A Packaged Tour of the Absolute

The Church is a training camp and supply depot for soldiers and servants in the deadliest war ever waged, a hospital for casualties and defectors in which we are its nurses and chaplains, a weight room for the weak, a mess hall for the hungry and a power plant for the Light for the world. To drift from this is to forfeit a war with an invisible enemy that seeks the destruction of every human soul and the humiliation of God. When Churches aspire to be entertainment venues or coffee kiosks, they pose little threat the enemy or benefit to heaven. As C.S. Lewis’ fictional demon, Screwtape, said, “A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.” Annie Dillar put it like this:

“Why do people in the churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute? Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blandly invoke? The churches are children playing on the floor with chemistry sets mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It’s madness for ladies to wear straw hats and velvet hats to church – we should all be wearing crash helmets; Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews, for the sleeping God may wake someday and draw us out from where we can never return.”

Ouch. You go, Annie.

—j

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