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Miscellaneous Rambling: Mega-Churches

Ceiling. Trastevere

For some reason, the topic of mega-churches has been getting a lot of attention around my house. I point out to my children what Marcus Grodi says, "The theology is a mile wide and an inch deep." Yeah, yeah, I know: It's better for the people to get some churching rather than none at all.

Ceiling. Trastevere

But is it? The way I see it, there are three alternatives: "Real" church, pseudo-church, and no-church. If humans have a higher calling (yearning), they will desire the transcendent, which is what they find in church. They might deny the yearning for awhile, but eventually, many of them will surrender. If you offer them a pseudo-church alternative, aren't you reducing the chance that they'll eventually succumb to the transcendental yearning and go to a real church, thereby possibly doing more harm than good? It's at least worth thinking about.

Ceiling. Trastevere

And what exactly is the mega-church experience? Lots of music, acting, hype, and other things that appeal at the emotional level. The worship service reminds me of those high-tech movies with great special effects and a lame plot line: all the effort goes into the CGI instead of the script, just like, in a porno, all the effort goes into the sex instead of the plot. You might call the mega-church approach "spiritual porn."

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