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Posted by Sumair Mirza in Reflections

Digital Age = Churches in Shopping Malls?

churchmall

The other day I was listening to the radio on the way home from work and the “Charles Adler Show” was being broadcast on 640AM. I tuned in at a point in the show where the discussions started about the future of churches in the world. After a few minutes of listening to the dialogue I was trying to figure out what exactly the topic of the show was. After they finished discussing the the future of churches Charles re-introduced the topic, as radio hosts often do to inform people like me just tuning in, and it was clear the topic that was to be discussed was the idea of the “stuff that’s going the way of the dinosaur with the digital age”. Back to the dialogue that I listened to as I tuned in…

The guest was talking about the cost to run churches and maintain them and how churches in the rural areas or the “quaint” churches in the country would probably start closing down. She stated that, of course, the nice cathedral-style churches would stay intact but that most churches would either close or be moved into shopping malls as “boutiques” so you could drop in on Sunday and do your shopping after going to church or vice versa. Although I do find the topic of the show interesting and agree with the thoughts of the newspaper classifieds going the way of the dinosaur (the item discussed after churches), I was deeply saddened and distressed by hearing this treatment of the modern day church.

Now I don’t stand to defend all “churches” or the physical buildings themselves as we know there are many false churches out there and the buildings aren’t the main focus of our faith but I do take exception with the implied motivation behind these seemingly unbiased comments. That motivation I would present would be the commonly held view by much of society that church and religion should be marginalized and in fact is. A view that holds that “church” is an extinct legacy from our unscientific forefathers and religion is only found in the gaps that science has yet to uncover. These implied messages of the church becoming a lifestyle choice, drive-thru experience, and heritage accessory are what bother me. It is clear that an atheist would view church as an ancient tradition and that it is at best irrelevant and at worst detrimental to society. This debate is one that I welcome and of course strongly disagree with the atheist view. However, I would encourage the debate as a formal and direct unhidden dialogue.  But it was interesting to hear such “innocent” discussion on the changes our society will see due to technology backlit by this biased atheistic view – it truly does show where our society is at… not surprising but still distressing.

This is me sharing about what is running through my mind…

The other day I was listening to the radio on the way home from work and the “Charles Adler Show” was being broadcast on 640AM. I tuned in at a point in the show where the discussions started about the future of churches in the world. After a few minutes, of listening to the dialogue I was trying to figure out what the topic of the show was exactly. After they finished discussing the above point, Charles re-introduced the topic, as radio hosts often do to inform people like me just tuning in, and it was clear the topic that was to be discussed was the idea of the “stuff that’s going the way of the dinosaur with the digital age”. Back to the dialogue that I listened to as I tuned in…

The guest was talking about the cost to run churches and maintain them and how churches in the rural areas or the “quaint” churches in the country would probably start closing down. She stated that, of course, the nice cathedral-style churches would stay intact but that most churches would either close or be moved into shopping malls as “boutiques” so you could drop in on Sunday and do your shopping after going to church or vice versa.

Although I do find the topic of the show interesting and agree with the thoughts of the newspaper classifieds going the way of the dinosaur (the item discussed after churches), I was deeply saddened and distressed by hearing this treatment of the modern day church.

Now I don’t stand to defend all “churches” or the physical buildings themselves as we know there are many false churches out there and the buildings aren’t the main focus of our faith but I do take exception with the implied motivation behind these seemingly unbiased comments. That motivation I would present would be the commonly held view by much of society that church and religion should be marginalized and in fact is. A view that holds that “church” is an extinct legacy from our unscientific forefathers and religion is only found in the gaps that science has yet to uncover. These implied messages of the church becoming a lifestyle choice, drive-thru experience, and heritaged accessory are what bother me. It is clear that an atheist would view church as an ancient tradition and that it is at best irrelevant and at worst detrimental to society. This debate is one that I welcome and of course strongly disagree agree with the atheist view and I would encourage as a formal and direct un-subversive dialogue. But it was interesting to hear such “innocent” discussion on the changes our society will see due to technology backlight by this biased atheistic view – it truly does show where our society is at.

As a side note, it would be interesting to hear people’s thoughts on people not going to church physically but attending online due to technology advancements especially in the areas of social networking… something I will blog on in the future… Quickly I am strongly opposed to online churches replacing the physical church.. more on that later.

Just sharing what is “running through my mind”… feel free to run with it and comment away…

  • Stephen Kwan

    Imagine printing this section out and handing it out to people at the entrances of malls at Scarborough Town Centre, or Eaton Centre, or Yorkdale Mall