McLean Bible Church (mega church)

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by hisenthlay, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    So, we were traveling this year and couldn't go to our regular church for Christmas, but we were right near McLean Bible Church, and my mom had heard a lot about it, so we decided to go there for Christmas Eve service. It was very strange. There was about 5-10 minutes of preaching that seemed like an extended advertisement for UPS, complete with the UPS logo blasted on 3 of the 5 jumbotron television screens. I guess UPS must sponsor the church programs or something. I felt dirty afterwards. What was that Jesus said about merchants in the Temple? Then there was all this talk about switching "races"--from the "race of Adam" to the "superior race of Christ". I've been to a variety of denominational services over the years, and I can't remember hearing that way of phrasing things before. It just seemed strange to speak of it in a racial way, or at least to focus on that idea so much, considering what a divisive issue race is, and how poorly things have turned out in the past when people think their "race" is superior to others.

    Any thoughts on this? Is this normal at mega churches, or Evangelical services in general? It was a very jarring experience for me (I'm used to Quaker and Catholic services for the most part, but I've been to Lutheran, Episcopal, etc. services, too).
     
  2. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    UPS must be a great sponsor because most, if not all, of the churches I have gone to in my limited experience, talk about nothing except giving money and being a good "steward" and forking it over in the name of God.

    Jesus would NOT be pleased.

    Donsgal
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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  4. fransean

    fransean Well-Known Member

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    That sounds weird to me too. I have been to a so called mega church before and loved it. No "advertising" ever and they were very uplifting and not at all devisive (sp?).
    Was this a regular service or a special Christmas service? Just wondering if there was something unique about it or if it appeared to be the norm for that particular church.

    Funny, when I took my parents to the mega church once (many years ago) I asked them afterward how they liked it and Mom said "well, it wasn't offensive and they based the sermon on the bible" - I am not sure what she was expecting.

    Bev
     
  5. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I've gone to small churches all my life, however, am now going to a church with around 4,000 members. Been going about a year, and I think the church is four or five years old. What you are describing is something I've never seen before, in a large or small church, it sounds bizarre.

    Niki
     
  6. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Well, I'm glad to hear this isn't normal. Thanks for posting the link, Bob--if anyone actually wants to hear the stuff I'm talking about, it was in the last half hour of the 7:00 PM Christmas Eve service--there were 3 services that night. The head pastor seemed like a good orator, but not a great preacher--I'm, shall we say, "easily moved" by good preaching (I get teary and sniffly with the slightest excuse), but this preaching seemed more about slogans (i.e. "switching races") and advertising than the birth of Christ, or a relationship with God. I'm not sure if it was just a Christmas thing, or not. But the pastor actually said (with the UPS logos blaring on the screens), something like:

    "I'm sure you know UPS runs the tightest ship in the shipping business. Did you know that? I do, oh, and I see you do, too (gesturing to a person in the audience)--I guess at least two of us know that, then. It's against my religion, well not really my religion, ha ha, but you know what I mean, to do my shopping at the mall--no, I order all my Christmas gifts online and have them delivered right to my door with UPS. You know how when something is delivered to you by the dependable UPS man, you have to sign for it, and accept delivery. You might wonder why you have to do that, because you already paid for it with your credit card, but the UPS man still makes you sign for it and accept delivery. This is sort of like what Christ did for us--Christ paid for our sins and our salvation on the cross, but we have to accept delivery of His grace. We have to sign for it, just like that package from UPS."

    Blah blah blah--it kept going on and on, longer than what I wrote above. I mean, showing the UPS logo is one thing, and bad enough, but weaving the ad into the sermon seemed much, much worse. I couldn't go to a church where the pastor sounded like a corporate shill. I wonder what his regular congregants thought of that sermon?
     
  7. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    I had never heard of the church until you posted this, however, I did read their statement of faith and the pastors biography and they appear to be in line with the scriptures. He attended a couple of schools that I have experience with and it appears that they have a large and dynamic ministry in the DC area.

    Could the UPS stuff just have been an example??? Maybe he was trying to play down shopping at the malls as many see that as the real meaning of the holiday... I know we kept UPS, FedEx and DHL a little busier this year!!!

    When we lived in Philadelphia we used to attend Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia which has over 10,000 spread over several services. Even with all of those people our family found things to be active in. When we moved to South Jersey we switched to a church founded by another Calvary Chapel pastor -- seven years ago they were in a rented building with under a hundred people and that has grown to our own building with 3 services on Sunday (about 150 per service) and we have now maxed out that building.

    It seems like the Holy Spirit is really moving in some churchs and they are experiencing enormous growth.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ[​IMG]
     
  8. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I understand what you are saying, but many thousands of churches have been built on personality, hype, and programs and the Holy spirit was never invited. Size is NOT evidence of the Holy Spirit's involvement. I just wanted to make that distinction.
     
  9. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I'd agree with that, too. However, in the Philly area there are a lot of churches that used to really preach the Gospel and reach out to people which became nothing but social clubs and are now struggling just to keep the doors open. There are other churches that are truly reaching the people and meeting their needs and those churches are growing rapidly -- a case in point is a church that recently started in West Phila. near the U of P campus -- they have everyone from hookers to homeless, professionals to professors, students to stay at home moms attending there. My 16 yo. son visited there one day and even he commented on the teaching of the pastor. They are truly reaching the people with the Gospel and the people are responding.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ
    [​IMG]
     
  10. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I listened to the whole sermon. I have also been to McLean. Some very good friends have been active in this church for years, since it started by renting an auditorium in a school. Let me say that I have never felt comfortable there whenever we have visited. It has NEVER been because of the teaching though. It has always been because of the size of the church and the feel of the whole DC area I believe. Whenever I am in the DC area, I always feel like I'm in hell. Seriously. It seems like a HUGE overwhelming area that is completely against every value I hold dear. I believe the church is simply trying to reach out to people with values very different from ours. The things that appeal to them aren't things that appeal to us. In that sermon he used a number of "culturally relevent" mental images in order to try to catch the attention and make connections with the people there. I know at our church the Christmas Eve service is always very well attended - usually standing room only. There are always tons of people who do not normally attend church. I suspect the same is true there. That message was a basic salvation message. He actually used the "Lawrence of Arabia" movie more than UPS. He also used the "Be All You Can Be" motto and Presidential ties to try to connect with the audience and help them to understand what he was saying. As I said earlier, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach but I think it is the place, not the church. I'm not going to dare to judge what is going on in hearts. I've seen and heard many good things going on there.