Monday, October 25, 2010

Opening Lines – Golf and the Church

Just as the church has become more tolerant on certain issues in recent decades, so too is golf equipment letting us get away with more on our mis-hits.

So begins an article entitled “How Forgiving Can an Iron Be and Still Look Like Something You’d Want to Play?” in the October 2010 issue of Golf Digest.

Puritanical title aside,  it strikes me as an odd place to see a church reference, not to mention a not so flattering way to reference a church.

It is true that the church has become more tolerant on certain issues. Depending on which issues are in focus, I am not convinced that is a good thing.

If you know me, you probably know that I play golf from time to time … at least a few times a year. And it’s well known that these days you can buy a better game. To cut that handicap down, you can skip the hours at the driving range and just hit the pro shop.

I am not saying that’s a bad thing in golf. In answer to the title question, based on the clubs I have seen, people show a remarkable ability to overlook ugly stuff if it works, or if they think it will work.

But church?

I think there are a lot of churches who have “bought a better game.” They are bigger, not because they are dedicated to the hard work of being a better disciple-maker but because they have used technology to leverage the show. And some of it is just plain ugly.

People are being entertained, not discipled. Ears are being tickled; worldviews aren’t being transformed.

I am not opposed to technology, design, and modern conveniences in the church. I use them.

And I not condemning everyone who does it differently than I do, nor those who have large churches.

But let’s be careful that we aren’t merely “buying a better” game that is a charade of the real thing.

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