|Kitty Hawk, NC
This is a thought experiment, for my own benefit, if no one else's.
I listened to a brief video by atheistic philosopher A. C. Grayling. He agreed that, if there is no God, then life has no ultimate meaning and purpose. When asked, "How then shall we live?" Grayling responded, "Try to be as happy as you possibly can."
I think Grayling is right. In lieu of the non-existence of God, strive to be happy. So,
1. If there is no God, there is no ultimate meaning and purpose to life.
2. If there is no ultimate meaning and purpose to life, then strive to be happy.
3. Therefore, if there is no God, then strive to be happy.
Here is what I am thinking, by analogy.
1. If the presence of God is not welcomed and experienced in church, then strive to make the people happy.
2. To make people happy, entertain them.
3. Therefore, if the presence of God is not welcomed and experienced in church, entertain the people. (Religious utilitarianism.)
If God is not known by the people, in terms of experience ("You will experience the truth, and the truth will set you free"), then there is a great experiential void to be filled. If this void is not met by God, then pastors and leaders must meet it through entertainment, coffee, and donuts. Otherwise the people, who are no longer beholders, but consumers, will not feel they are getting their money's worth.
Practical atheism and secularism, therefore, logically lead to the Entertainment-Consumer-Driven Church. That is, given secularism's influence, one can predict coffee and donuts, stage lighting, and fog machines.
I once went with my son Josh to the Grand Canyon. I will never forget standing on the south rim. The vast presence of the canyon overwhelmed me. At that point I was fully uninterested in the artificial atmosphere and the donuts. But, if there was no canyon, take me to the snacks.
The Entertainment-Consumer-Driven Church is a logical byproduct of secularism. The existential abyss that needs the transcendent is bone dry. All the weary leaders have to offer is momentary happiness.