Tuesday, November 11, 2014

But Who are the "Idlers and Slackers" in the Contemporary US Church?

How do we today apply Paul's declaration in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that those who do not work, "shall not eat."  Who are today's idlers, slackers, and busy-bodies?  Is it appropriate to apply 2 Thessalonians 3 to church people who have no problem at all with securing all the physical nourishment they want (and beyond what they need) outside the church, regardless of whether their conduct adds value to the Kingdom.  Well, of course it applies.  In fact, Paul's declaration is simply devastating in its application.

"I choose a church on the basis of my needs getting met."  Such a consumer approach to church going refers to the needs of one's ego, at least in a significant number of cases.  (There are thoroughly legitimate needs that are met in the Christian community - or should be met, and we should seek healthy communities that can meet them for ourselves and our families.)  The idler and slacker consumes the social communion of the Christian community and the elements of the Lord's Supper and contributes little or nothing.  They "shall not eat," and, in fact, they do not eat.  That is, they do not grow into the person God created them to be.  Paul is hard on us.  But so was Jesus.  These are the facts of the Christian life.  No pain.  No gain.  Crossfit for the Christian life.

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