In a recent conversation with a friend, we got on the subject of religion. He commented that his parents attend church every Sunday (except for occasional sleep-ins), but he’s never heard them talk about God or Jesus, nor do they read their bible, say ‘grace,’ or demonstrate any other spiritual behavior. He wondered aloud why they even bother going.
I would venture to say this describes a large percentage of church-goers. They wouldn’t miss a Sunday service, yet any thought about God is absent from their lives the rest of the week … UNLESS they experience some type of situation where they want/need God to step in. Then prayer and supplication enter the picture. (Oh God! Please help!)
But praying to God doesn’t require church attendance, so what’s going on?
In my opinion, it has to do with the underlying concern (fear?) about what happens after one dies. Christianity has long taught there are only two things that can take place (possibly three if you’re Catholic) … you either go to heaven or you end up in hell.
Because hell has gained such an infamous reputation over the centuries, most people want to make sure they have plenty of “Afterlife Insurance” to guarantee them a spot in heaven. Church attendance helps make the payments.
It’s rather sad that Christianity has indoctrinated people with so much fear about what happens after death. Instead of living for and enjoying the present moment, they feel pressed to perform certain actions, rituals, and sacrifices to satisfy what they believe are God’s requirements for a ‘heavenly afterlife.’
The undeniable truth is we don’t KNOW what will happen when we die. And after-death experiences are not de facto proof of anything. So why not focus on today and let tomorrow take care of itself? (Even Jesus taught this.)