Jim and Casper go to Church a must read

15 May

I read Jim and Casper go to church in just two days.  I found the book to be very witty in places, but, as a Christian, I found it to be very disturbing.  The more I read, the more physically sick I felt with what Casper saw and perceived of the Church.  He’s perceptions were right.  The church really doesn’t represent what Jesus intended it to be.  Church after Church seemed to be emulating the “prosperity” gospel.  Everything was grand and overdone.   We seem to live in a Christian world now where leaders have only “made it” if they have had a book published and/or have an itinerate ministry, worship leaders are only worthy if they have produced a CD.  Small churches are striving to follow the formulas of mega churches, so that they can make it too.  I feel so ashamed of all of this.

There were a couple of wonderful churches which Casper did visit – Jason’s House, Lawndale and the Bridge.  These churches were really impacting the community around them, they are emulating Jesus.  The other churches visited just seemed to be money grabbing and self seeking/pleasing.  I hate the fact that church has got to this.  I remember going to a Hillsongs ladies conference a few years back, which wasn’t cheap.  The speakers arrived in a stretch limo, and one spoke on stage about a designer store she had been shopping in because she hadn’t brought the right clothes to wear, all of the time we were encouraged to go to the book store and the CD store, to buy the merchandise before it went.  Granted, the conference was on justice, and there were some positive things happening.

Is it right though, that leaders are made into millionaires because they sell some of their sermons in the form of a book?  Is it right that Christian leaders seek celebrity status?  Jesus never sought fame or attention.  He never sought finances from people.  He loved, He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, hung out with those looked down upon in society.  How has the church come so far away from this?  No wonder people don’t want anything to do with the church when all they see is greed and judgement.  I’m sorry Casper, and to all of those out there who have not experienced what the church should truly be.


12 Responses to “Jim and Casper go to Church a must read”

  1. John Smulo May 16, 2007 at 02:02 #

    I agree it’s a must reading. I also agree Casper had lots of disturbing observations.

    We need more books along these lines.

  2. Dave May 16, 2007 at 08:06 #

    I agree Lyn, but even the ‘Jim and Casper’ book will earn revenue. If someone can make money out of God then why not let them, even emergent/missional does this, and if Hillsong can ride in stretch limos because people by their sickly self gratifying songs then let them. Jesus never stopped them, well other than a 10 minute temple table turning thing which was pretty ineffective in stopping it.
    Mind you if you don’t have religion and church what else is there?

  3. lynhallewell May 16, 2007 at 17:54 #

    John – Thanks for your comments. I think it would be great to have more books/online articles like this, from a selection of athiests/people from other religions. I also agree with, what I think I read on your blog, that it would have been nice if the churches had been visited more than once to build up a better picture of them.

  4. lynhallewell May 16, 2007 at 17:55 #

    Thanks for your input Dave.

  5. Matt Casper May 17, 2007 at 17:51 #

    Thank you so much for reading and writing about our book!

    I like to hope that there’s a backlash beginning against the prosperity preachers, but they’ve been here for a long time and there’s always another around the corner.

    But churches like Lawndale DO give me hope… not for the church, per se, but for everyone…

    Thanks again…
    Matt Casper

  6. churchless christian May 17, 2007 at 23:30 #

    I must admmit I have never heard of the book, but now I want to get it!

  7. lynhallewell May 18, 2007 at 09:39 #

    Matt – you’re welcome! I think the next decade or so is going to be interesting for the church, there are a lot of rumblings in the underground, which I think will rise up, and say no more. We have to hold on to that hope.

    Churchless Christian – It is great to read. Have you ever been to http://www.off-the-map.org ? It’ll give you a bit more background into Jim if you’re interested.

  8. Wendy May 19, 2007 at 18:00 #

    I had heard about this book but now I will definitely make a point to read it!

  9. Wayne May 29, 2007 at 16:46 #

    I think the book is a profound expose on the church as an institution. I think about the passage of scripture in Matthew 7 where the religionists cried “Lord, Lord – we prophesied in your name” but Jesus said, “I never knew you…” I don’t want to be part of that group.

    Thanks Jim and Casper. Matt, thank you for your frankness and openness. Jim, thank you for your courage to bring it to us.

  10. lynhallewell May 29, 2007 at 17:56 #

    Thanks Wayne. I don’t want to be part of that group either.

  11. Rachel August 22, 2007 at 19:58 #

    Hi, Lyn! I’m glad you enjoyed “Jim & Casper Go to Church.” I’m a volunteer with Jim’s organization Off the Map and I wanted to let you know about our Live event coming up this November in Seattle. Both Jim and Matt Casper will be speaking at this event. Here is the link if you want to find out more: http://www.offthemap.com/live

  12. lynhallewell August 23, 2007 at 12:44 #

    Thanks for the information Rachel.

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