One of the youth leaders who runs the Sunday morning youth room café told me about the programs they run on abortion and homosexuality. “We base our programs on the Bible”, she declared with a confidence that frightened me.
To be honest, she saw me as fresh meat for ‘The Metropolitan’ Market. She did not know that I was a gay-loving, rainbow-flag-flying, Lutheran Christian with a modest understanding of who I am theologically and an acute awareness of the crucified in my midst.
And so our conversation continued and you can imagine where it went. When I asked her about the theological spectrum at The Met, she was confused. When I asked her how she handled GLTB youth in her program, she said they didn’t have any. When I asked her about the environment, politics, economy, and a variety of ecumenical social justice initiatives based out of Ottawa, she looked at me quizzically and said, “We base our programs on the Bible?”.
And then the twist: the place was empty. The 2012 Annual Church Leader’s Forum-World Changers Event sponsored by World Vision wasn’t happening, I was told because “not enough people registered”. There weren’t any participants from ‘The Met’ because “nobody was interested”. It made me wonder how viable the ministry really was beyond the glitz and glamor of the physical space. It made me wonder why a community of supposed thousands couldn’t find twenty people interested in youth and young adult ministries to attend an event they were hosting.
If you find yourselves wondering about the fundamentalist churches out there and why they seem to have so much more going on than we do consider this conversation and ask yourself if what they say is happening is real. And ask yourself whether you would make it through the door after they found out what kind of Christian you were. I know the Bible. And I know my God and the Crucified and Risen One. In my opinion, ‘The Met’ it is a healthy dose of self-importance combined with great marketing.
“The Met” is a fantastic facility. But when push comes to shove, it IS just a building. And I for one do not need a building to love and serve God.