Wednesday, November 23, 2005

'Megachurches' draw big crowds - Yahoo! News

'Megachurches' draw big crowds - Yahoo! News

By Joyce Kelly and Michael Conlon Tue Nov 22, 8:26 AM ET

Commentary:

A "Christian" rock band? I don't think so.

The bible instructs believers to speak to one another in "Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."

What this article describes isn't worship. It's poor quality entertainment.

"Inside some people drifted into small Bible study groups or a bookstore and Internet cafe for lattes, cappuccinos and seats by a fireplace."

Ssounds nice. But Christians can do the same thing in private homes that may provide intimacy, safety and be free from any pressure to donate.

Crowds of people don't equal "church." Jesus said that the path of destruction is broad and many would enter it. But narrow is the way that leads to everlasting life and few there be that find it.

"They have the resources to produce a professional-quality production every weekend, with music (often specially composed for the occasion and backed by a professional ensemble) and video and lighting and computer graphics and a preacher who knows how to work a crowd," she said.

Jesus could care less about any so-called preacher, the majority of whom are false prophets, "knowing how to work a crowd."

"But they also support "dozens or even hundreds of specialized opportunities for people to get involved in doing things with a small group of others. If you want someone to talk to who really understands what it is like to parent an autistic child, you may find a whole support group in a megachurch," she added."

That sounds okay IF that small group is autonomous and free of unscriptural, hierarchical control and allows people to be real and accountable one to another as opposed to a solo pastor/priest. I can almost guarantee it's not.

"It's just that there are so many paths into involvement that a smaller church just can't match," Ammerman said.

If I wanted entertainment, I would look to the world. I don't want to be entertained by a local church. I want to be spiritually fed and nourished and actually belong and function in my place in the body.

The article stikes me as a "mega-sales" pitch.

"In the small groups, that is where it really gets good," Sauser said.

Yes, small groups are more personal. So why the push to be "mega?" Could it have anything to do with money? And the church, the true church, the church that Jesus is building is not an age-segregated church. It's an age-integrated and family friendly church.

"Some drop off children at Sunday school."

What a scary thought -in the midst of so many strangers, to "drop little children off." (shudder!)

"On the first floor Danielle Jackola of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a mother of two who recently moved to the area from California, has come in search of a church.

A single mother of two little children with no father? Sounds like a prime target for child predators.

After listening to dynamic lead pastor Gene Appel speak on family and passing the baton of faith from one generation to the next, she liked the message -- and the entertainment."

She was being entertained while her little children were "dropped off" with strangers?

"I had never been to something like that. I think that is one of the ways of getting your numbers up ... to get the message across but to keep it fun and upbeat. And more contemporary to get more young families involved," she said a few days later -- after deciding to join the church.

Sigh.

SEARCH FOR MEANING

"They have opened worship to the seeker and the unsaved rather than reserving Sunday worship for the saved and sanctified," Thuma added.

Sinners need saving before they can worship. For they that worship Jesus, must worship Him in spirit and in truth. I don't see anywhere in the Holy Bible where the elders brought the unsaved in amongst the saved and called it a "church." They went "out" and evangelized. And then, those who "believed" had all things in common.

Warren said U.S. Protestants have returned to the 19th century roots of the evangelical movement, emphasizing social issues such as caring for the sick, the poor and the powerless, and not just concentrating on personal salvation.

Doesn't sound like a return to anything outside of socialism. What does a man have to gain if he gains the whole world and loses His own soul? For what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

"The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity, including Catholicism,"

Is Mr. Warren saying that Christianity includes Catholicism?

Catholicism is inclusive. Someone said that the very word "Catholic," means, "Here comes everybody."

True, New Testament Christianity is exclusive. Only those who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus belong.

Catholicsim requires no conversion. Conversion is central to the Christian experience.

Most importantly Catholicism dismisses the Holy Bible as the ultimate authority.

Christians know that heaven and earth shall pass away. But the Word of the Lord shall endure forever.

etc., etc.

These are the kind of shenanigans that seminarians and "men of the cloth" offer us. But for those who seek Jesus, there is something much sweeter. Don't settle for this. Seek the church and you shall find.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Donna said...

Excellent reading!

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Excellent reading!

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

oops. I hit that twice. :o(

9:28 PM  

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