Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In weird news

If you can't control the world around you, you may still legislate the world you cannot control. China now intends to make it illegal for monks to reincarnate in Tibet.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Christianity in the American church has died

Maybe you knew this already. Contemporary culture rejects many ideas of the past. That Jesus is the focal point of the church is (as it has been becoming) one of those ideas.

Probably you've seen the signs that the American church--which is to say the corporate church-going desire of many Americans--has strayed from Jesus as the Christ and toward many other principles and ideas. A few days ago this realization came to fullness as I read the mail. That day I was urged to attend the life journey church, which meets at local theatres. Having been around audience-driven churches (like this) before, nothing initially caught my eye. As I continued to read the flyer several important ideas stuck out. Read them with me:

Think church is boring and outdated? Yikes... so did we.

We're Different... "I laughed, I cried, milk came out my nose!"

83% more fun than anything else you will do on Sunday

The first is that church is merely entertainment. Or at least the appeal here is nothing more than entertainment. Probably this church and all church-goers will tell you that it is much more, but very little on this advert displays motivation for attendance that is not based on entertainment.

We gladly serve complimentary [starbucks]

Not that I'm against Starbucks coffee... but complimentary generally means that it compliments--or is in addition to--something else. The message of that statement is comfort, ease, and pleasure... which may indeed compliment entertainment, but also does little to dispel the notion that entertainment is the focus when churchgoers convene. And for what do churchgoers convene?

If you gave up on church a long time ago, this invitation is for you

The Life Journey Church... The perfect place for imperfect people.

What to expect at [t]he... [c]hurch: People taking God seriously

Though it makes little sense in light of the former two sentences, the last statement is the only one on the advert that ostensibly mentions anything religious. Other statements may be intended to produce religious or moral sentiment, but what really is this--and what really is this church doing?

As best I can tell this is the modern American church. And if a group of morally-motivated people who have no connection other than their general disconnect with the religious affections are meeting together to seriously take on God (who has not yet been defined) in a manner which is entertainment-motivated, then Jesus has indeed left the building and the lordship of the Christ has little bearing on modern life.

How unfortunate, since these are the sort of men and women whom Jesus readily sought to pull out of the doldrums of life. Hopefully something they see at this church will help them again entertain the thought that Jesus still seeks them for that purpose.

But that may be hard to remember when he is no longer the purpose of convention.