Consuming the Church

kinnon —  July 16, 2006 — Leave a comment

Out of Ur and the iMonk have two posts that seem meant for each other. Skye Jethani @ Out of Ur:

…corporate models, marketing strategies, and secular business values are pervasive in American ministry—we are in competition with other churches, and other providers of identity and meaning, for survival. To appeal to religious consumers we must commodify our congregations—slapping our church’s logo on shirts, coffee mugs, and bible covers. And we strive to convince a sustainable segment of the religious marketplace that our church is “relevant,” “comfortable,” or “exciting.”

The iMonk, Michael Spenser, commenting on Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian Church regarding partiality being shown to the wealthy:

We are the wealthy members of the global church who have arranged the table to suit ourselves. We use our wealth on our buildings, beach retreats, multiple staffs and recreation centers. We demand the best of everything and see no problem with the conditions in third-world churches that could multiply the usefulness of our wealth over and over. We have “dishonored” the poor as American Christians because we believe God wants us to have a $300k light and sound show every Sunday.

The idols of success are real. Their worship is poisonous. Their sacrifices are wasteful and hurtful. Why can’t we see these idols? How do we imagine that Jesus would not overturn all our tables, and that many from the global church would applaud as he did so?

Read both posts – and let me know what you think.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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