Sunday, October 14, 2007

Beyond the Myths of Megachurches

Posted by Teresa at 11:59 AM
Again I was watching Book TV last night (sigh) and I caught
a presentation by Scott Thumma, one of the authors of
Beyond Megachurch Myths. According to the book's Web site,
it debunks seven common myths, including that megachurches:

• Are just too big to be good
• Are driven by personality cults and will fade away
• Are selfish and only concerned with their own needs
• Water down the faith
• Are bad for the overall religious economy
• Serve people of the same race, class, and political views
• Grow because of the “worship show”

I've stated my opinion on this topic before so I won't make this
post long. I attend a 'megachurch' (I'm not too fond of the term)
and I don't know if I could ever become of a member of a church that
is not in this mode. I like my church because it really uses a multimedia
presentation to reach a broader audience. They are also creative in the
way they spread their message.

Exit questions: What has been your experience with megachurches
(if any)?

17 comments:

UJ on 3:03 PM, October 14, 2007 said...

These are pretty weak "myths" to debunk. What kind of dark ages logic says that big is bad? And what the hell is a "religious economy" anyway?

The problem with these megachurches is that they are ideological leviathans of blatant fantasy and superstition. They are comic book conventions and star trek fan clubs, only the religious person thinks their belief actually has some relevance to the real world. And even the fact that they're preaching fantasy wouldn't be bad if that fantasy did not include things like conservatism - the political manifestation of primal human selfishness, or worse, hatred, misunderstanding and blatant disrespect for other communities, namely the neo-Jim Crow outlook on the LGBT community, the fear and demonization of Arabs and Muslims, and as you yourself are experienced with, belittling and sidelining atheists - in this case a catch all term for individuals who understand that religion is a useless escapism, candy bars and cartoons for people too emotionally or intellectually incapable of facing the cosmos.

Teresa on 3:17 PM, October 14, 2007 said...

uj,

Thank you for your thoughts. While I don't agree with your perceptions of Christians or religion, I'm glad you have shared them. No hate coming from here:)

UJ on 3:29 PM, October 14, 2007 said...

I wholeheartedly appreciate such a diplomatic response, but remember, turning the other cheek is social trench warfare. You can't lose, but you also can't win.

We are, after all, talking about your god, right? If such a direct assault on his paradigm can go undefended, wouldn't you say that's more a vindication of my perspective than yours?

Teresa on 3:36 PM, October 14, 2007 said...

uj,

I prefer to take the diplomatic response because from your post it obvious how you feel. Nothing I can say will make take a second look. It appears that you have been as you said "belittled and sideline." Why would I do or say anything that reinforces your negative view of Christians?

UJ on 3:54 PM, October 14, 2007 said...

I'm not sure what gave you the perception that I have been belittled and sidelined, nothing I said should give the impression that I am any kind of victim. If anything I'm saying a Christian is a victim of their own mental handicap. I'm doing great, actually. Thank you.

I do find it interesting that you see my argument as invulnerable to anything you might have to say. Is that the strength of my argument, or the strength of yours?

I don't think it's true. I think you have plenty to say. Elegant blogs such as yours don't generally manifest from the vacuums of mousey submissives.

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