‘Convenience and comfort: Today’s Christianity
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” (Proverbs 1:31)
One of the things clear to anyone who is an observer of the times we live in is that we live in a time when people want convenience and comfort more than they want anything else. This is as true of today’s church folk as it is of everyone else.
They want to come to church when they want to, they want to attend where it is convenient for them and they want where they attend to be a place of physical, spiritual and theological comfort. They want their church building to be technologically up to date, with huge television screens, a sound system that rivals IMAX, seats that are plush and a worship service that ends in 90 minutes. Despite coming in a half hour late. Nor do they want to hear anything connected to morality and God’s holy standards for living.
Most of these folk are not interested in serving in a ministry, except maybe the choir. Certainly not the usher ministry or the Sunday School or the Evangelistic ministry. They do not feel obligated or the need to make the time for service to their church. Coming once a week is fine- they have a Sunday kind of love. They feel tithing is voluntary, not God ordained and believe they wouldn’t have to give anything if the Pastor drove domestic instead of foreign. The only visitors they bring are their children.
Jesus was unquestionably two things: a Man of committed service and a Man dedicated to prayer. He believed in sacrifice. Too many of us in today’s church refuse to imitate that behavior. When it comes to service we don’t want to clean church bathrooms, mop church floors, paint walls or wash windows. We can’t give up our Saturdays because we want that time for ourselves
We don’t mind praying and we understand or so we say that prayer empowers our church and that prayer changes circumstances and people. But we don’t want to be on the Prayer Line if it has to be at 5:50 in the morning or 6 am Saturday morning. Both of these times seem contrary and unnecessary, let alone inconvenient.
We can’t come to Bible Study during the week or on weekends because we’re too tired from that job the LORD blessed us with. And we want somebody to pick and drop off our children for the Youth Ministry. So we can sleep in.
Then there are those Christians who believe that technology took the place of the Holy Spirit. They believe that sitting at home watching a Gospel network is the same as being in a church service. That thinking allows us to have church when we want to, when it’s expedient to do so. We seem to be no longer interested in obeying the Commands of God but in bending to our leisure time.
Yet, we want God to serve us. We want Him to not just hear our prayers but answer them with a “Yes.” We want Him to come when we call Him; we want Him to accept our habitual sin as something that is “natural” for them to do. I heard a Pastor say that God needed to catch up with the times He needs to be reminded that whatever time God gives him is in the Hands of that God he feels is out of synchronization. (Psalms 12:15)
He is a perfect example of this discussion. He’s looking for comfort and convenience while he lives in selfishness and sin. It won’t work for him and it won’t work for anyone else. In church or out.