Tuesday, May 09, 2006

monsters in the parking lot

about 5 or 6 years ago i started hearing about an evil scourge on the horizon, something that threatened the very existence of the life i knew. this monster ate everything in its path, a behemoth the knew no restraint. no, it wasn't wal-mart, it was...megachurches! dun-dun-DUN!

far from the trappings of city life (things like target, starbucks, and paper money are just now coming into the area) i had lived the blissful life of small neighborhood churches with pastors who often had a full-time normal job along with their shepherding responsibilities. but as i got older and started getting more involved in church life and practice, i heard about these giant churches who were "seeker-friendly." on the surface that didn't sound so bad, but i was soon taught that these churches had muliple people on staff, had more than one service per sunday, and worst of all, had watered-down doctrine. a local church began showing signs of megachurchness and were instantly shunned by most of the other churches. soon after this, these churches lost large numbers of their congregations to the laodicean beast and the tension was palpable. references to "that church" were met with rolling eyes and knowing remarks about "the true gospel."

things have simmered down now, but every now and then i hear about how evil megachurches are. it now appears that the emerging/emergent church will be the new target of the well-meaning-venom-spewing, but since we are rural, that won't really hit for a few more years.
there are lots of things about the megachurch mentality that bug me, but i don't think rick warren is the devil and i don't think having a coffee bar inside your church is the spiritual equivalent of lukewarm Christianity. today i saw something that summed up many of my thoughts on megachurches in a very somber, almost morose fashion that befits the issue. please don't cry as you see the evils of the megachurch:

click at your own peril

ht: foolish sage


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