To the editors:
In response to Robert McClory's article on "Superchurch" (August 7), I think these megachurches are a sham.
First, they reinterpret the Christian gospel into a salvation insurance policy for an elite. The Christian gospel is much more about liberation, compassion for the poor, and this-worldly ethics to create a God-like world and ecology.
Secondly, they "play" at being a church by creating theaterlike dramas and creating a safe place for people to remain bigots, homophobic, and racist. They have no understanding of Jesus' ethic of inclusive love, nor his prophetic message of hope to those who are poor or marginalized in society. Instead, they perpetuate intentional upper-middle-class mores that are misogynous and heterosexist.
Thirdly, while focusing on the unchurched, they actually have found a way to proselytize mainline Christians who have grown tired of closeting their racism, sexism, and classism and now feel free to find a "home" where religious intolerance and conservative reactionary values can be celebrated weekly. Sadly, these people will be hard-pressed to return to authentic religious communities since their bigotry has been heavily rewarded.
The only good thing that can result from all of this is that the Hybels will eventually get too greedy or die and their charismatic enterprise will fold with them. The damage however on the audiences will be decades of continued un-politically correct misfits who will teach their children intolerance and elitism into the 21st century. What a sham.
Reverend Dr. Timm Peterson