American writer Mark Morford has an interesting take on Big Box Churches. Have a look here for yourself.
Who Loves Creepy Megachurches?
Stadium crowds, thousands of rabid devotees, all chugging Jesus like Kool-Aid. Should you be afraid?By Mark Morford
I have never been to a big creepy megachurch. This is my first confession. I have never been to, say, Lakewood Church in Houston, the biggest glossiest megachurch of all, which just dumped a staggering $75 million to renovate the former stadium for the Houston Rockets and turn it into a massive pulsing swaying arm-raisin' eye-glazed weirdly repressed House o' Jesus.
I have never been to World Changers in Georgia or New Birth Missionary Baptist in Texas or Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa or the Potter's House in Dallas or the Phoenix First Assembly of God, et al., all of which claim well over 15,000 regional followers (some 20,000 or even 30,000) and most of which operate much more like careening multitentacled corporations than humble homes of spiritual connection and love. But, you know, quibbling.
I mention all this because megachurches are the latest phenomenon, the hottest trend in the Christian godfearin' biz, arena-scaled piety polished up and bloated out and aimed like a giant homophobic cannon straight at the gloomy face of a new and improved God, one who apparently truly loves the fact that these tacky sanitized enormo-domes are raking in an average of $5 million a year each, depending on size and girth and magnetism of their glossy preprogrammed pastors and depending on how many CDs and syrupy self-help books and movie production companies and proselytizing Web sites and recording studios and hateful radio brainwashin' programs and malicious teenage abstinence seminars they have to go along with the nearly naked virgin car-wash fund-raisers they offer up to Jesus on warm summer Sundays. ...
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(Full URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2005/08/03/notes080305.DTL&nl=fix )