The soul of the new exurb
''I'll tell you right now, if one of you is a believer and the other is not, your relationship is doomed.''
I view this as a very ominous comment on the part of the Rick Warren-wannabe pastor of the megachurch in Surprise, Arizona.
What he is telling us in a larger sense, although he was directing it toward teenagers, is that we as a nation are doomed. He is telling us that the half of America that hasn't signed onto the theocracy yet cannot be related to his half which is "chosen by God" to rule over it all ("in Jay-zus name" of course).
First thing you gotta do to be a "purpose-driven" pastor is to go down to your local Goodwill store or wherever and get you a bunch of Hawaiian shirts. Perhaps one day these churches will adopt the motto of our local high school's football team, the state champion Gilmer Buckeyes, "KUI."
In his recent book ''The Transformation of American Religion: How We Actually Live Our Faith,'' Alan Wolfe, a professor of political science at Boston College, writes that ''American faith has met American culture -- and American culture has triumphed.''
How does this square with I John 2:15"?
LOVE NOT THE WORLD.
Very unfortunate comment here on the part of the megapastor:
''I tease people and I go, 'This is my rookie season, this is my first church,' '' McFarland told me, ''and they go: 'Shut up, dude, you're sickening. You're pastor of a church that has grown like a weed.'''
The scriptural name for weeds is tares.
Oh, well. Wannabe Warren has already told us he never finished his correspondence courses. In fairness, he is only quoting one of his congregants. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe the pastor needed to hear "weed" and it'll hit him later what that means in terms of what his church actually represents in these "Last Days."
The other thing that comes to mind is that if "exurbs" are the wave of the future, it is no wonder that the exurbanite megachurched are so gung-ho on the wars for oil. It is the only way they can remain in the exurb and be able to commute affordably to their jobs in Phoenix or wherever.
Well, there is a limit on how many people can survive in the Valley of the Sun which may be fast approaching and the limitation is water, not gasoline. That is, unless they can tap into those "rivers of living water" in a literal sense. I just know they had better not try to turn any water into wine if they ever come to our downtown wannabe megachurch. To quote the pastor, "I know our Lord would never have created anything that causes a person to ACT A FOOL!"