Archive for March 16, 2009

“Everything’s bigger in Texas.”

Who hasn’t heard that adage? Evidently, megachurch pastors in the Lone Star state as they have spawned the trend of bigger churches, just in smaller and several locations.

Rather than make their [megachurch pastors] voluminous auditoriums even bigger, they are creating smaller, community-based congregations. These offshoots help relieve crowded sanctuaries, shorten members’ commutes and spread church ministries into untapped territories.

megachurch_poster_seats“Offshoots”?! Try more like adorned buildings with a big TV screen. I don’t get the “satellite church,” people. Am I missing something? Going to church… to watch TV? Is TBN so bad that you have to decorate a media room with crushed velvet, high back chairs, offering boxes and the choir?!

But, like the croup and the flu, this stuff is catching.

The trend from mega to mini has gained momentum nationwide. An estimated 22 percent of U.S. megachurches — those with 2,000 or more at weekly services — started or were considering satellites in 2000, according to a megachurch study by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and Leadership Network. Last year, that percentage grew to 59 percent.

So, here’s a thought: is this being responsible to the needs of the environment or just a clash between vanity run-a-muck and multiple personality disorder?

Sure, these multiple “churches” are saving time on traffic, but it’s still all going to the same trafficker. Listen, if you have a following and the throng just has to see you in the moment, I’m not mad at ya’. Good on ya’. But what happens if pastor isn’t on his game? Or there’s a guest speaker?

What, does the on-location host pastor change the channel? Maybe they plug in the XBOX 360 and play “Halo,” you know, to keep it heavenly minded.

Unfortunately, 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 iner, reach out to its multitudes and create more geographically centric “minichurch” locations. What’s a pastor to do?

God is omnipresent and churches are becoming very savvy at marketing, public relations and technology. Praise the Lord for that, but what are they doing that the other churches on the corner not doing?

Maybe instead of holding $400 per ticket conferences to teach monkey-see-monkey-do, these innovative, jean-wearing preachers should leave their plush, tuck-and-roll office chairs once in a while to teach the lesser-thans how to earn enough money to buy a TV, much less broadcast from it. Just a thought.

What? You thought I was going to pen, “Snow,” “Mountains” or perhaps “Mormons”?

Evidently, this is how they roll too

Evidently, this is how they roll too

Please, most of the bricks on the Wall are plastered in irony. I couldn’t let you off that easy. You see, according to online buy rates and the Utah Deseret news (and some masonry by the Bible Belt Blogger), someone really needs to “sound the alarm in Zion.”

Ah, I love it when the double entendre works for both Pentecostals and oddball sects. Good times.

Utahns, famous for their wholesomeness and frugality, buy online pornography at higher rates than the rest of America. That’s the conclusion of a Harvard economics professor who tracked subscriptions to online porn sites. Utah ranks No. 1 in subscriptions, according to Benjamin Edelman, who reported his findings in the article “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?”

It seems while the LDS Church was debating Proposition 8 in California, they were making online proposals of their own to starlets named Trixie and Delightful Darla. Stay classy, boys.

Subscriptions are slightly more prevalent in states that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality,” Edelman writes. In the 27 states where “defense of marriage” amendments have been adopted, there were 11 percent more porn subscribers than in other states, he reports. Use is higher also in states where more people agree with the statement “I never doubt the existence of God.”

So, let me get this right: where people have to create affront of pseudo-spirituality, there are mucho sins in the closet and in the computer. I wonder how much smut is a big player in genealogy, or on the planet Kolob.

I figure with all the getting busy done in space, Utahns are just getting practice for the big day. How’s that for a “Pearl of Great Price“?

I’d bet my autographed Joseph Smith medallion, skivvies from heaven and all my prayers for the dead that some one in the hallowed Temple is cursing Mark Twain. “Lies, damned lies and statistics,” you know.