Last week, certain sections of the Christian interwebs were atwitter with a “staff video” from the Creative Pastor himself, Ed Young Jr.
Dear Ed has a rant on Church Pirates that he had his staff put up at YouTube. Jared Wilson pointed at the MMI post about the video. Todd’s post now has close to 4200 reads and over 140 comments in the week it’s been up. (The video has 7,200 views @ YouTube as of this morning.) Ed has a blog where you can comment – although not all comments get approved.
I don’t feel an overwhelming need to add to the fisking that has already taken place on Ed’s video. He very effectively demonstrates the heart of the consumer church – it’s about growing your audience. And. If someone steals part of your audience, well…
“…if this happened in the business world or the corporate world some of these people would be in jail by what they’ve done. You cannot do that in the corporate world.”
As one who has had employees head off to start their own businesses and taken a third of our clientele with them (in the last millenium), Ed doesn’t now what he’s talking about. But. We need to thank Ed for identifying his “church” for what it really is, a business. Though. I must confess that I find the business a little confusing as he refers to his customers as sheep. I mutton understand.
“Baaaaah, I’m not into moving sheep from place to place, I’m not into stealing sheep.” (From approx. 2:50 in the video.)
Well, apparently I did want to add to the fisking. Now, Ed would be from the Independent Baptist/Disney/Las Vegas Show wing of the Church.
But. That isn’t the only wing of Christendom manifesting consumer church. A thousand miles east and a couple of hundred miles south of Ed’s Church, the circus has come to Lakeland, Florida. This circus features the Tattooed Man, an Angel named Emma, another angel who apparently used to do the circuit with William Branham, a re-enactment of that famous old spiritual “Drop kick me Jesus through the Goal Post of Life” and more. (Now, why does it remind me of this story?) Like most circuses, the best seats come at an increased price – and if you want more, you’ll just have to pay more. Must be God’s new economy?!.
Folks, forgive me, but this too is just consumer church. Granted of a decidedly more bizarre and, perhaps, more sinister nature. It’s all about me and my needs/wants/desires – about what I can get from Santa God.
And it is both indicative and an indictment of the church in the west.
God help us all.
UPDATE: Robbymac’s post from very early this morning fits well with this post.
UPDATE 2: Rylan sent me this link to an Ed Young Jr. / Joel Osteen love fest setup. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. My 19 year old son commented, “it’s amazing how self-focused they are, and it’s amazing how much ed young makes pastoring seem like any other profession with earthly measures of success…“