Sunday, February 27, 2005

Church Shopping

Some visitors at church were heard to say they were "church shopping." I've heard this phrase often over the years. I'd like to hear someone say they were "truth shopping" instead.

Another remark I heard was from a member of the church who had been carefully taught the gospel and the purpose of attending worship services, for many years. The person is in their 40's, yet said they wouldn't be able to be there for worship this Sunday because of a ball game they had to attend.

The wife was looking behind him and rolling her eyes. I thought something very wise and spiritual might come from her mouth. I suspected she wanted her husband to attend church with her. Was I ever surprised to hear her say, "Some people just don't know any better than to host a ball game on Sunday!"

Neither one of them came to church because they felt they must attend the ballgame. I'm still reeling from the special twist of reasoning portrayed here. I think I've heard it all now! The excuse should have been "Some people don't know any better than to neglect worship on Sunday." Instead, they seemed to be blaming the ballgame people. That makes about as much sense as blaming the Fish and Wildlife for allowing fishing and hunting on Sundays.

When Grandma was alive, she would say to people who were anticipating being gone fishing on Sunday, "What if you die while you are fishing on a Sunday?" Many of the people who wanted to neglect church, would be there, because of her warnings.

So now, we have a new generation, who, instead of resisting the temptation to do a dozen other things on the Lord's Day, will blame the organizations for holding the event on Sunday, then they will attend the event and say they had no choice.

If a person has obeyed the gospel, they have given their lives to Christ, and owe him their allegience. Yet, many will who will often neglect church, will never miss a ball game. They even get up extra early to attend, often standing in the cold weather in long lines to get into the stadium. Sometimes it rains on them during the game, but they can still sing and chant their ballgame songs, and wave their arms enthusiastically for their team. Some loyalists can quote you names of sports heroes and exact scores of years gone by. I often wonder if they think they are going to ballgame heaven when they die. They know more about the game, and are more faithful to attend, than they know about the scriptures or attend church.


Hausfrau Cheri said...

Living in a 'Blue Law' country for the last year and a half has been an eye opener for me. We as church attenders often consider ourselves very religious for attending church faithfully, but never think twice about doing the week's shopping on a Sunday afternoon.
Here you CAN eat out if that is your desire, but you can't even buy milk if you didn't remember to gather double your manna on Saturday. It has been an example for me who would never dream of abandoning God's worship for something secular to keep the whole day holy and dedicated to those things that really matter- hospitality, family togetherness, and just plain rest.

If we can show people that it's not just showing up for a service no matter what (baring communicable disease or the like), but a whole different way of looking at Sunday, we may have a better chance of helping people rethink their priorities.

LYNN said...

What a wonderful post. We have several members of the church we attend that don't show up for services due to ballgames. Let us all remember what the writer of Hebrews said in Hebrews 10:25: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

they can quote all the scores and names of ballgame heroes but cannot quote scripture or names of biblical characters.

Anonymous said...

One of the things I've noticed is that so many churches today are in the entertainment industry instead of worship/fellowship. There is a place for wholesome entertainment but our focus should be on God at church and in our lives not "what did I get out of this?".


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