The past couple of weeks have seen a large amount of attention for Megachurch Culture’s attempts to exegete movies rather than Scripture in thematic grandiose displays. Earlier this week, we reported that Seacoast Church has done four podcast during church services about these movies: King Richard, Sing 2, Jesus Revolution, and Top Gun: Maverick. Any sensible grown man may rather suffer bashing their head as opposed to listening to two planks of wood discuss Illumination’s Sing 2 when you came to hear God’s word preached. Yet all things considered, Seacoast Church was exceedingly lame in their execution. This past Sunday would see churches go all out for various movies. These churches include Saddleback and Life Dot Church.
Protestia has been doing the yeoman’s work reporting on this. Life Dot Church is one of the largest churches in America and they have multiple locations that went viral. Life Dot Church Northland went all out for Mario which featured a cringy love song.
Church sermons are a trip. From a Super Mario sermon series from Life. church this past weekend. pic.twitter.com/0jWTRE89Se— Protestia (@Protestia) July 31, 2023
Got some pre-service action here, waiting for the service to begin. pic.twitter.com/DMv9FnWjUu— Protestia (@Protestia) July 31, 2023
And Saddleback’s Andy and Stacie Wood dressed as Toy Story characters.
As a Southern Baptist, if you ever doubted disfellowshipping Saddleback, this should be proof that it was the right decision. Here are the pastors, Andy and Stacie Wood. pic.twitter.com/rv9kMXC48M— Terri Green (@TerriGreenUSA) July 31, 2023
With all of this frivolity it makes you wonder what Jesus would do if he walked into a church service doing this. Did the money changers that Jesus whipped out of the Temple do more to deserve that treatment than these megachurches?
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
Pointing out common grace truths or hero tropes that point to Jesus in movies isn’t bad in and of itself. It can serve as a useful sermon illustration. But these megachurches have reversed the proper order of pop culture references and made them thematically preeminent to the preaching of the Word. People love to talk about movies and these megachurches will probably capture new customers with these methods, but what these consumers are won to is what they’ll believe. They will believe in entertainment and not know who God is in the process. Churches do this every year to our culture’s demise.
The megachurch “At The Movies” liturgical calendar event is ear tickling cringe that needs to be shamed out of existence.