In Christendom, there are several arguments… er, healthy debates that will last until the rapture:
- If God wants his children to prosper while on earth, why is there so much ado about prosperity?
- Does being a real Christian mean living in poverty, or at least driving a hooptie?
- Glossolalia: Praying under divine influence or speaking under the influence?
- If Jesus healed people by faith, and we have Jesus’ power inside of us, then logic says… ah, you get it.
- AND, this one, as noted in the story from the Houston Business Journal:
Critics claim ‘big box’ churches are more focused on entertainment than religion, but today’s religious facilities are using technology and savvy marketing to transform themselves into community hubs.
So, are they? Many critics, pundits and Christians say a resounding, “AMEN!”
“The goal is to reach the ‘unchurched,’” says Pete Ed Garrett, Studio Red Architects partner. “The business side of that is to find out who your customers are and find a way to reach them. They want the exterior to inspire curiosity and draw people inside. This means the religious iconography is purposely left off. There are usually no big steeples, crosses or stained glass.”
Working in and with the media pays the bills for the HiScrivener clan, so this is a issue close to my heart. There is always a place in this world for the old rugged cross at the old dilapidated church.
Those picturesque houses of worship are the backbone of Christianity, but these days, some of the people leading those houses make up the wishbone… and honestly, it ain’t helping the whole Great Commission thingy.
And regretfully, as it appears in this riveting article, the wishbone is for plasma TVs over platforms for the Gospel; stained-walled frescos instead of stained-glass windows; and a good con game over righteous conviction. So, where did the design for the house of the Lord go anyway? What attributes are inside these “big box” churches – and the people inside them?
Coffee bars, book stores and even a bowling alley — leaders of large churches want their church to be an integral part of the community surrounding it, and they are willing to invest in it. Even smaller to midsized churches draw in outsiders through “fellowship” facilities. Megachurches take this to a new level with video games, concerts and food courts.
Question: Is the big box craze currently seen on TBN… er, a neighborhood street near you truly a quest to become involved in the community, or is it a modern-day voyage upward in the Tower of Babel?
It seems we are more concerned about being “seeker-sensitive” than being seekers of the will of God. There are several blogs dedicated the reality of Christ (note “Another Brick on the Wall” – just pick one), and many, many more readers of said blogs who carry the “Acts 28” message wherever they go (let it stew, you’ll get it).
What this article made me ponder is the very premise for “The Writing on the Wall”: God is desperately trying to get our attention despite the lukewarm pablum of some of those preaching his word.
We need truth. We need real messages that will empower us and make us agents of change. Do we get that when preachers would rather talk about married couples should have seven straight days of sex, convince their members to join multi-level marketing scams or even better, lie to the world about having cancer and then, uh really just have a hankering for porn?
Not so much. And it probably breaks his heart.
People, those big boxes full of fluff, pomp and circumstance are not the churches God envisioned when the Holy Spirit descended and the praise of the Lord ascended in Acts 2. Rather, WE ARE!
I’m sorry to still be steppin’ on my proverbial soap box, but we are supposed to be living epistles, not pseudo apostles. There is no problem with big boxes, if God is directing tens of thousands of people to be in one building at one time, sweet. Let’s just ensure through demanding more of Jesus, of his ministers and his people what is being shared inside that box isn’t just “jack”.
If you know what I mean. And I think you do. But if not, unfortunately, the “show” will go on.