American culture is a funny thing. I’m not talking about culture as ‘the arts,’ but culture in the form of worldview, beliefs, assumed ideologies. We – as Americans – have high expectations of everything, from fat-free desserts to affordable luxury vehicles. We want it all, and we want it now. What’s more, we think we deserve it. Self-help aisles are full of it. Or google “you deserve it.” If I believe Google search results, there’s a whole lot I’m missing out on that I really deserve. Take a look at some popular slogans from brands you know:
Burger King: Have it your way
Nike: Just do it.
Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?
L’Oreal: Because I’m worth it.
‘Self’ has become the center of the world. Personal tastes and desires are as inalienable as our Constitutional rights. But I’m afraid this mindset permeates the Church too. There’s a growing trend in churches to attract outsiders by teaching popular messages and using ‘relevant’ programs and systems to increase numbers. I’d agree that there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place, but the trend is going a little far in a lot of churches these days. Take the same slogans from above, altered a bit to elucidate the teaching found in way too many churches today:
Heaven: Have it your way
Salvation: Just do it.
Truth: What do you want to hear today?
Grace: Because you’re worth it.
Sure, it might seem like an exaggeration at first, but if you listen closely you may just hear something not unsimilar at a church near you. This is what’s largely being taught, perhaps not explicitly, but still – it’s there. Listen closely, you’ll hear the gentle drip-drop of Scripture being watered down.