[WARNING: Contains Satire. Consume responsibly.]

Your typical local church is a great place to go. Yours probably has a Sunday School, comfy chairs and half-decent coffee. But some churches get it into their heads that it’s not enough for you to just attend. Some churches want more from you. Heck, some even go so far as to say that as a Christian, God wants everything from you.

I’m aware that I’m not the only poor soul to be placed in such an awkward position. I have realised that others, like me, come to church to be served, not to serve. So I have devised a Pewsitter declaration. This declaration will empower fellow Pewsitters to defend their position against more extremist, “God-chaser”-type Christians.

The next time someone at church asks you to help out, or wants to delve beyond theology and talk about what God is actually doing in your life, simply consult this declaration to keep others – and God – at bay.

As a Pewsitter:

  1. I come to church to meet my needs.
  2. I believe in the communion of the holy church – unless I am sick or something, or it’s too cold outside, or my family is having a get-together, or the pastor is preaching on evangelism – again.
  3. I will avoid attending church every week, as it might look like overkill. My church should be grateful that I have time to come at all.
  4. I have God-given gifts and abilities in noticing problems such as the music being too loud. These gifts I am happy to share with the church.
  5. I won’t tolerate repetition in songs, preaching or praying. God already knows I love him. I don’t have to keep on telling him all the time.
  6. I am happy to take on board the teachings of this church, as long as it is understood I may not apply them outside of the church. I can’t be expected to remember everything.
  7. I am happy to help out occasionally, if convenient, as long as the church recognises that I am extremely busy and not able to help every year. Besides, there’s plenty of other volunteers.
  8. I can drop out of my church commitments at any time if my kids are sick, or are playing sport, or are extremely talented, or are not in the mood for church. My family comes first.
  9. I reserve the right to withhold my financial giving to the church dependent on my personal needs, the quality of my spiritual walk and fluctuations in my mood.
  10. If my church pushes me too hard, I reserve the right to spit the dummy and leave the church, telling everyone I know so that they can pray for my ex-church.
  11. If I feel that my expressed opinions are not valued, I will leave.
  12. If I fear that my lifestyle is being challenged, convicted or stretched in any way, I will leave.
  13. If I begin weakening as a Pewsitter and start entertaining ideas of serving or of radical surrender to God, I will return to statement #1.

Thankfully, numbers of Pewsitters are currently on the rise, especially in the more affluent parts of our society. Don’t forget that you are not alone. And don’t let anyone guilt you into being anything more than a spectating Pewsitter.

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