by Dr. Randy Hedlun
I arrived early enough to be seated and still have time to let my mind roam freely, considering this new environment in which I found myself. The relaxed and well-dressed crowd was filling the room’s neatly arranged rows of chairs. Most seemed to know each other or at least found many close acquaintances in the room. It seemed I was one of the few guests attending the event and there was no attempt to integrate me into the various conversations that formed and reformed around the room. It was quite pleasant to be in such accommodating facilities with soft music being played skillfully by professional live musicians in the background.
This was my first experience at a country club social pageant. My quizzical nature began probing the whole country club phenomenon. What motivated these people to join this club? Why invest time and money into maintaining these beautiful facilities and activities? My host that evening had been a member of several such organizations prior to his joining this one, and I couldn’t help wondering why this one was where he settled.
From the evidence in the parking lot outside and the attire of the crowd, substantial personal wealth was represented in that room. Of course, only a small portion was available to the club, that which was predetermined by the established dues and fees. However, a building program was underway at that time, and solicitation signs were posted, encouraging members to contribute more to the expansion of “their” club.
I don’t think I even began to formulate sufficient answers to my questions regarding the motivation to join such a club. But it did seem obvious from the composition of the crowd that commonality had a lot to do with it. It seemed these folks were seeking to associate more closely with people they were most like—ethnically, socially, and economically. At least this seemed to explain a lot to my wondering mind. There was justification for investing money, time, and energy into an organization that offered such engineered compatibility. It seemed the entire purpose was to participate in an organization that offered the greatest degree of commonality. This was an organization through which one could not only access social relationships with one’s own “kind” but also participate in activities that closely matched one’s personal interests.
How convenient and personally satisfying this arrangement seemed. And then another question occurred to me . . . What is the difference between this and the church?
God forgive us!
Dr. Randy Hedlun, is Dean of the Berean School of the Bible at Global University. For more information about Global, visit www.globaluniversity.edu