How about you, are you a creature of religious habits? I'd like to think that I am not, but I am. I still sit in the back row posting Facebook "stati" as though I am at a Boston Bruins game in sudden death overtime.
Apparently someone noticed me. Even the back row, normally reserved for other bored folks, is no longer private. How far have we fallen? On Sunday morning there was a screen requesting that we shut off our cell phones! I am thinking that the woman with spiritual distemper who stood behind me last week, said something to the pastor. I laughed out loud when I saw it! And if I'd had a mouth full of coffee, I would have projected a mixed organic mist at least two or three rows forward; taking out the bald guy with the huge wife and his family along with a few teenagers and the crazy lady with the tambourine.
Here are some religious habits that seem to have caught on as I have toured the manicured American church.
Jeans and T-Shirts - that is the new "Sunday best," and apparently seeing as we only go to church once a week, casual Sunday is as good as it gets. I have a t-shirt that says; "What Wouldn't Jesus Do?" so that I can fit in.
Coffee Drinking - some denominations have become like the Dunkin' Jesus chain (probably Baptists - j/k) . Depending on the time of year, they have clear plastic silk screened cup; recycle #5, filled with iced, double caffeinated, whipped, caramel-mocha-nut-drizzle-swirl with foaming whipped cream and 5 sugars. Crack-in-a-cup for short. Caffeine and spirituality go hand-in-hand. And for leaders, there's sushi too.
Electric Guitars - the amplified guitar appears to have been added because any music you would sing at church, you would never listen to at home because it is too wimpy. The addition of the "electric guitar" is designed to drown out the voices of the musically challenged - church pros also shut off the lights during worship to protect the identity of the rhythmically challenged.
Overhead Projection - meant to provide assistance to those that don't know what a hymnal is. Thank God the overhead projectors with transparencies are gone! We now have state-of-the-art computer projection with majestic backgrounds - and lots of typos - which are best fixed while they are displayed. And one more question, who's idea was it to put the screen in front of the cold air return so that it shimmers? At first I thought it was a theophany.
Starting a Sermon with a Funny Story - It seems that humor brings the anointing for the sermon. I think Jay Lenno should have a church - bajillions would come to church.
First Time Visitor Cards - name address and email so we can SPAM you. Beware, some churches parade around visitors and newcomers like the dessert tray at an fine Italian restaurant. I was really hoping to have more room for a few key resume points in case they have any opening for a resident wise-guy. I haven't had that much luck with these, but I keep trying.
Bored Teens - heads down texting, iPods and Game Boys and Jesus metal t-shirts. Interesting they have time for these activities - probably because they are at the pinnacle of their intelligence. For ways to deal with church boredom click HERE.
Free Gift - How subversive is that? We won't make you stand up in front of the congregation, but we'll parade you around with a gift bag that fits a CD of outdated worship like spandex on a hippo. And you don't know it, but the mints are of a special tincture used to alert the --
Greeters - like mating cheetah, these are the folks hired to shake your hand while they talk to their friends from small-group. Well, first impressions are not of God. The very fact that someone was nice to you once, is not enough "confirmation" to join a church.
How about you - are you religious? Does it seem like some things missing?