In Christendom, there are several arguments… er, healthy debates that will last until the rapture:

  1. If God wants his children to prosper while on earth, why is there so much ado about prosperity?
  2. Does being a real Christian mean living in poverty, or at least driving a hooptie?
  3. Glossolalia: Praying under divine influence or speaking under the influence?
  4. If Jesus healed people by faith, and we have Jesus’ power inside of us, then logic says… ah, you get it.
  5. 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.

It's the new Hollywood Squares. God help us.

It's the new Hollywood Squares. God help us.

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 TBNer, 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).

Yeah, I thought so.

Yeah, I thought so.

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.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Every good Shepherd knows his sheep by name and cares for them and their concerns. It is impossible for a Pastor of a Mega church to know all of his sheep individually.
    So what exactly is the point of having sheep?

  2. Boil the Land, Burn the Sea!
    By Robert Winkler Burke
    Of inthatdayteachings.com
    Copyright 2/18/10

    By the end of Century Twenty-one,
    We were colonizing Mars,
    Inhabited by Little Green Men,
    Who claimed they came from stars!

    Well then, they were copycats,
    And copied everything we did,
    Even in religion,
    We kept nothing from them hid!

    Pretty soon Little Green Men Pastors,
    Were broadcasting back to Earth!
    Lemming Earth citizens then,
    Sent paychecks for all their worth!

    The Little Green Men Pastors sold: rapture’s fear,
    Prosperity’s greed and lazy slouch,
    Emotional-jabberwocky whatnot,
    On Earth, preachers had to say, Ouch!

    But the onslaught of mystic, tyrannical preaching,
    From Little Green Men Pastors never let up!
    Most of Earth’s twenty billion mesmerized citizens,
    Sent large remittances to fill Mars’ cup!

    Even Earth’s world governments,
    Couldn’t halt the mass hypnotizing,
    Spacelines lobbied for Mars,
    Crowds wanting Mars’ green baptizing!

    Finally pastors on Earth studied,
    And saw what was going on,
    Rent-seeking was stolen by Mars,
    Whose Green Men did it more strong!

    Then pastors on Earth realized,
    Living, transcendent indwelling was the thing!
    Worship in right spirit and truth,
    God lives quick in each soul God finds pleasing!

    Then, boil the land, burn the sea!
    It was discovered,
    Little Green Men were machines!
    But it didn’t matter.

    Earth’s gullible, trained by one hundred years,
    Of mystic cleric and political tyranny,
    Enabled Little Green Mars Machine Men,
    To capture most Earth men’s souls, and their money!

    True Christians then said,
    It serves us just about right,
    We thought God was dead,
    And gave up the good fight!

    Oh pastors of Earth,
    You are so very incurious!
    You believe in lies,
    That should make you furious!

    Do something! Do something now,
    About your many fear-greed-slouch doctrinal lies!
    Before machines In That Day expose,
    The mystic ghoul-makers’ tyrannical disguise!

    You see, ghoulish souls are made,
    By promoting utopian schemes that cannot come,
    Lies received by lie-makers,
    It’s how mystic tyranny’s control is done.

    Ghoul-makers make ghouls,
    With some false-doctrine utopian plan,
    They create a world,
    Uninhabitable by man.

    The world is God’s creation,
    And so are we,
    Greek-Jewish-Christian thought:
    In God, be!

  3. […] er, borrowed marketing slogan of its own. Megachurches are trying to become the “big box chain store in the sky.” And let’s not forget the Holy See going […]

  4. […] take steroids and HGH to grow, talk about sex… a lot, cuss in the pulpit… also, a lot and when things are […]

  5. […] the past couple weeks, we have plastered on the Wall a few ruminations about “Big Box” megachurches and even its progeny, […]

  6. […] it seems there is no happy medium with these bustling churches – either they go “big box” and become Wal-Mart’s inner court or they cash in… er, reach out to its multitudes and create more geographically centric […]

  7. matthew24/24 says:

    JUST CAME ACROSSS THIS sight; and I am glad that I did. Well one thing is true, you just told it
    like it real right. Most people know all of this but is just not BOLD enough to make the statement.

    Most have been brainwashed so long, until even if Jesus himself came down in the flesh and told
    them to wake up, warning them. They will not believe him. the vast majority of the leaders today are nothing more than PIMPS IN THE PULPIT.

    THEY DONOT HAVE A MESSAGE FOR GOD PEOPLE, AND THEY HAVEN’T BEEN CHOSEN, CALLED, APPOINTED, NOT
    SENT BY THE MESSANGER WHO IS GOD.

    They mostly paid for their little license, and is still breaking off $’s to the one who told them
    to go out and get them, I mean the weak one, who will just follow anything or anybody and do not
    study the bible for themselves. Most of them do not even own a bible.

    So, the PIMP come in find weak one and the rest is history. TOO MUCH FOR TOO LONG and so thank
    God that there are many real christian who is speaking out via way of the internet. Let us
    continue to cry loud and spare not…..LET US START CRY LOUDER AND LOUDER AND JUST MAYBE SOME
    WILL WILL HEAR AND SEE THAT ” GOD HAS TRUELY CALLED OUT A BOLD GROUP OF CHRISTIAN WHO WILL
    TAKE A BOLD STAND FOR THE TRUTH, NO MATTER WHAT.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOUR REWARD COMES FROM GOD, AND HIM ONLY. BE ENCOURAGED.

    I WILL BE KEEPING YOU IN MY PRAYER.

    • hiscrivener says:

      Missus Johnson,

      Thank you so much for your words and insight. It sounds cliche, but please come back and tell your friends about the Wall. Also, check out the “other bricks in the Wall.” They’re pretty blessed.

      Bless you and peace,

      HiScrivener

      • Jennifer says:

        Hey HiScrivener 🙂 Didn’t see your name elsewhere…
        I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I live in Virginia and just two years ago broke off from my home church, a “box church”. Everyone in leadership refused to be transparent and it left me, along with other members of the church, feeling like there was something wrong with us. I never felt comfortable sharing my ups and downs in life, the darker stuff, with “leaders” because they walked around like their life was perfect and never let down their guard or stop the “show” long enough for people like me to see that they are regular humans and that they are approachable. It sent me into a really bad place. I am still recovering, and thank you Jesus, He is helping me rebuild. My faith has never wavered, but my ideas of what and who the church is built up in all the wrong ways. I was taught that it’s all about the #’s…how many people or friends you brought to church, who did you witness to today, how many bible verses have you memorized, have you talked to your “leader” about that decision… It was like an institution. Like they were running a business. People who served on the worship team, me included, ended up being so empty, because we were “served”-out were told to hang in there! We were pouring out from our emptiness because the Sermons preached were so empty, fellowship was stale and only skin deep, no one was REAL….it was all just a show. It was exhausting! Anyway….I know I am still healing, and still forgiving, but it is really nice to know that this new sweep of mega-churches and “formula” christianity (if you do this, sing this, read this, follow these few steps…BING..out pops your salvation & relationship with Christ) isn’t totally slipping under the radar…that there are other people, other believers that see this going on. We all truly need to pray for these churches and their leaders and the people who are attending.
        There were times I thought I was crazy…having experienced all this, but I’m not 🙂 Thank goodness.
        May God Bless you for being so honest and straight forward!
        In His Love
        Jennifer

      • hiscrivener says:

        Jennifer, thank you kindly for the words of encouragement and confirmation. Church shouldn’t be about all the people, it’s still about the steeple… and where it points. If a church gets huge but still has that focus, great. If not, shameful. Appreciate the love.

        Peace,
        HiScrivener

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