I am reading a free e-book entitled ‘Unintended Consequences‘ in which the author, Andrew Brims, delves into the quagmire of today’s church.
It is quite interesting, as he lays it out for us, to really understand what has happened through the years of ‘church-dom’ and religiosity to where it is today.
He is challenging all of us, as followers of Christ, to truly become seekers of the Kingdom of God and to live Christ instead of being pew/bench warmers in a building.
Aside from a few typos Andrew has done an excellent piece of work and I encourage everyone to read ‘Unintended Consequences‘.
Here is an excerpt…
THE PARABLE OF WEDDINGVILLE
There was a strange town called Weddingville, with a large community of friends
all of a similar age. One summer many of the friends fell in love and decided to
get married in the coming year. One evening they sat down and were careful
to plan dates so that none of the weddings coincided and they could all attend
each other’s big days. By the end of the evening, every Saturday for the next two
years was booked with weddings. None of them could wait, and two years of
weekly weddings seemed like paradise to them – what could be more special?
And their town was called Weddingville after all!
The first wedding took place, and it was a joyful occasion – the church was full,
the bride gorgeous, the service moving, the reception splendid, the speeches
funny – it was truly a magnificent day. The first four weddings continued much
the same in this vein – glamorous, joyous and memorable. The hairs stood up on
the back of people’s necks at various points during the days and nobody in the
town could foresee a time when they would feel anything other than love and
excitement towards a wedding.
After a year or so, several interesting things were happening in Weddingville:
– the wedding craze had taken hold and Saturdays for the next few years were
booked for weddings.
– in fact, the popularity of weddings meant that several different churches began
to hold wedding services concurrently, even though it probably would have been
better for everyone to have been at each wedding, and the spirit of competition
didn’t seem quite appropriate given their ‘market’. They each advertised their
services differently – but, well, a wedding’s a wedding isn’t it.
– several industries had sprung up around the town, and lots of money was
being made by wedding planners, wedding singers, vicars, dress makers,
photographers, and others.
– nobody had solved the ‘children’ problem – invite them to the wedding and they
made noise throughout, don’t invite them and who was there to look after them,
as the whole town was at the wedding?
– a few people were beginning to suffer from ‘wedding burnout’ – particularly the
church leaders, who had begun to recycle their wedding talks – or swap them
amongst each other. On the other hand, some church leaders were beginning to
make a good living as trainers and wedding consultants.
– others in the town were beginning to show signs of ‘wedding addiction’ and
struggled to cope with life when they went on holiday and missed a Saturday
– financially, those who weren’t part of the wedding industry were beginning to
struggle as presents were paid for, clothes bought /hired /dry cleaned, stag do’s
and hen do’s attended week on week.
– many were conducting their friendships solely in the context of weddings – they
didn’t have time for anything else, so they only saw each other in their best suits,
over amazing meals. It was difficult for anyone to share their struggles as nobody
wants to spoil a wedding do they?
– most of the town were putting on weight, with a weekly diet of wedding buffet
spread out before them every Saturday proving difficult to work off during the
rest of the week.
– it was becoming difficult for a wedding to ‘stand out’, some tried gimmicks,
others played with the order of the day, some went for themed weddings, but it
was now quite unusual for a wedding to still be talked about later in the week.
You couldn’t say they were ‘bad’, weddings are good things after all, but ‘stand
out’ – no, there were precious few of those.
– a growing minority in the town were beginning to question whether weekly
weddings were in fact a good thing, but they were generally poo-pooed and
seen as bad sports or against marriage or relationships in general. They also
were not too vocal, as who wants to be president of the “anti-wedding” brigade?
– a few people in the town simply stopped attending weddings, and only going
when it was a close relative’s wedding. This was occasionally socially awkward,
but many, secretly, could see their logic.
Another year rolled on and it was time for the final wedding of the original two
– the first weddings seemed like a distant memory.
Many had gotten rich from the town, but were soon to move on to somewhere else now the time of weddings was beginning to dwindle. Church leader’s recovery groups were beginning to do a roaring trade.
Most of the town did not attend the final wedding of the year. Only the wedding addicts were looking forward to the coming year of yet more weddings, and they quite enjoyed the fact they could predict the rest of the day as soon as they were handed their order of service. In a sad irony, wedding addict’s marriages were beginning to struggle as the weekly weddings took away so much time and money they could have been investing in their own relationships.
Weekly weddings proved a strange and costly existence for the townsfolk of
Weddingville – but how can you not like a wedding?
Download the Free E-book …’Unintended Consequences‘