FROM THE BLOG +
(But He Hates Yoga)
If you haven't already heard, MARS HILL CHURCH is moving into Tacoma. They are purchasing the old First Congregational Church in the Stadium District on the corner of Division and J streets.
Mars Hill is not just your average new church opening in town. Mars Hill is a mega church that sells their own brand of hip, shaggy haired, bearded and tattooed Evangelical Calvinism through fourteen different locations in four different states. They plan to begin holding sermons in our fair city in the fall of 2013.
If you've never heard of Mars Hill, they and their founder, Mark Driscoll are not without controversy. The church has recently been in the spotlight for some extremely questionable practices and beliefs, such as their stance on YOGA (totally demonic), their views on WOMEN (totally inferior to men), and the punishments it uses for the DISCIPLINE of its members.
The Tacoma Mars Hill Church will be led by PASTOR BUBBA JENNINGS, who is going to rescue us all from our terrible lifestyles of evil and depravity. On the the Mars Hill website, Bubba lays out his diabolical vision in his manifesto:
JESUS LOVES TACOMA AND SO DO WE
(seriously, that's what it's really called)
“There are about 200,000 people who live in Tacoma proper and hundreds of thousands more in the surrounding area. Statistically, most of these people have never heard the good news of Jesus and have no religious affiliations whatsoever. This means that hundreds of thousands of people in the Tacoma area live in spiritual darkness and are in desperate need of redemption—and they don’t even know it. As Jesus looks at Tacoma and the surrounding area, he sees the brokenness and he sees the need.”
After reading Bubba’s mission statement, I got to thinking; those are some interesting numbers he gives out. After a quick search through the yellow pages I came to the conclusion that there are roughly 550 Christian churches within the Tacoma city limits. Assuming each of these churches only had 100 members in its congregation then we can assume that 55,000 people in our fine city are church going Christians. As of 2010, Tacoma’s population was 198,397 people, so we can safely say that at a bare minimum, a quarter of all of our residents go to a Christian church.
(This number leaves out Mormons, Jews or any other non-Christian churches and also does not take into account that a church like Life Center has thousands of members.)
Bubba says this about the rest of us, “Statistically, most of these people have never heard the good news of Jesus...they are in desperate need of redemption—and they don’t even know it"
I find it difficult to believe that there is anyone in our city that hasn't heard about Jesus or isn't acutely aware of the evangelical sect of Christianity that is so prevalent in our nation. So just who are all of these godless people that Bubba is talking about?
After perusing through the hip and Instagrammy Mars Hill website it suddenly hit me and I said to myself, "Oh my Science! It's me!"
I am their demographic. I'm 33 years old, I have facial hair, tattoos and enjoy wearing chucks and flannel. I don't belong to a church so I must be the guy who's in desperate need of redemption, right?
Bubba Jennings and his Mars Hill minions want to save me. Maybe I should just trust them. They obviously know what’s best for me… afterall, I'm the one ‘broken and living in spiritual darkness’.
It's good to finally realize that I'm on the wrong path... but it’s not because I'm evil, it’s because I'm ignorant and I don’t know any better.
Our long shunned blue collar city in the south sound has about eight churches per square mile but fear not, we are finally getting another one. And this one is all about Jesus… but not the Jesus that you may already be down with. Are you a Catholic? Well, according to Mars Hill, YOU'RE WRONG.
Mars Hill also has a PLETHORA of terrible indie rock bands to quench my inner Christian music snob. Who knew there were so many bearded guys in skinny jeans who write songs about loving another dude?
Their website says- "Mars Hill music is loud, mostly rock and roll, and always about Jesus."
I guess that means I'll have to stop listening to Black Metal.
Personally, I can't wait for the opportunity to force my kids to go to church and then ensure that their kids are never given a chance to question anything other than me. Nothing says 'love' like forcing your kid's kids to bend to your will.
In the infamous words of RR Anderson-
"I, for one, will welcome our new Hipster Jesus Overlords."
Perhaps there really are alot of people in Tacoma like myself who are godless heathens with no religious affiliation. But let me assure you, my world view was not formed due to any lack of information on Jesus and the Bible... in fact it's quite the opposite. Maybe the people at Mars Hill (and many other religious people) should realize that folks like myself choose not to affiliate ourselves with a church because we know what the church's message is.
Maybe many of the non-church-going folks in Tacoma are actually good Christians but they have their own relationship with their god and don't need someone else to control every facet of their lives.
Have your religion. Have your beliefs. Read your book. Enjoy it if that's what suits you, but keep it to yourself. We don't need to be saved and your vision of yourself as some colonial conquistador coming in to save the locals is nothing short of arrogant.
Oh, and welcome to Tacoma, Mars Hill!
If you'd like to read up a little more on our new churchy neighbors, here is an excellent piece by Brendan Kiley from the Stranger.
CHURCH OR CULT?
The Control-Freaky Ways of Mars Hill Church
And here is a great article by Alison Sargent from Bitch magazine.
LIFE ON MARS HILL
In the nation's fastest growing mega-church, faith and feminism don't mix