Bill Boards, and mailers, and websites, oh my!!

by JesseRay on April 13, 2011

Posted by Jesse Ray:

Northridge_billBoard I put on my emergency flashers when I saw it on I-275. I had to pull over for a quick picture because I had never before seen a church advertise like it was a casino. Northridge+Easter=”Winning!”
Next, a similar looking mailer came in the mail saying, “Easter comes once a year…<yawn>” And I realized this is more than a typical protestant mega church…this is a brand-name, money-making, marketing machine. Their website sports trendy graphics, a young guy who may not have shaved recently, and some cryptic videos about inviting people…but what is this all about, really? Northridge_Mailer
There is no traditional Christian symbolism, no Cross, indeed you have to dig deep on their website and get out your decoder-ring to discover they’re Christian and not some fancy entertainment complex. Are they trying to trick people into thinking Jesus is hip?

Jesus is NOT hip. The world is hip. Jesus did not promise our youth a “Red Carpet and your own paparazzi” if you serve Him. Jesus told us,“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me before it hated you. If you had anything in common with the world, the world would love you as one of its own. But you don’t have anything in common with the world. I chose you from the world, and that is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19 GWT)

I am not hopeful that people who would come for the flashing lights, plush seats and mocha lattes will seek anything different when they are finished being entertained. But I hope that I am wrong.

Lets pray during this last week of lent that more people would discover the true beauty, real history, and powerful sacraments in the Catholic Church this Easter.

And for your enjoyment, if you haven’t seen if already, check out this mega-church youtube video.

screen-capture-12

~Jesse Ray

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee April 13, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Great post, but I can’t see the video you linked to. :-(

Pete April 15, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Priceless. My wife and kids belong to a mega church. They had a very inspiriing guest sermonist named Nick Vujicic speak about 6 weeks ago and invited me to tag along. Nick was born without arms or legs and was enthralling and inspirational.

The “service” built around his talk was a spectacle to behold. Everything from laser light shows to a band good enough for the Vegas stage. In fact, if you didn’t know better you’d think you were at a Vegas show. Only thing missing were topless dancers but the girl singers were boogeying down with all kinds of gyrations. I was honestly agog!

All we’ve got is the Eucharist, I so long for the fullfillment of a long guitar riff or a 5 minute drum solo.

Juan April 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I go to catholic church on Saturdays and on Sundays I go with my wife to a Mega Church. For this easter service the M.C. is giving away a new car and Walt Disney ticket along with other prices. They’ve been promoting this over the airways for weeks now. I find it strange how the Holy Spirit works so differently across faith traditions. Catholics observe Lent by fasting and giving alms in preparation for Easter. Everyone else is trying to find a new gimmick to get their numbers up and then boast how they are being lead by the Holy Spirit to reach the masses. I do love their coffee, but that’s all i get from it!

Philip April 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Well, I belong to a mega Catholic Church. We don’t have billboards but we do have a coffee bar and gathering place in our new Narthex entry to our Church. We are a traditional Catholic Parish and again this year we have over seventy new members coming into the Church through our RCIA program. Big and coffee isn’t bad, it’s the Word of God and example of true Catholic Faith and living that Faith in our community that brings our brothers and sisters to the Fullness of Faith. God Bless! Happy Easter!

Pete April 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Say, Juan….how about putting my name in the basket for the car? Do I have to be present to win? Philip, I hope they’re not open before mass. Coffee breaks the communion fast.

Nick April 15, 2011 at 10:59 PM

This campaign is referencing Charlie Sheen… not casinos.

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