Sometimes church attendance can be confused with gospel conversion. Real conversion implies daily worship and service which typifies the life of Jesus Christ. While church attendance is good, it is only a step in the process of “perfecting the saints” (Ephesians 4:12). When churchgoers take a casual Sunday-only approach to membership, they can become spiritually slothful and developmentally hardened to service and sacrifice. Such crust on our character is non-porous and tends to repel Christ’s living waters.
What is my definition of a Sunday-only Mormon? For me, it is someone whose heart is not really in it for selfless service and the refinement of character through Christ. Instead, a Sunday-only Mormon views church as a social-hour sprinkled with the occasionally entertaining sacrament talk. Church attendance, even for social camaraderie, is a good first step for those on the road to reactivation and gospel conversion. We welcome all who attend for whatever reason. But social camaraderie only takes discipleship so far, if anywhere.
While there are many levels of dedication to Jesus, those who are truly active in the gospel are committed to a Christ-centered life. They view church attendance and the Sabbath day not as a place to go or a calendar date to keep, but as an extension of daily worship — a refreshing complement to an individual house of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, order and “a house of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:8).
We needn’t become religious zealots or feel guilty for watching a favorite TV program, but when church attendance is disconnected from living the gospel, or when the god of television or the idol of the Internet or anything else chains our footpath to Jesus, we need to break the chains.
While I am no judge of anyone’s personal prayers, scripture-study habits or closeness with deity, I can certainly evaluate those things in my own life. To combat the Sunday-only syndrome, I made a list of 10 questions to evaluate my Sabbath-day habits as well as my dedication to the Savior throughout the week. Your list may be totally different based on your unique personality, habits and desires, but here’s mine.
1. Do I treat church or temple attendance like Gilligan’s “three-hour tour,” destined to maroon my casual attitude on a spiritual desert island?
2. Is church an inconvenient distraction from my secret worship in the NFL cathedral, the shrine of recreation or the Golden Calf of professional titles and the acquisitive life?
Read the full article at Deseret News.
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