Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mega-Churches and WWJD?

Last night, The Blog's real world alter ego shared the above post on Facebook. Just a quick "like" and "share." No intention to stir up any sort of controversy. Just an offhand commentary.

Several of The Blog's friends shared the same photo. He probably got it from one of them. It was just one of those hit a nerve, knee jerk shares.

But, something weird happened. While all of us who posted this got a great deal of support and agreement for the post, everyone of us had, at least, one friend who was deeply offended by it.

The Blog did not intend to denigrate churches in general. Granted, The Blog is an avowed atheist and has plenty of criticism for organized, mainstream religion. But, he fully supports the good works of all legitimate churches, even if he doesn't believe in their core premise.

But, The Blog's atheism and his reasons for choosing that path is a subject for a future post.

The above photo's point is a slam directed at the so called "Mega-Churches" whose "mission" seems to be, primarily to enrich the church's leaders. (Tax free!)

Ignoring, for now, the vast wealth of the Catholic and Mormon churches, The Blog was thinking more about the "churches" whose "missions" are focused on buying television time, producing movies, publishing books and producing Broadway quality Christmas and Easter productions, (tickets available at Ticketmaster outlets everywhere, including the ones located in the vestibules of their own palatial cathedrals) rather than, I don't know, maybe feeding the poor.

The Blog has rubbed elbows with a number of bishops, pastors and reverends of these corporate/ Christian entities. And, to be fair, they all seem like nice, decent folks. But, they seem to feel no embarrassment and no shame that they wear $1000 Armani suits, surround themselves with large entourages and have their assistants make lunch reservations for them at "The Palms" while children starve. It doesn't seem that there is any difference if they are liberals like the Rev. Al Sharpton or conservatives like the Bishop T.D. Jakes. They are all living high, while others suffer.

It makes me wonder, when you establish your own church, not affiliated with any mainstream church,  by whose authority are you a "bishop" or a "reverend?"

Anyone who has followed the soap opera that is the story of "The Crystal Cathedral" has to question the legitimacy of these 21st Century equivalents of Flip Wilson's "Church of What's Happening Now."

What would Jesus do? That question is easily answered by Matthew 21:12, (King James Version, Cambridge Edition) "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves."

Feel free to argue this with me, if you are so inclined.


  1. Argue with you? Nope. I'm not an atheist. I just don't think I have to set foot in a church to 'prove' that there is some larger being in charge of things... whether I agree with it or not.
    Any building that seats thousands should not be called a church. Churches should seat maybe a few hundred comfortably, have beautiful stained glass windows for the sun to shine through and a kitchen to feed those who want to be fed.
    Take the blasted money that is put into these coffers and do some good - REAL good - with it instead of building a better shrine to yourself.
    By whose authority? Why it's the "almighty me" who gives me the authority... it's right there in the memo I got from God.
    I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I actually agree with you. Give the soup kitchens, the clinics, the (hopefully) safe havens for battered women and children the millions instead of building another monstrosity you want to call a church.
    I'll bet they can do much more real good with your money and make it go much farther. Who knows? I'd bet they might even have some left over for the next group of people needing help.