The title to this entry refers to what I call Sunday Only Christians, though it could be applied to any religious or philosophical group. To me it means the people who keep in mind the core teaching of their religion only on the days that they are in church or their faith’s / group’s meeting place.
What makes it so hard for people to practice every day the higher ideas of human relations espoused in their religion? I have no answers, only guesses.
The first time I ran into this issue was in the time leading up to my confirmation into my parents’ church, the First Congregational Church. A member of our church, a businessman, was asked to speak to us. He talked about donating money to the church and other non-profits, but he also veered off about not letting Jesus keep him from profits by cheating suppliers and keeping employee expenses extra low. The impression I came away with is he spoke of church as a method of covering his sinning ass just in case there is a Christian heaven.
I was unable to see how that fit with the Golden Rule or the teachings of Jesus we were studying on our way to confirmation. I wondered why the minister allowed him to speak with us. Maybe he was a big donor.
Is Sunday Only syndrome simply a case of a lack of moral courage to put into practice what people claim to believe? Over the years I have run into people who use the idea that the other side has to make the first move. It is sort of the case of I want to practice my generosity, charity and faith, but I won’t unless I know you do it first.
Do Sunday Only people not actually believe in their religion’s teachings? It seems so to me in the case I mentioned above. The profit motive was that business man’s religion and our church was his hedge on his bet. I think he truly enjoyed the challenge of the rat-race and dog-eat-dog competition, and only went to church for the appearance of propriety and faith. It could be his standing in the business community required membership in a church.
Maybe the Sunday Only Christians I have interacted with are really Old Testament Christians and prefer an-eye-for-an-eye mentality or not sparing the rod? Maybe they mirror the way they were raised at home when they were kids?
In the late 1990s, when I lived in Taos, New Mexico I met meditation hour only Buddhists, who had massive egos the rest of the week. I have wondered if their practice really helped them in the sense of soul and peace of mind, or if it simply helped them get through each week with the added stresses their egos place upon them?
It takes commitment to principle to live each day toward a higher philosophy or religion, to place those words into action. It also takes courage due to the risks, taking a loss in earning potential.
The loss in earning potential comes from striving to be a quality person and employee / employer, because you are not placing your emphasis on profit, getting ahead or climbing the success ladder.
I do not suggest I am saintly, but I know I place effort into being a quality person and living my core beliefs, like the golden rule, everyday, not just on Sunday. I believe a great deal is accomplished by common courtesy, especially please and thank you.
If you have thoughts on this or an example, please share.
Love & Light