“Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?” -Jesus
The growing trend for the past decade has been for churches to compete to see who can have the largest Easter Egg event in the city. This year the post modern church of the cool brand image logo and one word motivational titled “church” are outdoing all of us… except Oprah.
I’m not against Easter Egg Hunts, they are fun for kids, but when Youth Pastors become Lead Pastors and we are still using gimmicks and giveaways to get “adults” to come to church on the hallmark day of our faith, Jesus’ Resurrection from the Dead….then Yes I will cry, FOUL!
Here is just one example of a local church that I have to compete with: Their social media marketing extravaganza identifies their Easter as One of Colorado’s Largest Easter Egg Hunts with 52,800 candy filled eggs, TONS of inflatable games and prizes including bikes and Ipods, 5 weekend getaway prizes (last year was two weekend vacations) and 5 dynamic worship experiences (“Baal gives you a worship experience”….Eugene Peterson).
So I decided to “go all in” and see if I could bewitch a 100 or 1000 people to come to ‘my” church through my own Madison Avenue marketing campaign around Easter. You’ll see posted throughout this blog some of our big incentives to woo people to come to “my” church. This is my SNL spoofed version of the modern marketed, super soul sundae (yes I spelled it Sundae), Jimmy Fallon pastored church of 2015!
Nevermind that these churches cleverly forgot to mention Jesus or the Resurrection in their marketing. God forbid, that would not have been good for business. We all know that the church wants more followers (think Twitter) than Jesus.
In the 1987 introduction to Eugene Peterson’s Working the Angles he writes about pastors, “They attract alot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. The marketing strategies of the fast food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs. I don’t know any other profession in which it is quite as easy to fake as in ours. We can impersonate a pastor without being a pastor. One friend calls it sprinkling holy water on Cabbage Patch dolls.”
Yes, I am outraged at the buffoons who market a spoof product of the church that I love. Their ends (church attendance) do not justify the means. How quaintly they forget that Jesus made it difficult to become a follower…let the dead bury the dead, eat my flesh, drink my blood…these are hard words, go sell all and give to the poor…then come and follow me. ENOUGH! of the tomfoolery in these den of thieves that they dare to call a Church.
To the twenty and thirty somethings who only a few years ago (2003…) longed for an ancient future faith. Where did you go? Could you not tarry with me even one hour? I thought you had enough of the entertainment church? I can’t believe you are still nursing on milk and have atrophied into a consumer of easy cheesy cotton candy Christianity. Why did you chose a Fraternity house over the Father’s house for the forming of your interior life and the discussion of ultimate things?
“Disciples do not want to hear a watered-down modern reinterpretation. They want nothing less than the substance of the faith of the apostles and martyrs without too much interference from modern pablum-peddlers who doubt that people are tough enough to take it straight. It has not been until the last quarter century that there has been wholesale devaluation of the currency of Christian language, symbolism, teaching and witness-a total sellout and bankruptcy to support the fixed habits of modem addictions. We have blithely proceeded on the skewed assumption that in theology-just as in corn poppers, electric tooth-brushes and automobile exhaust systems-new is good, newer is better and newest is best. So the “best” ones have by this logic cut themselves systematically off from sustained discourse with classical Christianity.” – After Modernity, What? by Thomas Oden