I get into debates with myself over what is “marketing” for the church. What “counts” vs. what “doesn’t count,” etc.
But then I read articles like this one and just get sick. The article begins like this:
In the back room of a theater on Beale Street, John Renken, 42, a pastor, recently led a group of young men in prayer.
“Father, we thank you for tonight,” he said. “We pray that we will be a representation of you.”
An hour later, a member of his flock who had bowed his head was now unleashing a torrent of blows on an opponent, and Mr. Renken was offering guidance that was not exactly prayerful.
“Hard punches!” he shouted from the sidelines of a martial arts event called Cage Assault. “Finish the fight! To the head! To the head!”
The author of the article calls it right a few paragraphs later when he says these are “recruitment efforts.”
When we are reduced to using terms (and gladly using them, I might add) like “recruitment,” I am deeply saddened. Especially in a venue like this. Since we do not know our history very well, it may do me no good to say something silly like, “Sounds like Rome and the gladiators to me.”
Something just seems terribly wrong in the American church, and I don’t think it’s me just being old and crotchety.