City Business Church

It is not by grace that one enters the kingdom of heaven, but by tithing. - Damazio 3:16

Name:
Location: Washington DC, United States

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

www.clarkwatch.com

Here is the post emailed to me from our friend Anonymous. I started a new semester this week at Clark College in Vancouver WA. I work full time, go to school, and still somehow manage to have a life. I like school, I really do or else I wouldn't be doing it, but I really dislike Clark. I've been to several schools now, and I think I'mstarting to understand what makes one school bad, and another good. Here's what I've found at Clark: The teachers are better than those at Portland CC. Sometimes I think I've learned more from one class at Clark than a full semester at PCC. The campus is nice. It's large enough to have all the things you need in a college, good labs, student center where you can get a latte etc. but not so large that you can't get around. And hey, free parking! The problem with Clark is with its administration. The bureaucracy alone is bad enough to make a government worker cringe. I could bore you for hours with tales of getting the run-around, insane paper work, and illogical, inflexible rules. One example: last year school was canceled the first week due to snow. Because I needed the instructor to add me to the class, I turned in the normal "late registration" form with my instructor's signature. However, my paperwork was submitted two weeks past the first day of classes. I also had to fill out a form with a statement as to why I was registering two weeks late ("because you guys canceled the first week of classes!"). These forms all had to be submitted to the Dean, along with a form for him to sign. Later, the forms then had to be picked up from the Dean's office and re-submitted to the registration office. The lady that got the paperwork called and told me "You submitted it the wrong office, it's supposed to go to "X" office." So, I went back, picked up the paper work, took it to another counter, where the EXACT SAME LADY received the forms. The look in her eyes dared me to protest. I finally received confirmation of enrollment the day before my final! Believe me when I say I have never had a semester without some sort of bureaucratic problem. At first I thought I was really unlucky. Or maybe I was just incompetent, always trying to do the wrong thing at the wrong time. However, as I started to connect with other students I found that the majority of people I talked to secretly felt the same way I did. Even the instructors sometimes mention what a hard time they have navigating the myriad of rules and regulations that is Clark College. Why does this matter to me? Sure it's frustrating dealing with stuff like this, but it's a part of life right? Of course. However, my point is that Clark’s administrative office, in effect, actively discourages people from pursuing a higher education. Rather than being a source of encouragement and going out of their way to help you achieve your goals and become a better person, the stringent rules and silly legalistic edicts make it harder to get through school. In fact, had I spent my Freshman year there, I think I would have been too discouraged to continue on with my education. And for those that want to bash me about speaking out: you may say "you're giving the school a bad name" or "you need to take these issues up with the administrators". The fact is, the current administration either doesn't A) think that there is anything wrong with their policies or B) have any motivation to change. I could stand at a counter and rail on the administrator, or beg and plead for a 15 minute meeting with the Dean, but we all know how far that would get me. Rather, change has to come from outside pressure, and how will that happen without our speaking out? I challenge you to find a place in history where sitting back and accepting the status quo affected a positive change. Thank God for the ability to have open Frank discussions. Without it we'd probably still be in the crusades. Finally, perhaps the biggest question is this: Why is it OK to talk about a school like this, but never a church? If you were to read this again and substitute CBC every time I wrote Clark, would you accuse me of being bitter, or bringing shame to God? Do you believe me if I say I like the individuals at school, but not the system they work under? Is it not the same if I say the same about CBC, or am I again bitter? Personally, I find this separation illogical and the advocates of this position either naive, or promoting a hidden agenda. Anyway, that's my two cents. I guess now I'll sit back and wait for someone to accuse me of heresy for comparing the "house of God" to a secular college.

Miracle Squares

I recently had someone email me that they were writing a post for our site and wanted to know if we would put it up. I told him about the two rules that we loosely follow: 1. No personal names 2. No rumors This was his reply. Dang, I heard a rumor that Frank's office was actually made of gold; that the reason they took out the alter area carpet was to cut it intosmall "miracle squares" to sell on TV (to help finance the next Forward Together), and that sometimes the kids in the youth group have sex. He’s off to a good start. I’ll put up his post up tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I HOPE YOU ARE OFFENDED

To those who were offended by my last post I would like to say… Great. Good for you. You should be offended. It is, after all, completely revolting. It disgusts me. Yes, my story was irreverent. Yes, the thought of Jesus “Tithing on the cross” is distasteful, and yes to do it all on Easter is sickening. The line has completely been crossed… and… that’s why we blog. You see, we truly believe that this is what many churches and Christians have done. They have taken what Christ sacrificed at the cross and traded it in for “the American Dream”. Instead of preaching on forgiveness, they teach that God will curse you if you don’t tithe. Instead of teaching grace they tell you to “Tithe for protection”. It’s disturbing really. I believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important part of my walk with God. After all, without it I wouldn’t have a walk with God. Once you get past the gospel you have a religion that puts man in control and that’s pretty scary. So what does the gospel mean to me? Everything. I believe that I am a sinful being, completely unworthy of salvation. I deserve to spend eternity in hell. When Jesus died on the cross, he took my sins and paid for them. I didn’t have to earn His love, and I don’t have to work to keep it. He showed me that no matter what I’ve done He still loves me. How comforting is that? To know that the creator of the universe is on my side. To know that He sacrificed His son so we could spend eternity together. That’s extremely comforting. I used to try to earn God’s love. I wasn’t any good at it, but I would try anyways. I would look around the church and see all these other people that seemed much better at it than me. Look at that person pray, wow, God must really love them. Look at that one worship, God probably loves them more than anyone. If only I could learn some self control, then I would be on track to heaven…but then I learned that there is no track to heaven, no ladder to climb, no buying your way in. I learned that God’s love for me gets me in. It’s all I need. He sacrificed so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I just accept the fact that God is in control and try my best to live a life that honors Him. So I’m glad you were offended, now what are we going to do about it?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

THE PASSION OF THE TITHE

Recently I asked my son Aiden what Easter was all about. "Candy" was his reply. I then realized that many people may not know the real Easter story. Lets pull out our City Business Church storybook and re-cap the story of Easter. There once was a man named Jesus who came to save the world. He went around performing miracles: healing the sick, raising the dead, and turning water into wine. The elders of the local church became angry with Jesus because he called himself the Son of God but never tithed. The went to him and pleaded for his money. "Don’t you know the scriptures?" they cried, "Malachi and the curse"? "If you truly were the Son of God you would be giving the temple a full 10%. Instead we find you at parties turning water into wine. No, the real King of the Jews would be a successful businessman. You are not the Christ; you are an imposter." At this point they saw how he was hurting their image so they began to plot to kill him. Later, they found him in prayer and said to him. "Jesus, we just went over the Member Tithing Report and saw that you haven’t given enough, because of this we must kill you." They made Jesus carry a large cross in the shape of the letter "t" in order to symbolize Tithe. As he passed through the town the villagers mocked him yelling "Tithe or Die"; they spit on him and made fun of his cheap clothing. When he reached the top of the hill they nailed him to the Tithe. As he sat upon the cross he cried out "Father forgive me, I haven’t given to the Faith Harvest Offering" and with that he breathed his last. Three days later his disciples went to his tomb and saw that he had risen from the dead. Later he appeared to them and said "While you thought I had died, I really was in heaven tithing to the temple. And now know this: He that tithes shall gain all and he that doesn’t shall die. It is for this reason that my Father in heaven has sent me." "I tithed so you might live" From that day forward the tithe bucket was always full. This is the reason for Easter. It is a time to remember the tithe. I pray that you all have been touched by this story and will now bring a tenth of all you own to CBC in celebration of the resurrection of the tithe. May the curse of Malachi never be upon your household.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

New Church Name

There was an interesting article in the Oregonian today. West Linn Baptist Church is changing its name to New Life Church. Also, the church is going to purchase a new churchsite in another neighborhood, so they can become a “multisite” church. The article is here: New Name to Reflect its Faith This seems to be a trend in churches. They are choosing generic sounding names and then placing these churches in neighborhoods all over Portland. The “neighborhood” church is making a come-back. To me this sounds like the death knell for City Bible’s huge campus. People are losing interest in the huge "campus-church" and are choosing the smaller local church instead. I imagine the only way CBC can stay afloat is by selling or eliminating PBC and CCHS, which are financial drains. And then taking the cash and investing it into several smaller City Bible churches throughout the Portland Metro area. City Bible – Vancouver. City Bible – Pearl. City Bible – Lake Oswego. (Somehow I don’t think there will ever be a City Bible – Killingsworth) I guess, I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. I just think it is another sign of how churches are changing to fit people’s needs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bloggy McBlogster

I guess I just want to clarify the purpose of this blog. This blog is not really directed at City Bible members. Because I do not believe this blog will change their mind. This blog is directed primarily at those young ex-members of CBC, who are tired of the way CBC has hijacked the definition of “Christianity” and turned into a message of wealth and personal gain. I do not use humor and sarcasm to change people’s mind. I use humor and sarcasm to make myself laugh. Because I’m funny. And no one makes me laugh harder than me. However, I do believe what I am writing. And I know there are a lot of ex-members who are excited to see and hear someone stand up to CBC. I recently asked Reformed Pope why he continued to blog, and he responded with this short testimony: I don't care about CBC. I was up on 96th Street today, there was a kid couldn't have been more than ten years old. He was asking his pastor if he had any read any other blogs as good as City Bible Watch. That's who I care about. The little kid who needs blogs, because his parent or guardian won't let him read the excessive church humor and strong sarcastic content you and I take for granted.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Point/Counter Point

Here are three comments that I initially missed. I found them interesting. They were written in response to my "Love the sinner; Hate the sin" post. POINT Catalyst, I have a hard time believing that you love the members and leaders at CBC, especially with all the personal jokes, attacks and mockery dished at Frank and Doug and whomever else. And do you hate the sin in your life as much as the sin you see in them? It is ok to point out bs you see going on around you. but isn't this site generally part of the problem and not part of the soulution? So you're going on 30,000 but does this "success" satisfy your soul? Just a few thoughts. -Anonymous #93 COUNTERPOINT Coming from a similar background as Catalyst and RP, I can fully understand why they think and behave like they do. City Bible could be likened to a cruise ship [i.e. the Titanic] or a freight train in that they are slow to change and slow in reaching their destination. I prefer the freight train analogy because I feel CBC is on a collision course with our culture and turning around isn't an option. It is extremely gratifying to know that when the crap hits the fan and the fraud that is City Business Church is exposed for who they really are, there will still be this blog as evidence that someone saw it coming and didn't fall victim to it. So in response to your question, Anonymous #93, I pose a question to you. Hasn't the problem for so many years now, been the fact that Christians have neglected to point out the BS that goes on around them? COUNTER-COUNTER POINT Sure CBC may be slow to change in reaching our culture, but in some way they are reaching part of our culture, it just that we don't like that part of the culture. Isn't the church diverse enough to reach different people in different ways? I know I am playing the devils advocate here, but come on man do you really think that CBC is a fraud? A false church with some truth or a true church with error, or bs. And regarding speaking out about the B.S., there is a right way to do that and if your doing the right thing the wrong way it is still wrong. Whatever is not of love is sin, and we are to speak the truth in love . That is what i guess i am trying to get at. -Anonymous #93

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Syracuse is the armpit of America

Well, perhaps I'll be able to devote more time to this blog now that Syracuse just lost. Honestly, I've filled out some pretty bad brackets in my time, but never have I had my "Championship" team lose in the first round. Syracuse is dead to me. We will never speak of them again. So, Thursday, I was at a local bar watching the games, and I started talking to a young guy from the area, who was going to Graduate school. He was a nice guy, and he mentioned that he went to "Falls Church" which is a pretty big church in the area. Anyway, we got to talking about Church and Religion. It was interesting and he has some serious reservations about todays modern church as well. But he mentioned that he just read a great book that changed how he looked at Christianity. He said the book was "Blue Like Jazz." So, now I've definately gotta read this book. Its becoming the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" for the 21st century. Though, I seriously hope its a little more enlightening then the "dating" book, which should have been subtitled, "I am ugly and incapable of attracting the opposite sex." Anyway, the guy invited me to a Bible Study at Falls Church sometime, so I may end up going back to church soon. And you know what that means... ...another fascinating Breakdown: City Bible vs. Falls Church. I'm getting excited already.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tithing from Yesteryear

Priv8Pete says: I got thinking about the church I grew up in. At some point in time that church had to be built from scratch. It was all brick on a stone foundation with ornate wood work and lots of stained glass windows. Think about what it would cost to build a church like that today. It would probably cost a year's worth of tithe for every family in the congregation. Plus the church members would probably do most of the work themselves. Now, where is that spirit of giving (both money and time) for a congregation with an existing church? If the same amount of tithing (both money and time) was given by every church today imagine the evangelistic outreach. I wonder if there was more willingness to sacrifice yourself in past generations that we have lost.

Monday, March 14, 2005

March Madness Anyone?

It's that time again. Time for the greatest weekend in sports, the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This is my Christmas. Remember how when you were a child and on Christmas Eve you were so excited you could barely sleep. Well, that' s me now, only Christmas Eve is always on Wednesday and always in the middle of March. And it also lasts four days... Four glorious days... (Well, they'll only be glorious, if Arizon makes it to the final four and doesn't choke in the first round.) That said, I do not anticipate I will spend this week blogging much about Christ's role in the modern church. However, I may blog about JJ Reddick's role in carrying Duke to the Sweet Sixteen. If any of you also enjoy this time of year and would like to fill out a bracket. Please join our group, it would be a pleasure to have you. Posted below is the link to the bracket on ESPN. (You may have to create an ID.) http://games.espn.go.com/cgi/home/request.dll?FRONTPAGE The name of our group is: Have you ever heard of Alfred? And the password is: Wyalusing Have Fun!

Damazio Schmazio

A special thanks to “Anonymous” for going to the conference and sending us this email. If anyone else has anything to add please send it to me. I would even be willing to post a “Breakthrough” if anyone wants to email me. One would wonder, why did Tommy Tenney, at the NW Breakthrough Conference (formerly Intercessor's Conf) keep referring to PF as Pastor Hank? Was it a joke, that I missed somewhere, or was there another reason??? Just Wondering! Please withhold Name Looks like PF isn’t quite as famous as some might have thought. Then again, Tommy Tenney may just be a fan of this blog. Pastor Hank, that’s classic.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Temple Christian

I have gotten a couple of requests to write about my time at Temple Christian High School (now City Christian High School). However, I don't really have any complaints about my time at TCHS. It wasn't the greatest school in the world, but I think the teachers and administrators worked hard and did the best they could. While I rarely use this space to write anything positive about City Bible, I do want to say one positive thing about TCHS. Between highschool, college and law school, I have had over a hundred different teachers, and Mrs. Coleman, who taught me English and Latin, was easily one of the best teachers I ever had. I am not going to spend this time going into some sappy tribute. But I will say that I remember almost every vocabulary word she made us memorize. I learned how to spell the word "business" from her spelling tests. I remember reading the Odessy. And I remember most of the short stories we had to read. She is just a great teacher. Her English class would be AP English at any public school. Anyway, I don't think Mrs. Coleman gets very much credit. And I don't usually say nice things on this blog. So, let me just say thanks Mrs. Coleman. You prepared me for life, and I really appreciate that.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Characteristics of Hell

An email via my old college roomate: Thesis: Exothermic or Endothermic The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so"profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well. Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities: 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose. 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I date you", and take into account the fact that I went out with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY "A"

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Love the Sinner; Hate the Sin

...this is what I was always taught growing up. You love the sinner. But you hate their sin. And that's really what this blog is all about. I love the members and leaders of City Bible Church, I just hate how they act and how they behave. I hate their self righteous hypocrisy. I hate their arrogance. I hate their condescending behavior. And most of all I hate their obsession and love of money. But trust me, City Bible, even with all that sin. I still love you. (That doesn't sound very convincing does it... ...and you wonder why homosexuals want nothing to do with the church?)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And I saw the sign

I just finished reading Don Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz which is excellent. Towards the end of the book he has 2 chapters on love; loving others and loving yourself. In them he talks about how if people feel that you don't respect/like them then they will never listen to anything you say. He also talks about how he slowly began to realize that God loves the religious, self loving, hypocritical Christian as much as much as he loves everyone else. So, he had to let go of a lot of issues that he had with his previous church. I started feeling like maybe I should follow Don's lead and start to let things go... And then I get sent this email. I noticed that "citybusinesschurch.org" and the .com are available. If you're interested, I'll register the two domains and provide you with free web hosting. Care to kick up your blog into the next level? I can help you install some discussion forum software, and you can perhaps consider creating a community instead of just a blog. Of course, you can keep the blog, but a discussion forum might be fun. You can also move your blog over to the new domain, too.. if you prefer. Let me know if you're interested. Either God is trying to test me or God is sending me a sign. Hmmmn, we’ve been praying for a miracle so it must be a sign.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Thus sayeth, "The Frank"

My brother JP moves in the prophetic. Here is his prophecy regarding the future of City Business. The Frank would say to you-a, "Give me your money and watch me pour out blessings upon my church." "I'll cover this "city" church with plasma screen TV’s; I'll replace the carpet and update the lighting" say's the Frank "Rise up oh check book of faith, write down a figure far beyond your means, and I shall stretch out my hand and receive this check. I shall take this check and deposit it in the bank of profits, now is the time, this is the season" Thus sayeth the Frank.

Stake Out for Christ

An anonymous reader and, City-Business-survivor, sent me this link to an article from the mid-90's. Its an article discussing how pastors in Baltimore placed stakes around the city to protect the city from Satan. They got the idea from Pastor Frank. It is quite possibly the stupidest idea I have ever heard. And is on par with the time me and my brothers got the idea to stuff our two year old sister into a pillow case and swing her around, because of course, she would like it. "Its like a roller coaster" we told her. Anyway, read the article. Its pretty entertaining. http://www.banner.org.uk/res/StakeOut.htm

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Religious Blogs

Here is an interesting article in the NYT about blogs that take a slightly alternative look at religion. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/05/national/05religion.html

Friday, March 04, 2005

Something Real and Relevant

According to the City Bible website, Pastor Frank is holding a brunch this Sunday, March 6 at 10:30 am at the West Campus to discuss Forward Together and the future of the church. Will someone PLEASE attend this brunch, take notes, and email me what is said. This blog was set up specifically for events like this. You can email me at justin.morton@gmail.com. I really don't want to have to pay my 11 year old brother to go. Because somehow I think he’ll get all caught up in the brunch aspect of the event. And his notes will be detailed accounts of exactly how many pieces of bacon were available for each person. And that’s not exactly what I’m looking for…

Thursday, March 03, 2005

These beers are making me drunk

Just to prove I'm not above making fun of anyone or anything. Once again I thought I had it figured out, and once again I was wrong. It’s amazing how I keep drinking over and over. You see, for me, learning the truth about the booze was such a strong revelation that I actually thought I had it all figured out. But, I am slowly realizing that I can’t drink as much as I first thought.Here’s the problem: I like booze. I really do. It’s not some sort of prejudice based on race or religion or sex; I pretty much like all booze the same. Blame my parents, they home-schooled me and now I have “social issues”. That’s my excuse anyway. Reformed Pope, you’re a praying man, what are the odds of catalyst ever putting down his beer? It just won’t happen, but wait it gets worse. What are the odds of catalyst laying down his beer on a Sunday afternoon for anyone? It’ll never happen. I could go on forever. The point it this: I am living a beer-like lifestyle and I won’t to change. If only I could find a way to do it without all the sacrifice.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

These pretzels are making me thirsty

Once again I thought I had it figured out, and once again I was wrong. It’s amazing how that keeps happening to me over and over. You see, for me, learning the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ was such a strong revelation that I actually thought I had it all figured out. But, I am slowly realizing that I haven’t changed as much as I first thought. Sure, learning about God saving me, as a sinner, is powerful; understanding grace is the first step, but that’s all. It’s just one step, it’s a step on the right path at least, but it is only the beginning. Salvation is what Jesus has done for me, but what can I do for Jesus? That is the question I keep asking myself. When I figured out grace, I stopped trying to earn my salvation and subsequently all those little “sins” that once had controlled my life, slowly began to stop. As this began to happen I thought I had done it. On top of the Christian ladder; tough climb, but worth it for the view. Just me, PF and Jesus… Here’s the problem: I don’t like people. I really don’t. It’s not some sort of prejudice based on race or religion or sex; I pretty much don’t like all people the same. Blame my parents, they home-schooled me and now I have “social issues”. That’s my excuse anyway. I think that my personality isn’t meant to reach people; so I crawl in and out of my cave every day, trying as hard as I can to avoid meeting anybody new and all the while thinking that I’ve figured Christianity out. Right. I write a blog, pointing out the flaws of a church that I believe is completely self absorbed; so self centered that they can’t even see they aren’t being effective. Um, but wait, yep this where I am forced to insert a scripture. It’s Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV) "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? [4] How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? [5] You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Are the things I write about CBC true? Yes. Am I just another self-serving, un-Christ like Christian? Yes (for the record I have no intention of stopping this blog, see my previous comments on maturity). A couple of weeks back my cell group went to go feed the homeless. Boy was I excited; my first Christ-like act of 2005, this was going to be great. I was convinced that this was really going to make me feel good about myself. We showed up; brought tacos, sound pretty tasty right?. This, I thought, was how you receive blessings from God. It’s not how much you money you give; it’s how much you do for other people. Wrong. Again. I spent most of the evening talking with the people in my cell group. Yes, I met about 10 new people, but I couldn’t tell you any of their names. You see, I am pathetic and that is how it hit me. I was sure that feeding the homeless once a month was going to carry me through my Christian life, but I missed the point. All of them. It isn’t about the food, this is America not Ethiopia, none of these people were on deaths door. It also isn’t about how it will make me feel. We are called to be like Christ, and I don’t think he went to the cross thinking “Wow, this is going to be great. For the next 100,000 years every Christian out there will owe me big time”. The cross wasn’t for Jesus, it wasn’t a test from God. It was sacrifice; as pure as sacrifice can be. Catalyst, you’re a betting man, what are the odds of Johnpaul ever laying down his life for anyone? It just wouldn’t happen, but wait it gets worse. What are the odds of Johnpaul laying down his Sunday afternoon nap for anyone? Damn, it hurts; it really truly hurts. Let’s dig deeper. A couple of Sundays ago I was sitting in church during worship and the worship leader started telling some story, I’m not really sure what about, because I was to busy thinking about how lame worship was that morning. At one point I actually muttered to myself “Just sing the damn song”. Not exactly what you would call a heart of worship. I thought that worship was about me. I’ll praise God and in return He’ll make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Of course to do that I’ll need a great performance from the worship team. No half-ass act will do, I need my laser light show (ok, maybe it’s not that bad…yet). It’s only now starting to hit me that worship is about honoring God for all He’s done and not about God emotionally touching me. I could go forever. The point it this: I am not living a Christ-like lifestyle and I need to change. If only I could find a way to do it without all the sacrifice.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Christian Concert Capitalism

Here is an email from an old college roomate discussing Christian Musicians and the money they make. I thought it asked some interesting questions. Okay, so my wife won tickets for the SCC concert this Saturday night and we talking about how we probably wouldn't be going had she not won them due to cost. Now, the question becomes, what is an appropriate price for a Christian concert ticket? At it's core it's just a show, but it's under the auspices of being Christian so there is a bit of evangelism to it and thus shouldn't fall under the laissez-faire idea of letting the market set the price. I grant that CA Arena is going to charge more than the typical concert hall because of the higher cost of everything in the NYC metro area. So, let's say that NJSEA takes a $15 per seat cut. Then there's the cost of running a show - musicians, roadies, equipment, transportation, lodging, etc. That is probably around $5 per ticket. That makes our base price $20, which I feel is reasonable. Anything above and beyond this (not including merchandise sales) is pure profit in Stevie's pocket. I can understand that he wants a little something for his effort and to help his ministries. Assuming that there will be ten thousand people there (and there will most likely be more than that) every dollar over 20 gains $10,000. Now at his usual concerts he may not make a lot so he needs to average that out with big events like this one. I wouldn't be too mad if he tacked on $5 more, earning $50,000 for one night's work. An excessive sum, yes, but justifiable in my mind. However, the cheapest tickets are $35!!! My cost estimates are probably a little high, but even with them he is raking in 150,000 clams for one night. And all the truly poor people in the area who could use a message of salvation can't afford to go. Now, perhaps 90 percent of that money goes to compassion international or Wycliffe bible translators, but I doubt it. Just another example of what's wrong with the church and I dig SCC. At least I'm going for free!