June 17, 2013
No doubt I will be “preaching to the choir” for much of this rumination so if this doesn’t apply to you… well… good.
It will come as no surprise to many reading this that we live in a “victim oriented society”… i.e. we are rarely at fault for… whatever… others are usually to blame. Maybe the most famous example of this is the woman who spilled McDonalds coffee on herself in her car and sued the burger empire for millions… and won! I realize part of the settlement was based on the fact that McDonalds had been warned previously about their coffee being too hot but still… are they really responsible for her choosing to drink it in her car and for her spilling on herself?!?! The public outcry seemed to indicate “NO McDonalds should not have been held responsible for her clumsiness… Take responsibility for yourself lady.”
In my role as the “church attendance police” I see this attitude of victimization mostly in the reasons folks give for not attending worship. They sound something like this:
- I don’t go to church because I don’t like the pastor (I don’t hear this one personally but it comes through others)
- I don’t go to church because I was offended by someone there
- I don’t go to church because I don’t like _____________ and I don’t want to see them
- I don’t go to church because I don’t like old organ music
- I don’t go to church because I don’t like guitars
- I don’t go to church because the minister preaches too long
- I don’t go to church because the sermons are irrelevant
- I don’t go to church because it’s too hot
- I don’t go to church because it’s too cold
- I don’t go to church because it’s summer time
- I don’t go to church because they sing songs I don’t know
- I don’t go to church because the music is too loud
- Fill in your own reason here _______________________________________
- Etc, etc, etc.
Outside of those who are physically unable to attend church… the list of reasons for not going is short.
- I don’t go to church because I’m not a Christian (this one makes sense)
- I don’t go to church because I don’t believe in a God who desires regular corporate worship.
End of list.
That was easy.
What about the whole list of “I don’t like this and I don’t like that”… aren’t they legitimate reasons? No. There are churches on every block that meet at all different times… find one you can worship in. And, stop blaming others for your lack of involvement… take responsibility for your own spiritual decisions.
Wow! That sounds kind of harsh. It’s only harsh to those who don’t want to take responsibility for their decisions regarding regular church attendance. Listen, I don’t find it difficult to understand why folks forgo church. Frankly there are all too many Sundays when I want to stay home. But I do find it infuriating when they blame it on others. Your church involvement or lack thereof is not about being a victim… Your attendance is solely based on your decisions and your priorities. Take responsibility for yourself and come to grips with your God and what you actually believe. It’s not that hard.