Saturday, April 11, 2009

Now THAT'S (Christian) Entertainment! Pt 1: Bunnies and Blasphemers


We've made a religion of entertainment
and an entertainment of religion.

What is THE most overtly blasphemous day of the year? Halloween, where kids dress up as witches and ghouls instead of honoring the souls of the dead? Maybe Christmas, which is so commercialized our entire retail industry depends upon it? No, neither. For my money it's Easter. You can place a gift or even a Christmas tree beside a Nativity scene, but it doesn't seem as incongruous as pairing an egg-laying rabbit beside a holy man hanging bloodstained on a cross.

Our hunger for entertainment doesn't even care how the rabbit entered the picture, just so long as it IS there along with marshmallow peeps, colored eggs, elaborate baskets covered in an abundance of cellophane, Easter egg hunts and rollings. Easter is also characterized by new clothes and elaborate hats. The hats are especially blasphemous: early Christian services required women to cover their heads simply because beautiful hair and/or elaborate hair styles were symbols of vanity. Enterprising milliners got back at this attack on women by designing coverings more elaborate than any hairdo.

exchange at Saddleback Church blog:

Posted by Devan 4/9/2009 7:03:00 AM

Hi how are you I liked how you said I might need to go buy a new dress! I just wanted to ask what days have a easter egg hunt for the children and will they need to bring a basket I also wanted to know if Rick was going to teach on thur,fri. and if all the tents will be like the gosphal, Thank you enjoy your spring break.

Posted by Bonnie 4/9/2009 9:19:00 AM

Hi Devan, The easter egg hunt will be at the 10:00 AM service that we are holding at Trabuco High School. Doug Fields will be speaking at that service. Rick's plans are to speak at as many services on the main Lake Forest campus as his voice will hold out. The Tents and other venues on our campus will offer a variety of worship styles. You can check out the all the services times at www.easteratsaddleback.com.

And at all costs, we MUST be entertained.

REMEMBER THE THEME OF THIS SERIES:

We've made a religion of entertainment and an entertainment of religion.


Alright, who's to blame? Department stores? Television? All the media? Advertising? Secularism? Is it all part of America's "crass commercialism"?

How about religion itself?
WTF? "Christianity in America is the VICTIM!" Sorry, but I don't think so.

Of course, that attitude makes me look obtuse and anti-Christian. If people want to see me in the same light as a dreaded "pagan" or "heathen" or "atheist"...so be it.


I prefer looking at a larger picture through the lens of history. Mankind has always had a love of ritual during worship. And that love of ritual has given birth to ... more ritual...and ritual robes...and ritual temples...and cathedrals with frescoed ceilings...and passion plays...and more ritual.


Think of it this way: while Christ told us that the best place to pray was alone in a darkened corner of our house, we don't consider prayer to be worth much unless someone else is with us. And we LOVE to pray in front of others! And we LOVE to be in a place where preachers can "inspire" or even bore us simply because we are showing others that we are religious.

We don't ever admit that all of our religious experiences are entertaining, but they are. The preacher can be "uplifting" or "stalwart", the interior of the church can be "inspiring" or "focusing" (sleek and without distraction), the hymns can be "melodious" or "transcending." And if the preacher isn't "thought-provoking", the church interior isn't "breathtaking," the hymns aren't "spiritual" then we blame them for our boredom and think of reasons why we weren't entertained.

Entertainment is comfort in the midst of pain and it's certainly distracting enough from whatever troubles we have. When we enter a "house of worship" we EXPECT to feel transported to a different world where we can commune with God. And the way to make a person feel that transportation is... entertainment.


Some say "inspiration" while I say "entertainment." BFD.

Just a thought.

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