Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Monday, December 17, 2007

American Christianity--Part Time v. Full Time

Christian Post had an interesting article quoting, Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia who is the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches.

I feel compelled to share and comment on this article despite 2 objections. First, the title of the article is misleading--he's not quoted as directly referring to America as suggested. Secondly, I'm typically not a big fan of the World Council of Churches.

However, the implications of Rev. Kobia's comments are something I (and others) have noticed for some time and I want to give him props for a correct observation--at least of the northern & Amero/Euro church.

Here is an important quote from the article--

"Religion is seen not as a part-time occupation, but it permeates the whole life,” WCC General Secretary Kobia answered. “There are many Africans therefore that think their future will be much more hopeful if they embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

I'm afraid that too many Americans see church, even their faith as a part-time occupation. In reality, for some it's a 2 hour a week job--many others 1 hour or less--the service/liturgy/songs better not take time away from the pastor's message--and he should go no longer than 20-30 minutes(less if there's a game on). That's assuming that people feel the need to go to this part-time job on a weekly basis.

It's as if we no longer believe there's a benefit--there's no return on our time--it's not like we're getting paid--it's not like I'm getting anything out of it--it's not like I couldn't be more entertained doing something else.

Herein lies some of the problem--we want a perfect church that meets all our spiritual needs and can do it in less time than it takes to get through the drive thru at McDonald's.

Good luck finding one of those--good luck impacting the Kingdom of God that way. More and more we Americans see the church as a place where the believers get served like at the restaurants after church--someone listens to what we want, someone else prepares just what we want, someone else brings it to us and serves us, someone else cleans up afterwards.

Too many believers are coming to the church to be served rather than coming to the church to help serve--especially help serve the lost (non-members!!!! anyone but them!).

If you're wondering why the church is anemic--it just might be that we view everything else in life as Full-Time and we view God as Part-Time. God gets the extra, God gets the leftovers.

Strange how when God speaks of the tithe, he speaks of it as "First-fruits". The first, the best is to be given to Him--not the leftovers, not the extra, not after the bills are paid, not after I've paid for my vacation...

If you're wondering what will help the church get out of its anemic state--maybe we can start by making your life as a Disciple of Jesus Christ a Full-Time Privilege--you are allowed to work at your job while your on your Full-Time clock--you're able to go to school while still doing your Full-Time-Ambassadorship.

Are you a Full-Time or a Part-Time believer?

What do you think?

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