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Accommodation and the Lure of Sleeping in on Sundays

It was this conviction deficit, above all, that explains the failure of accommodationist churches to keep believers in the pews.

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Here their emulation of Jesus proved fatally incomplete. In their quest to be inclusive and tolerant and up-to-date, the accommodationists imitated his scandalously comprehensive love, while ignoring his scandalously comprehensive judgments. They used his friendships with prostitutes as an excuse to ignore his explicit condemnations of fornication and divorce. They turned his disdain for the religious authorities of his day and his fondness for tax collectors and Roman soldiers into a thin excuse for privileging the secular realm over the sacred. While recognizing his willingness to dine with outcasts and converse with nonbelievers, they deemphasized the crucial fact that he had done so in order to heal them and convert them—ridding the leper of his sickness, telling the Samaritans that so they would worship in spirit and truth, urging the woman taken in adultery to go, and from now on sin no more.

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In the process, they burned their candles at both ends, losing their more dogmatic parishioners to more fervent congregations and their doubters to the lure of sleeping in on Sundays.

—from Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat, Ch. 3: Accommodation

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