"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." ~ John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961.
Those famous words have rang out in our great nation for the past 53-years. At the time they were spoken, the country was in great turmoil. It was the middle of the Cold War as well as many problems with Cuba and Fidel Castro. The Civil Rights movement was in full swing and violence was sweeping the country. During the midst of all of the turmoil it would be real easy to ask the question; "what can my country do for me." But instead, the newly elected President of the United States was rallying people by appealing to their love for their country and urging them to ask instead; "what can I do for my country?"
As the Pastor of a small Baptist Church, I often have folks that visit, call, or email, asking what our Church can offer them? One recent visitor wrote a large list of things that she wanted in a Church. I couldn't help but notice that everything on the list was centered on herself. It was all about "me, myself, and I." There was not one single thing on her list asking about any opportunities that were available for her to help out in. It was just a large list of her wants. Needless to say we didn't have any of the things on her grocery list.
Sadly, that is what the majority of people are doing nowadays when it comes to finding a Church. This is called "consumerism" and sadly some Churches are just desperate enough to give into it. They are offering a hodge-podge of customer friendly activities and programs. "Don't like Church? You'll love ours because we are nothing like a Church." "Tired of hearing sermons about sin? No worries, our Pastor never mentions them." In fact, some Churches are going as far as to remove the Church steeple from the top of the building so that they do not resemble a Church at all in order to appeal more to the world and this consumer driven mentality.
In one of my Seminary classes Pastor Clarence Sexton when speaking about the Church and how we are to be separated and different than the world, made a comment that will forever stay with me. He said: "The world does not need another copy of itself." How true that is!
I pray that God would raise up some men and women who are more in love with the Lord than they are of themselves. I pray that more Church Pastors and Preachers would stand firm on the Word of God and not give in to the world and the selfishness of mankind.
I'm not worried about the true Church because I know it is protected by God Almighty Himself. Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew: "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." ~Matthew. 16:18b KJV. But I am worried about the future of my children and my grandchildren if this current trend of consumer driven religion continues. Would to God that our motto be: "Ask not what your Church can do for you - ask what you can do for your Church."