Jun 5, 2008

Consumerism and the Church

Martin Downes has
posted a portion of an editorial for Evangelical Magazine. I have included three paragraphs below that I found worth noting.
The sign that we are not thinking biblically on these matters is that we are asking all the wrong questions about Christian activities. “What's in it for me?” is the unspoken assumption as we listen to sermons and sing God's praise. Our reasons for choosing a church, or even staying in a church, can be exactly the same as the reasons we have for choosing a product. How does it make us feel? What are the personal benefits? What activities are on offer for the children? A further sign of wrong thinking is that a culture of criticism about church activities is tolerated.

When was the last time that you went to church in order to do others good spiritually? Is that your deliberate aim? The Bible is full of images that describe Christians as part of a greater whole. We are sheep in a flock, parts of a body, members of a family, bricks in a building. Each image undermines the idea that we can think about being, and acting, as a Christian apart from the Church. We are to build one another up in love, to spur one another on to love and good deeds.

Involvement in the local church is not “another” option on the spiritual menu for 21st century Christians. To belong to God's people, to be part of God's family, is the high privilege conferred on God's children. Here is the place where God dwells by his Spirit. Here is the place where God assembles us, speaks to us, and sanctifies us. Here is the place where he has given gifts. Here is where we are to serve him, serve one another, and display the Gospel. It is time to put consumerism back on the shelf.

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