Why Do People HATE Megachurches?

October 13, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

You know what I hate?  Tomatoes.  Sure, if you process them enough and add plenty of salt, you can turn it into ketchup (I prefer the more phonetical spelling as opposed to the “I wonder it this comes from cats-up”) or pizza sauce.  However, even in pizza sauce, if you drop a tomato chunk in there, my response will be, shall we say, unpleasant.  I really do hate tomatoes (-es both times. Take that Dan Quayle.  Boom! Dated reference.  Yes I know it was potatoes.  Good grief).

Even though I hate them, it doesn’t really bother me that you don’t.  It doesn’t bother me that you love them.  The only thing that might bother me would be if I saw you bite into one as if it were an apple.  It would be both disgusting and dishonoring to apples.  But, as always, I digress.  My hatred for tomatoes does not move me to speak of the general evilness of them.  In fact, hate is way too strong of a word.  Hyperbole aside, I don’t like the taste of tomatoes.  It is a personal preference. (sudden transition)

People HATE megachurches, and I am going to have to confess that I don’t get it. I understand, “I don’t like the feel of a big church” and “I prefer smaller churches.”  When that extends to a general hatred and/or actively campaigning against them, I don’t get that.   I’ve worked for a megachurch and a small church and a medium sized church for that matter.  They all have strengths and weaknesses.

However, there is a sense in which it seems that a large church is by definition bad.  I felt that in seminary.  Churches with large congregations were sell-outs of some kind.  Small churches by definition were godly.  There was an inverse correlation between churches growing and whether or not those churches were pleasing to God.  Mind you, I’m not suggesting the opposite.  If I’m suggesting anything it is go to a small, medium, large, or extra-large church.  Makes no difference to me.

Is the church teaching God’s word?  Is it healthy?  Obviously, you can ask more questions than that, but most if not all boil down to those two.

So here’s the question.  Why the strong anger and disdain?  I know some reasons.  I read stuff and heard a lot of profs talk about it.  But I want you to go first.  What have you experienced?  Are you distrustful of megachurches? Do you think they are too _______? If so, I want to hear from you and get a good discussion going.  So, go!