Calling all pew potatoes!

It’s a common temptation: “It won’t be long,” we think.  “I’ll leave the car running and be right back.”  When one man in Niagara Falls, New York did that, he returned to find that his car had its own agenda.  While he was gone to mail a letter, his car had slipped into reverse and, with its wheels set just right, was circling a suburban parking lot at 15-20 mph.  It continued its leisurely backwards circles for two hours without hitting anything.

Several years ago I noticed some similarities between my life and that car.  My engine was running, I was moving along at a comfortable pace, and I wasn’t ramming into anyone.  But the scenery tended to be strikingly familiar, in a backwards sort of way. 

Quick thinker that I am, I realized that I had a problem.  I had a tremendous amount of religious information that was doing no good to anyone.  In short, I was a “pew potato.” 

In this blog I am going to ask if there are any others out there in the blogosphere (that’s a cute name for people sitting in front of their computers), who might be in the same situation.  I will challenge all of us to do something about it.

What about that car in the parking lot?  A very quick and nimble volunteer fireman was able to jump into the car and make it behave.  That was after fire hoses had been turned on the car engine to try to short it and stop the car.

Please don’t wait until the fire hoses are turned on you.

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3 Responses to Calling all pew potatoes!

  1. Mike Freeman says:

    “Calling All Pew Potatoes” suggests a characterization of many Christians today . . . and therefore many of our churches as well. The term ‘couch potato’ causes us to visualize the unhealthy, unmotivated, and uninspiring man on the couch that drains away his days watching a television. His poor diet, lack of exercise, and obsession with watching others has left him barely able to do anything himself. He watches the secret agent on the tv show doing so many feats of strength, stealth, and skill all the while imagining that he is a secret agent too. But he never expects to actually be one or to need to use any of those skills.

    Is this what is happening in our churches? Do we respond to Sunday sermons like we respond to a weekly tv drama. . . simply looking forward to the next installment? “Pastor Joe sure was on fire today! I wonder what he has in store for us next week?” We hear moving stories of God’s work and imagine being in the story and serving alongside the christian in the fray, but actually going out to do it never really enters our mind? Can such a spectator mentality really inspire us in our faith?

    I ask my son if he would keep playing soccer if I told him he could practice but could never play in any games. Would he be motivated to practice week in and week out? Unlikely. It is the desire to support your team and compete with other players in a game that motivates someone to practice. Granted, the motivation could be in a healthy desire to compete and win or in an unhealthy fear of failure. Either way the anticipation of the game motivates one to prepare.

    So if so many of us Christians do not really plan to be ‘in the game’. . . how can we expect to be motivated to prepare for it? Why would we have commitment to study God’s word (corporately or privately) if we don’t expect to need its truths to give us discernment as we live or answers as we witness?

    I see “Calling All Pew Potatoes” as an invitation for Christians to examine our desire to live out the gospel. Let’s not think of all of those we know that are more ‘pew potato’ than we are. Rather, let’s ask God to continue to teach each of us to run the good race and fight the good fight so when we finish we might hear our Father say “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

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  2. Leonard Niemi says:

    When you reference the Qur’an could you please give the their scripture location also ?

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    • Good point.
      On the immutability of God’s Word, Surah 6:34 states, “There is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah.” Surah 6:115 and Surah 10:64 make similar statements.

      On the affirmation of the Bible as God’s Word, Surah 5:43 states, “But why do they come to thee [Muhammed] for decision, when they have (their own) law before them? Therein is the (plain) command of Allah; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) people of faith.” Here the Qur’ an treats the Old Testament as reliable in Muhammed’s time, since the context in verse 41 references the Jews as the ones being spoken to.

      Verse 47 states, “Let the people of the Injil (Gospel) judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.”
      Verse 48 goes further, “To thee [Muhammed] we sent the Scripture [Qur’ an] in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it [the Bible], and guarding it in safety; so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee.” Note also the phrase, “guarding it in safety,” which plainly states that God protected the Bible.

      Surah 29:46 is very interesting: “And dispute ye not with the People of the Book [Jews], except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); but say, ‘we believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One, and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'”

      Other references where the Qur’ an affirms:
      The Torah, the Psalms, or both….Surah 4:54; 6:91-92; 6:154; 17:55; 21:103-105; 28:43; 32:23; 40:53-54; 45:16; 46:12
      The Torah and the Gospel Surah 3:3-4; 2:87-91, (this passage is especially strong): 2:97, 101;
      the Bible in general Surah 10:94; 16:43; 21:7

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