Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Progressive Church" commercial


(Thanks to FRiend Tim for the link)

29 comments:

Robert said...

Wow...I laughed before I saw the image come up (just from the title). I laughed once I saw the image come up. And then I laughed throughout the whole video. And now, I am just angered because I am left thinking about the seeker sensitive church models that a lot of my family attend. I am left thinking about the packed-out auditorium that Osteen gives speeches (I refuse to call them sermons any more) to here in Houston. People are taking God's name in vain through their style of worship and lifestyles. What I would love for people in these churches to hear is a message from Isaiah 1:1-10 or Amos 5:18-27 and see what God thinks of religious hypocrtites. Surprise! Your pastors are neglecting to tell you what God thinks and you have sought out pastors that will do so! God desires obedience, not sacrifice (such as giving up an hour or so a week to go to a church you like).

Sir Aaron said...

I found the commercial annoying. I can't stand the real Progressive commercials either though.

Video games are a weakness of mine.

Terry Rayburn said...

The key to good satire or parody is good humor with just a touch of [exaggerated] truth to make it relevant.

Call me humorless, but this one has way too much truth, hitting you like a Mack truck, and therefore loses a lot of its humor.

It bears one huge resemblance to a real "progressive" church:

No Bread of Life.

Religion that has no interest in a close communion with Jesus Himself wastes its time even when they talk about Him.

And if the goal is "whatever you like", you can bet that a close communion with Jesus is not only not taught, but isn't even on the menu.

Am I nutty to find it more heartbreaking than funny?

Religion! Huhh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again ya'll!

RealityCheck said...

I'm not a fan of the Progressive commercials either but I did enjoy this parody. Of course, like a lot of things, the humor is squelched a bit by how close it is to reality.

Lynn Savage said...

I like the progressive commercials, and I thought this one was a funny parody. Though I no longer believe in a "personal" God, my 40+ years as a bible-thumping Christian provides enough background to catch all the humor.

RT said...

A good spoof except (of course) for the wholly gratuitous slur on the Feast of St Francis, in celebration of which all right thinking Christians bring their beloved pets to be blessed.

ccm2361 said...

While amusing it is quite close to reality in some churches.

Brings Rick Warren to mind.

Rachael Starke said...

Oh. WOW.

Let's count on how many levels that hurts:

1. The lady in this video is as teeth-grindingly annoying as the lady on the original video.

2. We all know a bazillion churches who will see this commercial and think "YAY! Free advertising! And it's on the interweb, so we get coolness bonus points!"

3. (This one hit me the hardest, and hopefully it will you dear friends too) There are probably half a bazillion churches who are preaching just the opposite, ostensibly what this might seem to be advocating - Down with violent video games!! Down with R-rated movies! (Because that's even holier than saying Down with X-Rated movies)Down with cussing! Up with holiness and righteousness!!!!"

And they're just as awful a place to be.

They probably didn't intend that to be their primary message, but those second kind of churches are the ones I grew up in, so videos like this just make me a wee uncomfortable. And Lynn Savage's response is the very one I would have had before God opened my eyes to how I was measuring the truth about Him with a really broken ruler.

Rachael Starke said...

And RT, I laughed hardest at the part about the pet blessing because I wasn't thinking of the Feast of St. Francis. I was remembering a story John MacArthur told once about a woman who came down the front after a service to talk with him, little doggie in hand, declaring that the aformentioned doggie had just received Christ and was ready to be baptized.

Robert said...

Rachael,

I definitely lament the movement you are speaking of because I am immersed in that culture here in Texas. Asceticism does not bring us into a personal relationship with God. Neither does legislating morality, which is also a hobby horse of many conservatives here who are professing Christians. These same people, though, will show up for church at their leisure while making sure they hit every political or homeschooling conference there is. Not that I am against homeschooling or being an informed/educated voter, but where are our priorities as Christians?

Sorry if that seems like a rant, but I am deeply troubled and saddened with this. I want so badly for churches to be more like families, but instead people separate into clicks based upon things they like instead of us all coming together as people sharing the name of Christ. He didn't buy us with His blood so that we can just hang out with people who like the same things from the world.

CR said...

Rachael,

Please tell me the story you heard by Mac was a joke (by him or you).

Sir Aaron said...

Maybe the lady was a Charismatic which would explain both the dog and how she knew it had accepted Christ.

Rachael Starke said...

CR,

Nope, sorry to say. Sometimes you don't have to make this stuff up... :)

Robert,
We have ours here too. Being that we're in the Bay Area, they're super small. Which means they r doin it rite. :)

I don't want to make too fierce a point of it, on a day when Dan is overseeing yet another giganto brouhaha at Pyro (hope you weren't planning on getting any paid work done today, Dan! :) ), and may not be able to weigh in for a while. It's highly likely that the folks who put this together really just wanted to call out this particular variety of bad church. But, (and Terry Raybrun alluded to this too), when it's done in a way that seems to scream "LAWLAWLAW", and not even whisper "Gospel", that just...gives me pause. :)

Gregg said...

I do have a good and when necessary warped sense of humor. I like to laugh at good parodies, I really do.

I do believe "God" jokes or "Trinity" jokes are usually beyond good taste. I find very few of them funny, usually demeaning. I said that to say this, as much as I love the church I think this parody is borderline bad taste. We may be laughing at and poking fun at what we should we grieving and weeping over. I have to wonder does the Head of the Church, the Chief Shepherd think this parody is funny?

Halcyon said...

Maybe the dog was analogous to a born again Christian.

It could happen.

lee n. field said...

So annoying I could only watch a few seconds at a time.

And, somehow it reminded me of this.

Who made this?

Lynn Savage said...

Is that Mammon site supposed to be serious, or are they mocking the progressive-type church? I find it kind of funny but pathetic too. Having rejected all religion in favor of spirituality, I find the reasons to embrace ethics and morality are stronger than ever. The concept of shopping for a church that allows maximum permissiveness sort of begs the entire question.

lee n. field said...

And, oh, yeah. No Christ, no forgiveness of sins --> no good news.

Sir Aaron said...

@Lynn:

The sppof advertisement for "mammon" is both a play on the "progressive" church (and "seeker sensitive") as well as a reference to Matthew 6:24.

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. AKJV

Mammon is translated as money or wealth in almost every translation except for the various King James versions and some older English translations.

Lynn, where does your source of morality come from? That is, how do you decide what is absolutely right and wrong for everyone? I just don't see how you can "embrace" a universal standard of morality without God.

lee n. field said...

"Is that Mammon site supposed to be serious, or are they mocking the progressive-type church? "

Not serious. It's spoofing supermarket "spirituality" ("Mammon isn't the biggest player in the spiritual race") using an ad style you might see from a mutual fund. As in, you're in it for what you can get out of it and you'll jump ship for a better deal at the drop of a hat.

"Having rejected all religion in favor of spirituality,"

I confess I don't find much attractive about "spirituality". The way most people talk about it, it sounds like diving into oneself. "Finding the X within." I've spent enough time succumbing to the temptation to dive into myself to know there ain't nothing worth finding there. You run out of things to entertain yourself with pretty quickly. And it amounts to plugging your ears and humming real loud trying to not think about your biggest problem. "As in Adam, all die."

Robert said...

The other night on Wretched, Todd Friel showed a couple of videos from churches that were clearly seeker sensitive. One was for a service where they were going to have a rodeo before the sermon, which was entitled, "No More Bull"...no kidding, that was the name. The other church was showing highlights of UFC and the Ultimate Fighter. Then the "pastor" comes on stage and goes on and on about ultimate fighting.

Maybe I'm mistaken and somebody can show me differently somewhere, but I don't remember the apostles worrying about being more appealing or relevant when they went out preaching. In fact, I remember Jesus telling the people that were following Him around looking for free breakfast that that wasn't why He came. I remember people turning away from Him in great numbers when He told them that they needed to eat of His body and drink of His blood. They didn't take the time to ask Him what He meant...they were offended and that was the end of it...regardless of whatever signs He had performed before their very eyes.

Lynn Savage said...

Folks, I spent 40+ years as a true-believing evangelical Christian. For much of that time I searched in vain for answers to vexing questions, such as how can a holy and omnipotent God create evil? I finally found answers, though you might find them disturbing. I do believe in God, just not the external-from-creation type. The new insights have vastly improved my life, and morality is intrinsic to everything, for God is love and we are all part of God.

Citizen Grim said...

Have to agree with some of the other comments, this video wasn't exactly subtle. Great premise... they just were REALLY blunt and over the top about it. Actual liberal churchs usually try to shroud their relativism in Christian-sounding piety.

In one scene, she says, "Here at ProgressiveChurch.com, you get to check the things in the Bible that you want to do, and the things you don't want to do? You don't check them!"

This would be more effective if the line was something like, "Here at ProgressiveChurch.com, you can check the parts of your faith journey that you want to be enriched by, and uncheck the bigoted judgmental parts that you'd rather not experience!"

Okay, maybe that's not funnier. But it's a little more effective as satire, because it sounds more like something a progressive church might actually suggest.

DJP said...

Yes Lynn, I kind of had the feeling that you were dying to tell us about this "transformation." Problem with that is hinted (?) at by the title of the blog. What it means is that we're all convinced that Jesus is right. About everything. So that heads us in a very different direction.

Actually, Jesus saved me from just such a self-referential whirlpool. If you care to, you can read about it, beginning here.

If we can help you, we'll be glad to. If you just want to propagandize for the notion that Jesus is wrong... wrong forum.

Robert said...

And Lynn, I would submit that you were not a "true-believing Christian" based upon 1 John 2:19 (there are others, but this hust pops out). I think the hope is that God would do the work of regenerating your heart and opening your eyes to the truth of Scripture.

Zaphon said...

The Progressive woman did a good job.

RT said...

I suspect, Dan, that Lynn does not feel the need for any help. He has experienced "Christianity" fully and has moved on to a deeper spirituality. As the video rather accurately portrays, "the church" typically offers either pre-packaged feel-goodism or strait-jacketed legalism. There is very little spirituality in evangelical Christianity as it is practiced today, which leads sensitive souls to look elsewhere. The average evangelical church consists of a few insipid songs and a boring preacher droning on and on. There is no room for communion with God at all. This why I put up with the Episcopal Church, I suppose, because at least with the Anglican liturgy you touch some of the mystery of the divine and satisfy some of the soul's yearning for spiritual experience. In the evangelical church you mainly sit on your keister listening to someone who knows less than you do about the Bible talking on and on about matters clearly beyond his capability. Meanwhile, you are going over and over the brunch menu in your mind and wondering whether a Bloody Mary or two might or might not help you forget the insult to both God and your intelligence that you are presently enduring. No, I can't really blame Lynn for abandoning the faith that he probably never had in the first place, but I wish sincerely that he would pick up a bible and read it - cover to cover - and then immerse himself, armed with biblical knowledge, in the ancient liturgy of the Church. There, indeed, he may (if God wills it) find true spirituality.

Lynn Savage said...

No, I'm not out to progagandize (is that what you call it when you preach the Gospel?). Simply answering the question about morality. Many aer quite content with their present understanding, which is fine. I suspect many believers still have those nagging unanswered questions about their faith, so for them my blog might stimulate dialog.

Sir Aaron said...

Lynn:

Christians call it evangelize but the word you are probably looking for is proselytize.

@DJP: I think this thread officially jumped the shark at 8:14.