Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The tension in which we find ourselves when it comes to the accumulation of wealth and material possessions is a common one for Christians in the United States. This is a natural result of living in a culture that is driven by the pursuit of comfort. It is aggravated by the fact that so many of our tendencies when it comes to money, happiness, and success are conditioned by the world instead of being shaped by the Word of God. We strive for worldly kingship, but we are called to otherworldly kingdom participation. We pursue comfort as defined by our culture, but the only way we can truly follow Christ is to give up our fixation on material comfmis and become vulnerable to added sorrow and suffering by embracing the cross. Though we tend toward the cult of comfort, we must continually strive for Christ-likeness through sacrifice in order to fulfill our potential as Christians. Only by pursuing sacrificial living ahead of comfortable living can Christians and churches in the United States successfully participate in "kingdom come." Chapter one introduces this subject.
Chapter two looks at how embracing a culture of consumerism diverts the energy and resources of the Church. Chapter three focuses on how the pursuit of comfort drives people towards an escapist mentality that, in Christians, displaces the motivation to enlarge the kingdom of God. Chapter four discusses the cultural egocentricity of the United States and how this myopia prevents Christians here from truly serving the world as God's blessings have suited us to do. Chapter five points out how an aversion to suffering short -circuits the ability of the Church to stand as a sacrificial model of God's love. Finally, chapter six offers conclusions and some practical ideas for reorienting one's personal life and church life in such a way as to trade a comfort-driven mindset for a kingdom-driven one.
Leach, Raymond W., "The Cult of Comfort" (2006). Doctor of Ministry. 188.