Tag Archives: megachurch

Shame Day: John Piper

Readers, I try not to abuse Shame Day.

These posts are meant to be condemnations of terrible events, trends, or people- not platforms for us to roust the  things we simply don’t care for. I’ll actively avoid researching certain people or subjects which just generally annoy me- I don’t want to hastily pull together some indignant exposé to justify my dislike of something. And for the longest time, the works and career of American pastor John Piper have been one of those things.

Until now. Continue reading

Shame Day: The Portrayal of Christians in Popular Media

I’ve ragged on Christians and Christianity alike, both in practice and doctrine, and I’ve never felt unjustified in doing so.  Nevertheless, and for all its issues, it really can’t be denied that in the past 20 to 30 years the religion’s really gotten the short end of the stick. In the interest of equity to all, we’re going to spend some time hashing out some of the more popular portrayals of Christians and explaining why they’re unfair, inaccurate, or even just plain spiteful.

I. Christians as One Group

Evan’s already covered the topic of how we’re drifting further and further away from a common cultural understanding- especially when it comes to religion. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but it is starting to have some negative effects.

There was an episode of Weeds (gah- there’s hours of my life I’ll never get back) depicting the creation of this megachurch in the suburb that the show was (at first, anyways) largely centered on satirizing. And that’s fair; these things do exist, and usually in the wealthier, WASPier neighborhoods of this nation. And that was all fine and well until the episode where the zealous church-goers started speaking in tongues.

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Biblical Inerrancy

As you’ve already heard from Evan, the post I had initially created was taken down. Quite honestly, it was pretty dang sub-par, and really just a sad attempt on my part to push off the inevitable day when I’d have to conclude my little series on Western Christianity (i.e., Protestantism) with some pretty hefty accusations.

This is going to be a big one.

My past couple of posts on religion (well, general Western Christianity) have dealt largely with complaints regarding the nature of “organized” religion, and can be generally dismissed with a statement like “Well, those people are clearly just distorting the message.” We’re going to be heading a bit deeper today, with some questions about the message itself.

Let’s talk about the idea of “Biblical Inerrancy.”

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The End Of The Church As We Know It

Last Fame Day, I mentioned that I typically attempt to avoid discussing religion directly here on the blog. It’s a tough topic to deal with individually, and seeing as how I’m only one of three writers on a blog that’s tries to be at least semi-objective, walking the border between tact, directness, and personal views is no easy matter. Nevertheless, with the massive role that religion and religious institutions play in culture, I might as well start learning how to best address this all.

It seems that most people I meet just assume I’m an atheist. I’m not, but for whatever reason, I seem to give off this heathen vibe- in spite of having written and drawn a weekly religious cartoon for the duration of my time in college.

But I’m not here to talk about that- at least, not entirely.When I was in college (a religious college, for the record), I saw a book added to the new arrivals display in the campus library: Generation Ex-Christian, by Drew Dyck. The book discussed the rising trend in people- young people in particular- leaving the church en masse, offering profiles on different groups, their reasons for leaving, and where they typically wound up. Postmodernists, “rebels,” “modern leavers”- even neo-pagans.

I remember just how utterly condescending the book was. Throughout it, Dyck records the variety of complaints of those rejecting the church and faith (though not always the latter), and he actually does a pretty decent job of it. What I never saw once in the book, however, was this:

An apology. Continue reading