Just what one needs. The week of Christmas, no less. And a 55 year old, Canadian white guy attempts to write a blog title, gansta-style.
Epic Fail as my adult children might say.
The ridiculousness of the title just seems to fit the topic.
Last week I posted Narnia & the Evil Penguins – A Holiday Special Event! It was an intentionally over-the-top look at what might be the next "big thing" in over-produced Christmas church events.
I should have known that Junior Ed Young, he of hating sheep stealing, jet-hiding, jewellery-taking, bank account wanting & hip-hop stylin' fame, would fulfil my "prophecy" right before our very eyes.
My buddy, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, DM'd me with this Dallas Morning News story on Fellowship Church's 3D Christmas Extravaganza. From Fellowship Church's website,
This Christmas at Fellowship Church, we’re taking our celebration to another level! We’re going to discover something beyond special. We’re going to uncover something more than spectacular. This year, we’re going to experience something supernatural!
I'm not really sure that 3D technology is supernatural, but if Junior Ed says so, perhaps it is. (And yes, they really used the hackneyed "to another level" line.)
Now according to the Dallas Morning News, brother Young acknowledges that "It's a little cheesy, but cheese works." Ed would know, eh.
In an interview last week, Young said he learned that the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., would be using 3-D for Christmas services this year, and decided Fellowship should follow suit.
Young is known for attention-grabbing strategies, including challenging Fellowship's married couples to have sex each night for a week to strengthen relationships.
I'm surprised that Ed didn't offer people the chance to win a 3D package like Church by the Glades. How cool is that!
Come to one of C-by-the-G's 20 services and you could win a 46" Samsung 3DTV, a 3D Blu-ray player and 2 pairs of 3D glasses. (And not the cheesoid paper glasses that Jr. Ed was handing out.)
I can't believe that Bestis MegaChurch, Evah, Indianna hadn't thought of this – come to church and YOU COULD WIN!!!. Of course, there's always Easter.
Now, Young Ed wants everyone to know that they didn't waste too much money on the 3D production. No way, man. Frugal is the Fellowship Church word. Especially when there are megachurch expenses to be taken care of – including paying for the care and feeding of the 8.4 million dollar Falcon jet which Ed needs for his "ministry".
According to the DMN article,
Fellowship bought 28,000 pairs of 3-D glasses, but rented cameras for the videos, and spent about $8,000 overall to create the special effect.
8 grand. Really? An illusionist would call that misdirection, an erudite individual – prevarication, but let me call it what I know it to be – the end product of a bull's bowel movement.
Imbi and I do have some experience with 3D production. One of our clients builds the technology for a complete 3D production facility, not including cameras. And last year, in Las Vegas, we shot with a Panasonic prototype of their new 3D camera, the AG-3DA1.
It's quite possible the camera rentals were 8 grand, but the increase in production setup and shooting time, the increase in editing time and software upgrades (the Cineform 3D plug-in – most probably what was used by the FC editors, is $2,995 alone) and the upgraded/replaced video projectors would be substantially more.
But, hey, at least they got to produce really cool 3D dog videos,
The third (video) re-created a real-life episode from last Christmas, in which Young's dogs got into the living room and tore up gift packages.
And dogs ripping open Christmas presents in 3D is just such a powerful metaphor for the reason we celebrate the season, eh,
To Young, taking advantage of the latest 3-D craze is just another way to reach people who might not otherwise come to church.
"Christmas is the best time of the year for people to give God a shot," he said.
Especially if you can give God a shot in 3D. Ed puts it all in perspective,
"What a great opportunity for the church," he said. "3-D is so hot."
I can only imagine how people left the service and rushed out to the nearest Best Buy.
Would someone please tell me how, when the Saviour of the world chose to arrive in the humblest of manner and location, Christians think technological extravaganzas provide the best representation of the birth of Christ?
In case you've forgotten, Luke says Jesus was born in a place where animals were kept and our Lord's first bed was a feeding trough for said animals.
Yet, this week, in hundreds of churches across North America, thousands of person-hours and millions of dollars will have been spent to tell a story that bears little resemblance to the event that changed history.
But, at least Fellowship Church ended their service with Silent Night – because, as we all know, child birth and animal shelter are always quiet, n'est-ce pas?
UPDATE: The guys @ the BHT reminded me of Ross Douthat's column (which I read via the NYT Google Chrome app on the weekend).
Douthat's column title: A Tough Time for Believers. He says this (which fits the above so well),
…the once-a-year churchgoers crowding the pews beside them are a reminder of how many Americans regard religion as just another form of midwinter entertainment, wedged in between “The Nutcracker” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” [emphasis added]
Or perhaps comparing Tron in 3D with Ed Young's 3D dogs.
Posts that inform this one:
What is What – What you win them with is what you win them to.
For Some, The Gospel Really is Hollow, Gram!
Willow de Soleil, Cirque de Creek – Cirque de Soleil vs Christmas. Cirque wins.
Dave Fitch's When is a Story Not a Story – Willow Creek and Acrobats on Christmas Eve
Church of the Little Rascals