Scholars, including the coauthor of the recent study alleging that it creates a "high," weigh in.
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Researchers from the University of Washington recently argued, based on an analysis of existing studies, that megachurch worship creates a spiritual "high" that draws participants back again and again. Interviews with 470 attendees at 12 churches revealed a common sense of euphoria; lights, video cameras, and projectors contributed to the experience.
"Worship services are addicting because worshipers believe they are experiencing God. They don't have a problem saying God is like a drug. They want and need to regularly experience God, and the megachurch worship service is a primary means by which they do so."
Katie Corcoran, sociology Ph.D. student, University of Washington
"Being stirred up or 'high' are words that mean getting involved. The intention of a worship service is to focus people's attention on religious matters and to get them stirred up to be concerned about things. Churches that never stir anyone up don't last long."
Rodney Stark, co-director, Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Compiled by Ruth Moon