Why are you here, then?

I’ve been sick for the last four days, the kind of sick where I’m watching Ellen and Oprah because I can’t be upright long enough to put in a DVD without getting dizzy. So this makes four times in the last month I’ve heard people, either in person or on the television say “I didn’t/don’t go to church to be changed, I don’t come to church to be challenged.”

I think the best one was the preacher at a friend’s church who started his sermon saying, “I’ve always wanted to preach a sermon that got me arrested afterwards.”

His sermon went on to talk about New Year’s Resolutions, and he kept making jokes about his wife. The laughter was strained, and his wife wasn’t in the building. I wanted to smack him in her defense. Of course, that would have gotten *me* arrested, but nothing he said was the least bit shocking, nor did it challenge any authorities or preconceptions.

If you’re not at church expecting to be changed or challenged, if you’re not being changed and challenged at church, why are you there? I mean, the country club keeps the same hours and serves alcohol.



Filed under In Christian Love

2 responses to “Why are you here, then?

  1. Jen

    I’ve got a theory about this and the rise of megachurches, but don’t want to create drama. So feel free to delete, if necessary. I think a lot of the popularity of megachurches (they broadcast local services on one of the public access channels) is that they aren’t challenging. They only preach what people expect to hear, and it’s nothing unpalatable or difficult. I think groups like EWTN, too, offer the same thing to those who are obsessed by them.

  2. Very good question. I think many come to church not to think or grow, but to be supported in what they already believe. Whenever I’ve attended a church with really good preaching, preaching that made me think beyond the little boxes I tried to put everything in, my soul blossomed.

    To many, church is a social club. It is frustrating when some get upset because they are being challenged instead of just lulled into further complacency by what they already believe.

    What I hope, is that everyone will eventually be touched and challenged by God, whether in church or outside of church.