Friday, December 20, 2019

Mega churches and failed humans

I DON'T GET into a lot of religious discussions on social media. One, I'm not changing anybody's mind, and two, I've developed much more of a world view in recent years.

I'm not a big church guy. I grew up in it, was immersed in it, and my father was a pastor. Certainly there were pros and cons, but I strayed in my college years, got back into it when I was married and had a family and was "responsible," then left again when life got in the way.

I'm into praise and worship, but not board meetings and church mission statements.

I am not a mega-church guy. I understand the lure and value of places like Mars Hill and Willow Creek, and I've had powerful worship experiences in those churches. But for every Rob Bell there are unintentionally comical pastors and church leaders. If I want to be humored and horrified at the same time, the TV rabbit ears pick up three local Christian channels.

The Joel Osteens and Benny Hinns of the world prey on the weakness of human nature, and care only about the pocketbooks and bottom lines. The so-called "Prosperity Gospel" is truly one of the most evil things to emerge in modern Christianity. It's just not what a church should be. But what exactly should the church be, anyway?

I'm not wise enough or versed in theology to know.

My friend Devin Cashman wrote a blog yesterday about a tough issue at one of Quincy's mega churches, The Crossing. He defends his friend who got fired. This is an excellent piece about the modern-day church and how it is run today. It's a story that needs to be told.

I'm torn because there are some amazing people at The Crossing, including Jim Dennis. His story is one of grace and redemption and he truly cares about people, especially the less fortunate of this world. He walks the walk. I know lots of people who attend The Crossing and Madison Park and have had life-changing experiences. God bless them, literally.

So I don't cast stones. Remove the log from your own eyes before you point out the speck in your brother's eyes. And in the end, we are all human and fail, even with the best intentions.

Maybe that's what a church should be all about.

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