Something Smells Rotten.

On the radio this morning, I heard a brief interview with a leader of a religious event calling for a couple of days of fasting and praying of parents and children at an upcoming place and time. As I listened to him answer questions to promote his event, a few things really creeped me out. In fact, these are the things that I find creepy about most mainstream churches today. It’s sad; but it’s true.

William Holman Hunt - "Morning Prayer"
It didn't bode well that, at the beginning of the interview, he was asked how the event got started and he said he prayed that God would help him change the world. After catching himself, he said “I know I can’t do it...but we can all do it together.” Where, I ask, is God’s glory, Mr. Preacher Man? If you think that switching out your pronouns will make you look less glory-hungry, think again.

Then he went on to say that some lady not only paid his salary but also gave him $100,000 to put on this big event (because she believed he would change the lives of young people). You know, I work in marketing and I do graphic design for advertising, so I have a pretty clear understanding as to how much time and money it takes to reach even one customer. But preachers and organizations like this would put God on the same level as an advertisement for Camel Lights. God’s love, grace, and mercy are not products to be sold. God does not need money to reach His sheep. They will hear His voice. (No matter how much social media you throw at it!) After all, they heard His voice long before Facebook and Twitter.  Jesus didn't have a website and marketing budget in preparation to feed the five thousand...yet they still came.  Imagine that.

Just the idea of a huge event with thousands of people fasting and praying sent chills up my spine. There was a time when I would applaud anyone getting a big worship service together, but this morning, something seemed very rotten in the state of Christendom. Is it just me, or does anyone else hear the word “Pharisee” when they hear about that sort of stuff? Does not the Bible say pretty clearly:
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matt 6:5-6, emphasis added)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I pray ardently that our country and it’s people will turn back to God. I desire that more than anything. I just think it’ll take a whole lot more personal conviction – and a changing of the heart and lifestyle – and a whole lot less of these huge concerts worship services to "reach the lost for God". Singing and fellowship can do wonders to lift the mood and certainly has it's place in worship, but I think the modern church today has taken it too far.

Be still, and know that I am God.  That says it all for me.


Lauren said...

Very true. It's right up there with the name it and claim it crowd. Great post!

Mrs. G said...

Go Amy! Your 5 week hiatus was worth it for you to come out swinging like this! :-) I completely agree, there is something gravely wrong with many (most?) "professors" today. "They draw near to me with their lips but their hearts are far from me" rings a bell.


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

I completely agree with you. I grew up attending a church with a primarily wealthy congregation. I saw the same people, week after week, show up and sit in 'their' pews up front, dressed to the nines. They attended 'high society' church fundraising dinners. But when it came to actually 'doing' anything for their church community, they did nothing more than write a check. Yes, money makes the world go 'round, and it's necessary, so therefore appreciated....but it's the people in the trenches willing to get their hands dirty who I value far more than someone with a big bank account and showing up to church in a different pair of Gucci shoes each week. Displays like that never impressed me.
I learned early that some members of our church community were there to 'be seen' and nothing more. I am grateful my mother drug us to clean the church, to set up tables and chairs for those high society dinners she certainly couldn't afford to attend, stuff envelopes, take care of the little ones in the nursery during services.

I'd rather be 'common', do for others with my own hands... and pray where ever I am in private. I don't need an audience.

Abigael said...

Yesss!! I was happy (and sad) to read this - I understand that feeling; listening to things like that makes me feel like Christianity is being 'marketed' to the public much more than focusing on touching people's lives with God through the way we live...

Historical Ken said...

I think your response is excellent! There truly seems to be something wrong with the whole picture in virtually every facet.
Great post!

Rachel said...

Well said, Amy and everyone else.

Asiyah said...

I concur wholeheartedly. We recently changed our membership from large church to a small congregation. I'm not sure why/how the modern church has gotten so far off the path...maybe it's when houses of worship began to view themselves as business entities?

Anyway, I enjoyed the post and will be adding you to my blog rolls.