“Live Better. Help Often. Wonder More.”
That’s the motto of Sunday Assembly Austin, a congregation located about forty minutes from my house. The church hopes to “help everyone live life as fully as possible.”
They have a compelling weekly gathering that’s part of a global network of congregations. Together they sing songs, listen to readings and teachings, encourage giving and service, and strive to live in community.
But there’s one important detail I left out: they’re godless.
THE SECULAR CHURCH
The “Sunday Assembly” congregations seem like their own church, but not the kind we see laid out in Acts 2. The Acts 2 church studies the Word together, breaks bread together, and prays together, all to God’s praise (Acts 2:42, 46-47).
But this assembly is different. No prayer opens or closes the services. The songs are not worshipful, but inspirational. The talks they give are not about the God of Scripture. There is total disenchantment.
The first fragment of their motto—“Live Better”—is the thumbnail of secularism.
Sunday Assembly deals out weekly injections of positivity and motivation that suggest attendees live by their own core values: relaxing, eating, drinking, and being merry. The goal in view is to make this life the best it can be, because for a secularist, this is all there is. The “present” is King.
A Sunday Assembly could never imitate a church, but a church could imitate a Sunday Assembly. And sadly, they often do.
Christians are prone to associating the threat of secularism with those outside the church walls who cuss and watch bad TV shows and have abhorrent political stances. But the threat of secularism is closer than we realize. Indeed, it’s often in our pews and behind our pulpits.