Driving back to Chicago, the rain falls stedily on the pavement of Interstate 55 North. On the left, a large building with a large fancy marquee was situated immediately beside an exit ramp. The marquee was not unlike so many other that spelled out the nightly specials for chain motels. This marquee, though, was not for a motel. Intead, above the scrolling electronic marquee the words, “Worship Center” brightly appeared. The same name appeared above the large double doors of the building… “Worship Center”. Christian in essense, no doubt, but what secularly banal, commerically marketed, and theologicall ambigious a place it must be, too.
A worship center, only pushes the question that God, too, is no different than any other consumable good. People consume religious experience on Sunday mornings, and this “Worship Center” provides such an experience. It’s not Church. It’s not the community of Christ, the Body of believers. It is simply a collection of people who want to do some worshipping on Sunday mornings… instead of say, yoga, or running, or drinking at a café.
In the blurring rain, the builing flees into the distance. I could almost see the marquee scrolling through a last damning message: Coming Soon! Drive-thru prayer window!