Tuesday, August 02, 2011

On Churches, Game Shows, and Presidential Debates

Yesterday I listened to a QnA with a presidential candidate (we'll call this person "Pat"), in which "Pat" made some comments about a recent presidential debate. Pat said what I wish I could believe most viewers were thinking at the time. Pat said what I suspect might have been a defining moment in Pat's campaign, had Pat been sensible enough to offer this answer in the heat of the moment. So here's what Pat said:
I thought when the CNN moderator was asking us questions like, "Do you prefer 'Dancing with the Stars' or 'American Idol'?", I really think in retrospect the correct answer was to say, "It's pathetic that with 14 million unemployed and a $2 trillion deficit and three wars underway you would waste our time with this." Because what it does is it trivializes the choice of the leader of the United States into a game show.
The na├»vety of the American public in our presidential selection process is disheartening, to say the least, and the public debate of recent weeks has only advanced that trajectory. The notion advanced by the media (assuming it's true, silly me) that the public just wanted a compromise—as if compromise a) is equivalent to a long-term solution, and b) is not the methodology that got us where we are—is an omen of our future.

But let me just ask a simple question: How might we trivialize the mission and message of our churches by the content of our children's ministry, the strategy of our youth ministry, the commitment of membership, the smorgasbord of our programs, the frivolity of our off-hand, casual comments, the mood and form of our music, the structure of our service, the gravity of our preaching, and the priorities revealed by the sheer number of man-hours we devote to these components.

Just askin'.


d4v34x said...

I've been saying since the days of the boxer-wearing, sax-playing guy that we chose our presidents with the same level of intellectual vigor that we chose our favorite pop songs.

Then I read Postman.

Ben said...

And Lady Gaga. (Not that you read Lady Gaga, but you get my point.) It's not quite that bad. Yet. But it's terrifyingly close. Give us a couple more cycles.

By the way, I also should have alluded to the motivational tactics of our children's ministries.

d4v34x said...

No, I read Camille Paglia's smack on Lady Gaga.

Speaking of the other, I was reminded today of how many goldfish and pies in the face I saw NBT leaders as well as bus pastors and youth pastors eat in my childhood.

PH said...

I'm afraid that you are dead on with this piece. The political is sad the spiritual is sickening.