by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Ephesians: It's Not about You (12 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
Roger Thomas
Ephesians 2:8-10

Introduction: "It's not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind and your happiness." That's how Rick Warren begins his classic The Purpose Driven Life. Warren's book has become so popular in part because that basic premise gets our attention. It contradicts everything we have been taught to believe.

Individuality thrives in our society. We are born and bred to believe that we have an inherent right to be our own person, make our own rules, and pursue our own dreams. "I did it my way," sang the crooner. But we all believe it. Even in the church.

The notion of individuality has helped create a consumer mentality in churches. Folk in our day shop for churches like they shop for a new car or a new pair of shoes. We look around. We try on different models. We compare costs. Finally, we settle on a model we like. We choose based on how it fits and meets our needs. How could it be otherwise? After all, it's all about me.

What's wrong with that picture? The whole process assumes that church is about us, our needs, our wants, and our desires. Most of us are so deep into this mentality that we find it hard to even conceive of a different perspective. This system turns faith on its head. Worship becomes about my fulfillment rather than God's worship. Church music is about what I like.

This consumerism has doctrinal consequences as well. We can treat the Bible and Christian doctrine like a big smorgasbord. Nobody eats everything on the buffet. We pick and choose what interests us. That's how many approach the Bible's teaching. We can take what WE like and just leave the rest. It's all about me, what I like or am willing to accept.

Individuality or consumerism affects how we relate to others in the church as well. A lot of us attend church for what we get ...

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