Thursday, April 01, 2010

Why I Shouldn't Read the Newspaper during Holy Week


Well, for starters there is this: Easter eggs and over $1M in prizes at S. Texas megachurch. Bay Area Fellowship of Corpus Christi, Texas is giving away over one million dollars worth of flat-screen televisions, skateboards, guitars, and 15 cars as a special Easter promotion. Pastor Bil Cornelius, pictured here, says "We're going to give some stuff away and say, 'Imagine how great heaven is going to be if you feel that excited about a car.'" They are expecting double their usual numbers for Easter.

This is so wrong, on so many different levels, that I do not even know where to begin. So I won't. But it does sort of beg the question, "Would you buy a used car from this preacher?"

19 comments:

s-p said...

Double their numbers of WHAT is my question.

Ranger said...

brings new meaning to "come and see"

Kirk said...

A million dollars is NOTHING! I know a guy who traditionally hands out meat pies after his church's Easter service. ;)

Brandon Cunningham said...

Wow that is really bad. How could a Pastor want to fish for men with bait? That is shocking! Next thing you know churches will give out food to people.

Apophatically Speaking said...

Bait 'n switch.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what is meant by 'different Christianities.' This seems to me as clearly within the spirit of antichrist as anything I have encountered.

John said...

Anon,
Sarcasm. Irony. Americanized Christianity Lite. Maybe you need to get out more.

Kontiki said...

off-topic :)

HAPPY Easter 2 ALL :)

Steve Hayes said...

Giving away cars etc could be quite a good object lesson, provided it was not publicised beforehand, and came as a surprise.

As it is, it's simply using the same techniques as the culture uses to sell cars, deodorants, civil repression and international warfare.

Brandon Cunningham said...

So if people don't come to church for the right reasons we should lock them out? If I show up at the ER one night after drinking and I am all bloody should the Dr say get out? People come to church for many reasons and I think we are supposed to welcome them not judge their motives. I went to church for many years because that was where I could play softball and basketball. I didn't have any interest in Jesus but I was exposed to Him long enough to finally surrender. That's all we are doing is using what people already accept as bait and trying to expose them to Christ. We don't tell them to get clean before the shower. We don't say get your life straight and then start a relationship with Christ. He is the one that washes away our sins.

Apophatically Speaking said...

Brandon,

As John noted in his post, there are so many things wrong with this, so many underlying assumptions that are made, it is indeed hard to figure out where to begin.

For starters, there is the truth in advertising issue, but also the advertising issue itself. But that is merely scratching the surface.

Are you really interested in finding out what we Orthodox Christians have to say about this?

Brandon Cunningham said...

Yes I do. I believe the Church has to communicate with all areas of each other. If we attack each other then we just give the people that are considering following Jesus a reason to dismiss us. I believe you have a good heart and want to reach people and I want to understand the issue. Is it advertising that is bad or the substance of that advertising?

Apophatically Speaking said...

Brandon,

It will require more than a quick blurp here; as a good start I recommend you read the last 20 or so posts over at Glory to God for All Things. Immerse yourself, engage the material.

Brandon Cunningham said...

It seems like this would prevent the seeker from finding Christ. I'm not trying to be negative but if we make it too deep we will never get them in the pool. Once we get them in the pool we can move them into the deep end.

John said...

Deep end or shallow, why stay in the pool when the very ocean itself beckons?

Apophatically Speaking said...

Brandon,

I am not sure what precisely you mean by "this" (as in, "it seems like this would prevent"), so it makes it a bit difficult to respond directly.

However, and be it as it may, I don't recall the Gospel being very "seeker friendly", nor that we are called to make it so. This is a perfect example of one of those underlying assumptions I referred to in my earlier comment.

Brandon Cunningham said...

I agree the ocean beckons and everyone should go there but the people we are reaching are scared of the water all together. SO what we are trying to do is get them in it and let the Holy Spirit take it from there. Not trying to avoid our part in the path to get them to move deeper but if they never get in the water that never happens. We have guys that were in prison the day before giving their lives to Christ and then thru hometeams and small groups they end up serving and living in way that no one thought possible. I think we need the many parts to the church and we are simply one small part using anything short of sin to get them in the door.

Brandon Cunningham said...

Poor choice of words on my part by the use of "prevents". I just meant the thought that some people have that church and religion is beyond their understanding can sometimes prevent them from asking. I don't mean to infer a deep theology prevents anyone from seeking Christ. We simply focus on making Christ accessible and letting the nonbeliever know God wants to have a relationship even if they don't understand most of what He teaches. Two different approaches with the same goal. I believe we should make it seeker friendly in order to draw people in to hear the word of God. Our goal is to save everyone and some people are not willing to listen if they don't already agree. Look at politics today. It has turned into a staring contest in which no one wins because no one is willing to hear the other side. We have to take a different approach if we are going to keep some people from hell.

Apophatically Speaking said...

The notions of an inaccessible Christ, a Gospel and a Church that is not effective; a Holy Spirit who works in the Church but not outside her; the need to lure people by means of gimmicks - these are altogether foreign concepts to the Christian faith.

Unfortunately John is absolutely correct in speaking of different christianities. The differences are substantial, profound and far-reaching; hence we cannot speak of "same goal, different approaches".