Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finding a Church: Mars Hill West Seattle

Mars Hill West Seattle pipes in Mark Driscoll from the main campus to watch on-screen from a pew in a full-sized church, sort of like you could watch him from your living room.  He has sound, Bible-based teaching, but the man is an insensitive jackass.  I had suspicions after seeing some clips online and reading up on him, but some of his remarks today were like, really?   Those things are hard to reconcile. 

There is rock ‘n roll style worship with a live band before and after the message, and they are really good . . . best I’ve seen yet in 3 churches visited here so-far, but got nothing on Jesse Pierce and his crew. . . for real . . . if America’s got talent,  the Love Church in Horseheads, NY was blessed with it. 

The local pastors at this campus (in more of a shepherding role than teaching) seem very genuine and good stewards with their funds- completely open and honest with budget details, goals, etc.  They present giving as a selfless act of humble worship without postulating a host of “incentives” for the giver, and I think that’s a wise approach. 

Communion is every Sunday-  they use the snatch and dip method, rather than shots and crackers.  You can dip in the wine or the juice, but only one kind of wine. . . sadly. . . I was hoping to be able to choose between a Merlot and a Cab (just kidding). 

The church’s style is very modern and very glossy, with professionally directed and musically drugged propaganda clips determined to present Christianity as radically cool and adventuresome (which it is, but not like that.)  I would say it's very much like an extension of a lively college & singles-ministry at a Southern Baptist mega-church I attended often in college.

They serve decent coffee, and they let you drink it over the carpet and upholstery in the sanctuary during the service, but the cups are too small- better suited for the communion wine (I'm only half-kidding.) 

I like the healthy balance of scripture and exposition vs. personal stories, ramblings, and fables, but the Spirit doesn't seem to have much freedom.  It’s high on the Word, intellect, transparency, chivalry, and showmanship, but seems low on enthusiasm, participation, diversity, and fire (a lot of hands-in-pockets, jaws barely moving.)

I went alone today, since Jenn had a gig downtown with a temp agency.  She’ll probably want to visit next Sunday, and could come away with a very different take.  Most of the people who showed an interest in me during the grueling thirty-second greet-your-neighbor interlude designed to torture introverts were too pretty to reveal my name to without her there.  I just flashed my ring at them.

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