Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Comfortable religion

At Touchstone, James M. Harrison comments on The Bike Pastor's Comfortable Religion:

"... Maybe I've missed something along the way, but when did providing people with recreation become the purpose of the Church?

When did Christ change his call from 'Take up your cross and follow me' to 'Come to this place that we don't really want to call a church, and recreate'? When did the nature of the Lord's Day change from being a time when the people of God gather together for God-centered worship and the preaching of his Word to, as this church's worship leader describes it, 'an event that even the most anti-religious person can come [to] and feel comfortable'?

'Feel comfortable.' How is an unbeliever to feel comfortable sitting there in the midst of a peculiar people who are offering worship to a holy God with whom, according to the Scripture, he is at enmity? How is an 'anti-religious' person to feel comfortable in a place where the gospel being proclaimed is to him foolishness and a stumbling block?

Of course, as Paul writes these things in 1 Corinthians, he does put forth a third option. To the unbeliever, the gospel will be foolishness, or a stumbling block, or the power of God unto salvation. But for Paul, whether unbelievers heard the gospel as foolishness, or a stumbling block, or the power of God, had nothing to do with whether or not they were comfortable. It had nothing to do with their felt needs, either. The result of the gospel, Paul believed, was dependent upon the work of God in an individual's life.

It had to be this way, Paul says, so that issues would not get confused. Has someone professed Christ as the result of the genuine work of God in his life? Or is he here among the people of God because of the recreation? That was a real concern for Paul. And his method of addressing that concern was to make sure that nothing stood in competition with the proclamation of the word of God.

I'm not so sure that Paul would be very enthused about a 'recreational' church."
[the article]

Source: Touchstone Archives: Recreational Sect

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