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Economics of Megachurchianity

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Economics of Megachurchianity  (Read 108 times)
Psalm 51:17
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« on: January 09, 2012, 08:47:04 pm »


Part 1

By Debra Rae
October 5, 2011

Church Tradition, Transition, and Transformation

“Old timers” remember with fondness the community church of yesteryear, when both the church and grammar school operated out of a single building, likewise used as a gathering place for town meetings. Portraying the spiritual life of simple folks in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, the “Little House” television series featured this homey sort of central gathering place for worship, fellowship, instruction in the Word of God, and inspiration.

Relevant biblical and extra-biblical documents suggest that, in the early decades of the church, non-apostolic Jewish Christians brought biblical faith in Christ to Rome. Following Claudius’s edict against the Jews, the church was forced to reorganize, but nonetheless maintained its common identity and Christ-centric mission.

In many ways, the late 1800s church in Walnut Grove, Minnesota mirrored the Gentile-dominated “house churches” that congregated in small groups around the city of Rome. As with the early church, quality (not quantity) mattered most; and Christ was preeminent.

Within that dynamic, the Rev. Robert Alden served his community as a caring shepherd, one who maintained meaningful personal relationships with his flock including, but not limited to, the Ingalls family, “Doc” Baker, and Nels Olesen. Times change, and so do churches—sometimes for the good, sometimes not.

Tradition via Verbal Plenary

Traditional Christian belief is unwavering when it comes to absolute truths in the Bible. Fundamentalists believe the Word of God to be unchangeable and fully inspired—i.e., “God-breathed”—as it originally was penned in Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek, and Aramaic.[1]

The Greek word in the Bible translated “church” (ekklesia) means “called out ones.” It references those who separate themselves from “the unclean thing”—physically, socially, ethically, morally, and spiritually. In distinguishing sacred from profane, these set their faces as flint in unshakable adherence to truth. By the grace of God, they live accordingly.[2] In obedience to the Great Commission, faithful followers of Christ spread the good news (“Gospel”) near and far.[3]

Naturally, doing so is likely to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.[4] That’s to be expected. However, for Church Growth Movement (CGM) statisticians, dogmatism and intolerance simply won’t do. Theirs is a numbers game, not to be jeopardized by introducing even a hint of divisiveness. Instead, many serve up a watered-down, conciliatory Gospel that bears little resemblance to traditional Christianity.[5]

Transition via Diaprax

Unlike dogmatic fundamentalists, whose ways are unacceptably narrow, enlightened churchgoers extol the broader way of tolerance by welcoming all people of faith, even if that faith is godless secular humanism, Islam, or Buddhism. Unlike the early church that unashamedly proclaimed the full Gospel to the Jew first, then the Gentile, church growth gurus repeatedly practice a carefully structured methodology of Hegelian dialectic, called diaprax.[6]

Under guidance of a trained facilitator, willing participants engage in open interchange. Nonetheless, by using group dynamics (better known as “peer pressure”), dialogue is resolutely steered to reach a pre-determined outcome—i.e., consensus—with which all feel comfortable.[7]

In so many words, a provocative question is posed: “Hath God said?” The carefully crafted tone for this query suggests need for a second, more inclusive look. One that will unite, not divide.
Accordingly, fear of alienation from the group prevents one from standing firm for his convictions. It becomes easier to rationalize that maybe God didn’t really mean what He said. It’s certainly more reasonable to be inclusive than exclusive, right?[8]

In this manner (thesis-antithesis-synthesis)—by means of Hegelian dialectic—“line upon line, precept upon precept” Bible study[9] is forfeited for groupthink, or collaboration. Agreement or consensus, more accurately termed compromise, prevails.

Nevertheless, unlike politically correct modernists, Christ spoke “fighin’ words” certain to stir the pot. Indeed, He characterized Pharisees as “a brood of vipers” and “white-washed tombs.” Himself a stone of stumbling and rock of offense, Christ was all about truth. His was no conciliatory Gospel.[10]

Transformation via Collaboration

Under guidance of management theory and practice, the American church over time has become super sized. This trend, of course, is consistent with Western culture; but then bigger is not always better.

As previously suggested, not biblical tradition, but diaprax guides transformation within the institutional church, well marinated in postmodern thought.[11] Today’s nonprofit (third) sector—i.e., the mega church—follows private and government sectors in implementing slick marketing ploys, public-private partnerships,[12] and faith-based initiatives[13] designed to ensure social justice.[14]

Not so much a shepherd, the senior pastor is best described as CEO of the corporation. While not its primary goal, profit is recognized as essential for a church’s continued existence. With this in view, deacons serve more as statisticians than stewards, and elders function more as board members than spiritual overseers. Congregants are relegated to the status of “human resources,” prepared and then freed to perform “for the common good.”[15]

Offshoots of a mother church are “plant communities” where individuals’ social needs can be met, and healthy communities can be fostered. They’re “chips off the old block” accountable more to an official hierarchy than to the inspired Word of God revealed under guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, many of today’s mega-churches bear little resemblance to “the little brown church in the vale” that was built in 1864 as a striking testament to traditional Christian faith. In its place are big business ventures that pool community resources to execute social programs. While social programs aren’t inherently bad, man-initiated programs too often dilute biblical Christology and divert called-out ones from their appointed mission.[16]

More to come in Part 2.
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