Monday, March 2, 2009

Feed Them and They Will Come

There is absolutely nothing better than a good old-fashion, after-church, "on the grounds", casserole dish, covered-dish, pot-luck, finger-food, we got the meat - you bring the fixins, soup-n-salad, ice cream sundae social, spaghetti dinner!! Whew!

Let's face it... Southern Baptist love to eat and it seems that we take every opportunity to do just that! If Southern Baptist were ever to sponsor the Olympics, free-style eating would certainly be in the line-up!

We eat on demand, deliverance and dedication. It doesn't matter if it is sympathy or showers, we are going to nibble, if not naw. Committees can't even congregate without some type of chewing!

As if that isn't enough, NOW we are feeding breakfast at Sunday School. Since when did Sunday School become associated with eating?? Am I over-reacting or are we over-eating at church?? I have attended a few Sunday School "Conferences of the South" and I really do understand the concept of feed 'um and reap, but it seems to me like this may be a subtle attempt to replace the responsibilities of Pop Tart Police in our own humble kitchen.

I have been out of college for a few years (okay... 30 years), but I remember studying about a man named Pavlov. I truly believe his work on conditioned reflexes with the salivating dog is note-worthy at this particular juncture. From my own personal experience, and from what I have observed, Southern Baptists salivate at the site of a steeple. I can remember the little "finger game" I use to play with my boys...."Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door and here's the people." Remember it?? We should now take this a step further... "Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door wide, there better be food inside!"

This pattern has certainly taken it's toil on statistical seating numbers within the church. Ten years ago, the average church pew could seat 10 adults. Today's statistics reveal a sharp (or should I say "round") change in that figure. The average church pew seats 7.5 adults with no room for wiggle.

There have been attempts made in good faith to balance the scales. The Christian community has developed hundreds of weight loss programs: Weigh Down Workshop, Weight Loss for Christian Women, First Place, The Eden Diet, Vonder Wheley's Weight Warriors, The Lost Vineyard, Fit To Be Me, .... just to name a few. If you google "Christian Weight Loss Programs", you will be amazed at the never-ending list of weight-loss communities for the brethern.

However, the fact remains, "Here's the church, here's the steeple, open wide, there's food inside."

"You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial." 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)

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