistributors, the greater the financial return. Therefore, though the company has a diversity of good product, in effect Amway sees people as its most important product.
Second Peter 2:3 says, “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you….” Whereas covetousness can attract anyone to any business opportunity, Amway, through its ostentatious display of material success (clothes, jewelry, cars, luxurious homes, yachts, exotic vacations) in its promotions and Anagram magazine, seems to major on a theme which has caused many Christians to stumble in their faith.