Something's Wrong With This Picture.

Now, I'm no theologian or biblical scholar... but I have a serious problem with this.

Yes, that's a church. Yes, those are SUVs. Yes, they're parked on a pulpit... with a pastor praying over them.

Yes. That just happened.

The New York Times and Reuters both ran stories today about yesterday's service at Greater Grace Temple church in Detroit. Three vehicles were rolled in for the pastor's sermon, "A Hybrid Hope," in which he urged the congregration to pray as Congress decides whether or not to give the Big Three automakers billions of dollars in bailout money.

It's a scary situation for folks in Detroit, to be sure, as many of them depend on their jobs in the industry for survival. It is a time for people of faith (myself included) to be in prayer for those struggling in this economy. The Times article said that the pastor "encouraged the congregation to pray, not that Congress would 'do the right thing' and approve loaning money to the car companies, but that Detroiters would 'make it' through these tough times." Understandable.

But... you still have union officials coming to address the congregation (which seems exploitative to me); you're praying for an industry whose leaders led it into the tank long before anyone started talking about a recession (and then flew private jets to Washington to beg for a handout); and you're instructing parishioners to approach a trio of shiny new SUVs for praying and annointing with holy oil.

Does this bother anyone else?

The whole thing speaks to a larger issue I have with the entity known as the black church, especially the "mega-church" (a subject for a whoooooole 'nother post). The theatrics, the "prosperity gospel" and attempts to appeal to people have gotten in the way of the message of the Gospel.

I mean, seriously... what are we really worshipping here?


yummy411 said...

*gasp* say it ain't so!

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