Great Exportation of Evangelical Christianity mega-churches

Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 09:11 am
The Great Exportation
Wall Street Journal
Interactive Map
By Alexandra Alter

About 1,500 churches in the U.S. have satellite campuses (up from 10 in 1990), and some of these churches have begun to expand internationally -- exporting "a distinct strain of contemporary evangelical Christianity," according to this interactive feature by The Wall Street Journal. Scroll through a map of a half-dozen "mega-churches" that are going global, and read a blurb about each one's expansion style.

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Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2008 03:14 pm
This certainly is an issue groups such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints have members everywhere over the world. But is it a problem, does it really matter that these groups can have contact throughout the world?
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Wolf ODonnell
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 01:33 pm
I don't know. The fact that these are Evangelical Mega-Churches frightens me. Wouldn't mind so much if it were small independent churches, as they tend not to be hypocritical, money-scamming businesses like the Evangelical Mega-Churches tend to be.

A Mega-Church spends far too much money on impressing its own followers and not enough on charity.

It is, in essence, rather unChristian.
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 09:36 pm
I do not believe these mega-churches would attract many congregants, if it was not for the reality that the brand of religion that many were raised in might be leaving some people searching for something else.

Part of the appeal, I believe, is a more direct communication with the divine. That sounds like a good selling point. Another good selling point might be a more black and white picture of the good guys and the bad guys. Some people do not like shades of gray, perhaps?

All this is coming from a veritable atheist, when it comes to religion.

Who knows; these mega-churches may just save Christianity from atrophy?
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Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 11:55 pm
Yes I agree.
These churches are very powerful due to their ability to attract many followers who want a more exciting form of church. But as you say there can be too much emphasis placed on the excitement factor (and the monetary collection factor) rather than actual moral teching and the helping of others. Also a problem these groups are prone to is condemning certain groups of people just because they have taken the bible too literally or out of context.
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Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 04:16 am
My feelings about most rligions is that thy ar selling goods basd upon false hopes. However, my dealings with the Evangelical Churches in the third world has always been positive. While its true that, in the jungles of South America, they are simply trying to mount up "numbers for Jeyzus", they do it with meeting important needs of the people first. They dont merely come in to sell Christianity , at the outset, theyc ome in and help feed the hungry and develop clean water supplies. In my latest project in South America, an Evangelical congregation from Pa convinced me to divert our drill rigs to go and drill 3 wells to serve a small rural community. The "Missionaries" were tightly ensconsed in a basic needs project where they were bringing in food,building shelter (including a chapel of course) and getting clean water for the town. They were involved in a "relief project" in a relatively advanced SA country . Did they cover the Bible Lessons? Of course they did, but they didnt try to preach salvation on people who were living in shacks and sick with water borne illnesses. They met those needs first and only then...

I guess its our nature to mistrust everything thats not in our reality realm. Im more cranked about the more "abstract" beliefs they push, only after the bellies of the target audience are filled. Up till that point, Ill pretty much help them out and try to render any assistance I can. After all, my disagrement isnt with the thirsty folks in the jungle, they usually already have a religion I dont buy.

Iv actually found the " turf battles" between th Catholic Missions and the Evangelical Missions kind of silly and something not to be admired. Ive often said that, if the Evangelicals and the Catholics were in an area, each would tear down what the other did so that they could establish their own beach heads. Its like a lion who takes over another alpha males pride. First thing he does is to methodically go and kill all the cubs sired by the vanquished alpha male..
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Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 08:46 am
American Evangelicalism: New Leaders, New Faces, New Issues
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
American Evangelicalism: New Leaders, New Faces, New Issues
June 30, 2008

Leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2008 for the Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life. D. Michael Lindsay, author of Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite,1 described how, in the three years of his extensive research, he made surprising discoveries about the true power brokers and centers of power in American evangelicalism. He also found that the deep divisions in this movement are not between the political left and right, nor between young and old, but between "cosmopolitan" and "populist" evangelicals.

Lindsay discussed the implications for this election year as well as the future of the evangelical movement. David Kirkpatrick, Washington Correspondent for The New York Times, added some history about "old-school" evangelicalism and ways of categorizing the changes that are occurring within the American evangelical movement.


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