The brand new, shiny Cornerstone Church has now opened on the site of the old MFI building on Castle Boulevard In Nottingham.
Now I’ve already briefly expounded my views on the necessity for churches in my first post on this site… but there are churches and there are churches and then there are huge monuments to the arrogance, moral superiority and stupidity of some sects of the Christian church. The Cornerstone is one of these.
On their very glossy – and no doubt very expensive – web site they say this:
We give thanks and praise to God for his amazing provision of over £4 million so far, enabling us to purchase land without the need for a mortgage. We now estimate needing to raise at least a further £2 million to complete the construction and development of the site.
Thanks and praise to God for his amazing provision? So did this money materialise out of thin air? Was it sent from heaven by a winged messenger? No, it was coughed up, supposedly, from the church’s congregation. £4 million pounds from a congregation of 600 people. That means they’ve given nearly £7000 each (or some have given less and some much more).
As usual with these sorts of people (evangelical Christians… or I suppose any Christians really. In fact any adherent of any religion), when anything good happens, it’s down to God but when anything bad happens – death, destruction, cancer, child abuse, et al – it’s the evil of men at work or retribution for our sins. So well done God for handing over the dosh on this one. No doubt the other £2m is being levered out of the pockets of the faithful as I write, with promises of a guaranteed ticket to heaven in return.
But what will this fabulous, expensive building be used for?
Well, first and foremost of course, for regular communing with the Lord and singing his praises. Or, as some of us see it, gathering together to mutually reinforce an individual and collective delusion and to strengthen the psychological crutch that enables the faithful to cope with their lives.
But it can’t be just for that can it? Of course it can’t.
They also seek to brainwash and indoctrinate children and young people into their beliefs (and presumably those of their parents) through children’s and young people’s groups and bible classes. The most insidious of these is called Sparks Praise and is described thus: “Once a month we have a special time of praise for children aged 3-7 and their parents. It is a great time of interacting with each other and encouraging children to praise God in their own unique way.” By definition, children are born atheists and can have no concept of God at this age. Quite how they praise him then I’m not sure. I’m all for kids interacting with each other but interacting with God is just a step – in fact, many steps – too far at such a young age.
Cornerstone also exports its grand delusion to other countries (presumably supplanting local beliefs, other religions and atheism in the process), with missions to all parts of the world… and I thought that missionaries had died out with the other vestiges of colonial oppression 50 years ago. Not so it appears. Some people still seem to think that exporting their brand of religion to other countries and cultures is a duty. It isn’t. More often than not it cultural fascism.
On the plus side, the Cornerstone works with the homeless and with people whose lives are blighted by poverty and substance abuse, through their own projects and though the Aspire Project. This is a laudable and worthy ‘mission’ and is the sort of work that many churches and Christian organisations carry out. They should be congratulated for this.
Jesus (assuming that he ever existed in the form that Christians believe he did) would no doubt approve of this… but if was to return now, would he really think that the £6m spent on the new Cornerstone Church in order to offer a base for these activities and to sing his praises every Sunday was money well spent?
I suspect that a man who saw virtue in poverty, who told us that the meek would inherit the earth and who did that whole thing about rich men, camels and the eyes of needles would be aghast that so much money has been wasted on such an ostentatious building rather than on people.