Philocrites said in the comments of the last entry:
As for SpongeBob: Did it invite ridicule? Did the ridicule overwhelm the net gain in interest the stunt generated in the church? Did it make a serious point? What Iâ€™d really love to know about that particular stunt, though, is how the denomination managed the indignation of â€œseriousâ€ churchpeople within the denomination, of which I can only imagine there would have been quite a bit.
Well, stunt says it all for me, and I agree it was. It was a bit smug, too. The capital that churches have is trust and stunts always drawn down from the capital, though the amount of "debt" isn't measurable. Perhaps there is a payoff, but I wonder what that would be. If someone is embolded to go to First UCC Bikini Bottom on hearing the SB welcome and then is met with the reality of parochial life -- when whence the stunt didn't arise -- what's the gain?
One of the reasons I didn't jump to the UCC was that the divide between the parish and the "folks at the top" is much, much worse than what we have in the UUA. Indeed, it made me more sympathetic to those at 25, and glad for the congruence we do have.
So I suspect the "serious churchpeople" are probably just rolling their eyes and add it to the list of what they do on Euclid St. Or they ignore it. Again, if that's the case, what's the gain?
Churches shouldn't make stunts; they should make clear and consistant testimonies, and admit one's own failings.