Religious boredom is self inflicted. The prophet Malachi lived in the 5th century BC—but his world was much like our own. It was a time when people honored God with their lips while dishonoring Him with their lives. They went through the motions of religion without really meaning it: They said prayers but did not pray; brought sacrifices but did not give; recited hymns but did not praise! Their religion had become a nagging necessity which brought no joy or fulfillment.
The prophet parodied their attitude in Malachi 1:13: “What a weariness this is, you say, and you sniff at me, says the LORD of hosts.” Malachi warned that God was fed up with the empty rituals of their bogus religion! Malachi’s portrayal of life in 450 BC, gets uncomfortably close to life in the 21th Century!
Symptoms of Religious Boredom
1. Cheap Religion. Many want as little commitment as possible. So they search for a bargain-basement creed: No giving, No long services, No regular attendance, No dress code, No “Thou shalt not’s,” No “preachy “sermons, No guilt, No real service!
2. Mechanical Worship. Many feel that correct ritual will substitute for righteous living. They go through the motions of worship without meaning any of it. Jesus rejected the kind of worship that honors the lips without engaging the heart as “vain!” Matthew 15:8.
3. Craving for entertainment. Many modern churches want P.T. Barnum in the pulpit! People are more interested in entertainment than pleasing God. Anything goes if it gets people to church: Rock music, drama, dance, burlesque, guest stars, comedy, etc.
Cure for Religious Boredom
1. We must invest ourselves in our religion. We get out of life and religion pretty much what we put into them. Religion which costs nothing is worth nothing! The Macedonians excelled at Christianity because they “first gave themselves to the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 8:5.
2. We must inject our religion into our lives. Christianity must be lived seven days a week! An hour of worship on Sunday will never make up for a week of unholy living. Our faith must give meaning and shape to our whole life. Religion is not something done on special occasions, but something we are all the time! Matthew 6:33.
3. We must introduce our religion to others. Matthew 28:19-20 Faith becomes more vital and vigorous when shared. We have been saved to save others. Religion will never seem totally satisfying until we carry out our primary function! Merely “playing church” would never satisfy our Lord. Real religion must be built upon a real relationship with the Father! Boredom goes out when God comes in! Something not only to think about, but something to do.
THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE SEEKER, BY BOBBY DOCKERY.
In Christian Love,
Bill Arnold, Minister
Ridgeway Church of Christ