In the late 1800s, “Prince of Preachers” Charles Spurgeon rebuked members of his congregation who chose to stay at home and read sermons on Sundays—especially when their favorite preacher wasn’t in the pulpit.
These days we stream sermons from home instead of read them, treating the buffet of favorite messages from our favorite pastors as substitutes for being with the church.
My colleague Shane Morris calls this a “consumeristic attitude toward religion.” Church becomes a matter of “satisfying personal needs and preferences” rather than participating in God’s “Kingdom on earth.”
It’s not sustainable. It’s not biblical. As Shane points out in his column, we’re called to gather together (Heb 10:25), we’re called to submit the authority of church leaders (Heb 13:17), we’re called to give money to our churches. And that’s tough to do if we’re not there and not known, because we’re in our living rooms with our coffee and our laptops.