Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trinity's (worship) center of controversy

Woo-boy, add one other thing to the smoking ordinance to get Amarillo folks riled -- when a mega-church further megas its church with a mega building plan.

A story in Sunday's Globe-News detailed Trinity Fellowship's new worship center, which will open officially next weeekend. The 45,000 square feet center will seat 4,000. Total cost was between $37 and $40 million.

Cheryl Berzanskis' story generated 40 separate responses online from readers. Suffice to say, some took issue with the cost and oppulence.

A sampling:

"I'm sorry. There's just no way to justsify the extravagance of that sanctuary."

"While our Christian brothers and sisters in Africa and South America are holding church literally in grass huts, Trinity has spent a fortune so they don't have to sit in Wal-Mart chairs."

"All of those extras will not get them any closer to God."

"I'm waiting for anyone who attends Trinity right now to justify to me spending tens of millions of dollars on ANOTHER room to worship in. Imagine how many more pounds of food could be given through Bethesda without the cost of 'pneumatic lifts to raise and lower musicians onto the platform during worship."

It took a while, but others, most of them Trinity members, rose to the church's defense. By my rudimentary math, out of 40 responses, 22 supported Trinity, 13 were against, and seven were neutral. And one kept posting the same response seven times.

Trinity's new worship center is a lightning rod for those who see some denominations as a gathering of the rich for the rich.

I'll have more to say on this in a column next week. I'll just say this -- be careful what you criticize until you know the whole story.


Rick said...

Amen John! Your last sentence is spot on. For the record I am not a member of Trinity but I do believe there is a place for all sizes of churches.

Rauule said...

Why does anyone who does not go to Trinity feel that they need to be justified to? This seems very self rightous to me. The only people (Fellow Christ Followers...I assume)making the size and price a big deal are the people making the lavish negative judgements. Isn't the greatest gift of all Love? Or is this only for people that agree with you on how to do church? I would rather see Christians in this area partner with each other to fulfill the Great Commission and focus on the Life of Christ, Paul, Peter, etc...than hate because of a building that doesn't fit their definition of a gathering place.

Rick said...

What does the bible say about being judgemental?