Christian Tourist Syndrome
St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. My wife tells me the crowd of tourists is so dense it takes hours just to approach the door. Although it is easier to gain seating at our local church, I wonder if the distance to intimacy with our Lord isn’t very similar.
We let worship leaders lead our worship, the option for silence or guttural mumbling very much real; a trained speaker takes us through the day’s scripture as if he’s a tour guide trying to fit arcane information into the time allotted between stops.
Christianity, forged from a spectacle that addressed the Divine-human divide, has become another division between those we trust to perform on Sundays and those of us who wonder if the point of prayer is to be heard or hearty.
Faith, as a spectator sport, runs a poor second to the NFL, even if you’re a Cowboys fan. And, as for generating a community of conviction, even an average rock and roll show trumps all but a few mega churches.
In short, being in church on Sunday doesn’t make us a living member of the Body of Christ any more than being within the border of a country makes you a citizen.
“When the Son of Man comes in His Glory He will also say, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”
Collecting repentant post cards or souvenir salvation stories isn’t the point of following Jesus. He pierced His hands so that we would lend ours.
He who has ears, say hello to someone who needs the friend we have in Him. Stick closer than a brother, through sick and sin.