Episode 192: Free Coffee and Donuts
“As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized Him. They hurried throughout the region and began to carry the sick on mats to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the market places and begged Him that they might touch just the end of His robe. And everyone who touched it was healed.” (Mark 6: 54-56)
What we see in our passage for today is a form of consumerism. The people of the area have heard that Jesus is coming through and they bring out the sick and hurting so that Jesus can heal them. The passage says that everyone who even touched his robe was healed. What we don’t see is a desire to be taught by Jesus. They wanted to be healed by the touch but did not desire to be changed by the teaching. These people were looking for what Jesus had to offer but didn’t want to hear what He had to say.
If you took a poll of people who were looking for a church to attend and asked them what they were looking for in that church, how many people would say they were looking for sound, biblical doctrine? Based on what I have heard in my own experience with this question, I would say not many people would bring up sound, biblical doctrine as the first thing they are seeking. I’ve asked this question of high school seniors who are about to go off to college. I’ve asked people who are relocating to another city or state due to work. Quite often what comes up is, “I’m looking for a church like my home church”.
People list things like the type of worship, the way people dress, the flexibility of service times, a sense of community, programs the church offers, or even free coffee and donuts. Hardly ever does the topic of sound biblical doctrine come up first. Unfortunately this has crept into the local church and become part of the expectations. We look at the church from a consumer point of view, looking for our preferences first. People expect some type of refreshment. They can tell you what type of bagel or donut they had at church and what songs were played during worship but if you asked them what passage was taught that Sunday, they couldn’t come up with the verses or even one point from the pastor. That’s like going to a Mexican restaurant and being so full on free chips and salsa that you have no room left for the actual meal.
When the local church gives in to this way of thinking, it ends up looking like a bunch of Martha’s trying to entertain the guests. While that service can be admirable, the most important thing is to be like Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from His teaching. Let us be a people who desire the Word of God above all else from our local church. Let us make sound, biblical doctrine the main priority and let the other services fall where they may. Let’s desire to come away from every Sunday service with an increased understanding of the Word rather than a higher calorie intake.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!