October 24, 2017

3-D Christmas

By Chaplain Mike

You just can’t stop technology. And apparently you can’t stop evangelicals from thinking that every new or improved technology that comes along should be used to “advance the Gospel.”

And so we learn that Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas (Pastor Ed Young) will be offering 21 Christmas services in 3-D at their multiple campuses. Those who attend will be given 3-D glasses to watch the high tech experiences. When asked about the novel approach, Pastor Young said, “We’re doing a 3-D Christmas because people are looking for height, width and depth in their lives.” OK, that’s the kind of hokey statement that turns me into a grinch.

The church is promoting the events by handing out invitations (which you can also print at their website) that offer a 3-D experience when you activate them through your computer’s webcam and sound.

And again I ask—Just because we can . . . must we?

We’ve come a long way from the manger.

I wonder if they’ll be singing “When You Wish upon a Star” in the part about the Wise Men?

Comments

  1. *groan*

  2. I would like to see this blog in 3-D

    :^)

  3. To those who would lament the waste of church monies on 3-D technology, fear not. Based on this video here– http://vimeo.com/16359090 –in all likelihood, the Reverend Young didn’t bother with church money and just took the funds straight out of his flock’s bank accounts.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      So it IS the same guy!

    • Interesting. Our little backward church doesn’t even take up an offering. No sermon is ever preached on tithing. People give by putting their gifts in a little box at the door. No envelops. No usher staring you down. No debt. No mortgage. Just 4 missionary families we support each month plus other ministry outreaches we support. We pay our rent and utilities and furnish an AGAPE meal for the fellowship once a month.

  4. Good grief.

    These churches, I believe, have long left the parameters thought I would call Christian orthodoxy. No longer preaching Christ and Him crucified, but how to have your best life now, so to speak. This may come across as a strong statement, but it is of my opinion that these churches, like Fellowship Church (Ed Young), should not be considered Christian churches. I think it is reprehensible that their sign on the property can have the word ‘church’ on it. False advertising.

    • Andrew Zook says:

      I’m with you on this… I don’t know if it would be considered ungodly or unlawful but I’d love to go around to some of these churches and drape a big banner over their signs or buildings saying something like “First Shrine of American Entertainment” or “Happy Times Community High Place” or the “The Church of Silly Spirituality”….- Hey, that sparks an idea – you guys here at internetmonk should have a ‘church’ renaming contest – and if not the draped banner, then some polite letter or email to the church recommending the new name in light of said silliness.

      Finally, as I’ve noted before – in these economic times, how in God’s name does a ‘church’ use their monies for this kind of foolishness? I’m thinking God’s going to get pretty ticked off soon…

  5. Hey, this can’t top the Crystal Cathedral’s live Christmas pagents they put on in the past. Not sure the financial challenges they are dealing with will allow for such a spectacle this year though. I suppose it was inevitable that a digital version would become the ‘newest’ thing & 3D at that! Isn’t modern technology simply wonderful? Or not… 🙁

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Well, Schuller used to say in interviews that if he hadn’t been a preacher he’d have been in showbiz, he liked to put on spectaculars so much.

  6. And another example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9XNfWNooz4
    An iband – music made entirely on apps on ipod touch/ipad. Creative or just cheesy?

  7. 3D, so 2009. Need to go to holograms (I forgot, that is so 2010).

  8. Just another reason I am thankful to have read Mr. Spencer’s book….

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Is this the same Ed Young who demanded his parishoners’ bank account and routing numbers for “automatic tithing”, claiming that the security cameras in the sanctuary were so good that “If you don’t, we’ll know who you are”?

    And the same “Grinning Ed Young” who preached that “Seven Day Sex Challenge” a year or two ago? The one where the pulpit was replaced with a king-size bed where he and his wife sat while he delivered the sermon?

    • way to go HUG, you just creeped me out during lunch….and my lunch was seriously out-dated yogurt… this is NOT going to mix well.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Don’t blame me, blame the original Internet Monk. He blew the whistle on the “Seven Day Sex Challenge” sermon in this blog a year or two ago.

        And you know the real kicker? Grinning Ed preached that Seven Day Sex Challenge on the same day I was attending the Mass of Christ the King. I think I got the better deal.

    • But it is all very convenient and entertaining.

      If we don’t have enough of that, what are we left with?

    • Yes, this is the Ed Young who misread the Bill Bright Campus Crusade Four Spiritual Laws tracts and thought they read: “God loves you and offers a wonderful plane for your life.”

      http://www.wfaa.com/news/investigates/Prominent-Pastor-Linked-to-Luxury-83600192.html

      And it’s actually Grapevine, TX, not Dallas (though he has a satellite church there, as well as in Plano, Fort Worth, and Miami, FL).

  10. Yikes…so is the rapture going to be offered in 3 D?? 😛

  11. 3D technology in churches.

    Dumb…dumber…dumbest.

    I like the old fashioned 3D… the Devil, Death, and Deliverance.

  12. My church always uses 3D.

    It is called the real world. Perhaps a quick read of Flatland by the pastor and staff might help remind them that we mortals are living in the third dimension. I don’t need special glasses to see the consecration of the elements nor do I need surround sound installed to hear the organ and choir. It is just how God made the world. I am concerned by the need to circumvent reality for fantasy in the adult realm.

  13. My wife got excited when she heard the news that St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England, would be live screening their Christmas services.

    The she realized that the screenings would only be available on a screen set up outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral. If they broadcast them to the web, then more would be able to watch.

    So is St. Paul’s being gimmicky too, or have they not gone far enough?

    • I am pretty opposed to all the powerpoint, big screen, business technology stuff that goes with some liturgy (OK – my opinion) – but – televising some services in particular faith denominations is a way for those who are home bound to participate in community even though it is from a remote location. This seems to be prevelant among the Catholic crowd where one can join in the responses and hymns even if one cannot receive communion (I don’t believe the Vatican has approved hologram images of the Eucharist … and think of the theological implications)….

  14. The Trinity in 3-D!
    It’s a natural.

  15. I’m waiting for the hologram service delivered by R2D2.

  16. You all sound like old people. Jealous, perhaps?
    Very cool.

    • I don’t think age is the key ingredient here. I was just as turned off when the Baptists used to do the “Living Christmas Tree.” A pox on gimmicks of all generations!

      • A pox on gimmicks of all generations!AMEN! However, there are faith expression traditions that are considered sacrosanct & ‘essential’ to those that claim they best represent a more pure form of Christian worship approved by so-and-so as far back as they can reach. I am not sure the hand-bell ringing element apostolic approved, but then there are those that do believe its inclusion in the order of service simply angelic. Some things done in church services can be downright hard to sit still thru. And how the individual perceives its spiritual value is still a personal preference although having no voice in such a tradition laden environment. The “all or nothing” consideration of specific doctrines automatically relegates one to outside the camp since such attitudes seen as rebellious or contrary to established authority. That is one main reason for my exodus out of the liturgical faith expressions & my avoidance of pledging allegiance to any one denomination types either. Some people like the comfort of “our tradition states it & that settles it” arrangement. Heck, many Christians today comfortable with whatever is spoon fed them from leadership whatever the form. I am unsure that is how God intended a faith journey to be like. My mind picture more akin to a Jacob’s embrace, all messy & mano-y-Mano. But that is how I have experienced my stumbling along the narrow way. Other results may vary…

    • Believe me, we are anything but jealous. I must confess though, I am rather annoyed at the perjorative, belittling way you use the phrase “old people.” And I’m 23.

  17. It’s no comfort to know that his church is just down the street from us.

    But fortunately we don’t have to go to it.

  18. This is the dumbest sounding thing I’ve ever heard.

    The only thing worse than this was the video where he demanded bank accounts and routing numbers. Usually thievery and church greedy isn’t so blatant. Too bad Young and hundreds of other evangelical pastors don’t realize that Christians don’t have to offer a “tithe” to God any more than they need to make annual sin offerings at the local temple. I wonder if he’s ever read 2 Corinthians 9:7?

    “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    • I wouldn’t have a problem with him suggesting the automatic withdrawal…after all, we give the same information to the electric company, the cable company, the student loan companies, etc. It’s a choice designed to make financial transactions easier. And in a church of that size, electronic transfers really would make sense from a logistical standpoint. I have the same information for all of the people whose paychecks I electronically deposit. It doesn’t mean I can go poking around in their account. It doesn’t mean I can withdraw money whenever I feel like it. (Because really, one unauthorized withdrawal from a members account and the church would be in fantastically huge legal trouble.)

      BUT…that’s where my defense of him ends. Shaming people into giving the information? “We have these really high tech security cameras, blah blah blah.” Their really high-tech security camera would catch a glimpse of my big backside as I fled the church. And yes, the complete lack of understanding that the tithe as we know it is NOT demanded by God.

      As for the 3-D? Blah. Gimmicks do not impress me. A message that depends on a gimmick to get the point across probably isn’t a well-crafted message.

  19. Wow. Does 3D even bring people in to regular movie theaters? This really is just kind of embarrassing.

  20. 3rd Dimension Christmas? Passe.

    Here’s a 5th Dimension Christmas!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1DHctms7MI

  21. I live about 20 minutes away but there is no way in heck I would go to this. Come on. There is no reason for this at all.

  22. You have to pay extra in the theater to watch a movie in 3D. So, do you need to tithe more than 10% at Fellowship Church during this series?

  23. I preach in 3-D every week. And I don’t need any fancy technology or uncomfortable glasses.

  24. Okay, I’ve had some time to mull this over, and I still gotta ask: Where’s the fire? I mean, okay, so it’s a bit on the goofy side. Beyond that…?