Wednesday, July 06, 2011


An Imaginary Obituary for the American Church

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved woman, The American Church, who has been with us for many years. Although, no one knows for sure how old she was since her birth records were lost long ago during a contentious Wednesday night business meeting and ice cream social.

She will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as ‘God Bless America’, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ and ‘God helps those who help themselves’.

The American Church lived by simple, sound financial policies such as tithing the gross and not the net, and being a good steward of her money by not giving to the homeless who would probably only use it to buy beer anyway.

She was also known for her reliable growth strategies including the importance of attracting more young married couples than the church down the street and the need for great youth programs, a killer worship band and free designer coffee in the atrium.

Her health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but misguided practices began to be observed. Reports include times where she turned away those who came to her in need of bread, or shelter because their giving records were inconsistent. Although she reportedly spent millions on new buildings for herself, paved bigger parking lots for her friends, and purchased numerous plasma screen televisions and playstations for the youth room.

The American Church lost further ground when she abandoned the power of the Gospel to transform people’s hearts and minds through love and instead turned to political means in a desperate attempt to change the laws of the land to create a more comfortable environment for herself to live in.

Her health declined even further when her organs began to shut down until only one, smaller organ was left to perform all bodily functions by itself. Eventually, that organ collapsed and sadly the rest of her organs were too weak to operate as expected.

The American Church lost the will to live early on as the Ten Commandments became more important to her than her husband's love. Many cite her decision to become more businesslike as an indication of her dwindling mental capacities. As the economy collapsed, she also began to grow weaker and found herself unable to take care of herself or to fulfill her long-forgotten mission to continue the tradition of extravagant love demonstrated so famously by her husband many years ago.

As her assets began to shrink, so too did her effectiveness.

The American Church took several beatings when her representatives over the years were often caught in hypocrisy and greed. Some of these even contradicted her husband, Jesus, concerning wealth, poverty, love, forgiveness, and judgment. Others were better about saying the right things, but sadly not many of them actually followed through.

The American Church finally expired after an overwhelming number of her children grew tired of bank rolling the ever-increasing cost of keeping her on life support and pulled the plug. She died almost instantly. Her husband, Jesus was not available for comment.

Not many attended her funeral because so few realized she was gone and she didn’t really know her neighbors. If you still remember her pass this on. If not, join the majority and go on with your life.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you read the New Testament and attempt to follow the instructions of her husband, Jesus.

After the poem, “An Obituary for Common Sense” found

Inspired by Mike Breen's article, "Obituary for the American Church"


1 comment:

Chad Myhre said...

Maybe this is prophetic... or just wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, the American Church you describe is thriving. It has, in many ways and places, grown beyond its design. (kind of like a mustard plant that grows into a vulture perch). The new phenomenon of the 'mega church' is booming. It is personality driven. It brags about the blessing of God in terms of dollars and head counts. It is run like a corporation. The spiritual leaders are unattainable, (but you can leave a message with their secretaries). The option of splitting up the beast and planting more smaller, koinonia-friendly fellowships is considered threatening.

I'll admit, that ministry still happens in many of these places. People still grow. The huge challenges of providing fellowship are sometimes met. The poor and needy are taken care of. The gospel is preached... -there are exceptions...(I know of mega churches that never tried to be mega churches... and don't follow the business model to maintain it), but as a whole, the grossly obese American mega-corporation church is alive and well.