Last week I made biscuits. I am not talking about canned or frozen biscuits, but homemade biscuits. I always bought frozen pucks and baked them, and they were pretty good, but they are so expensive! One time I decided to try scratch biscuits and I could not believe how easy they were. I never looked back. Some flour, salt, butter, milk, and baking powder, and BAM. Homemade scratch biscuits.
Baking powder is the leavening agent that makes the biscuit dough rise. To rise, all dough needs a “leavening” agent. For bread, yeast is used. The interesting thing about bread dough is that sometimes you are told to let it rise, punch it down, and then it will rise again. That made me think of the life of a Christian and the Church during this pandemic as we have all felt punched down again and again.
This pandemic seems to be accelerating the decline of cultural Christianity. Cultural Christianity is a religion of convenience. Anything that makes following Jesus inconvenient stops the movement, if you could even call it a movement. You could also call it nominal Christianity or lukewarm Christianity. People looking for an excuse to stay home from church now have a good one. People who want to gather with the body to worship Jesus have not quit doing so for the last year and a half as enough churches have held “outside church” from the beginning of the pandemic. In his book The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus says the church is meant to be an unstoppable force, but to stop the American church, all you need to do is change the worship time. Or I might add “begin meeting outside.”
Actually, the pandemic has not stopped the church. The pandemic has only served to make what remains of the church more committed and concentrated. We have ended up with a smaller group of people, but a group willing to gather under less than ideal circumstances, like most of the Christians in the world do every Sunday. I cannot wait to see what the Lord does with what remains of the faithful in America. And I do not just mean faithful in attendance and finances, but faithful to historic Christianity.
I realize some of you reading this may feel like I am calling you or others out as lukewarm. I am not. If you feel angered by this post, you need to ask yourself if it might be the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If you have a legitimate reason for not gathering with other believers, or for anything else related to your faithfulness to God, then you have peace about that with Him. And if you are upset because you feel like you have grown distant from God through this, then turn to the Lord. He is always waiting with open arms. He is faithful. He welcomes you back.
The recipe is as follows: Combine 4 cups flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp salt. Use a bladed pastry blender to cut 1 1/2 sticks butter, add to dry ingredients and continue chopping in until it’s mixed in (crumbly, butter barely noticeable). Add 1 1/2 cups milk. Mix together, not over mixing. Place on floured surface folding it over on itself 6 times or so. Flatted by hand to 3/4 inch. Cut with biscuit cutter, straight down, not turning cutter. Bake on parchment paper, biscuits placed about an inch apart, at 425 for 13 minutes. (Placing butter in freezer for 10 minutes before you start is a good tip. Keep milk cold. If you’re making multiple batches, put milk back in fridge in between use.)