Sunday, November 4, 2007

Church of the Warm fuzzies

"Common experience declares how momentary and how useless
are those violent fits and gusts of endeavors which proceed
from fear and uncertainty, both in things spiritual and things
temporal, or civil. Whilst men are under the power of actual
impressions from such fears, they will convert to God, yea,
they will turn in a moment, and perfect their holiness in an
instant; but so soon as that impression wears off (as it will
do on every occasion, and upon none at all) such persons are
as dead and cold towards God as the lead or iron, which but
now ran in a fiery stream, is now when the heat is departed
from it"
... John Owen (1616-1683)

I think it is almost comical that the above quote was written by an early reformer, as it in so many ways describes one of the problems I so often saw in my old "warm and fuzzy" Evangelical church. Sadly too many Christians have bought into the false doctrine that church should "feel good", and worse, that they have to walk around in a kind of Ned Flanders perpetual "oakly dokly-ness".

We have become a church drunk on (what we "feel" is) the Spirit, with only a passing nod to the Truth, which inevitably leads to a heck of a spiritual hangover. We worship God in Spirit and Truth, and the true Spirit is Truth, not just a happy, smiley "emotion". I truly see a correlation between this,and the high number of Christian suicides (especially in Evangelical churches), of unprepared people easily discouraged when the good feeling wears off .

Truth is a rock, not a marshmallow.

I can't tell you how sad I get when people refer to singing worship as a "Sacrifice of Praise" , as I doubt doing something you like is much of a sacrificial act. It wasn't until I became Catholic, and Sunday Mass became a requirement (a Mortal sin to miss Mass in fact), that I understood the true meaning. Mass (or Sunday service), is our time to give to God, whether we want to go or not. God owns all of our time, yet only requires this one day a week. How selfish to only attend church if we feel good, or have someone to go with, or like the pastor that day, or dig who's leading the worship team.

When I think of the early Christians who risked death to receive the Eucharist, but we can't even get our flabby American butts outta bed for an hour on Sunday, I literally feel sick to my stomach (and yes, I have been guilty of this selfish act too). I have honestly felt like slapping someone who jokingly says "yeah, I kinda overslept", or "just felt like staying in", or some other such silliness that would get ya fired if you tried it on Monday.

I am not saying we shouldn't enjoy Church, but our enjoyment is never to be our goal or motivation. I love Mass, I love Adoration, I love Bible Study, I love to pray . . . .but because I love to honor the One who asks all this of me.

In Truth we should be seeking to give God enjoyment, by visiting, and praising, Him in His house.

Seeya in church,

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