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A Reformed Fellowship

Atheist “mega-churches”

From World Magazine (Nov. 13, 2013) by Warren Cole Smith:

Atheist megachurches. According to the Associated Press, atheist “megachurches” are springing up across the country, and they look a lot like Protestant megachurches: “rousing music, an inspirational talk and some quiet reflection.” But, the article goes on to say, “The only thing missing was God.” About “three dozen” of these congregations have sprung up in the United States and Australia, and a British couple who founded the movement, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are planning many more. Jones and Evans are touring cities in the United States hoping to raise $800,000 that will fund this “church” planting movement. Jones said the idea came to him when he attended an inspiring Christian church service: “There was so much about it that I loved, but it’s a shame because at the heart of it, it’s something I don’t believe in. If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people—and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?” He’s right, of course, which is why so many Protestant megachurches—such as Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston and Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church in Charlotte—are popular, despite resembling what sociologist Christian Smith calls “therapeutic, moralistic deism.”