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2006-10-09 18:24:23.870953+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Interesting weblog entry on the fears of evangelical "mega churches" that riffs on this New York Times article:

Once, church was a committment like the Rotary Club or the Boy Scouts. Now, it's a movie. You go, you do some other things and you go to watch football. Without a community committment to a church, how can you feel you belong to anything. And then the fear based teaching breaks down when you live on your own and your beliefs change.

I got to that via Pablo over at Danger West talking about it:

Christianity has always at least had a strong tendency towards insularity. Neverthless, Christians need to concentrate less on programming teenagers to reject secular ideas (evolution for instance, or even loose sex… afterall, divorce is just as much a problem among Christians as anyone else) and more on buidling meaningful communities that help people deal with real life outside of the group.

I used to be a fairly constant reader of NetFuture. And then I saw that Steve Talbott, the editor, had adopted the community in which I grew up, and my perceptions about the central message of that publication changed. Despite the desires instilled by my upbringing for a somewhat insular life outside of the mainstream culture, I realized that that sort of separatism leads primarily to myths that feed on themselves in unhealthy ways.

It's as if memes can become inbred.

When the myths can change to offer a cultural continuity to the larger reality, they can survive. When they have to be walled off from that truth, they can only become perversions of their former selves, and die.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-09 20:26:25.213666+00 by: Larry Burton

It's as if memes can become inbred.

I thought they mostly were.

I've had discussions elsewhere about mega-churches and how they do a great job of offereing entertainment but the experience is little more than going to a multi-plex to see a movie. Strangely a similar experience can often be found in some of the smaller churches that have remained the same size for the past eighty years or so.

The commonality seems to be that the mega-church is too big to actually get out into the community to do anything while had the small church that has remained the same size for the past eighty years been getting out into the community it wouldn't have remained the same size.

The mega-church is too large to accomodate people who question anything outside of their packaged relgious content while, had the small church that has remained the same size for the past eighty years been open to people questioning their religion people would have grown and so would the church.

I'm learning that to build community one has to be out in the community.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 18:55:06.618813+00 by: Dan Lyke

And since he didn't link to it himself, I'll link to Larry's further rambling on this topic.