I Was Just Thinking About - - -
The National Association of Convenience Stores has a webpage that endeavors to define the varying strategies for marketing that will increase sales of goods and services. These businesses offer a variety of items to satisfy one’s appetite or as a place to pick up some necessary item such as milk or bread for use in a home. Another aspect of Convenience Store strategy is to entice the the store visitor to yield to impulse buying such as snacks, beverages, etc. The idea is to make it convenient for a person to return to that convenient location and store in the future. Obviously, the Convenience Store serves the purpose of making items available that one has forgotten. Such items usually are priced with a premium added. If such a store offers what one is seeking, there is the possibility of that person returning there again in the future. That’s part of the genius of Convenience Store marketing.
It seems as though that the convenience store mentality of “it’s there if I need it” bridges over into other areas of life. The philanderer allows himself to think this way. The prodigal child desiring his/her freedom from the sanctity of the home decides on the basis of their personal lifestyle orientation. People in government tend to forget they were elected to serve and represent the people rather than their own personal vested interests and they do so seemingly with impunity. Overall, homes are impacted by the philanderer’s orientations; individual lives of the prodigal become involved with least common-denominator pleasure-seeking groups and influences; and government begins to neglect the purpose of the nation’s existence and the guiding principles upon which it was founded.
It also appears that the Convenient Store orientation has bridged over into Christianity and the Church. The shallowness to this approach is seldom considered. It begins to become a potpourri of thoughts and practices that can be disconnected from Biblical reality and foundational principles, core values and moral standards. As a result, an increasing number of people are determining that Church attendance is no longer a necessity and is no longer addressing the felt needs of the people. The Huffington Post, November 17, 2014, posted an article with the Headline: “NONES! are Now DONES - Is the Church Dying?” The body of the article states: “Given the widespread departure from the Church in all its varied expressions, it is a legitimate question. Add to this the reality that the Millennial generation has not only left the Church but does not seem to be returning and you have a recipe for disaster. The ‘Nones’ are those persons who no longer identify with any particular religion. They are the religiously unaffiliated. A few of them identify as agnostics or even atheists. And even that number is rapidly growing…Further, among those adults under 30, commonly referred to as the Millennials, the numbers of those departing the Church are even higher. Steadily growing as well. One in three Millennials, for example, has left the church. And, while historically many young adults raised in the Church leave for a period of time and then return, Millennials today are not returning.”
There needs to be a return to the Lord and Biblical Values. Part of the cultural chaos is due to the fact that God is no longer revered or central in the life of the nation and people. The basic requirement of the Creator God is stated in Deuteronomy 6:13-14 (NIV), “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only…Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you.” These same words are restated by Jesus Christ when Satan is tempting Him in the wilderness. Jesus responds to him, Luke 4:8, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” For the philanderer, prodigal, ‘nones’ or ‘dones’, consideration needs to be given to the dangers of Convenience Store lifestyles. Proverbs 14:12 states, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” When there are no Biblical values or principles present, it will be difficult to respond to Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying: This is the way; walk in it.” Rather than embracing a Convenience Store orientation toward things religious, common sense must return and a serious approach to matters of the soul.
The problem is obvious that every organized church claims to be “The True Church” and to represent “The Truth” about God. One needs to remember that God created us all with a brain. It is there to enable one to think rationally and to conduct disciplined study of God’s Word. Then, one should seek out a Church that best represents Biblical Truth. When that occurs, one should be able to identify with Psalm 122:1 (ESV), “I was glad when they said to me: Let us go to the house of the LORD!” At that point, one will be enabled to return and Worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. Consider these things with me!