This afternoon I went to both wholesale clubs in close proximity to each other. I loved the hot dog deal you can get. A 1/4 all beef hot dog with a soft drink for $1.50. It's the best deal in town. So in we went for a few items for her. I mean a few items or she has much smaller handwriting than mine. Her list was literally an inch by an inch. There are advantages to being single sometimes. Anyway, once we got to Costco I started finding the food kiosks literally every time I turned around. I started snacking on every food and drink they were sampling. My friend is a strict vegetarian so she gave me her samples of any meat items. I was eating for two so to speak. I lost count of all the tidbits I ate but as we finished shopping I had lost any fervor for my beloved hot dog.
Then we went to Sam's Club just for kicks. The food nosh continued. I was stuffed but continued with the snacking. Deep down I wasn't satisfied. I also deceived myself that I had not eaten a real meal so all I ate didn't count. It is amazing the lies we tell ourselves. I got to thinking about so many churches in America. They are wholesale club churches in that they serve a tidbit of Bible truth, a tidbit of the means of grace and rarely if ever do they serve what's really good for a church--church discipline. Rather these churches are filled with movies not preaching or preaching about movies. The Bible is often relegated to being a prop in a skit. Communion is reserved for home groups served by any leader. Church discipline means someone is in a psychologically based program doing the twelve steps.
The reformers had it right. They defined the term church every narrowly. First, biblical preaching in an exegetical manner was primary. The pulpit remained sacred and foremost. Second, they regularly and with solemnity celebrated communion. Holy communion at that. I have heard of churches serving peanut butter crackers and punch as your drive through a window. No joke. Finally, church discipline was practiced by all members at all levels. Holiness was and is serious to God and the congregants knew that. We need to be careful not to snack our way through a day. It may satisfy superficially but it won't do so long term. It's also the worst way to eat in terms of your health. A diet of kiosk visits won't keep you healthy physically. A diet of kiosks in churches won't help your spiritual health much either.