Redeemer Lutheran: Show Me the Money

March 7, 2011

Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ft. Collins, Colo.

11 a.m. to ?

Chosen because…late service

Biggest church I’ve been to.  It sits in a giant field surrounded by wealthy neighborhoods. Not only does it have a welcome center, which gives makes me feel like I’m walking through an airport rather than a church, it also has a worship center, life/center gym, preschool, student center, etc.

I’m grateful for the coffee/donut room. Guilt kicks in so I donate $1 to the coffee collection. This is the only donation I’ve made to a church thus far. After service I feel duped, used and wish I could take my money back.

Love Money, Then Jesus

Remember this scene from Jerry Maguire? This is Redeemer Lutheran Church.

JERRY MAGUIRE SHOW ME THE MONEY


The preachers or whatever are dressed in white, red sashes resting on either side of their chests. Huge choir. Massive movie screen. Many people wearing buttons purporting their love for Jesus. At least I think that’s what they’re for.

It’s “commitment weekend,” a time for parishioners to place donation envelopes they received via mail in Pottery Barn-like donation baskets. Before they do, the preacher fills them with artificial love, hiding the church’s need for greed behind Bible passages such as “whoever does not love God does not know love.”

When the preacher quiets, this message is conveyed, falsely — though song — and soundtrack as people in the sound booth add thunder and other such nonsense to the melody.

After guilt by love, the preacher gets down to business. This whole love B.S. will continue for 36 months because the church is on a mission to a) Raise up stewards b) Pay down debt c) Further the mission.

So learn about God, pay down the Redeemer Lutheran‘s $2 million debt during the next 36 months and then spread God’s word through costly missions. Appalling.

Need for Greed

He uses the following mantras to encouraging giving…and love.

“Love is not really love until it’s given away.”

“I hope you get to learn during this season we get to give love away.”

“We don’t want to whore the message of God.”

Then we watch a clip from Schindler’s List. It’s at the end when Schindler realizes the money he spent on material excess could have saved thousands of Jews.

People sniffle. It’s an emotional scene and a cleaver way for the preacher to beg for money. After the clip, he invites everyone to bring up envelopes of money, encouraging them to “woo hoo” when they dump it in Pottery Barn-like baskets.

I’m sick to my stomach. This place of worship is an infomercial, not a church. I leave and head to a dive bar in Loveland of all places, to cleanse my soul.

The leaders of this church should be ashamed of themselves for their unabashed call to greed. Redeemer Lutheran Church is antithetical to Jesus’ message. It’s disgusting.

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14 Responses to “Redeemer Lutheran: Show Me the Money”

  1. CopperBot said

    I don’t remember a single passage in the bible where Jesus walked around wearing gold chains, fine linens, expensive shoes, or anything of that nature. It seems as if churches like this base their focus on the contents of modern rap music in lieu of Jesus’ teachings.

  2. DaceK13 said

    Another good one, Ivy. This is one of the biggest reasons I left Catholicism – as the homily was always talking about financial needs of the church, then heaping on guilt that I wasn’t giving enough tithe. The Bible speaks to the poor and gives them hope, and the church condemns them. Huh?!

    • thumpme said

      Thanks for the compliment! This is actually the first time I felt beaten by greed. I’m sort of impressed by that since I’ve gone to several churches but this one was really over the top. So disappointing. Mennonites are still No. 1!

  3. Tony G said

    I understand the need to absorb after such a greedy encounter with the hypocritical masters of need!

    Many walk with full pockets just to boast with friends…
    “Look what I’ve done, See what I have ~ Those homeless don’t know what work is…they’ll never understand”

    Others run to avoid responsibility while gaining what they can…Placing blame and finding fault, hoping everything will just work out, well aware of what work is, and delegation is the plan.

    The greatest wealth is held by hands that help others stand. Those who take the time, providing peace of mind…They’ll never know what work is…Too selfless to understand.

    We are witnessing the transformation of soulful needs into blinding greed…painting success green and encouraging the deadly sin called envey!

    My thoughts, for whatever it’s worth,

    Tony (from Scotty’s Dive;-)

  4. Tony G said

    Church and Beer…both heavenly offerings, and we’d love to indulge again;-)

    Please note typo on envy

  5. tina said

    Sad that this was your first impression of the Lutheran church. I found the Lutheran church a place of kindness and good deeds and comfort over many years. But sadly there were always times that money seemed to be the main focus. Whether we like it or not, churches are businesses and have debts to pay like every one else. I guess it’s how they go about getting the money that makes a difference.

    Also there are different branches of the Lutheran Church, and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod branch (to which Redeemer belongs) has always been viewed as being rather conservative, stuffy, and greedy by many non Missouri Synod Lutherans.
    I include an explanation of the differences between the 2 main Lutheran bodies. You might find an ELCA church more to your liking and a little more user friendly.
    The LCMS believes that the Bible is without error in all that it says. The ELCA avoids making such statements, holding that Scripture is not necessarily always accurate on such matters as history and science. Differences between the LCMS and the ELCA on the authority of Scripture also help to explain why the ELCA ordains women to the pastoral office, while the LCMS does not (based on 1 Cor 14:33-36 and 1Tim 2:11-14). Similarly, on the basis of what Scripture clearly teaches (Rom 1:18-28; 1 Cor 6:9), the LCMS position on homosexual behavior is unequivocal: homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s will, while the ELCA has declared that it lacks a consensus regarding what Scripture teaches about homosexual activity. Consequently, those who disagree with one another in the ELCA have been called to respect the ‘bound conscience’ of the others. The ELCA has also determined to allow the ordination of practicing homosexuals as long as they are in a life-long, committed relationship.

    • thumpme said

      I will try the other branch if I can. I’m still making a list of churches to visit. Yeah, this place was disappointing to say the least but, to the credit of the other churches I’ve visited, this was the first one that made me fell as if I needed to take a shower.

  6. christine said

    Dear Ivy, I wrote a really good and really long response to this blog…….and then it disappeared. So the short version is this. I agree. Greedy hypocrites. I have watched it, seen it, observed it, struggled with it for years….and still am struggling.

  7. Tony G said

    Great follow up on Scotty’s, and I am going to Custer, SD this weekend to cut-n-chip ~ 60 pine trees with the bark beetle on a friends property…I think they have blue bark;-)

    I know Custer (and the surrounding area) has a good many “true” dives, and I’ll provide passdown upon return

  8. […] the Redeemer Lutheran experience, I’ve put my pissy pants on every Sunday morning, bitched and moaned all the way to […]

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