Friday, November 6, 2009

athens, jerusalem, wall street and the church

"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" laments Tertulian. This was in the context of his rejection of Greek philosophy. While I personally do not share his lament, here is an echo for our day.

What has wall street to do the the church?! Apparently everything. Michael Frost says that we often just tithe to ourselves. I couln't agree more. We have whole heartedly adopted the consumerism of our day. The watching world hears us talk about our concern for our community and the poor and the world. These are vapid proclamations as we live the American dream both on the individual and corporate levels. The world is not fooled.

Here is what set me off today. FBC Dallas has been planning a massive building project-- massive to the tune of 130 million--for quite some time.  If you are interested in dieting and don't want to eat lunch, watch FBC's promotional video.  This is a kingdom unto the pride of man.  Recently, the Dallas Cowboys build a new stadium for 1.3 billion, At&T built a 350 million dollar preforming arts center and a 500 million dollar convention center hotel.  FBC is simply buying into consumerism.  They are not alone in their folly.  Most churches follow secular culture into the pit of materialism.  We spend gobs of money for new paint, playground equipment, iron crosses, bigger screens, and other similar crap.  All of this goes on a building which typically gets minimal usage.  Why should we have multi-million dollar childrens' facilities while children live in garbage dumps in India {not to mention all around the world!}.  Our denomination can't send missionaries and yet, we just keep buying into the American dream.

Do we really wonder why the post Christian generation doesn't want anything to do with church?  I can't say that I blame them...

1 comment:

Grady Bauer said...

This ticked me off as well. The Pastor said something like God deserves the best building in the city. do the millions of Chinese who meet in homes not honor him. Do the churches all across the middle east that meet in homes, basements, fields not honor him?

Bunch of crap...the guy wants a big building so he can brag, show it off and blame it on Jesus.