A couple of atheists in Portland are running around visiting and writing reviews of local churches for their blog – A Year of Sundays.
They offer a particularly scathing review of Beaverton Four$quare Church.
But Foursquare seems to be praying upon the mediocre. Church for the American consumer. You’re buying an experience that FEELS like spirituality because it’s prettily packaged and perfectly delivered, not because it’s real. It reminds me of the last meal I ate at Olive Garden. You might not find any real FOOD in that all-you-can-eat soup, salad and bread sticks deal, but it still fills you up. Foursquare feels similarly overpriced.
I’m not sure there’s a better way for me to say this, but I feel a genuine sadness for the people who attend this church. They are being bamboozled. But here’s the thing – I honestly and truly believe that they all BELIEVE it, the enigmatic Rick Fry included. It’s a collective bamboozlement. As an outsider looking in, I watched a short line of parishioners approach the pastor after the service to ask for specific prayers. They would throw their arms around each other, butt their heads together in a circle and pray.
Besides the completely uncalled for attack on Olive Garden, the whole review is quite good. They hit upon a key aspect of these mega churches that really bugs me: they're completely fake.