Ever since I got to Texas there is one thing I have wanted to do that I haven’t ever done, and that is go to church. I know what your thinking, but no, I am not going to the other side and joining the Christians, in fact I have no interest in Christianity at all (well maybe some of those Texas hotties)- I merely want to see what its like in a mega church. Maybe my interests were peeked by the movie Borat, but its really something I have always wanted to do. I have been in churches before, many of them, not many during service however.
When my housekeeper Josette died, my dad and I went to church in Brownsville and yes we were the only white folk there and I enjoyed it immensely. In fact I had a way better time then I ever had at shul, of course I felt like I was at a James Brown show rather then a memorial service. The preacher sang and screamed, and he was backed up by all these hefty women who sang Amen’s and Hallelujahs, it was just like the movies, only louder, so loud that my father stuffed tissues in his ear while we sat in that Brownsville congregation.
My fascination with Texas mega churches is different. If there was a synagogue with 30,000 people in a attendance I would also be curious to check it out- for me its not a religious experience, it’s an interesting thing to do, I highly doubt they will convert me. In Houston The Lakewood Church not to be confused with the Lakewood Yeshiva, has 30,000 members and services are held in the old stadium of the Houston Rockets. However I am not that desperate to praise the lord and if I do listen to the sitra achra, will be attending church within the Dallas area.
In Dallas I have my eyes set on two different mega churches, they are the two other largest churches in the area, Fellowship Church in Grapevine has 28,000 members and their website has the words “seven days of sex” plastered across it- progressive are we? The Potters House in Dallas is the other one and they supposedly have 18,000 members.
I wonder if churches are the same as shul, do they have 50 people at Sunday service while they have 10,000 members. Then on one day a year the Christian Yom Kippur whenever that may be, they have to open up some room to fit everyone in, or do all the members actually show up all the time? Do they have Kiddush afterwards? Is it anarchy or is it peaceful? Do they just have wafers, or do they have regular food too? Do Christians even do the whole wafer thing or just Catholics? I wonder if they have those cheap Israeli wafers with the hazelnut filling inside, you know the kind that everyone puts in their shalach manos on purim.
One of my fears of attending church is that someone will realize I am Jewish. Maybe someone who used to Jewish will notice my hook nose and horns and force me up on stage to confess all of my sins and be saved in front of 20,000 members who are shaking because they can feel the light. Maybe I will forget to tuck my tzitzis in or take my yarmulke off, man I can just see it now- “orthodox Jewish spy infiltrates Texas’s largest church to find out how to boost dwindling membership.”
Then of course there are the halachic aspects of the situation. I have heard that you are not even allowed to enter a conservative or a reform shul- but I don’t really like that opinion- seems kind of awful if you ask me- but surely if you cannot go to conservative shul- how on earth could you go into a church? Then again you can enter a mosque and even daven inside, although I would not recommend it.
On the way to the little Chassidic shteeble on 91st street on the upper west side there is a church, that church has an awning that reaches all the way into the street- my father would not let us walk under the awning saying that you could not use the churches property as a shortcut or something of the sort- if he only knew I wanted to attend church. My last girlfriend told me that you could go into a Christian or non-denominational church but could not go into a Catholic church because the Catholics are not monotheistic- if this were the case I could attend church without having to push the yetzer tov off my shoulder. Of course I am sure nowadays Rabbis would just say “of course you cant go into church- why would you want to?” But what if I did want to, I also want to take some footage of the people being saved- I thought that part of Borat was great.
This video shows what goes on in the biggest church in America:
Joel Osteen is the pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston and judging from the way this guy looks I would say plenty of women hop on over because he’s not a bad looking dude. G on you tube and watch the other videos- doesn’t really seem to religious to go to one of these mega Churches- seems more like something to do on a Sunday morning before brunch at I-hop.