December 16, 2003

Consumer comfort

Rod cut me to the quick of my spirituality and personhood today with a post over at rants and rambles called "interactive confession" (emphasis mine):
[We] can no longer claim legitimate ownership of doctrine and faith expressed corporately [through liturgies] because it requires us to interact with it – to be encouraged by meditating on its meaning and impact. We respond by abandoning it and seek something that soothes and comforts and encourages without the need for thought, meditation, and interaction. We are told what we believe, but have no desire to confess it. We are given 5 bullets and are told how to apply them to our lives this week. Everything is neatly packaged so as to be easily understood without the need for study, prayer, or meditation - all those things that David spoke of that empowered his relationship with a holy God. No one is ever asked to grapple with the mystery, the enigma, the paradox that is the God Who is spirit and the Word made flesh.

Is it the fault of the liturgy and methods that we grow cold? Or is it our tiring of the effort and engagement it takes to keep our faith warm and real? Is it ironic that grappling with our faith and confession of it grows cold while being spoon fed and told what we believe encourages us? Consumer comfort. Tell me where to put my investments, tell me how to treat my wife so that she will make ME happy, tell me how to make God relevant to my life. This is scary.
Lord, please forgive me for hurting your people by implying to them that I could do their grappling for them.

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