Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hoax or the Real Thing?

In a previous post, I referenced an mp3 file I discovered off another blog. It turned out to be a radio ad for a church in the motif of a "monster-truck ad" for sunday worship.

It was truly horrid.

A friend challenged the authenticity of the mp3--perhaps someone's idea of a joke.
(Yet, given the state of the American church, such an ad is not inconceivable.)

So, I emailed the church last week. I still have not heard an answer.

Meanwhile, I tried to google the question. I did discover a church, with a big red door, that fit the ad description to a tee:

St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama

But I was not satisfied.

I googled the ad and came up with another blog posting the issue. In fact, the blogger claims that her sister lives in the same town, attends another Episcopal church there and enjoyed the ad.

That blogger linked to an Episcopalian blogger commenting on the usefulness of such an ad.

While reading that posting, a quote was referenced:

"Second, well, I'm appalled. Phrases like "see sin crushed beneath monster loaves of bread" or whatever that phrase was, and "giant vats of wine" just strikes me as over the top in some way that I can't quite put my finger on. I do, however, have a fairly negative gut reaction to it. I'm not so sure that caricaturing the Holy Mysteries is the best way to get people to take them more seriously. In fact, it may do just the opposite by simply strengthening the idea that going to church is not so different from going to a monster truck rally..."

This is quite amazing: typically Christians (at least laymen) who deny any conservative approach to evangelism still have scruples about approaches not forbidden in their general approach. Thus, although this ad in general is a good example of "contextualization" (or so the bloggers contend), it still hits the wrong nerve for some.

But why? If pragmatism is the driving force for churches to evangelize the world, then one man's scrupples are another man's opportunities.

On the other hand, if evangelism is strongly regulated by the Bible and not the fancies of men, then an objective standard exists to determine right from wrong. And that is a comforting thought in the midst of a world drowned in subjectivity.

We should avoid hoaxes masquerading the mission of the Church as an institution bringing fun into the life of those that hate God; rather we should desire the real thing in presenting the truth of Christ's Law which condemns the world and lovingly proclaim His Gospel which truely "crushes" sin.



catbird said...

I know this comment is really behind the times, (seeing as it's March 25th, now), but I was wondering if you read the comment by the author of the "Monster Truck Rally" radio ad [which never actually aired] posted on my blog.
You might find it interesting.
You can also find the same comment on Anglican PostMortem and ChurchMarketingSucks.
I may be wrong, but I didn't find his answer about the ad to be suggestive of a "hoax masqu[e]rading the mission of the Church..."
Just FYI.

Charles said...

This will get you to the mp3 file you are seeking.


Charles said...

Here's the direct link:

shawn said...

Thank you both for the updates.