Thursday, August 30, 2007

Christian Consumerism

Following up on yesterday's diatribe on worship, I began to think about the consumerism question, which is at the heart of all of this. We want what we like, when we want it. That is American Christianity in a nutshell, I believe. Which is truly sad.

A few years ago, a local Christian radio station talk show host had people call in and tell him what they looked for when they were looking for a new church. I was driving the entire hour they discussed this, so I caught the whole sement. Not one person talked about selecting a church based on how it fullfilled the Great Commission. No one mentioned the way the church reached out into the community to help the less fortunate, the lost, the mentally ill, the powerless. No one.

Instead I heard a maddening hour of children's programs, great music, teaching, fellowship, "family" and other things that just screamed 'ME, ME, ME." I was so infuriated by this that my blood pressure was still elevated when I finally got to my doctor's office for my appointment.

I think that is when the worm began to turn in me and I realized I was part of that group, but the Lord was beginning to show me how wrong it is. Since then, he has repeatedly brought people, books and classes across my path that reinforce how messed up the American church's priorities are. We are extremely individualistic and want to do things our own way. But I'm not sure that is how God works. Actually, I'm pretty sure that is NOT how he works. There is a social component of Christianity that collides with American individualism, and the church has had a difficult time dealing with that.

Pray for the church. Pray for it,not just its members, to have a witness to the world that points toward Christ. Lord knows the world needs that encouragement.

1 comment:

bishopman said...

Preach, brother!

Well said.