Thinking Out Loud

October 22, 2011

Saturday Silliness: How to Tell if You’re a Megachurch

Carlos Whitaker at Ragamuffin Soul, a definite insider on this issue, nails it with this checklist:

  • You might be a megachurch is your green room looks nicer that 95% of your attendees living rooms.
  • You might be a megachurch if you film sermon video illustrations on location in other countries.
  • You might be a megachurch if people take celebrity pictures of the pastor during his sermon.
  • You might be a megachurch if you have more people on staff to run a Sunday than American Idol has on staff to run a Wednesday.
  • You might be a megachurch if kids throw a tantrum when the moving lights aren’t working in their Sunday School.
  • You might be a megachurch if your pastor has had more work done than most of the women in your church.
  • You might be a megachurch if your worship department has not one single ugly person in it.
  • You might be a megachurch if your pastors security detail mimics the Secret Service.
  • You might be a megachurch if there are more police officers directing traffic into your parking lot than manning the streets of your neighborhood on a Sunday morning.

Thanks, Carlos.  Now then, click over to his blog and read the additional definitions his readers came up with…    No, really, you must read the comments.

April 1, 2011

Rapture Could Lower Weekly Church Attendance

Vic the Vicar, if you haven’t guessed, is a pastor in England who has a blog by the same name.   All the talk of the rapture occuring on May 21st has him concerned, because if it happens, it could seriously deplete his church membership.  And we can’t have that.  It’s nice to know that Vic has such a strong vision for a healthy post-rapture church.   Here are some thoughts taken from recent posts at his blog:

May 21st Rapture – Keeping your congregation

Here, in readiness for the 21st of May, we have purchased specially engineered ‘anti-rapture’ seating for our church building. Here’s a  picture of one of the congregation trying one of the seats out for size:

Don’t delay, buy them now before the need (and the congregation) disappears!

Come in a variety of colours and sizes to suit all of your congregation. Just click the seatbelt on and you’re ready to keep on being church when the others have gone.

Making being left behind fun!

Rapture – Camping Equipment

For those of you wondering what you can do to keep your members from leaving on the 21st may, here’s a nifty little design that might just help.

All you need is a handyman in the congregation to knock these up and hopefully, when the 21st [of May] comes, you’ll have enough members left to pay the amount owing.

May 21st Rapture – Be prepared

Looks like the preparations for keeping believers when the rapture comes in May are taking shape. With this clever little modification to the church it should be possible to catch the members in the nets (being also biblical in that we will be ‘fishers of men’).

Needless to say, Vic the Vicar isn’t a fan of people who set rapture dates.  In one post he reminds us of

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matt 24: 36.

while in another post, he sees people like this as enemies of the church:

Christians! Who needs enemies?

The main focus of attention this week has been the fact that Christians have no need of enemies or people seeking to pull them down when they have enough people willing to do that from within.

If I had a [dollar] for every mention I have had from people about the end of the world happening in May… “Ho, Ho, Vicar,” They cry, “It’s bad enough that your Jesus geezer isn’t ever coming back without you having people making things worse by announcing his appearing! Won’t come then, won’t come ever – a permanent ‘no show’ your bloke and the prophesies fron nutters will only make more people see that!”

The sad thing is that I can see that they are right about that.

That said, He will come back (at a time no one will predict) and those who sneer, the naysayers and mockers will be wondering what has hits them (and worse still, what will be coming to hit them). Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their abortive expected due date, of which there have been sixteen thus far (if I have counted correctly) we’re going to look like a bunch of lunatics and sad types if the ‘prophets’ keep it up!

Moving on. Those amazingly sad types who have prophesied that Japan was God’s vengeance because of [insert blinking ridiculous reason here] bring the whole of Christendom into disrepute and also demonstrate that they have no understanding of who God is, or how He acts. To criticise a blatantly flawed, secular nation, because of their wrong actions is not to raise a hand against the Lord’s anointed but is to uphold what God calls us to be and to do! To condone evil because of a name is to (once again) subject YHWH and His Son and the Holy Spirit to ridicule.

Staggering forward, we come to those who seek to bleat about the world not being Christian and, as proof of this, look for ways in which we can challenge the ungodly. The problem is that whilst the identification of things contrary to God might be right the manner in which they engage damages the argument and weakens our position as Christians even further. Acting in ways that deny God is something we are called no to do, but why let that stop a good campaign?

So, seems that those opposed to us need do nothing but let those outlined above keep on doing the work for them – after all, they’re doing such a good job without any help from those who wish to see us ridiculed, mocked, marginalised and render ineffective.

To indulgine in a modification of the words of St Thumper of Bambi:

“If you can’t say anything sensible (and biblical), keep your mouth closed!”

But in the end, Vic the Vicar softens his language.  Instead of considering these date-setters — and others of that ilk — enemies, he ends up calling them most “unhelpful Christians.”

Nominate your unhelpful Christian

Following on from the blog yesterday I have had quite an interesting mail bag and so I thought I’d ask you for your opinions.

The categories on offer (thus far, feel free to add more) are :

The issue :

1. The Rapture
2. Pathetic Prophets and wicked utterance brigade
3. Marginalized Christians
4. Young Earth

The Message:

1. Jesus returns on 21st May
2. Japan is God’s enemy because . . . .
3. Look at us, we’re being acted against because . . .
4. You’re not a Christian in you done believe in literal days of creation

The Person:

1. Harold Camping
2. Fred Phelps
3. Nomination vacant
4. Ken Ham

Loads of room for more here – what do you think about the way we portray ourselves and ‘preach’ our subjective, skewed and sometimes contrary ‘truths’ to others?

I have to say that I was amazed at the response to this issue which I assumed was one of those ‘just me’ things. Once we’re done with this (if it flies) I will post a poll and we can see who wins the awards and hopefully I’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on outside my own space as well.


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