Big Business Christianity

As Christians, we talk, and think, a lot like office workers:

We are intentional.

We are dynamic.

We are community.

We all love the office, but not when our Christianity mirrors its atmosphere. "Fellowship" and "discipleship" are much more than this. NBC photo credit: Paul Drinkwater

We all love the office, but not when our Christianity mirrors its atmosphere. “Fellowship” and “discipleship” are much more than this. NBC photo credit: Paul Drinkwater

We work as a team and we are family.

We pursue excellence.

We focus on numbers — those sitting in the pews and the amount given in the plate — and we revolve our social life (“fellowship and discipleship time”) around small groups and tightly structured Bible studies.

We buy the same devotional book and plod through it, one chapter at a time, and discuss its ramifications upon the successful outcome of our spiritual walk, for which we have set goals.

We have annual meetings, during which members of the community review the budget (which is already set, incidentally) and listen to reports from various boards. Using Robert’s Rule of Order, we vote for elders, deacons, and deaconesses, from a list of two or three names carefully pre-selected for us, with the expectation that the resulting vote will be unanimous. (I’ll never forget the surprise of the “leadership board” the year they had to report, for the first time, the unintentional results of the election. They were unable to say, as they had in the past, that the voting was unanimous, and rather than mention this, they simply said that candidates A, B, and C had been voted back into office. I know of at least two “no,” votes, and I’m pretty sure leadership knew who cast them.)

It’s not that organization and efficiency are bad. It is, however, that they increasingly shape the form, function, and appearance of the Christian church, and every day, establishment Christianity looks more and more just like that: a reflection of the corporate world.

Seaside Story inspirational original oil painting of child and woman reading book at beach by Steve Henderson licensed prints at art.com, amazon.com, Great Big Canvas, iCanvasART, and Framed Canvas Art

Family, the real thing, is worth pursuing, not the substitute that corporations — secular and religious — offer. Seaside Story, original oil painting by Steve Henderson, sold. Licensed prints at Great Big Canvas, icanvasart, Framed Canvas Art, amazon.com, and art.com

But this is not what we are called to be: the church is not a worldwide council, led by a few well-known names that seem intent upon promoting themselves into family dynasties. The more we look into Christian organizations, Christian publications, Christian media, Christian mega-churches, Christian mega-celebrities, the more we see what looks like big business, with the name of Jesus slipped in.

“But there is strength in numbers,” people say. “So much more can be done for Jesus when we pull together into an organization, and that organization cooperates with governments, social agencies, universities, and even political leaders.”

But the movement, the way, started with a carpenter who went around with a bunch of fishermen, and when that carpenter talked about power and strength, He was talking about His Father, who still operates today. That same power is accessible to each and every individual believer, who chooses to leave his own life behind, and follow the will and way of God:

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

We are not office workers, minions under management who can only do something significant if it is part of some great and glorious man-made ministry; we are God’s children, each of us dearly loved, and each of us able to be great indeed, especially when we follow, and pay attention, the words of our Eldest Brother in Mark 9:35:

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

How many Christian corporations put that one into their mission statement?

To read more on this matter, please follow the link to Corporate Christianity: How to Stop Thinking Like Office Workers at Commonsense Christianity, BeliefNet.

The Misfit Christian Book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Live Happily on Less book by Carolyn Henderson at amazon.com Grammar Despair paperback and digital book at Amazon.com by Carolyn Henderson Step by Step Watercolor Success digital DVD workshop by Steve Henderson at Amazon.com

Advertisements

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in Art, blogging, Business, Christian, church, Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Family, fine art, home, inspirational, Life, Lifestyle, painting, religion, spirituality, success, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Big Business Christianity

  1. Pingback: Let’s (NOT) Make Christianity the Law of the Land - Commonsense Christianity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s