On the Modern Megachurch

As this course has continued, I have found that the concept of megachurches has appeared several times, both within the Case Studies and within classroom learning. As a person who grew up in a Megachurch, I would like to ponder on the subject a bit more. My personal experience in Megachurches was fairly negative, which explains why I am no longer a part of the practice. Something that always confused me growing up in these churches was the lack of secure Articles of Faith. When asked what members of a megachurch believe in, the answers are sure to be varied. Most of these megachurches claim to be Nondenominational Christian (Evangelical), however the megachurch I grew up in was technically a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. This knowledge was known to very few and was not publicly broadcasted often, if ever. In fact, the only people privy to the information were the pastors and whoever knew/cared enough about religion to go check. However, the church’s reason for being Southern Baptist was simply because the head Pastor had grown up in that faith, not that the Church had a fundamental stance on issues that made them Southern Baptist. How can this be possible? Should not a church officially believe in whatever doctrine they claim? Whose opinion matters more in categorizing beliefs, the Church or theologians?

As someone who hopes to someday be a theologian, I am pushed to say that theologians have a larger say in Church categorizations, but something must be said on self-identification. If someone self identifies as a Wiccan, yet practices what a theologian would call Catholicism, there are some interesting discoveries to be made there. Theologians are not always right, and will never always be right. They are constantly learning and expanding their horizons everyday, just as a good scholar of any field should do.