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Observations on a growing and influential cult

September 21, 2007

Since moving out to Central Seminary for graduate and then post-graduate work, I have always had “secular” jobs, jobs outside the scheme of church and para-church organizations. Working closely with many non-Christians on a daily basis, I have been able to observe closely an interesting religion to which my co-workers adhere. I speak, of course, of their complete and unending devotion to the god Friday. The day of worship for the barbarians is, as one would expect, the fifth day of the week, which I presume to be named after this god. The entire week of labor is done to the glory of Friday.

Observing the congregants, one notes many interesting characteristics of their cult. The attire is aptly called “dressdownfriday” or “casualfriday,” presumably so that their dress can more conform to the spirit of the holy day. You can sense their anticipation as they pronounce the third day of the week “hump day,” the day where their god is nearer than before the previous day. All their work is done on the second through fourth days so that they can more devotedly worship on Friday. On the holy day itself, they pronounce sacred greetings such as “T.G.I.F.” and “It’s Friday,” whereupon they expect even those undevoted to their god to respond in joyful chorus. Libations and feasts accent the cult, and where they will wait for hours on end at restaurants to join in the worship and celebration. Without question, it is on this most sacred and holy day that most people observe “Out-to-Lunch,” a minor feast that takes an added nuance when done in connection with Friday.

Then the cultists go to worship in the evening at the holy temples, called “Cinemas” or in more private sanctuaries called “Home Theaters.” There the priests and cult leaders called “Stars” and “Celebrities” engage in “Acting,” a special rite of purgation and catharsis for those who attend these special meetings. By this, they are able to experience what they call “entertainment,” which helps them feel otherworldly and alleviates some of the psychological duress of the real world. Here they love to watch and be affected by all sorts of actions that they could not usually experience for themselves because they remain outside the broader social norms, such as sexual immorality, leering, violence, injustice, and flying rocket ships around in the third heavens.

From my observation, the god Friday seems to be a god tied to a grotesque form of leisure, or, better yet, entertainment. Those devoted to this liturgy seek it above all else, spending hundreds of dollars per month to propagate and further their continued enjoyment of this deity. The communicants’ homes are built around it and they structure their work schedule so they can devote more hours to this very sacred god. And they very much enjoy the worship of this god. The more devoted the worship gathering is to entertainment, the greater enjoyment in Friday. So powerful is the influence of this god and his followers, that you see certain unmistakable signs of religious syncretism, where other religions try to incorporate elements of the worship of Friday into their own cultic rites.

Of course, I don’t think this religion can really last that long, despite its large and devoted following. It offers absolutely nothing by way of transcendence and permanence. It has no way of speaking to the world as we really know it. The god Friday, as far as I can tell, in no way offers a compelling vision of ultimate reality. I expect this faith to remain parochial and its adherents to die out quickly, despite its immediate popularity.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2007 3:35 pm

    thats funny… yet convincing……actually. Ok……what should I do with my home theater?

  2. krissnp permalink
    September 21, 2007 11:19 pm

    interesting blog.

  3. Todd Mitchell permalink
    September 24, 2007 9:21 am

    Very insightful.

    I remember as a foolish college student once saying, “I’ll never take a job that makes me work on Friday nights.”

    Friday nights used to be sacred to me in my own idol worship.

  4. Todd Mitchell permalink
    September 24, 2007 9:12 pm

    Bgraef, you may not like my answer on the home theater, but here’s what I did.

    I loved my home theater. A lot. When I finished my den I pulled wire to have speaker jacks in the walls and ceiling, and with good insulation in the walls and ceiling you could crank up those big cabinet front speakers, a sweet center channel speaker, and ceiling-mounted rear speakers and it was better than going to the real movie theater.

    But then I read Neil Postman. And Richard Weaver. And others. And . . . out the TV went.

    I still have a TV in storage. It comes out for elections (and we marvel at how silly the coverage is) and it came out when Saddam’s statue fell, and most recently for the bridge collapse down here. But otherwise it gathers dust on the floor of furnace room.

    My daughter has often remarked at how much better life is since we did that.

    Hard to imagine? It was for me. Harder than throwing the bottle away. But it is so good to have it gone.

  5. September 24, 2007 9:30 pm

    BGraef,

    I say this seriously.

    God is much better than home theaters. Turn to him in Jesus Christ.

  6. lilrabbi permalink
    September 25, 2007 10:09 am

    I’m reading Ideas Have Consequences now for the first time. I really like his “Stereopticon” chapter. That is a great way of putting it. We come to worship the particulars absent from universals; creation without its Creator. Pure idolatry.

    “The rite of purgation”. Perfect.

  7. September 25, 2007 5:29 pm

    Ok……..now what should I do with my computer??

  8. lilrabbi permalink
    September 26, 2007 12:57 am

    Delete all bookmarks but this one!

  9. September 26, 2007 8:38 pm

    lol…..lilrabbi are you a Talmudic Jew or Messianic Jew?

  10. lilrabbi permalink
    September 26, 2007 11:14 pm

    What in the world would make you think I’m a jew? My beard?

  11. September 26, 2007 11:50 pm

    umm……..the word rabbi??

  12. lilrabbi permalink
    September 27, 2007 12:17 am

    pfffff!

  13. September 28, 2007 9:39 am

    okkkkk….looks like we settled that…

  14. lilrabbi permalink
    September 28, 2007 1:09 pm

    Just having a good time. I’m not Jewish at all. Although I am not tall. The nick has little to do with me; more to do with having an older brother who was studying to be a pastor. He was given the nick “rabbi-will” and I have since been “lilrabbi”.

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  1. Link to the fastest growing cult in America (Christians are falling into it by the thousands!) « Eternally Significant

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