In the middle of the service, I want to throw up in grief.
There’s a moment when you get ripped from your body on a Sunday morning, and you see the glitzy “praise team” for what it really is.
The caged drums, the screaming electric guitar, the fifty-piece choir, the fog machine: at that moment it feels like ice picks in my head. The slick production values, comfy seats, jumbo screen. Our offering money going to disco lights and subwoofers.
Before this sounds elitist or typically anti-church for the sake of being countercultural, please know: I love the church. I hurt for the body of Christ. I’m not against churches branded mega. I recognize that gratuitous amounts of ink have been spilled in criticizing church growth, methodology, praise bands, corporate worship, consumerism, and church-hopping. Christians have a way of standing against things instead of standing for something.
I don’t mean to be one more manic voice of deconstruction. But if we are for Jesus and what he’s for, it can’t be any of this.
When I read the Bible and then I look out there: the Western church is a bizarre amalgam of air-conditioned, touch-screened, shrink-wrapped safety. The pastors and pianists use a pound of gel each, someone thinks skinny jeans are still cool, the sound system is loud enough to kill small animals, none of the guys have hair on their legs. Call it Entertainment for the Saints. Call it a den of thieves. Call it anything but Jesus’ house.
Or call it what it really is — a very sophisticated whore. Stay for the show, hear the sweet talk, no strings attached, leave happy. See you next Sunday.
It’s not always like this: but somewhere in the midst of it all, I just get a big headache. I’m completely pulled out of worship: the illusion of a plastic church is dead. Somewhere between relevance and tradition, we lost the Son.
Former atheist/agnostic, now a pastor and professional rambler. Have a B.A. in Psychology and M.Div from SEBTS. Both degrees negate each other, i.e. I'm still a dummy. Have a fifth degree black belt and I can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting. A recovered porn addict, skeptical Christian, loves Jesus. I gave away half my salary in 2012 to fight human trafficking, and you can help. Have a mixed German shepherd named Rosco, have two toenails growing out of one toe, and I'm addicted to coffee, ginger ale, and tomato juice.
Christ Is King.