“If our Catholic friends were charging $50 to come to a mass at the local stadium, we’d all be shocked, but the major CCM groups make millions from tours and record sales. Even Osteen sells seats to hear his vapid talks. Tetzel was the bad guy in the reformation, but it’s among evangelicals that Paula White, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer proliferate and profit from the devotion of the Christian public; all because they promise genuine spiritual experience.

“I haven’t seen any Catholic teachers openly promising a dollar return on your financial giving lately. Evangelicals have enough such con-artists posing as ministries to fill several television channels. I loathe indulgences, but I’ll take them over the promise to get rich by way of Jesus.

“It is among evangelicals that one can write literally endless books promising more, more, more and more spiritual experience. We are Experiencing God, but we still want Our Best Life Now and our Purpose Driven Life courtesy of the Prayer of Jabez. We all know the next 7 easy steps to Being a Better You is in the mail.

“Christian consumerism is just one witness to the state of our spirituality. There are many others. Ministerial burnout. Pornography addiction. Divorce. Prayerlessness. Church hopping. Sexual promiscuity. Rampant materialism. Pastoral turnover. Addiction to fashion, sports, pets, opinions. Hours spent in front of video game screens, staring at web sites, reading MySpace, talking to our friends on the cell, saying nothing.

“And then we’ll go to church on Sunday and hear the minister say the LOST are living empty lives and don’t have the joy of the Lord. It’s a good thing the few lost folks in our churches are too polite not to laugh out loud.” (>>)