Throwback Thursday: The “church” of the 21st-century

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a short post that was originally published back on January 28, 2016 and has been revised.


My wife and I have a nice 20-minute drive to church on Sunday mornings, mostly on a straight stretch of road. Invariably, we pass many people jogging on the side of the road, all dressed in their sporty attire. The route takes us past a couple of large gyms and their parking lots are always full. It’s great to try to stay in shape, but it looks like the gym has become the new “church” in our increasingly secularized society. People don’t know the Lord so they have to fill the emptiness in their soul with something. Not having the Lord as the center of their lives, they put all of their faith and hope in themselves.

I’m currently reading “The Courage to Be Protestant” by David F. Wells and came across this very relevant passage last night:

“Health clubs have increased as churches have declined in the West. It is not just a case of people being more health-conscious. It is the recognition that signs of aging betray us as becoming useless in a modernized world. That has to be avoided at all costs. And, perhaps more deeply, it is a case of people searching for a kind of secularized eternal life.” – page 164.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8

Addendum: Both Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness gym chains filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020 due to adverse business conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

20 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The “church” of the 21st-century

    1. Hi Mandy! I had the exact same thought while preparing this post. I’m sure many churches are struggling with their budgets right now and going forward some people will opt to stay at home and watch services online.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jimmy! Yeah, many of these health and fitness enthusiasts are as zealous as any cultist. They must have suffered psychological trauma with the gym lockdowns.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good thought, Bonnie. I pray the Holy Spirit uses people’s frustrations and fears connected to the pandemic and social unrest to draw them to Christ. I’ve read that Bible sales are way up during this pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

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