I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)
Have you ever heard the term “Weekend Christians” or “Car Trunk Christians” or “Whitewashed Christians”? I’ve heard these terms several times, usually during a Sunday morning sermon, and usually about those people who “act one way on Sunday and act a different way Monday through Saturday.” I was thinking about this today, about how we do act differently on Sunday, in the church building. But it occurred to me that this is usually the desire and is often encouraged.
I was chatting with Alan a few days ago and he sent me a link to a video about a special needs child who was removed from a church meeting for being loud. This child has cerebral palsy and is prone to uncontrollable outbursts. The mother was obviously offended but took the opportunity to reach out to the leaders and asked them if she could help them start a ministry for disabled children. Their response to reporters was that they focus on “worship” not “ministry” and later a spokeswoman said, “It is our goal at Elevation Church to offer a distraction free environment for all our guests. We look forward to resolving any misunderstanding that has occurred.”
A “distraction free environment”? Do we have a distraction free environment, Monday through Saturday?
Jesus said, “And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew 18:5-6
Does your preacher wear a suit on Sunday when he teaches? Does he wear a suit Tuesday morning when he’s preparing his sermon? I doubt it. I have heard a semi-famous seminary president say that you should be wearing your best clothes (e.g. a suit) when approaching God before prayer. I instantly imagined him wearing a suit before asking God to bless his food or putting his suit on before saying his nightly prayers.
Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6
I really believe that the traditional church thrives on Weekend Christians… people who think that Sunday is more important than any other day, people who think that you need to wear special clothes, and act a certain way in a special building are only encouraging these Christians. We manipulate our meetings with special music, special seats, special food… and then expect our brothers and sister to head out into a real world with uncomfortable chairs, uncontrollable music, revealing clothes, and water fountain conversations to not act differently?
I also believe that the traditional church is starting to fall apart because many Christians have ceased believing that Weekend Christianity actually exists. Even Paul said, “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)
The next time you find yourself questioning a fellow Christians day-to-day ethic, ask yourself, “Am I encouraging Weekend Christianity?”