Actually, I found this rather amusing:
It will be interesting to see if this is a 'one-hit-wonder' or whether it takes off. Obviously, it is for entertainment purposes. But, what if they try to really pull off a 'parish' system?
That's where the tragic comedy will begin. You see, I've been around enough religion in America to know what will happen. After a glorious expansion, there will be power. People will grapple for it. Feelings will be hurt and egos bruised. Then comes the splinters and schisms, followed by sordid tales of immorality.
Why do I say that? Because those are the same problems that religious groups suffer with, and this is because we are fallen humans. Sin, it seems, is what we do best. Many atheists are alienated from Christ and His Church because of scandals like the ones I listed.
Just wait until they start doing these sins themselves, then will have to ask themselves some serious questions.
At the same time, I see this as a damning condemnation of the 'evangelical megachurch' movement and non-sacramental attempts to duplicate Christianity. Hey, when the atheists can fake being you this good, you have a problem.
After all, it would be hard to have an atheistic eucharist or sacraments without a spiritual component. You can eat bread and wine anywhere; it is only in the presence of the Divine that they have additional significance. However, when you make the worship of God a motivational speech... there you have the foundation of an atheistic 'service.' Sure, the atheistic services serve the people, but so do services where entertaining the people is paramount.
Services are supposed to be about serving God... not serving a demographic group.
It is this lack of centrality of God in worship that leads many people away from God, and I think it can also largely be blamed for the rising tide of addiction and substance abuse. When you make man the central figure in spirituality, you make him the god. We all know that making an idol out of ourselves or others leads to profound disappointment and despair. Many people are leaving Western Christianity precisely because God has been squeezed out of the churches in favor of putting man's 'needs' first and foremost.
It seems like the more Christianity is twisted to fit with people's stated preferences ("Beef or chicken?"), the more people decide that they want nothing to do with it. Hence, declining church attendance.
Like I said, let's give this a few years. Sadly, I think far more people will be hurt and disappointed in the end, and the only one laughing will be the devil.