Last Saturday morning I dropped off a friend to her house after some shopping. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. On the way over, we passed a couple of guys in suits, with one carrying a large thick book, which looked like a Bible. This neighborhood runs up the side of a large hill on the north side of town. There is a large non-denominational church (the largest in town) on the uppermost street. And above this, at the top of the hill, is a large, white cross. This cross was placed there by the members of the church apparently to mark their territory, much like the graffiti that teenage gang members use to mark their territories and neighborhoods.
Driving back over to my house, I passed the group of men. Now I saw that there were 5 to 6 men in suits ranging in ages from their 20's to their 60's. They were walking back to the church up the hill. I feel sorry for the folks in the neighborhood, as this church is fairly aggressive with pushing its religion on people. The church has really grown in the last 5 years.
My friend cares for a foster child and he occasionally goes to this church with his friends as they play in the game room and there are activities for children and teens there. My friend is not too worried about the church getting their claws into her child as he is a typical boy and is not very interested in "all that god stuff". Her teenager says right now that he is a Christian, but his idea of being a Christian is wearing a cross and going to church to socialize with his friends. (Colors anyone?) I don't think he even knows what Christian beliefs are. Heh Heh Heh.
I was curious about a month ago and looked up this church on the web. I won't give a link because this is an anonymous blog and I live in a very small, conservative town. I wouldn't want my house torched or anything. The preacher has posted his sermons on the web. I briefly listened to some. Holy Shit! He is a dominionist, an authoritarian, and a creationist. He was talking about "traitors" in the church, from the context, it seems that he really has problems with people who don't believe exactly as he does and is willing to advocate shunning members until they do. The church appears to be pentecostal-lite, with speaking in tongues, etc.
I looked on the church calendar and they practice something called "Evangelism Explosion". This is a very scripted way to use friends as a mission field, similar to the way Ambots try to get their friends into Amway. If the person is not interested, then they are supposed to canvas the neighborhood. I wonder if this is what I was occurring.
From talking to neighbors, who are members, seems that they don't have a very high success rate with the door to door selling. I wonder why? I certainly would not be interested in a religion that is marketed like cheap soap from door to door.