Saturday, August 29, 2009

Box Store Religion??

I'm sure we've all shopped one time or another at one of these big "box" store like Costco, Sam's World and I guess you can throw in Wal-Mart as well. It's a whole new world in there. I'm always amazed at the variety of "things" I could buy if I had the money. I have the credit card with an ungodly limit on it which could chain me to debt for the rest of my life if I ever maxed it out. Put me in an asylum if that ever happens.
Just a week or so ago I went to Costco for a loaf of bread. Now don't snicker. This Costco had a brand that I particularly like that I can't find anywhere else. Anyway, I entered the store and did the usual mouth drop at the gorgeous row of wide screen televisions that stared at me upon entering. Wow..great prices. Better than anywhere else. But then I reminded myself, I'm here for bread. Then there were the computers...not a draw. I'm a Mac man and they don't sell macs. Lots of clothes, but I can't stuff my closet with anymore.
After a half hour or so, I walked out with a box of raisins and some mouthwash. Oh..the bread? They didn't have it anymore. Now I don't know where to get it. Anyway, if I wanted and could afford it, I could have anything I wanted in that store...except for the bread.
It was a consumer's paradise. Then I drove to Wal-Mart to pickup the fifty pound bag of birdseed for feathered friends. Again, tons of stuff I could purchase and apply to my card. I walked out with a twenty pound bag of birdseed and a few groceries. They had run out of the fifty pound bags. Sigh, can't always get what you want I guess.
I hate it when my store quits selling something I like. Makes me want to visit another store out of spite. Or when they bring in a new line of the same thing I use, only it's an inferior piece of junk. Ever notice how that favorite room spray you buy because it smells so good seems to lose it's strength after a year or two. For some reason the new and improved update of the product doesn't have the same amount of scent. That really bugs me. I then have to change brands...again.
Why all these choices in our stores. Because we are consumers. We see something we like and have to buy it. If the store changes something, either the product or the layout, we get upset and want to change. Even logos change. All to lure the new buyer. You notice it especially in the clothes department. Ever notice that stores have forgotten the older generation? What used to be a size 36 waist in a man is now a size 42. Or ladies, how many of you past the age of 30 have noticed all the clothes in the ladies section fit only size zero teenyboppers?I've notice some of you in your forties have purchased some of the shorty things and then go around with that roll of middle age flesh hanging over the low cut jeans. Uh..ladies..not a pretty sight. Oh stop it! I know, we try to squeeze our 44 plus stomachs in these undersized shirts and go around with gaps all the way from our necklines to the waistline.
Where am I going? I'm going to church. Because today, we carry our consumer tastes into the sanctuary and the church is doing it's best to accommodate us. What used to be a sanctuary from the world has become a box store filled with goodies to catch our short term tastes. And what a toll it's taken on us. My follow-on blog will address some of these issues. I want to focus on, just what does corporate worship mean? Does our church reflect our theology of faith, or does it simply try to sell us a bunch of stuff we don't need. Are we being drawn by our own lusts of entertainment or are we coming to worship around a central theme? Has the house of worship become a theatre of entertainment or does it lead the body of Christ into a primary focus of belief that affects our relationships, fellowships and outreach? Until next time, I'll keep you guessing. I'm going to reach back into history to find that one thing that has been present in all church gatherings that is being lost in our churches today.

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