Well it has been more than just a few months now since I’ve moved to Gordon’s Bay and believe it or not, we STILL haven’t managed to locate a church that we feel comfortable enough with in order to call it our new spiritual home.
Back when we were still based in Bellville, we used to attend the Christ Church Blaauwberg (CCB) in Parklands under Pastor Gary Rohm, seeing as this had been Chantelle’s church family of choice for some time already. I too immediately fell under this particular church’s charm and to be honest, both of us were pretty sad when we finally had to bid it farewell.
And therein lays the problem. Finding a replacement spiritual home is turning out to be pretty tough, because we can’t quite seem to find anything that strikes the perfect balance between the demography we would like to be part of and the actual church itself. So we’ve been hopping around from church to church, ‘sampling the wares’ so to speak, and a couple of weeks ago it was the turn of The Bay Christian Family Church, situated right next to the Virgin Active gym out here in the Strand.
Well, we had been warned off them a little by Karl and Pat way back in May already, so at least we went in a little prepared, but to be honest, we were no where near prepared enough for what was to come next.
Walking into the church was like walking into a well organised rock concert. An usher led us down the aisles to our seats on entry, while in front, a full scale band plus choir was belting out contemporary gospel song after gospel song, with the lead singer looking as if he was on the main stage at Oppikoppi, clearly loving the sound of his own voice and revelling in every moment up front. There was a giant electronic red ticker board flashing the lyrics at us and the deafening noise threatened to rip the roof right off the building. All of which is fine…
…if you were at a rock concert.
Next up was the reader for the day’s scriptures and in a loud, booming (fake?) accent he proclaimed the word, opened the prayer and made the announcements. Except, when I say made the announcements, I mean he pointed us to the big wall next to the stage where a video projector launched into a pre-recorded video segment, complete with polished CG graphics and two ‘hip’ presenters who launched into their little ‘television show’ with gusto. The ‘announcements’ segment over, the main part of the show got underway, with Minister Allan Bagg taking to the stage.
Now Allan Bagg is a televangelist and you can see it from the get go. Everything is polished, everything is loud and pronounced, and everything feels like a script.
And that is exactly the problem. From start to finish, we felt as if we were a part of one big show. People wave their hands and sway around, move to the front and jump around for others to see, the message gets reinforced by polished video presentations and everything from the props to the people have that polished, made for TV feel.
By the end of the service, Chantelle and I walked out, frustrated to say the least. This isn’t a church family. This isn’t the message of the Lord. No, this is a message from ‘Allan Bagg Ministries’ (the banner under which all his productions, media and other paraphernalia gets sold) and that is all one can say about it. Perhaps we are judging this church just a little too harshly based on only attending one service, but I’m sorry, the Bay Christian Family Church is simply not for us… and we would be very hard pressed to recommend it to anyone else.
Unless of course you like the idea of appearing on TV.
Related link: http://www.thebayfhc.org.za/