Toward a Content-Free Church

Image result for images of watered-down Christianity

If you keep on making your tent bigger and bigger and bigger, eventually you don’t have a tent.

And if you keep on making your megachurch more and more mega, eventually you don’t have a church.

My friend’s pastor sent us a copy of the Saddleback Worship Brand Book–Saddleback being one of the most mega of megachurches, under Rick Warren–which includes a little section on Do’s & Don’ts (http://saddleback.pro/zfilez/brand/SaddlebackWorship-BrandBook-2015.pdf). If you click the link, you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find it.

The Brand Book advises those who want to grow their churches to “Avoid empty phrases” and “Avoid Christianese,” the latter being words and terms that someone ignorant of Christianity or the Bible won’t be able to understand without having them explained to him. Like, who wants to go to the trouble of explaining anything?

What interests me is two lists, “Words to Use” and “Words to Avoid.”

Here are some of the “Words to Use,” some of which strike me as empty phrases in their own right. Authentic (no empty phrases there!). Celebrate (oh, please). Heaven (as in “Everybody goes to Heaven”). Openness (I am running out of patience). Relationship. You get the idea. Happy/Fuzzy-speak.

Here are some of the “Words to Avoid.” Born again. Brothers and sisters in Christ. Fellowship (does that get rid of our “fellowship hall”?). Gospel/Good News (why would we want to steer clear of good news? Don’t we need some?). Hell (good grief! By no means ever mention Hell! That’s neither happy nor fuzzy!). Repent (“We’re all so sweet and wonderful, what in the world would we ever have to repent?”). Sanctified (You don’t need to be sanctified if you’re already sweet and wonderful).

Does this sound like someone’s on the road to a pseudo Christianity devoid of content? I mean, all they’re missing is the Play-Doh. They call it “Reaching Out in Changing Times,” but it sounds more like being conformed to a desperately confused and fallen world.

What is the point of herding thousands of people into your church if it’s not going to teach them any Christianity, but only tell them a lot of pap they want to hear?

None that I can see.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

7 responses to “Toward a Content-Free Church

  • David Ingram (@debater2016)

    I visited the website – very strange. I don’t get it? What is wrong with I Corinthians 15:1-9? I perused Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose-Driven Life” and was disturbed how he chose the translation of Bible verses based on which ones would justify his statements. Wikipedia lists 110 English Bible translations – take your pick?

    Like

    • leeduigon

      I stick with King James, with help from Strong’s Concordance. Whatever axes they had to grind 500 years ago are long since ground to powder, leaving only God’s Word.

      Like

  • UnKnowable

    Sounds more like a feel-good club with a few spiritual buzzwords than worship to my ears.

    Like

  • Linda Sorci

    These mega churches have one purpose and it’s not to feed the sheep! Lest they repent, I fear they’ll hear the words “depart from Me; I never knew you” That’s frightening!

    Like

  • Erlene

    Yes, this is really pathetic. Useless, and baseless, leaving all their followers bereft of salvation. What they have here is a social club, and not even a good one. I do feel very sorry for those who follow this deceiver.

    Like

  • Watchman

    They are the Laodicean church, neither hot nor cold. Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

    Like

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