Posted by Craig Borlase on 18 February 2014

A friend told me that church was like a watering hole: the spiritually fittest and strongest Christians will fight their way towards those prime spots at the heart of the action, while the weak ones will hang around the edges. Those who spend most time at church will be safe, while the ones who fail to connect with life around the altar will find themselves easy prey for the enemy.

I'm not a fan of the analogy. Actually, I'm a fan of the analogy but I'm not a fan of the reality. The trouble is that for many of us ‘watering hole Christianity’ pretty well sums up the attitude that we have to church, or the attitude that the church has to us. And the real problem I have with it is this; it just doesn't match up with the model shown in the Bible.

The problem – or at least one of the problems with the theory - is this: it creates a two-tone system, a state where church, and God and the life we live in the footsteps of the King are in retreat. We are either in church, or out of it, at the heart of the action or dangerously out of touch. As for God, well, He’s simply placed in yet another box, limited once more by our small-scale dictations about who He is and how He works. Surely this life less ordinary that Jesus first demonstrated is all about taking the revitalising message of the cross out to a parched and thirsty land?

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