December 06, 2007

Church With Benefits

After yesterday's interaction with an article about friends with benefits, I wanted to take a moment today to show how our culture's attitudes towards sex also manifest themselves in our attitudes about church.

In the same way that someone seeks the "booty call" with a FWB, I believe there are millions of people attending church today who are using a local church of their choosing for their "spiritual booty call".

Let me explain.

Essentially, the one night stand or the FWB is intended to produce a maximum amount of immediate pleasure with little to none ongoing commitment towards the other party. In the same vein, as I experience emotional or isolational lows, I can immediately begin looking through my iPhone for my next hookup to relieve me of my crisis and the great thing about the "booty call" is that it is on demand, when I want it, and there's no expectation that I have to respond to anyone else's expectations of me. It is 100% on my terms.

And millions are doing the same thing with church. I attend when I want to, and only for my benefit. I am there because I am experiencing a personal spiritual, relational, or emotional crisis, and I want God to give me my "spiritual booty call" to make me feel better. But don't ask me to make any ongoing investment in the church. Don't have any expectations of me as someone who came to that church. Just allow me to come in, use your church as I would a prostitute (I might even pay you for your services), and then I can move on, go back to my life and I'll get back to you if I need you again.

The book of Hosea pretty clearly describes us as playing the role of the prostitute. It pretty clearly draws the analogy that how we tend to act sexually with one another, is also the way we tend to interact with God. And if you'll look closely enough, you'll see that it's absolutely true.

We've all seen those people who attend church every few months or so. We've all seen those people who want the church to be everything they want on a Sunday morning but have no intention in making an investment into the life of the church community. We've seen people who want a pastor or God for that matter to be a genie of spiritual fix all, but want to do nothing to discipline themselves to keep stupid to a minimum in their life. We've seen people who show up, want the spiritual "orgasm" so to speak, and then retreat to their life with no change until the next time they want their ecstasy.

So here's the question to consider: Are you using your local church for a "booty call", or are you gonna quit dating the church and marry it?

1 comment:

Milton Stanley said...

Wow. That's pretty hard hitting, brother. Good word.