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Reformed Orthodox Presbyterian attends Arminian Seeker Friendly Nondenominational Charismatic Megachurch

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  • Reformed Orthodox Presbyterian attends Arminian Seeker Friendly Nondenominational Charismatic Megachurch

    I was invited to a Tuesday afternoon service at a local megachurch in my area. It was a young adult service and I decided to give it a shot. I first showed up to the place and accidentally parked in the back parking lot, then proceeded to walk into the wrong building and got lost; the church is comprised of multiple warehouse sized structures and I had to figure out how to navigate to the right location. After wandering around the campus for a while, I stumbled into a pretty hip looking service place.

    I walked into a dark room with blasting music, colorful lights, a full rockbound, and about 200 young adults standing around a misty stage. I had just got off work and was still in my outdoor clothes and work boots; most people were dressed like they were ready for a college party.

    After about 30 minutes of rocking praise music, which was actually only two songs with their choruses on repeat 20x times, a young man in his early twenties gave a message which could be categorized as courage and boldness for Christ and right living. The message was kind of all over the place, some of it was good, some bad, too much personal testimony and not enough exegesis for my liking, but I digress... Also too much joking for my taste. The entire service felt like an entertainment show. Halfway through his message he had someone get on stage and play keyboard keys for about 15 minutes while he led everyone in the sinners' prayer; "every eye closed, nobody looking around, now raise your hand if you want to give your life to jesus today....". Apparently this is done every week. In fact, last week they had an altar call and I guess it sounded... successful...? Some folks raised their hands during the sinners' prayer, the guy next to me did too, but I think he was just doing it to dedicate himself again or something, since he seemed to know all the songs during the praise time and apparently he's a regular. The speaker started talking about how God gave us free will and we have to choose if we want Jesus or not. Then announcements were about 15 minutes and he said his next sermon series was going to be titled, "Fifty Shades of Grace", a sermon series about sex topics (seriously??).

    After service I attempted to meet some folks. Probably 90% of the people I met have only been attending off and on for less than 3-4 months. I'm a pretty sociable guy and I noticed a strong clique presence and a strange difficulty with trying to have meaningful conversations with people. For example, I was talking to someone and their friends come along (no interest in talking to me btw) and they just stopped talking to me and basically excluded me from their conversation larger conversation, this happened multiple times with different people! Is that a thing?? The friend that invited me told me she had been attending some of their services for a few months and only knew 4 people.

    I got to the car and debriefed my thoughts on the service with my friend. Long story short, my heart goes out to the true sheep of Christ that are trying to be fed amid all the distractions. From my understanding, these churches are common across the United States, is this correct? Is what they're doing orderly and acceptable for worship? What are your thoughts on rogue nondenom churches?

  • #2
    200 counts as a mega-church?

    I think I share your thoughts. That "church" is about the self, entertainment, not God. You should check back with it in ten years to see what becomes of it.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
      200 counts as a mega-church?

      I think I share your thoughts. That "church" is about the self, entertainment, not God. You should check back with it in ten years to see what becomes of it.
      This was a young adult service, so there were 200 young adults in one service. Hah, my opc only has like 3 young people in the whole congregation. My heart grieves over these things. I wanted to tear down all those things on the stage and just hear Christ! Why talk about anything else :(
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      • #4
        Originally posted by RS Presbyterian View Post
        "Fifty Shades of Grace", a sermon series about sex topics (seriously??).
        I just wiped my monitor from morning coffee being spewed out from both mouth and nasal as I laughed so hard while reading this.

        Sounds like you had a really interesting Tuesday. So many "evangelicals" are unwittingly absorbed into the culture.




        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by William View Post

          I just wiped my monitor from morning coffee being spewed out from both mouth and nasal as I laughed so hard while reading this.

          Sounds like you had a really interesting Tuesday. So many "evangelicals" are unwittingly absorbed into the culture.




          God bless,
          William
          wow not even kidding, that was exactly what the service was like lol
          Comment>

          • #6
            I was reading some comments by a woman who once attended Hillsong megachurch (BTW, this church claims to be biblical, but read this limp-wristed statement on a couple of openly practicing homosexual members). Some of what she said applies to all megachurches. All of what she said would apply to any concert megachurch.

            Because of so many members, the pastor is inaccessible to most members. People at church don't miss you if you miss. The concert atmosphere is exhausting. Church members tend to be irreverent, even the pastor makes light of the sacred. The sermons are extremely shallow, and the pastor apologizes if he says anything even slightly deep. The concert style is utterly unwelcoming of older people. Here's one that I hadn't thought about: because of the large number of young, often single, people in concert churches, the church is a meat-market and there's sexual tension and competitiveness. I'm sure it's usually kept below the surface, but it's there.

            Big churches have a big advantage in that their size allows them to do good things that smaller churches wouldn't be able to manage. But, it seems that they're selling their souls to gain the world. And, the result is that as megachurches increasing in size and number, overall church attendance in the country continues to drop.

            I've always avoided megachurches, even if just to avoid being part of the largest common denominator. But, I have previously always avoided small churches. I thought they wouldn't give me enough opportunity to meet people and do things. And, also, I though visiting them would feel awkward, as everyone there will know you're visiting. But, after leaving Pentecostalism of my juvenile days and looking for a biblically-sound church, I was almost forced to consider small churches. I'm now in a small church and it's better than I ever expected. Everyone knows my name. I get to do important things there. The preacher provides well-researched and biblical sermons. The music inspires me in an edifying way. Pound-for-pound, my church does more for the community than any bigger church I've been apart of. Yeah, I'd like a few more younger people to be there... and maybe that's another reason I don't like megachurches. They suck the younger people away from good churches.
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