Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back to Church

When I first saw this video I thought it was a good satire put together by some enterprising young Lutheran (or Baptist or...) to point out the vapid, content-free nature of the modern American church growth movement.  It goes to great lengths to show that church isn't some stuffy place filled with old people that your parents forced you to go. Our minister uses an iPod! Church is interactive and fun! And we rap!

Then I went to the website and saw that this is a real thing. The video is actually being earnest.

I don't want to crap over the whole thing. I actually think the tune is catchy, the video is fun, and the attempt to bring more people to church is a good thing. But what compelling reason do they give to attend church? To get an iced coffee? People can go to Dunkin' Donuts. Hang out with your community? People can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Have fun? People can go to the park or shore or the movies.

The most compelling reason to attend church is something the American evangelical movement is missing. They've made people believe that God is a cosmic ATM who you just have to pray to to get health, wealth, and happiness.  The Greek origin of the word evangelical is literally one who spreads the evangel, the Good News. That is forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Hearing the Gospel is something you only get from a church. Quick - how many times was Jesus mentioned in the rap? I'll wait while you listen to it again.

I'm not trying to open a debate about religion or convince any non-churchgoers to go to church. This is straight up PASWO blogging. I'm frustrated about church-growth movements that emphasize getting butts in seats over spreading the true Word of God. I'm frustrated with mysticism and moralism preached over forgiveness of sins. I'm tired of Christians being stereotyped as square, then doing things like this to try to counteract the perception only to reinforce it.

Maybe I'm just being cranky. In spite of this post, I'll probably be singing this rap for the next couple days.

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