The Pleasure Business

Pornographers don’t sell pornography; they provide orgasms.

I know the institutional church thinks pornography is a sin, but they sure do like their business practices.  No, institutional churches are not selling pornography, but they do provide orgasms of a different more mental form.

As I started to question why I was doing what I was doing at church over the last decade or so, I concluded that I was attending just to pleasure myself (always looking for that next “spiritual high”).  I was not losing the “master of my domain” bet with my Seinfeld buddies, but I was definitely doing the act of mentally masturbating. 

I found myself engaging in useless, yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in my life.  I have come to learn that the system that runs church is a business set up to do exactly that… it promotes non-action. I could not wait for the next class to start in the fall.  The summer bibles studies were great.  Arguing in my small groups I attended was just what my body wanted.  It was a lot of surface talk, with no one wanting to know what the real problems in people’s lives were.  It was a life of acting perfect inside a world of fantasy.  But reality was everyone in the pews was struggling with something, but others would never know it.

Sounds a lot like what people use porn for, to pleasure themselves, and to escape reality, and live in a fantasy world… and it can be addicting.

The porn companies don’t seem to care much about how they get you what you want to see and hear.  The industry will just find ways to give people their pleasure.  They use postcards, magazines, theaters, DVD’s, online photos and videos, chat lines, webcams, and whatever else to get a returning customer.

The church subscribes to the same business model.

I was basically attending the First Church of Mental Masturbation.  I was there to pleasure myself, to gain more and more knowledge as an individual.  I was there to debate doctrine, and to be a master of it.  I feel the “church” has become a place for people to have their “needs met”.  They are there to stimulate themselves by enjoying what the music, what the pastor has to say, and/or how the program is ran having a “what can they do for me” attitude.

Just like porn being used for personal pleasure, mental masturbation at church gives no pleasure to anyone else either.  It is very difficult to find community, when a lot of people are focused on their personal relationship with Christ.  The focus needs to be on Christ (but the people who actually make up His Body), not the Jesus product the church sells in postcards, magazines, theaters, DVD’s, online photos and videos, chat lines, webcams, and what else to get a returning customer.    

I believe we exist to love one another, and to expose our hearts to see the garbage that we all really deal with.  We are to help the sick, the poor, the marginalized, and each other.

How could I get out and help others if I am too busy inside “mass-debating” a bunch of doctrines that I will never have the correct answer to.  Well, this was one of the reasons I left the institution of “church”, I was tired of pleasuring myself and I needed to focus on one another and not just myself.

If I could have found community inside the walls of the institution, I would have stayed.

Anyone else experience church in this way, or am I completely losing it?

9 thoughts on “The Pleasure Business

  1. Sadly, your experience is an honest depiction of much of Christianity. I really appreciate your vulnerability in this post. I too believe we are here to love people — to open up and offer them Jesus. I believe this starts with understanding “Who” He is and “What” He gave us. Your raw honesty has me looking forward to future posts. God bless you my brother.

  2. I agree with you. I have to say you put it in a way I wasn’t expecting, but sure hit the nail on the head. The church system is flawed and off base. Like you said, we want to go be enlightened and entertained, but lack the motivation to go into the world. We want people to come to us and let the pastor do the work. Fact is, we are all equal parts of the body, equal priests and ministers of the gospel. Christ is the head, but we’ve let the pastor take the lead. Unfortunately, this is the only system we have known, but it doesn’t release us from the leading of the Holy Spirit to understand our true identity and purpose in Christ.

    1. donewithreligion – Hey, hope all is going well with you and your family up in Ohio. Right or wrong, it sure does make you think, doesn’t it?

  3. Apt, very apt analogy. I really appreciate the shock value, I think the resonance of truth it gives would be lost among most the brethren. They would be to busy shouting heretic thinking it their defend to “defend God” they mistakenly think you are speaking of never realizing God in no way needs them to defend Him or that it’s their complacancy with which you take issue. Sing me a song, encourage me with a sweet funny story from your life which may or may not relate to Spiritual truth don’t matter just so long as I can leave here feeling happy. See you on Tuesday bible study I will tell you exactly what I think James 2:11 means and then you will be set straight and I will have done my work for the week. Go to the psych hospital and sing to the patientsToo depressing and scary. . Go to the children’s home? Nursing home? Too depressing. Too many feels. Here’s a check.

    Then they wonder why Christianity feels so empty. Oh I know let’s find out by having an experiencing the heart of Jesus workshop. But not on Thursday that’s when I bowl. I really love bowling.

    1. Wendy – Welcome! and thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my ramblings. It is probably more shocking to some, but sometimes the truth of how others see things is shocking. I really do not see much difference in the two business practices. I was thinking about the next post about this subject being that the preacher is the porn star that everyone is paying to see… maybe I will be ruffling more feathers 🙂

      1. I am a woman in Kentucky going to a southern baptist church. Trust me I suppose ruffle my share of feathers too. Once for actually having the audacity to suggest Christians should focus more on the ministry end of things instead of worrying about stopping this law or that law. maybe then a poor lonely woman could see hope, love, and a new begininning instead of a long car ride a few states over to the abortion clinic we proudly kept out cause not in our state were are Godly people. Or perish the thought we accept someone without judgement a woman we know to have aborted a child.

        But yet there’s this:
        “Hey you woman with four kid snd food stamps don’t you think you should be able to feed what you have before making more?”

        That last paragraph is a paraphrase of the moist offensive bumper sticker I ever saw sitting right next to a one declaring Christ as King.

  4. I am hoping this post makes the rounds on as many sites and blogs possible. You are merely saying it as things are in reality. And it does need to be said. I am going to send it to some of my ‘acquaintances’.

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