The pattern of “church shopping” has become tragically common within American Christianity, with many people visiting church after church without ever making a commitment to congregational life and responsibility. This concept of Christianity is antithetical to that of the New Testament. Suzanne Hadley knows this, and her article published recently at Boundless offers an antidote to the “church shopping” phenomenon. In “Designer Church,” Hadley takes readers back to the New Testament church where, she reminds, “there wasn’t much choosing going on.” Indeed, “The New Testament says a lot about the early church, but you don’t read about style or preference being considerations for attending. Instead of a ‘What can my church do for me?’ perspective, we find the opposite attitude: ‘What are my responsibilities to the church?’” She also insists that the early church was rightly concerned with the primacy of sound doctrine. Today, she expains, “Many people prefer attending a church where the messages are comfortable and the pastor sticks to ‘safe’ topics that don’t offend. But Scripture is clear that one of the church’s top priorities should be to preach the truth and protect itself from the poison of false teachings.” Sadly, sound doctrine is just not much of a concern to many church shoppers. Suzanne Hadley’s article deserves a wide circulation. Her conclusion is a resounding refutation of a consumerist mentality. “True self-expression will take place only as I seek to reflect Christ in every area of my life and commit to investing in a community of believers. Christ’s body is not something to be molded into my image. It’s a place where I can be molded into His. I want Christ’s body to be more than an accessory -— I want it to be my heart.” Pass this article to someone who needs it.
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