07 April 2012

2012 Mega Church Easter Extravaganzas

Well, baseball's Opening Day is now a thing of the past for 2012, but there is another big event this week that may require you to show a ticket upon entrance: your Easter Sunday church service.

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with a church requiring that reservations be made and tickets acquired for Easter Sunday (or for one of the 15 other "Easter" services leading up to Sunday). Yet, as I've mentioned before, it just feels a bit creepy to be required to have a ticket to get into church. In this age of rock star pastors and mega churches, though, it is seems as though this is just the way that American evangelicalism is "doing Easter" these days. So as we come to a reluctant acceptance of the celebration and worship of Jesus Christ on Resurrection Sunday being transformed into a show to be watched and applauded, let us take a look at some of this year's Mega Church Easter Extravaganzas.

At Fellowship Church, it seems that Ed Young, Jr.'s Easter "experience" will be discussing how Jesus came to "give abundant life." Yes, God wants "more in your marriage, more in your family, more in your career." So ... did Jesus die and rise again so that I can get a promotion at work?


Troy Gramling and Potential Church would like for you to join them for "Your Best Easter Ever" in what will also be "Our Greatest Moment." That's funny, because it seems as though the "best Easter ever" already happened 2,000 years ago.


The Easter promo video for Saddleback Church shares how others have found purpose, learned about "doing," and rediscovered "the wonder of life." Unfortunately, no one in the video seems to have heard much about Jesus ...


Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church in Ohio is once again drawing in the Easter crowds with their Ultimate Giveaway. That's right, nothing says "Jesus is alive!" like gifts and prizes:


The Church of the Rock in Winnipeg, Canada, must have decided that Jesus wasn't exciting enough to draw the crowds. Never fear! They have called on the Caped Crusader himself, as well as the Boy Wonder, to teach(?) at this year's Easter service. I always did think that Batman and Robin would add just the right amount of exhilaration to the Easter story. It's just so bland without a superhero...


Finally, Champions Centre (pastored by Kevin Gerald) seems to be about one year behind the trends, as they are only now embarking on a 3D Easter. It should all be worth it, though, as you seek to "find your story in His story."


It may seem a little harsh and even insensitive (i.e., not "seeker-friendly"), but the reality is that Easter, the remembrance, celebration and worship of our Lord's resurrection, is not about you. Resurrection Sunday is about Jesus Christ. It is about His perfect and final work on the cross. It is about God accepting His perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who will believe. It is about Him rising from the grave, overcoming sin, death and Satan. It is about Jesus Christ saving sinners from the wrath and condemnation of a holy God. It is about the Gospel. As such, your story is not the Gospel. My story is not the Gospel. The Gospel is the story, and the reality of Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection. Tomorrow (and everyday), then, lift Him high above all else ... especially yourself.

26 comments:

  1. A good roundup. Er, a bad roundup. You know what I mean....

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    1. Yes, sadly, I do know what you mean...

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  2. bad roundup...

    eggs-actly right.

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  3. My church is so boring!. I'm sure pastor James will stick to expositional preaching again.

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    1. Oh I don't know about that. I recall the confetti that was shot out over the sanctuary last Easter at HBC Rolling Meadows. Then there's always all that cheering, screaming, and whistling that goes on and on. I am sure there will be some not too disappointing theatrics again this year.

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    2. Ya that lame shouting like we read about in the Bible (Ezra 3:11-13,Isaiah 12:6, 2 Chronicles 15:12-14, Zephaniah 3:14-15, Psalm 100, Psalm 33, etc., etc.).

      We shout and cheer for the dumbest things - like a dude hitting a homerun or our 6 year old kid kicking a soccer ball. If ever there was a reason to shout and cheer it is that Jesus is risen and has has conquered sin and death and bore God's wrath for us!!

      Growing up in church I remember how it seemed so out of place that the congregation would say "He is risen indeed" with no emotion ... like it really isn't that great of news.

      The examples given of car giveaways and Batman and Robin are truly ridiculous as they give the impression that I need another reason to celebrate other than Jesus ... but to be upset that a church expresses celebration over the resurrection is the most crazy complaint I have ever heard.

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  4. Well tsk tsk to these amateurish productions. Anticipating a bigger and more relevant holiday showcase tomorrow at your Escalator Church. Hate to be a spoiler, but rumor has it that the Easter Bunny himself might show up for a "spontaneous baptism".

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    1. Anonymous,
      I will have to discuss with the elders, but I believe your spoiler here may be grounds for church discipline.

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  5. Good job, Bbenz, and keep up the good work. Love your blog. Helps me feel not so alone in this cesspool called American Evangelicalism.

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    1. Thanks, Anonymous. Indeed, it seems as though the American "church" is getting worse by the day...

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  6. Erin,
    Thanks for that great round-up of apostasy. This, sadly, seems to be what most "Christians" want today - ENTERTAINMENT!!! All that doctrine and expositional teaching just gets soooooooo boring!

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    1. Hey Glenn,
      Yes, who needs doctrine and exposition when you can have superheroes and sermons about YOU?!

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  7. It's not necessarily that I didn't believe you, but I had to follow the link to Potential Church just to make sure the name itself wasn't satire. Do they think that someday it might be a real church? It's king of like the Ford Aspire; did it aspire to be something better?

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    1. LOL, Robert.

      I suppose with the teaching that comes out of Potential Church, it's best that they not consider themselves a real church just yet... :-)

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  8. I can only comment those "services" in those "churches" in two words:
    garbage collage.

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  9. With the focus on self, not God, worship becomes entertainment and why not tickle them ears-it's all about YOU not Jesus who died on the cross to appease an angry God because of our sins. No,, we skip all that blood and gore - you can have a great marriage, work, make more money etc.

    What a huge lie. People are frothing drunk with madness

    Lord I hope Jesus is coming soon ~

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    1. Linda, ... "drunk with madness" ... reminds me of Jer.51:7.

      Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

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  10. I guess Jesus Himself is not enough for them to be excited about ...

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    1. Well, Jesus plus Batman is way more exciting ...

      *sigh*

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  11. Have any of you who commented actually gone to any of their easter services?

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    1. You mean on the off-chance that this is all false advertising and they'll preach Christ and Him crucified?

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    2. Matt,
      In today's internet age, it is not difficult to hear sermons and to learn much about these churches and their pastors.

      I spent years deceived by seeker-sensitive churches, so I am well aware of the teaching that is heard in venues such as these. It was because these churches were not preaching the true Gospel that I spent these years as a false convert. It was only by the grace of God that I awoke to the truth and finally repented and placed my faith truly in Christ. It was upon that true conversion that God granted me the wisdom and discernment to come to understand that what was being taught by these churches was erroneous, and He graciously led me out of them.

      The celebration of the resurrection and the Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn't need gimmicks. It just needs to be preached faithfully and without compromise.

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  12. Would you post your testimony?

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