What will replace the self checkouts?

Yesterday was a tough decision about cancelling church.  Last week we had one consolidated worship at 11.  This week, after the plowing left a wet parking lot and with the temperature plummeting throughout the day which would have left the parking lot a sheet of ice, we cancelled.  I hate cancelling church.  But did we technically cancel?  We did not gather at the church building, but at 11:00 I preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ for 22 minutes live on Facebook, really reaching way more than what we would have reached had we gathered at the church.  And people are still watching the sermon today collecting nearly 500 views.  (You may be able to watch it by clicking here.)  So, did we have church?  “Old school” folks would definitely argue we did not.  I could argue that we did.  It was just different.  We certainly missed something not gathering together in person, but gathering together online was an adequate alternative. It may even lead me to start broadcasting the sermons on FB Live weekly.

Seeing things change brings me to the self checkouts at Walmart.  Our local Walmart will be down to about 6 checkout lanes, and will likely have a couple of dozen self-checkouts.  It was chaos while they were installing them.  I assume they are done.  I have not been there in the last couple of weeks.  People are sharing a meme that goes something like this: “If I wanted to check myself out and bag my own groceries, I would get a job at Walmart”.  I predict there will come a day when self checkouts are replaced.  I believe one day, you will bag your groceries & items as you go.  When you get to the front of the store you will wheel your cart right out to your car.  A scanner will pick up on everything you bought and pick up your credit card (or do an eye scan) and it will all be deducted from your account or charged to your “credit card”.  It will be impossible to shoplift (even as I say this I know criminals find ways).  People may even send their self driving vehicles to the store to be loaded and sent back to them.  Or going to a store may become a thing of the past entirely, with everything being sent to your home quicker than you could go to the store.

It does no good to long for the way things used to be.  Things are constantly changing.  I understand change.  Yet when it comes to the Word of God, change is not an option.  The world is trying to draw the church in and wants the church to change.  The world wants the church to approve of the ways of the world.  Some in the church are going right along, disregarding what the Bible teaches about the hot topics of our culture.  Some claim it is loving to embrace the ways of the world, and allow everyone to make up their own “truth”.  In addition, some go as far as to argue it is unloving not to affirm the ways of the world.  I disagree.  The Bible teaches “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12).   Methods have changed and will change in the church, but the Word remains the same.  We must not decide what we desire and then try to use Scripture to justify it.  We must look at the Word of God and proclaim it, regardless of how it is accepted.

We shall not seek to understand in order that we may believe, but to believe that we may understand. ~ A.W. Tozer

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