Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twice a year is not enough!

Easter (and its related holidays) is now over and its back to work! Whilst driving around this weekend, I saw a very good yet disturbing sight - full church parking lots.

Before you jump to any conclusions, let me explain. I see this trend twice a year. Many people who do not go to church on a regular basis cram into the local church on two occasions a year, namely Easter and Christmas, for reasons that elude me and sometimes even them. Possible reasons are guilt, a sense of duty and so on.
Why only twice a year? I can understand the timing of the mass entrance to churches being the birth and death of Jesus Christ but what about the rest of the year? He came to save you ALL YEAR ROUND not just because you felt the need to go twice a year.

He is your best friend and Saviour and this is how you treat Him? How would you feel if your best friend (and Saviour) came to visit twice a year?


  1. I agree- in part. Those who come to attend services twice a year are responding to a call. They may be a bit selective in hearing the reat of the year!

  2. Long overdue response.
    Why does anyone go to church at all? No doubt people have many different reasons both conscious and unconscious. Psychological research has identified certain personality types as having different reasons.

    A widely accepted method of measuring personality type is the Five Factor Model (FFM) which measures:

    Neuroticism: anxiety, angry-hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsivity, vulnerability.
    Extraversion: warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement-seeking, positive emotions.
    Openness to experience: fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, values.
    Agreeableness: trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, tender-mindedness.
    Conscientiousness: competence, order, dutifulness, achievement-striving, self discipline, deliberation.

    It has been argued that religiousness should be included with these factors as it is a universal factor in the human experience. As most research has been done on Christian samples, researchers at Wits University have included religious orientation and religious affiliation.

    Some researchers studying psychology and religion have defined two approaches to religion; Extrinsic religious orientation (ERO) and intrinsic religious orientation (IRO). ERO is characterized by those individuals who use religion for their own ends; for what they can get from it such as social prestige or status, approval, comfort or protection. IRO is found in those who embrace, and try to live by, a religious creed. Their commitment to their beliefs is evident in every aspect of their lives. They live their religion as opposed to using their religion.

    Although there are always exceptions, people who score highly on the agreeableness and conscientiousness scales of the FFM, are likely to practice IRO. People who exhibit ERO are likely to score higher on Neuroticism and Extroversion. The Openness to experience measurement show mixed results.

    It was also suggested that religious commitment should be measured i.e. the degree to which a person adheres to their religious values and beliefs in daily life. Another factor is the difference between religiousity and spirituality as it has been shown a relationship where openness is related to spirituality and closedness to religion.

    As in all studies of the human condition, the debate is endless. It remains for each individual to consider their own spirituality and religious orientation, affiliation and commitment.