Thursday, July 14, 2016

Major scandal brewing at a "Life Enhancement Centre": is this what you want in a church?

The leader of a popular Life Enhancement Centre that boasts of 32,000 weekly attendance in 17 venues representing seven markets – Western Carolinas (Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Asheville), Columbia, Charleston, Pee Dee (Florence and Myrtle Beach), Charlotte, Augusta, and Savannah, has been involved in alcoholism that led to his termination recently.  However, the more serious issues with this venue that boasts of being a church are not just the alcoholism that led to their charismatic minister's termination as it is the Life Enhancement Centre being what can be called a “McChurch” if there ever was one (considering a newspaper was called, in its early years, “McPaper”) with those venues, as its base format is one central location is in Anderson (near enemy territory, a reason why I often say I'm at a Chevrolet dealership when everyone else is wearing powder blue Etihad Airways shirts) and the 16 satellite venues all feature one rock band and vocalists playing the same set list (all 16 venues are given the same set list to play), and some assistants (not always ordained), while the church service plays off a giant video screen, sometimes live and sometimes on tape.  (The live services from Anderson typically take place at their regularly assigned times;  if there is no service in Anderson at the time, it is transmitted on tape to that venue)  You can see the attitude of the venue in these clips of the said Life Enhancement Centre.  So many new churches in our area have copied that venue's concept with loud rock bands, and even some older churches have adopted the rock band similar to them, though often it is Universal Music's Top 40 hits that dominate.

Catholics in 1967 had The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, also known as Vatican II, that included the Musicam Sacram,where Sections 62 and 63 of Vatican II could be cited to ask if these pieces from the self-help venue in question would pass mustard in being approved by this meeting.  But it's not just Catholics, primarily led by Mr. Ratzinger (the Pope Emertius Benedict XVI), that would not be pleasing with these pieces.  Mr. Mohler and Mr. MacArthur would probably be in unison with regards to the music played at that venue.  How many of these songs used at that “McChurch” would ever be approved in a house of worship?

None of them, I believe, could be approved.  Each would be given the long illegal clue buzzer on Pyramid (not used in the Strahan version, which is a double short buzzer).  Judge for yourself.  I cannot see the virtue in these songs played at that Life Enhancement Centre at a mass, let alone a church service.  Yet we see people defend these services, when so many clones of this McChurch have developed (one such meets in a former grocery store building as part of what has been a purging of grocers here to two – the entire area where their version meets in in an area 25 years ago was just trees, and all stores opened in that area have closed – welcome to Sixth District Relegation, and they have a satellite campus 20 miles away in the remnants of a fairly recently built auto dealership building).  Most of these venues do not state its denominational affiliation, are sometimes called Community Church, and in some cases do not even state they are a house of worship.  Many of them you can walk inside the doors and see a stale nightclub atmosphere or a theatre setting;  in some cases, they meet in government school auditoria or gymnasia.  In the case of these chains, they have one rock band play the same set list everywhere and the service is played on a video from the central location.

As for this credentialed singer, I see no virtue in any of these Top 40 hits being used in church.  In one case, they played the theme to a raunchy movie, and a friend responded, “Get out the whips and blindfolds!”  This resembles a nightclub, not a church!

Example 1, Example 2. Example 3. Example 4. And example 5.

Is this what you think when you see a church service?  There are also numerous other bad songs from the Top 40 charts that they have used, and none of them make any sense.  As Mr. MacArthur says, the Biblically mandated teachings of the Bible in music has been ignored.

Oh, by the way:  In regards to an It's About TV column regarding the WSB-TV Independence Day parade of the past, the parade ended because WSB wanted a more diverse region to represent other than just the city proper;  for example, sports teams with Atlanta in their name no longer represent the city anymore.  (The Braves will move to Vinings next season outside 285, and the Boston Bruins' AA affiliate in the ECHL, the Gwinnett Gladiators in Duluth, changed its identity to Atlanta in September 2015, though staying in Duluth.)  They wanted more representation of Gwinnett and Cobb Counties, and not just represent the DeKalb and Fulton Counties.  Logistically, I cannot see it being held on Peachtree Street now because of Peachtree cleanup (and I ran it again this year).

Furthermore, WSB-TV is regarded as on of the most popular markets for ABC's struggling The View; the show wins convincingly the 11 AM time slot weekdays, surprising since in most markets, CBS' long running The Price Is Right (since 1972), which has been at the 11 AM time slot since 1979, wins its slot.  However, the 1990's television realignment has given the liberal gabbers a convincing win over the long-running game because of the weakness of CBS affiliates after their relegation to minor network status during the era.  Milwaukee and Detroit are two other notable markets where the same problem exists to this day where CBS could not find an affiliate after the 1994 relegation had CBS in virtually a last-minute attempt to find a new affiliate after losing major markets to Fox.

CBS found Channel 46, now WGCL, but they are typically fourth, fifth, or seven sixth place in Atlanta.  They regained major network status in 1998, but the damage was done;  The View was designed to capitalise on weak CBS affiliates that hurt Price, since ABC's way to capture the time slot that CBS has long held since 1979 was with a network talk show.  At the time, only one network daytime game show was remaining (CBS has since added a second), and with CBS having weak affiliates that were unavailable in outlying areas in major markets, The View has long beaten Price in those affected markets; with Atlanta being one of the best examples of ratings domination by the femme talk show. WSB needs their talk show to beat what has, since 2008 (because of the late start to Season 36 of Price with the new host, the season ran from mid-October to mid-July;  the experiment became permanent since 2010) WGCL's broadcast of the game show that has, in recent years, aired a new episode on the holiday (July 2 or 3 if it falls on a weekend).

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