Religious Supermarkets
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Religious Supermarkets 125

Personal and Particular

A BaptismIn today's culture, every man and woman in the street has his or her religious viewpoint which can be quite different from past generations. Previously, the norm in society was weekly commitment to one Christian denomination. Dr Reginald Bibby describes in "Fragmented Gods" this modern view as, "religion a la carte." or the desire to incorporate the beliefs or practices one likes into one's life and ignore the rest.✞

Cash and Carry Christianity

Anglican BishopAnother term for this phenomena is "cash and carry Christianity," where most people want to pick and choose from a religious menu depending upon their viewpoints. They expect a congregation to provide a wedding, funeral or baptism without any real commitment of time or resources on their part to the church. Some people even shop around from church to church to get the best deal in terms of minimum involvement and lowest cost. They begin with their own denomination then look elsewhere. Beliefs or traditions are often secondary to a good photo opportunity! Of prime importance to their choice is that the building picked out for a wedding will look nice on the wedding photographs!✞

Various Viewpoints

Consumerism Walking into a religious supermarket, these people expect to lift their rites of passage needs off the shelf. This kind of consumerism produces great problems for the typical congregation. The church traditionally views itself like a social club where members should stay and mingle, but society sees it as a corner store to pop into whenever one needs a ceremonial occasion Christian or otherwise! Clergy get very frustrated when promises made in order to receive sacramental or pastoral help are broken by people who don't want the social club aspect of the church after all!

"Religious Supermarkets"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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