Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/9/2011 (2034 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Bill Redekop's article on the success of the Southland Community Church (Religious revival, Sept. 24) paints a rosy picture of the wonderful role this church plays in Steinbach.
As almost all of these evangelical mega-churches do, it uses charismatic leaders, modern marketing techniques and emotional manipulation to sell its product. And what is that product? Well, I visited their website to find out.
When perusing their list of core values, I found the same old fundamentalist doctrines that can be found in any of today's mega-churches -- for example, denial of the fact of evolution and condemnation of homosexuality, premarital sex, abortion and divorce.
Of course, they are also believers in a literal hell and separating humanity into the saved and unsaved. I have to wonder how it is that the members of this church, and many more like it, manage to accept that they worship a god who sends unbelievers to eternal torture and punishment for the thought crime of disbelief. For according to this doctrine, our actions are completely irrelevant to where we end up.
I suppose they must be OK with the idea that people such as Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Christopher Reeve and Helen Keller are already writhing in hell, to be followed at some point by Lance Armstrong, Bill Gates, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brad Pitt and many more.
Perhaps it is people's need for black-and-white answers to life's difficult problems or the comfort of a community that sends people flocking to these churches. I myself am more satisfied to be a part of the growing community of atheists and secular humanists. We may not have huge buildings, coffee shops or splashy new technology, but I'll take reason, empathy, kindness, inclusiveness and intellectual honesty any day.