What’s Wrong With Megachurch Evangelicalism: Exhibit A

I removed the Seven Day Sex Challenge Post.

For those fortunate enough to pay attention, we’ve just had a seminar on what’s going on in the lead dog evangelical megachurches in America.

Criticize the pastor for one lame-brained, attention grabbing stunt, and within 24 hours, threats of every kind are in the air.

Criticize one celebrity pastor for one manipulative ploy and the angry dogs are at the gates, threatening to sue over a picture you got off the first page of google images.

Criticize one pastor for one embarrassing tactic and read comment after comment after comment that says you were denouncing the existence, ministry, congregation and mission of the church in its entirety.

In other words, dear readers, say one megachurch pastor is wrong about one thing, and the megachurch brown shirts are breaking your windows and threatening to sue you out of existence.

Criticize one tactic, and then the floodgates are open to say anything, lie without restraint and threaten the critic with impugnity.

If anyone out there can still think, consider this.

Millions of us are affected by the megachurch. It determines far, far more than what goes on in its own doors.

Thousands of pastors will now be pressured to do a “Sex Challenge.”

Millions of evangelicals are for the teaching of sexual ethics, but disagree with making the sex lives of the pastor and his wife the focus of national TV interviews.

Millions of us are concerned that the “Anything goes as long as it’s goal is to reach people” method is running evangelicalism into the wall, and on the other side of that wall is disillusionment for millions.

Thousands of young people, troubled marriages, singles, hurting spouses, widows and so on are affected by the “Sex Challenge” in ways that aren’t considered.

And yet, one criticism of one tactic brings a firestorm of rage.

We criticize our Roman Catholic friends for their belief that all questions of authority are settled by the Magisterium and the Pope.

Can a megachurch pastor be wrong? Can the tactic he uses to make his point be lame, inappropriate, embarassing and wrong?

More importantly, can one blogger say he’s wrong?

Most importantly, can someone in your church say he’s wrong?

If they do, is this what happens? Threats?

What’s wrong with evangelicalism? You’ve just seen what’s wrong, and you’ve just seen where it’s going.

Hear this: No doubt, I could take this blog space and criticize one traditional church pastor every day, and the megachurch mob would nod and say “That’s right. No desire to grow.” I could talk about lame ideas, poor planning, embarassing pulpit performances, and it would be great. Hand out the tomatoes.

But try that with an Osteen or a Young. Say Ed Young is wrong to use the Seven Day Sex Challenge as a stunt to get attention for his church.

Watch the difference. And draw the obvious conclusions.

As Josh S said, this isn’t a serious religion.

But it’s got a serious problem.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Megachurch Evangelicalism: Exhibit A

  1. DaveD: I’m not in a position to discuss emails, but I’m not going to go to some lengths over some issues. I’ll jeopardize my job over a lot of what I write, but Ed Young’s Sex Challenge isn’t in that category. Folks can go read Bill Kinnon’s post. He has a funnier picture.

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  2. Michael,

    I’m sorry if anyone threatened you either legally or physically. The amount of legal action taken by “christians” versus other “christians” (read; getting cranky about folks singing your song in church without PAYING for it) is one of my real pet peeves.

    I missed the threats, I didn’t see one posted. I did see 60 or posts agreeing with you.

    Mega Church has little to do with the response. There is nothing intrinsic about large churches that makes them sensitive to such things. I think it is simply a matter of numbers. If you say the Bengals are a garbage team you’re not going to hear much complaining. There aren’t that many Bengals fans. Say it about the Cowboys or the Giants and the response will be quick and massive simply because there are more people to hear the criticism and take offense to it.

    DD

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  3. I feel for you. I think you could criticize the Pope easier than a super-evangelist. The evangelical church has bought into the superstar myth. We love popularity and conformity more than righteousness and love.
    As a pastor, I have felt (to a much lesser extent than you) the pressure to cave into the mega-church ideal. At times I have. Stand strong.

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  4. Michael,

    I found myself on the disillusioned side of that wall (though, thankfully, the sermons never were close to this outrageous).

    I firmly believe Jesus kept His hand on me and brought me back to Himself, despite my flesh, my sin and disillusionment with evangelicalism.

    After reading this article, and briefly considering the dozens of voices in evangelicalism who keep proclaiming that “persecution is coming”, I wonder if that persecution actually will come – from within.

    God help us all.

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