This embodies everything I hate about modern Christian churches:
According to the article by the New York Times, churches across the United States have started having Halo 3 tournaments to draw more young men into their youth groups and Sunday services. While I’m not going to get all pearl-clutchy about a video game, I have to agree with this comment on the situation:
But the question arises: What price to appear relevant? Some parents, religious ethicists and pastors say that Halo may succeed at attracting youths, but that it could have a corroding influence. In providing Halo, churches are permitting access to adult-themed material that young people cannot buy on their own.
“If you want to connect with young teenage boys and drag them into church, free alcohol and pornographic movies would do it,” said James Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a nonprofit group that assesses denominational policies. “My own take is you can do better than that.”
Modern churches have, for the most part, completely lost touch with the tenets of Christianity in exchange for the hopes that they’ll attract a younger, vibrant crowd to fill their pews. They’re essentially seeking that coveted 18-49 Nielsen demographic and seem to have forgotten that the church was never intended to be a multi-media, multi-sensory, no-attention-span-required entertainment extravaganza for the masses. If the Rome-America allegory is to be believed, then these commercialized churches are quickly becoming the Coliseum.
The church is no longer a temple or a sanctuary; it is no longer a place for people to learn God’s word and to commune as Christian brothers and sisters. It has become fast-food: cheap, quick and ultimately unfulfilling. It may be a social center for people to connect with one another, but only in the same sense that a mall or movie theatre is. Preachers don’t teach from the Bible anymore; instead, they teach from literature written by greed-driven, self-affirmation peddlers. Sermons have become nothing more than self-help seminars on topics like “Why God Wants You To Be Rich!” Church leaders seemingly go out of their way to de-sanctify the entire process of attending church by including guitars, drum kits and PowerPoint presentations in their services in lieu of taking communion or having a meaningful sermon. Churches are now careful not to show a suffering Christ upon the cross; indeed, many churches don’t display a cross or any other religious paraphenalia at all.
What has happened to religion in America? Are we approaching complete spiritual bankruptcy as a culture? Or is this just another trial through Christianity and true Christians must ultimately pass?
Betcha didn’t know I was such a religious hardass, did you?