Thursday, October 06, 2005


Accommodate. v. to make fit; adjust; adapt; to reconcile.

Accommodation has long been a dangerous element in people's theology. The church today is no different. One of the antonyms listed by Roget's for 'accommodate' is 'inconvenience.' Churches that ask too much are considered an 'inconvenience,' an inconvenience that people are easily able to overcome:
1. Go to another church that has fewer inconveniences
2. Stay at the inconvenient church, but smooth over (and ignore) what is troubling.

Rather than taking an approach to the Bible and one's subsequent understanding of God that asks: What needs to change about me?, people would rather just accommodate their theology for the areas that they might 'disagree with.' Most churches have lost any notion of authority that has historically (and correctly) come from an authoritative view of Scripture. Christians (I use the term loosely) join churches but hold on to their own understanding of the ways things should be. Concerning the Bible, people read and even study it without being truly open to change within themselves. Maybe that's why there are 1,527,983.75 different theological positions within a church of 500 people.

Rather than working through conviction, our very nature is to figure out another way. We accommodate our beliefs rather than admit that our thinking on a topic is wrong. Very quietly the church is full of Jeffersonian Bibles with pages cut out and verses marked out. Sure, other verses are highlighted and underlined – these are agreeable – "I will live by these," we declare.

Not only on the level of how we live, but our very understanding of God is shaped more by how we think God should be than by what the Bible actually says: "I don't think God is like that" or "I can't believe in a God like that." A person who accommodates the God of the Bible to be the god of their wishes cannot be called "Christian."

Likewise, entire churches and denominations are built on a spirit of accommodation. "Loving" or "compassionate" are usually key terms emphasized as the reason for their convenient interpretation of Scripture. "Acceptance" is more important than any biblical standard of how believers should live. The latest CNN poll on public opinion is their Bible. Their own feelings serve as their 'god.'

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