Engaging Culture

Disneyisation is the worldwide control of the arts, entertainment, media so that a particular worldview, values and filtered knowledge are disseminated. Its message is that happiness can be bought. It exports escapism, American culture, products, and a delusion that happiness can be bought and everyone lived happily ever after. Disneyisation has united the world under one culture that regards human beings as consumers. Christians are taught to be consumers of church services and other spiritual things rather than as participants. Through the media, arts, movies, and music, we are exposed to a delusion of a worldly worldview. The consumer worldview worship Mammon as god.

Mark Chan, writing in (2000). “Problem and Possibility of an Asian Theological Hermeneutics.” Trinity Theological Journal 9: 55-56. , comments,
“A Mcdonaldized ethos is marked by the dictates of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control does not value individuality, creativity, deliberation or attention to details. It is speed, proficiency, and the attainment of objectified goals that count.” (2002, 120).

The characteristics of McDonaldization is derived from the working of the fast food chain;
*efficiency means simplified products,
*calculability means quantifiable products and services,
*predictability means standardisation of product and services, and
*control means replacement of human by technology.

McDonaldisation has arrived on our shores and even in our churches. In the name of efficiency, we have begun to simplify our sermons and church services. Some people call it “dumbing down” (Marwa Dawn (1995). Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture. Grand Rapids, MI, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.). Important facts are now delivered in short sound bites.We have begun to play the number games in marking church attendance and giving. That is calculability. Predictability means standardising our church programs so that it is easily reproducible and by control, we look towards technology to solve our church problems. That’s why imported packaged education programs produced by megachurches in the United States is so attractive because we have been McDonaldised.

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