Church mode

“church mode”: a term I’ve heard used to describe the way people suddenly become different people once they enter the doors of the church on Sunday morning.

“It may be that Christians, not withstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final breakthrough to fellowship does not occur because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners (italics mine). The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everyone must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hyprocisy.” – from “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning (here quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

I think this lies at the heart of ‘church mode’. We cannot be seen as sinners on Sunday morning because only the righteous are there. Therefore, we become chameleons, so no one will see who we really are.