In the business world, there are many companies that operate on the philosophy that the customer is always right. In other words, do what the customer wants you to do. The idea is, keep the customer happy, keep him coming back.
Some religious organizations have adopted this same philosophy. They believe in doing what the people want. Keep them happy, keep them coming back. This is evident from all the entertainment activities offered at various churches. Plays are more popular than ever. Softball and basketball teams continue to draw people. There are even churches that offer financial seminars, weight loss programs, and parties on Super Bowl Sunday.
The problem with “the-customer-is-always-right” attitude in churches is, it is wrong. The religion of Jesus Christ is built on the philosophy that the customer is wrong. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mk. 2:17). Jesus did not come to please men, but to save them. Often, His words and actions turned men away: the rich young ruler (Mk. 10:17-22); the multitudes (Jn. 6:60-66); the Pharisees and lawyers (Lk. 11:37-54).
When men turned away from the Lord, He did not change His message or actions to bring them back. For instance, when the rich young ruler turned away, Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk. 10:23). Many “preachers” today would think of this young man’s money and influence as a ruler. They would seek to please him and bring him back. Not so with the Lord.
The apostles followed the example of Christ. Their words and actions did not please most men. Peter, John, and the other apostles were persecuted in Jerusalem (Acts 4, 5). Paul and Barnabas were pursued from city to city by those seeking their death (Acts 13, 14). When in Athens, Paul was mocked for preaching the resurrection of the dead (Acts 17). The apostles did not seek to please men, but the Master. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).
The customer is not always right. Rather, in religion, the customer is wrong and needs to change (Acts 3:19). The religion of Christ does not need to change to fit the desires and expectations of man. Man needs to change to fit the will and way of God (Rom. 8:29; 12:1-2; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:1-2). If you are part of a church that seeks to please men, one that has the “customer-is-always-right” attitude, you need to leave immediately. It is an apostate group, deceitful, and will lead you to damnation (Matt. 15:7-14). Contact us for assistance with this and/or further study.
Steven F. Deaton