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Cory Doctorow

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The decline of a church - read between the lines

The obnoxious, "rebellious teenager" in me is giggling fits over this story from MSNBC about the Crystal Cathedral in Orange CA.  Fortunately, the middle-aged adult took over and read some of the comments toward the bottom of the article made by some long-time supporters of the church.

In the article, one "supporter" cancelled her monthly gift to the church as she did not like that the church had so many guest pastors.  Another long time "supporter" did not like the fact that the father and son Schuler were not working together at the church.

Really? You were giving money and lending "support" to a church only because someone named Schuler was giving a sermon there every week?  I don't suppose I should be quick to judge a church's congregation by the posted comments of two of its "supporters".  That said, when I am in church on Sunday mornings, the first thing I look forward to is entering the building.  The "building" is a mashing of three smaller office spaces and is, technically, a "storefront" church.  But with the number of years the church has been there, the place truly has a spiritual feel to it and I feel so much more connected to God just by being inside and being connected to most of the congregation.

The pastor/preacher/spiritual leader is not the church.  The people inside the building are the church.  There is no practical way for one pastor to spread the message throughout the workday; the people who hear the message are charged to pass the message along to others, even if it is just by being a presence in someone else's life.

Honestly, I would not mind if the Crystal Cathedral was taken apart pane by pane and the "church" disbanded.  Better still, let the church disband and the Cathedral building be converted to a museum as a reminder to what placing one's faith in one human ultimately leads.

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