Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Think about it

"Moving from culture-at-large to church culture, a Cowboy Church movement has arisen largely because the standard Southern Baptist church culture has almost nothing Southern about it. The music is Rock, the marketing is Madison Avenue, the platform dress is Abercrombie & Fitch, and the A-V technology is Times Square.

"What's Southern about that?"

The above quote is taken from
If Heaven Ain't A Lot Like Dixie? by Bart Barber, which you can read for the larger context. If you're not Southern Baptist, this may not grab you the same way as it will someone who is Southern Baptist. Nevertheless, this is an interesting conjecture about the rise and popularity of the "Cowboy Church". Is part of it because modern churches make themselves over into something that is foreign to their culture? Just wondering.


Anonymous said...

I tend to see the modern church evolution and "cowboy churches" much in the same light. It is all about entertainment.

Regardless of denomination, the modern church now is a place to see paid concerts, magicians, carnivals, etc. I tend to think of the modern service more in the light of going to a performance than meeting at the House of The Lord for worship. Culture is now enthralled with this whether they are from the South, North, East, or West.

The Cowboy Church movement offers rodeos, trailrides, and other amusements for the entertainment seeker as well. It is just another example of coming up with a gimmick to make religion more palatable.

It was quite enlightening to learn about the origin of amusement parks and other issues related to it. The word "muse" means "to think." "Amuse" means "not to think." Disneyland was the first "amusement" park built in the mid 1950's. Is it a coincedence that this was also the time when the idea of recreation began to take root? It was also about the time man started to change his stance toward God in some ways. Recreation and entertainment are now multi-billion industries. Work is no longer the time-honored value it once was. Now it has drifted into the Church, as we have a generation which really believes it cannot be no other way. It is ironic that church attendance is on the rise in a very secularized world, but for all of the wrong reasons.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Neither of us probably think there is anything wrong with a little recreation. But it is interesting that to many people today recreation is the substantive thing that is real to them, and work is a necessary inconvenience that makes it possible to recreate. I think most all of us have been infiltrated with a little of that kind of thinking. Some are submerged in it.

Churches in general have bought the philosophy, hook, line and sinker.