Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Business of the American Church

It's probably not a secret that I'm not a fan of Business-as-Usual in the American Church. I don't care much for consumerism in general (though I admit to being a consumerist), and as such, I don't care for the monster offspring of the American Church and Consumerism, MegaChurch.

Having said that, I can't help but fight the feeling that the following video is a bit of a hit job. It raises some important questions, but I'm not sure I don't have more questions about the accuracy of the video than I do about the business of the megachurch. Either way, I'm embedding the vid because I do think some questions need to be asked:

  • Is the American Church a business?
  • If not, then why is it run like business, with head pastors as CEOs and boards and committees and all that (not just in the megachurches, but in smaller ones too)?
  • How do we settle with the passage of Jesus clearing the Temple of the moneychangers? Wasn't it convenient business?
  • And didn't that convenient business prove to be a stumbling stone for those who couldn't get in the Temple to worship God?
  • What is tithing?
  • What is tithing good for?
  • Shouldn't churches be more accountable than corporations and small businesses? Especially if they make as much money but do not have to pay taxes?

For us, my wife and I do tithe. We feel that our church works within the community in a way that is loving, accepting, and taking care of the least of these, as well as in a serving and ministerial way to those who may already have. And we know for a fact that our pastors (currently car-less) are not eating high off the hog.

But most of the times when I've seen giving to the church used in the New Testament, it's been to support people in need. And I have to wonder: How much of what is given to American churches are given to those in need? How much is going to the already-wealthy? And how much is going to overhead, to continue the Church as a Business?


  1. As a retired church pastor, I quite agree. In my own writings I strike a contrast between "religion" and "spirituality", the first being a business and the second lacking any rules or hierarchy. Too often in my experience religious organizaztions are worried about paying the bills (maintaining a church building is quite costly), and not so much about heping the needy, as Christ told them/us to do.

  2. I feel like a putz for having neglected the hat tip (to Jesus Needs New PR). Please forgive the error.


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