The so-called Evangelical world and "Church Growth Movement" is full of success stories and very rich folk. Do this, try that, and you'll be blessed beyond measure. Especially if you give more of your money. And if you aren't being blessed, it's your fault. It's full of Pat Robertsons, Rick Warrens, Joel Osteens, and the like.
It's also full of "successful" churches. By that I mean "churches" whose mission it is to entertain, coddle, and make its members "feel good" about themselves. No, or little, preaching of the law and gospel. Just a bunch of how-to-have-it-good-in-this-life psychobabble. And people flock to them in droves. They go over here for awhile, then they go over there for awhile, always looking for the next, best, exciting thing.
And people try to use "the numbers" as evidence of God's blessing. Just like they use money as a sign of God's blessing.
Well, there's lots of things to say about that. That is of scripture. The reality is that life is a struggle until the day you die. And if you're NOT struggling, you better take a good look at yourself. The flesh calls to have it's way. Satanic forces surround us. The world entices us. And Christ himself promises if you follow him you WILL bear a cross. Doesn't sound like a recipe for a successful church in 21st century America to me. But at least its a faithful message to what the Bible teaches.
So, what am I leading up to? Well, this post is going to take a turn from the serious to the fun.
The fact is that not everyone who subscribes to "Church Growth-Purpose Driven Life-Willow Creek-Joel Osteen" Christianity succeeds.
For every Purpose Driven Life success, there are lots of failures. Things that didn't "draw the masses" like it was anticipated.
Scottius Maximus Investigative Agency, another subsidiary of Scottius Maximus Enterprises, has uncovered several campaigns by Evangelical American Churches that failed to pack them in.
Here are the "Purpose Driven Failures":
Wrestle-mania Sunday- "Wrestle with the devil- and win" sounded like a good sermon series to the pastors and elders at Indiana's New Beginnings Church. However, the church was forced to close when their insurance refused to pay medical bills for the 3 people with broken vertebrae, 6 people with shoulder dislocations, 19 people with torn cartilage, and 40 people with lacerations- all the result of a 350 lb. escapee from the local psych ward showing up and claiming to be the devil.
Disco Demolition Night- Everyone remembers the Old Comiskey Park in Chicago, home of the White Sox for 80 years. And everyone should remember the disastrous Disco Demolition Night in 1979 that sparked a riot and almost destroyed the stadium. Well everyone does, except the good folks of the Church of the Harvest in Iowa. The community was invited to bring their old disco records and burn them to renounce the satanic influences of dancing. Let's just say this- the Comiskey Park fiasco looked like a girl scout campfire compared to the carnage that ensued at that church.
Beef Jerky Day- At a non-denominational church in Ohio, ushers were instructed to hand out free packages of beef jerky to anyone who might be a "seeker". Unfortunately the Holy Roller Church across the street had Fried Egg Day at the same time. Since more people like eggs than beef jerky, the concept never got off the ground.
The Bill Orpine Memorial Sunday In The Fight Against Hemorrhoids- Deeds Not Creeds Lutheran Church in Missouri thought it would be a good deed to relieve the suffering from hemorrhoids sufferers in their 5,000 member church by handing out free Preparation H at the door. Considering the offer too embarrassing and too personal, and not wanting others to think they had a hemorrhoid problem, all but 56 people stayed home that Sunday.Illegal Alien Sunday- Anyone bringing an illegal alien to a non-denom church in a small Illinois town, to be promptly handed over to a US INS agent, would receive an "anointing" at the altar with promises of great blessings in the next year.
The Anton Levay Invite A Satanist To Church Night- Who needs the gospel more than someone worshipping Lucifer? At least that was the idea of one of the deacons of "New Paradigm Lutheran Church" in Nebraska. It didn't work out so well, as the sanctuary was overrun by unbathed vampires on Harleys. Whether the church burned down accidently or on purpose is currently under investigation.
Soap Night and Get Your Oil Changed For Free Night- Whether in part or in full, these two "themes" were inspired to try to "make good" on the Anton Levay disaster. Soap for the unbathed, and an oil change for the motorcycles.
Bring Your Cholesterol Level To Church Sunday- Anyone with high cholesterol was encouraged to bring copies of their blood work and place them on the altar, where a special envoy from Oral Roberts University would pray over it. Litigation is pending as the pastor who came up with the idea suffered a heart attack the next day.