Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Coming Apocalypse

I used to criticize the ghetto-ization of evangelical Christians who want to pull out of the world and create duplicate "Christian" versions of everything so they won't have to be corrupted by the world when I suggested that we would some day have Christian health clubs.

I thought I was being absurd and ridiculous. It turns out that I was being prophetic.

Birmingham now has "Lord's Gym" - with an appropriately buff Jesus adorning the wall. He's not as muscular as the "Gold's Gym" guy, but he's ripped.

I'm not going to say anything about the hearts and intentions of those people who have created a place where Christians can sweat and pump iron in a godly environment, but this is madness. No, it's beyond madness. This is theologically bankrupt.

Think I am being too harsh? What about the command to not take the Lord's name in vain? Does that mean just "don't use divine names as interjections and exclamations"??? No, it means we do not treat God in common ways. We don't demote God, Father, Son, and Spirit, from a place of glory and reverence.

Naming my business with God's name is right up there as a vain use of God's name. What if Mazda's new vehicle was named the Jesus RX7? Maybe I'll open God's Grocery and Pawn Shop. Maybe Christians need God's First Bank of Birmingham, of course to be distinguished from all those other banks that aren't God's. It's a sign of how spiritually impoverished and theologically inept American Christianity is becoming. Let me invoke God's name to do more business.

Maybe I just need to calm down - listen to Christian radio, enjoy some Christ pretzels (in the shape of a cross and sold at all truly Christian grocery stores), and kick back in my Jesus-is-the-Way office chair from God's Furniture, Inc.


Ken Haynes said...

The Apocalypse came when the Lord's Plastic Surgeon started advertising on WDJC with the promise of not to creating beauty but to "uncover" the beauty lurking underneath.

Antony Hanson said...

My brother,
I'm not much into rants, but as rants go, this post is one of the best I have read. I really wish it did not resonate so much with me. I wish I didn't have to agree with you so much. I wish things were not as they are.

Peace to you

Steve Duer said...

Good post Greg.

The first rule of opening a busines is to use an A so it get's listed first in the phone book. The second is to put a little fish symbol in the ad so that you get the christian business.

Frank Bellizzi said...

Hi Greg,

An old F-HC acquaintance writing to say, "Great post!" Most under-worked group? Writers for "The Simpsons."

I read a sermon somewhere with the title, "Taking God's Name in Earnest." Gotta look that up now.

Anonymous said...

Like you said, you don't know the heart and intentions of those first involved with the opening of this gym. So, your problem lies solely with naming this gym Lord's Gym. Would you rather they conceal the fact that it is a Christian gym? Keep quiet like so many "Christians" do. Alot of Christians would rather work out or do business with a Christian business. I'm sorry that you do not perfer to support Christians, or Christian businesses who want to make a bold statement for the Lord in the secular realm. Has not the world infected us enough? It's time Christians start making a stand. Psalm 24:1 states that the earth is the Lord's and EVERYTHING in it. Even a Christian gym.

Anonymous said...

What makes a gym a Christian gym?
It has got to be the people. Murals, business names, etc.. do not make a business a "Christian" business. People must display the characteristics of Christ daily to everyone and become a "servant" for Him and others.

It is my understanding many if not all of the first individuals who worked at Lord's Gym are no longer there. This begs the question.... Where are they? Why did they leave?

There must have been something that happenend that caused almost everyone to leave shortly after opening the facility. It does not make sense that many people would leave unless there was a serious problem.

If anyone knows what happenend, please post the info.

Interested Christian