Notes from the New Members Class at Megachurch USA

I attended the new members class with my wife. No, I won’t be joining, but if I’ll attend Catholic confirmation classes with a college girlfriend, I don’t see why I wouldn’t do this much.

Following are my (out-of-context) notes from the class, in the order they appear in the handout, which is not the order in which they were recorded. My thoughts (as noted) are in italics. Quotes are verbatim. Out of quotes generally a summary or paraphrase.

  • Brand New Class – Never Done Before
  • [Adam and Eve] 1st temptation “was pride.” –No. First sin is believing a lie.
  • [Underlined in quote of Saul of Tarsus], “Last of all as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” Terminal prophet claim.
  • “Good news is good news… because bad news comes first.”
  • “We are all born into sin.”
  • [Discussion of Gandhi] “Not here to tell you where Gandhi is today.” LOL!
  • Roman Road
  • Because of sin… “we are enemies of God.”
  • [Saddleback guy (another attendee) responds] : “Putin scares me.”
  • [paraphrased] “You can’t forgive somebody by yourself. You’ll eventually start to resent that person.”
  • “[God’s] plan has always been for God to glorify himself.”
  • “It would be appropriate for God to separate from us.”
  • [Jesus death] “is satisfaction of our debt to God.”
  • “What aspect [of this] leads you to a place of worship? Or does it?”
  • [bad paraphrase]: Lots of discussion of “sinner’s prayer” & no real re-orientation to Jesus –> transformation
  • “Moses and David” = “lesser men.” [edit: no, I’m not lying, he really said a man raised in Pharaoh’s household and a man that kills lions mostly unarmed are each “lesser men.”]
  • Saved by grace alone [edit: this was in regard to (erroneous) discussion of Catholic theology.]
  • “People w/ angry mad look haven’t accepted Christ.” -Saddleback guy.
  • “You are living according to the Spirit or you are living according to the flesh.” … “At the end of time, things of flesh are consumed.”
  • “True relationship to God through Jesus Christ.”
  • [From discussion of illustration] “Connection to God and to one another. Transformation of life. Multiplication.”
  • [quoted with applied underline] “Everything we teach and do at [this church] must be rooted in this Gospel message so that it may be faithfully shared by our people at home and across the world.”
  • [from faith statement] “…crucified under Pontius Pilate…” historical assertion.

That’s all, folks. Comments welcome.

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3 responses to “Notes from the New Members Class at Megachurch USA

  1. How much Jesus and how much therapy is hard to separate. The best religions for skeptics tend to be ones that make smaller but more certain claims. The sacraments are objective acts, that are efficacious in spite of mild imperfections in those otherwise disposed to receive them. Mega Church USA will not, I think, talk about those. Nor in fact will Catholic confirmation prep, at least not in as stark terms as I. Therapy pays the bills.

    • It is probably most accurate to say that I found his pitch ham-handed among adults, regardless of predilection to believe or doubt a claim. Also, I judge him non-Christian, per the standards set by Jesus and Saul and, to a lesser extent, the attributions to Peter & others, the same way I can discriminate between a Muslim and a pretender (which is starkly contrasted among the Saudis with which I worked. I’m hoping for other instructors to contribute so I may accurately and fairly judge the church leadership for the sake of my wife and son (my daughter’s out of the house, now). That means the church as a whole must insist upon Christian theology (any plausible subset) and Christian social standards that would, at a minimum, satisfy Free Northerner’s expectations (but not naivete). Since I’m raising my son in his elementary years, the stakes are high.

      The good news is that a new friend of my wife appears to have her head firmly installed with good software, and she’s in the new member class, so I may quiz her at some point to gauge her (Christian) opinion for comparison.

      Salt and light is surprisingly easy to discern. Right now there a bad taste in the dark.

  2. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/05/01) | The Reactivity Place

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