Jump directly to the content

Obama's Hunt for a Church

The Obama's may be settling on a puppy choice, but last I checked, President Obama has not found a church to call home. He's attended some private services, but a new article in Slate concludes that his church hopping habits may not be a bad thing.

Even if the American mania for shopping extends to our spiritual lives, church shopping still doesn't get much respect. But while it may be frequently derided as an example of rampant spiritual consumerism, shopping around can be one of the good things about the way religion is practiced in America.

Andrew Santella provides a nice round-up of the church shopping phenomenom, but I'm guessing his conclusion would horrify some church leaders. "In that sense, church shopping transfers a bit of power from the pulpit to the pews. And keeping a check on the power of church leaders is never a bad idea."

About 40 percent of Americans attend a religious service at least once a week while 58 percent of evangelicals do the same, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. On the other hand, 61 percent of Americans say they are a member of a congregation, and 74 percent of evangelicals say the same.

Santella concludes, "So, the president shouldn't feel any need to rush into committing to a new church. When you have so many options, it pays to shop around."

Last year, president of Fuller Theological Seminary Richard Mouw wrote a more theological piece for CT examining why church shopping isn't the worth thing in the world.

Evangelicals probably care more about Obama's church attendance than they do his new puppy–so vote about that on today's on CT's poll.

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:February 27, 2009 at 11:47AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Bankruptcy Court Rejects 'Flawed' Sale of Family Christian Stores
Updated: Retail chain wants creditors to decide its fate
Pope Apologizes to 'First Evangelicals' for Persecution
The Waldensians suffered years of massacre, rape, and pillaging during the Catholic Church’s attempt to stomp it out.
God and America: It's Complicated
Surveys show fewer think America is a Christian nation, but many see ‘special relationship’ with God.
Burning Black Churches Rekindle Old Fears
(UPDATED) Two cases of arson found so far. Most weeks average five.
Christianity Today
Obama's Hunt for a Church