Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Material Church

There was a church that I considered myself a member of at one point called The Torch. I went to this church all of three times before I decided the whole thing was bullshit.

In this church (and so many others) there are TVs hanging from the ceiling (big ones), pool tables, a snack bar, electric drum set, several gaming consoles, and a ton of members. And this is just the youth ministry.

Now, this can be considered a miracle by a lot of Christians. Look at what God has done for this church. They are blessed. In reality, I think it's the opposite. Materialism is a plague that is further destroying Christianity from the gem that it was pre-300 CE.

I went to a revival at a tiny Church in North Georgia and it was one of the greatest religious experiences I've ever had. The conversation I had with a woman afterward was not-so-great when she asked me what church I went to... but whatever. The point is that the church was nothing but a tiny building with pews and a handful of pastors. Next door there was a kitchen and a dining room.

That's it.

That's all it needed, and that's all churches ever need. The rest is materialism.

What I look forward to when going to church

It was mentioned to me recently that someone was bragging that his church came fully equipped with a gaming station complete with PS3s and Xbox 360s so that they could play games like Halo 3 before receiving the message. This is not what the church is supposed to do. This is how cults brainwash.

During this time, I've never seen a religious question asked, I've never seen a prayer, I've never seen a lot of things going on that should be happening in a church if anyone takes themselves seriously.

It's hard to really consider any sort of Christian tenants other than the violent ones when you're shooting up your fellow church members in Halo 3. Nothing against Halo 3. I love the game. But it's not exactly Guitar Praise.

That being said, gaming can be good for fellowship among Christians. But my major point is that Churches shouldn't be spending about a thousand dollars to hang a flatscreen in a hallway (actually seen this) when there's real work to do for the community. They just let the poorer but harder working churches take up the slack.

Churches are on the front lines of the poverty war. They do a lot of things that no other organizations will do, so it frustrates me when I see a church that no only doesn't do these things when they have the capacity to, but spend their gobs of money on their members.

I'm not saying that you won't find good Christians at these 'material' churches. Occasionally you'll find a handful. But they're being fooled. While I was at the Torch, I met some people who were genuinely searching for God, but they subdued themselves into taking half-baked sermons at face-value without doing their own soul searching.

Whenever I find myself in one of these churches, I don't give to the offering. No matter what. I don't think that my 10 bucks for the poor should go to another Xbox controller because Timmy threw it into the flatscreen when Ronald spawnkilled him three times in a row for the ultimate pwnage.


Puppetguy said...

don't forget they actually have a couple 1000+$ flat screen tv's they cant even use because they are too far away from the preacher.

and when i went to the church, their message was don't associate with non-Christians because they will condemn you to hell because they are tainted

DanteCWB said...

Really? Man... give them away.

Yeah. This is what I mean by half-baked sermons. They aren't really that well thought out. The revival that I went to had some amazing sermons there that even I agreed with a lot of.

Never would have gone if a chick hadn't convinced me to go though.

DaiKamonohashi said...

Was the one church you mentioned the little white one in Sautee? That's a wonderful little place if we're thinking of the same one. I've never attended church there before but I've been to a number of piano and string recitals there. Gorgeous location, too.

Best church I've been to as far as sermons go is my grandparents' church up in North Carolina. I'm not a Christian myself but the pastor is a fantastic speaker and I love going if only to hear him deliver his sermon (even if I may not agree with all of it).

DanteCWB said...

The church I was talking about with the revival is actually just down the road from The Torch. Tiny little place, I think it has tabernacle in the name.

I've seen a number of good speakers in different churches. The Youth Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist was really good until he moved away, don't know the guy who replaced him. And the Youth Pastor at The Torch is a good speaker, but his subjects are half-baked.