Monday, May 30, 2005

Fast Food Christianity

By Alexander Samuels

In his book Hard to Believe (Thomas Nelson / W, 2003), John MacArthur, pastor, teacher and head of the ministry organization Grace to You, offers an unapologetic commentary on the modern church's compromise of the Gospel in order to fit in with today's culture. This "new" church offers easy believism, nonconfrontational sermons, prosperity and whatever makes you happy. In the book, MacArthur writes: . . .

. . . [the] consumer mind-set has invaded Christianity. The service is too long, you say? We'll shorten it (one pastor guarantees his sermons will never last more than seven minutes!). Too formal? Wear your sweatsuit. Too boring? Wait till you hear our band!

And if the message is too confrontational, or too judgmental, or too exclusive, scary, unbelievable, hard to understand, or too much of anything else for your taste, churches everywhere are eager to adjust that message to make you more comfortable.

This is what happens when Jesus is recreated in the image of Madison Avenue. Many people believe that the only way for the church to become relevant in modern society is for it to reflect the modern world. Converting people to Christianity has been replaced by seeing how many pews can be filled on Sunday morning. Numbers have become more important than the Gospel. Easy believism has taken the place of true conversion.

My thanks to John MacArthur for writing Hard to Believe. It is definitely on my "recommended to read list."


At Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:49:00 AM, Blogger Toad734 said...

People said the same thing when the Catholic Church reformed and quit doing masses in Latin.

However, why do you think the divorce rate is so high in the south and so low in the north east? Because the Protestant churches down there are unwilling to make a stand against divorce for fear of losing their constituency, the large number of Catholics in the northeast are less likely to get divorced and their churches discourage such a practice. In other words, religion has become a franchise of the fast food industry, and are unwilling to take on key issues in the bible such as divorce, obesity/gluttony, and that whole part about how it is easier for a camel to thread the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to go to heaven, and invent stuff like saying Jesus hates gay marriages, the poor and Democrats to fire up the congregations.

It is kind of ironic that these same protestant churches down south are the ones screaming so loud about the sanctity of marriage, especially when the national average of failed marriages is at 50% and the south has an above average divorce rate.

So this is one thing we do agree on, religion has sold out to the masses and the trends of the people. They are conforming to what the people want, and want to hear, not the other way around.


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