Consumers of God

One thing you heard occasionally at the church I was going to was that a lot of people were “consumers”, they went to services but didn’t ever volunteer or contribute. Don’t be a consumer, was the message.

Consumers versus contributors comes up a few times in the Gospels, and it’s a troubling issue. When Jesus is at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, Mary sits and listens while Martha serves the guests. She gets a little pissed at her lazy sister- this doesn’t seem to be the first time this has happened- and asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus refuses.

In the story of the prodigal son, the bad son goes away, blows his inheritance and comes back, to the delight of his father. The good son is pretty put off. He never got a feast, and he’s been busting his butt on the farm all that time.

Maybe the point is that we all relate to God, in the end, only as consumers. He gives what he gives, and if we do or make things it’s only with what we were given, life, resources and abilities. Job was right- “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” That’s true of everything.

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One response to “Consumers of God

  1. Spot fricking on, thrasy.

    This is something that has always irritated me, despite having been someone who ran college and careers / Bible Study groups, having been an usher, having been in choirs and choral groups, having edited the church bulletin, you name it; I’ve done pretty much everything but be on ‘evangelization committees’ (which are mostly useless, far as I can tell). There’s nothing wrong with being a ‘pew-warmer’; ultimately, the most important thing is to be at church, worshipping, whether in the pew or not. That’s what God calls His people to do; the rest is just gravy.

    And that brings up a related issue: all the evil dating advice thrown at evangelicals in recent years, from books like “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” to its supposed opposite, “I Gave Dating A Chance”, all pushed the same thing: encouraging everyone, male and female alike, to (a) become head of a missions group or an old folks home worship team or whatever, and (b) seek this out as a desirable quality in a prospective mate – this advice was esp. aimed at women, but the desirable women they pedestalized also engaged in ‘leadership’ roles of some kind or another, too. Not everyone can be chiefs; some have to be ordinary Indians. It hit me, once I took the Red Pill, that their books were mostly aimed at the alpha types who are prone to seek leadership roles – but the problem is, the books were marketed to EVERYONE who is young and evangelical. And so, a bias, once again, in favour not only of involvement in church activities, but leadership in such; as if NOT being a leader should automatically make someone non-spousal material, in church community eyes, let alone not getting involved. I call bullshit. I tried to make this point at Haley’s Halo, but my point was ignored; guess everyone there buys into the ‘everyone must be involved AND be a leader of various church activities groups’ mentality, sadly…

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