This post describes coffee shops as an analogy of post-modern Churchianity.
Targeted Readership: All
There’s been a lot of very serious posts lately, concerning masculine leadership, personal testimonies, the FISA dossier, the convergence of the Episcopal Church with 4th Wave Feminism, the destruction of SJW activism, MGTOW grievances, etc. Not saying there’s anything wrong with seriousness, but I thought I’d offer some humor to lighten our load this week.
[Eds. disclaimer: This article is intended as a satire directed against the convergence of the church, AKA ‘Churchianity’ and the feminist-inflicted desperation of the common man. It is not an accurate depiction of a life of true faith in Jesus Christ. Some very religious conservatives may be offended at some of the content.]
Just for the record, I would identify as an Evangelical Mennonite, and yes, I enjoy hanging out and working on my laptop at family owned coffee shops.
The post-modern Christian church has become very similar to a coffee shop. The following citations from various sources contain descriptions of coffee shops. In these descriptions, I’ll add the word Church behind each mention of ‘café’, ‘coffee shop’, ‘coffee house’, etc., along with other word substitutions relevant to the analogy, namely, ‘coffee’ is a metaphor of the gospel message (or sermon), and ‘WiFi’ is equivalent to an environmental presence, which might be the Holy Spirit in some churches, or in others more fully converged, it might be a tacit acceptance of cultural norms, fashions, or trends.
“Coffee houses [Churches] have a long tradition in American society as a place where people could meet and discuss ideas or just enjoy each other’s company. They were the Facebook of an earlier generation. But in the 1990s, their role (and number) expanded greatly. While some patrons still do socialize at their local cafés [churches], many [feminists and complementarians] do not, and use them as a third place — not quite home and not quite work, but with elements of both.” 
“Given the amenities of sockets [single women], good AC [a vibrant and comfortable, yet spiritually chilly, social atmosphere], a clean bathroom [a safe space to gripe and complain], and relatively stable Wi-Fi [either the Holy Spirit, or a tacit acceptance of cultural ideologies], it’s easy to understand why one person can linger for five hours at the shop [church], even though the purchase is just a drink or a small snack [$5 bucks in the plate]… [But] A few people find the latter behavior a bit off-putting and even abusive. Does a coffee shop [church] really profit from ‘overstaying customers’? Is there such a thing as ‘overstaying’ in the first place?” 
“The store owners [churches] who need to make a profit, the customers who want a quiet place to study [socialize and virtue signal], the ones who like to spread out [hang out] and those who just plain want a seat for five minutes [!!!]. They all have different needs and perceptions.” 
“For students and professionals [i.e. lefties], coffee shops [churches] are the best option between a library and their bed.” 
“Make your purchase and the seat is yours — if you can find one. What you do with it and how long you sit there is pretty much your own business.” 
“I know it sounds like a worn-out publicity spiel. But when you think about it, it’s quite true. With groups of students taking up several tables [pews], you’d think the coffee shop [church] would be charging them a little bit more, or prioritizing customers who order more than the small-sized servings. But Chuck says that’s not the case for most of these establishments. ‘What you would rather have as a coffee shop [church] are not big-time customers but regular customers. And that your coffee shop [church] is often full of people.’ In this sense, a customer who spends P2,000 on one big order once every few months isn’t as profitable as the average student who comes in and spends P150 at least thrice every week.” 
“It’s also why coffee shops [churches] put a premium on the [worship] ‘experience’. When you think about the coffee shop [church] you frequent the most, you can’t honestly say you just go for the coffee [the gospel sermon]. ‘That’s the trend when selling anything these days: the experience [contemporary praise music, hosted by attractive and talented song leaders]. Coffee [the gospel sermon] is expensive [i.e. the blood of Christ] in these cafes [churches], whether run by a big chain or by an independent group, but you just don’t pay for the coffee [sermon] anyway,’ says Chuck. When it comes to smaller coffee operations [churches], on the other hand, they do limit your stay, it’s just done covertly [!!!]. Chuck explains that this is why some shops [churches] have policies when it comes to Wi-Fi access [ibid.] such as [church] membership cards or against bringing in food [doctrine] from other establishments [denominations]. These rules change per shop [church], depending on the market they want to reach and the profit they want.” 
“This can lead to some spirited customer disagreements. Are you taking up one seat or four? How long can you hold a seat for another person? [Predestination or Free Will? Are female Pastors and h0m0sexuals permitted?] Employees [pastors, priests, deacons] are often asked to arbitrate these disputes. But there’s usually little they can do but apologize and appeal to customers’ better nature.” 
“So is this behavior fair for the business side of a coffee shop [church]? Is there a proper coffee cup to hours spent ratio [perceived religiosity] we must all secretly know [displaying ‘virtue’]? I asked Chuck Crisanto, businessman and former coffee shop owner. [He said,] ‘For big coffee shops [churches], they have an open policy. That means you can go in, get a drink, and stay forever. These establishments have found that it’s more profitable to have that community image, where everyone is welcome and free to stay.’” 
“Chains [large denominations] have policies. Local shops [smaller churches] show a little more variation on what is and isn’t acceptable customer behavior. But by and large, it’s the customers themselves who set the boundaries in this ongoing cultural experiment.” 
I know from experience that to get into good standing with any protestant denominational church, there are just four requirements.
- Don’t smoke, drink, cuss or chew, and don’t associate with those who do!
- Show up every time the church doors are open, without fail, for several months.
- Give a tithe regularly. The amount doesn’t matter very much.
- Apply for church membership.
Even if a person only does the first two things on the list, then they’ll be ‘in like Prynne’ in no time, and soon perceived by the whole congregation as being fine, upstanding members of the church. Everything else, including many specific beliefs (like feministic ideologies), are negotiable or tolerable. But why is propinquity such a powerful force?
“Merely being physically present with other people – not interacting with them in any way – gave study participants a sense of security, the researchers found. It could be that even if people aren’t directly communicating they are sending subtle cues to one another, Chou notes. But this ‘mere presence effect’ was evident only when participants were around people who seemed to share their social identity or belong to the same broad group.” 
“[The completion of a task / social conformity] depended on ‘convergent thinking’ [Heh, yeah!]: the ability to come up with the correct answer to a complex problem…. [These] tasks required a creative approach to problem solving, but they did not depend on ‘divergent thinking’: the ability to explore many possible solutions to a problem and to see connections between seemingly unrelated ideas… Our research suggests that we are best with convergent creativity when we are around other people, but it could be that divergent creativity requires seclusion… Many workplaces [churches], Chou notes, are already set up in ways that contribute to people’s sense of security in the presence of others: open spaces without high barriers that interrupt lines of sight.” 
“…open spaces without high barriers that interrupt lines of sight.” This sounds just like a church sanctuary or a sports stadium, both of which are places of Group Flow (or mob mentality). Perhaps Group Flow could be a contributing factor towards the appeal of such places.
If a person clings to a divergent form of creativity (i.e. an individual experience of Flow) for too long, to the point of butting heads with the other fine, upstanding members who have more seniority in the church, then he’ll soon be advised to ‘visit’ the ‘other church’ down the road, which has members who think in a more similar manner. Hence, the desire for Group Flow may possibly be the reason why Protestantism has split into thousands of denominations since the Reformation, and continues on quite happily.
It is important to have a habit of regular church attendance, to the point of becoming a regular church goer. But once this discipline has been established, I believe it may be in God’s best interests for people to visit other churches from time to time. It broadens the knowledge of God, and teaches people other ways to worship and serve the Lord. It also enhances the formation of relationships with other believers. Perhaps most importantly, people would also face the challenge of learning to worship God as an individual.
In other words, don’t spend all your money at one coffee shop [church] establishment. The more coffee you taste, the better you’ll be able to discern what good coffee really is.
“In both experiments, participants who were in the presence of others were more likely to solve the problems than those who were alone. Perhaps ironically, the sense of security we gain from being around others may push us out of our comfort zones, enabling us to take certain kinds of cognitive risks.” 
I know from experience that regular church attendance does improve one’s general sense of confidence and security. But if the church is a microcosm of beliefs that are strongly influenced by cults of personality among the leaders, this could grow into something grotesque.
“A disgruntled San Francisco customer who bought a coffee, found out that the shop [church] didn’t offer Wi-Fi [either the Holy Spirit or an acceptance of cultural ideologies] and demanded a refund. They didn’t get the refund but instead sold the coffee to another customer, stormed out and presumably never came back again.” 
That’s exactly the kind of independent, self-seeking comfort zone that the church should be pushing people out of! Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, most churches cater to the preferences of its members out of fear of ‘offending’ them and losing membership.
Selecting From the Menu
A while ago, an experiment was conducted in a coffee shop. The line of questioning went like this.
- What is your favorite coffee? [65% of respondents said, “aromatic dark roast”.]
- When was the last time you had a cup of (the favorite coffee named in the previous response)? [Average response: 5 weeks]
- What kind of coffee are you drinking now? Or… The last coffee you had was what kind of coffee? [45% of respondents had something with milk added.]
From Dark Brightness: Spoiled Rotten. (February 2, 2018)
“You would think that there would be a great deal of cognitive dissonance, i.e. that they would struggle to reconcile the differences between their political [or coffee, or doctrinal] ideals and their way of life. Apparently, though, they are happy to play a game…”
I have observed that many so called ‘worldly’ people do conscribe to many of God’s truths, and thereby avail of the blessings of His promises, while at the same time, they deny the Lordship of Christ with their minds and mouths.
On the other hand, there are many ‘Christians’ who profess Jesus as Lord and fill their minds with scriptures, yet their lives fail to conform to God’s ordained order, thus causing them to miss out on the fruits of the spirit, and the tangible benefits of their faith.
So we see the same phenomenon occurring with both coffee, and religion. Not sure if this observation has any correlation to the political spectrum or not. I suspect that it does as well.
I don’t believe that the majority of these people are consciously ‘playing a game’, although some of them could be. Ultimately, I believe that this phenomenon arises because people’s minds are vainglorious (Ephesians 4:17), and blissfully unaware of what is really going on in their hearts and lives.
So what is the common denominator for all of this dissonance?
I think most of this happens at the meta-consciousness level, and it goes on as a little ‘discussion’ between each person’s Ego, Superego, Animus and Id (if you can tolerate the Freudian constructs), with the Superego acting as the ‘Barista of Beliefs’.
The typical ‘discussion’ with the self is something like this.
[Eds. note: Notice that true faith, and the logical, conscious mind, never come into the ‘conversation’.]
Ego: This quiet desperation is killing me! I want a little Patriarchal structure in my life. What about social order and a devoted wife?
Id: No, I just want sex! Blonde… D-cup… Now!
Superego Barista: [Ignores Id] Well, there are only four flavors to choose from. Amish, Mennonite, and Eastern Orthodoxy have Jesus added, and if you don’t like Jesus in your life, then there’s Islam. You know, the Jesus flavor has lost its original recipe due to some trademark wars, and doesn’t taste quite the same anymore. Actually most people are more concerned about their selfie images while holding the cup, rather than the health benefits. So considering that perspective, Orthodoxy appears medieval and monastic, and Mennonites are seen to be rural rednecks. As for the Amish, everyone loves the smooth tang of technology, so no one takes them seriously anymore. As a result, Islam is steadily growing in popularity, and has recently expanded their market share into western society. Believe it or not, even Liberals love Islam, and naïve single women especially!
Id: Amish sounds good! I hear the women are virgins!
Ego: [Ignores Id.] Hmmm…
Superego Barista: I understand. Well, now, if you can tolerate a matriarchal structure, then there are a lot of flavors to choose from. Roman Catholicism, and most of its Protestant offshoots, have a little matriarchy mixed in, with ‘Hail Mary’s’, female Pastors and Deaconesses, and all that.
Id: Are there any females in the missionary position?
Superego Barista: Baptists have many female missionaries, but they’re very imperialistic. Not what you’re thinking of. But if you’re one who’s into that old fetish of Calvinistic dualism combined with female leadership, the Presbyterian church can hook you up. If you prefer female leadership without the duality of Calvinism, then Nazarene is the way to go.
Society: No, that’s too old school these days. Nazarenes are tasteless, and Calvinists still accept masculinity, and that’s gone out of season.
Animus: Yeah! Where’s the party?
Superego Barista: If you’re looking for a rollicking good time, there’s the Assembly of God, Pentecostal, and the Four Square churches. You can talk in jibberish, do backflips and walk across the backs of the pews, but it’s all non-alcoholic, mind you.
Animus: A party without alcohol?
Ego: There ought to be some degree of formal refinement, ties and jackets maybe?
Superego Barista: I get you. Well, traditional Catholicism is very formal, the women are more decent than most, and… they’re obsessed with sex! Sounds like it might be right for you.
Id: Maybe so, but don’t they advocate sex within marriage, no contraceptives, and no cohabitation? I don’t know… Marriage is a disaster these days! It’s just too risky!
Ego: Yeah, and beside that, there’s always some news about the priests putting in the rough with boys. I have reservations…
Superego Barista: Let’s see… In fact, there’s a new strain of evangelical Protestantism that is following the seasonal trend. So if you’re really into highly selective breeding based on the feminine imperative, expertly blended with technology and wealth, then your nearest Protestant labeled church should be able to serve you a ready-to-go mixture of Feminist Churchianity. You can identify it by the generic label, ‘non-denominational’, because they’ll sell you anything you want, as long as it doesn’t contain Patriarchy and it’s not staunchly traditional. Because of its current popularity, and to improve the sales quotient, they’ve chosen a customer targeted marketing strategy. Money is the bottom line in business, you understand. So most of their products have watered down the Jesus ingredient, and totally eliminated Patriarchy from the menu. I have to warn you, this blend is soft on the palate and has pleasant tasting notes, but it has a very bitter finish. Most people like to add something sweet, like substance abuse, divorce fantasy or p0rn, just to take the edge off. Of course, those things are not on the label.
Animus: I hear non-denominational churches have interracial couples. I’d like to check that out!
Superego Barista: [Ignores Animus.] If you want to try the latest, then the cutting edge fashion flavor of the month is the Fourth Wave Feminist speedball, complete with nonspecific gender pronouns and a light caramelized topping of Jesus. It’s available at the D.C. Episcopalian synagogue, complete with alcoholic communion wine, served by a priest from a gilded brass chalice. It’s quite smooth, but a little dry.
Id: Dry is not good…
Superego Barista: [Ignores Id.] So, what’ll it be?
Ego: Gotta have Patriarchy, especially the devoted wife with the structured nuclear family flavor.
Animus: Wealth and affluence for me!
Id: Technology… to serve and protect!
Superego: Yeah, all that, and oh, don’t forget the Jesus, because although it’s bitter, it has a smooth aftertaste and adds complexity to the aroma. Besides, it’s vexing to be worried about the hereafter.
Animus: We do have a restroom upstairs if it happens to hit you hard.
Society: Sorry… That particular blend was served briefly a long time ago, between 1947 and 1953, but from 1953 to 1959 we added Rock-and-Roll, amphetamines, wealth and individualistic liberty. Then in 1959, we added semiconductors, the pill, and modal jazz. Civil Rights and Feminism came in 1964, followed by the b100dy red cherry on top, Roe vs. Wade, in 1973. So the particular recipe you’re asking for, was totally exterminated. It’s not been served to the general public since 1955, and anyway, you would never want to go back to that!
Manosphere: Say, you’ve got a promising career, and judging by your ring finger, you’re pretty well hung. Would you care to try the latest craze, Hypergamy Pi Spice? I think it might work out well for you! You could have a soft harem, spin a few plates, and what not…
Superego: Ummm… No thanks. I’m short on Tingles today, and my Bitcoin has not yet matured, so I’ll have to settle for an Americano.
Buddha: Come! Come to Asia, my son! Experience pleasures of Orient, where life easy and cheap! Filial Piety is Patriarchy! No Social Justice Warrior! Woman are young looking, thin, long hair, respectful… We love you long time! But must drink tea. No coffee!
Ego: No, I’m too Nationalistic for xenophilic exoticism, and too poor for tourism. Muh student loans… I’m stuck with the Americano Hershey squirts with the Jesus label.
Internet: OK, will that be with p0rn or without?
Animus: Give me some p0rn on the side, and if I really need it, I’ll add it in while no one is looking.
Superego Barista: OK, but just remember that whenever you add p0rn, it will make the Jesus taste more bitter, and the Jesus might even precipitate out of the blend.
Id: Why do we need to hassle with the Jesus at all? In fact, give me a modern, legal pr0stitution, like Tinder and Craig’s List, and how about some online gaming!
Animus: I’ll settle for merryjuana, and some mild 0xycontin addiction!
Ego: Well, alright, but only from licensed, non-GMO providers please… and no fatties, Id! Now we won’t need any Jesus at all!
Society: That’s been our top seller for the last six years, I see you’ve been here before.
Local Church: I’ll put a Jesus label on the side of the cup, so that you can avoid excess criticism and enjoy your special blend of self-idolatry in peace.
Animus: Great, everyone will think my 0xycontin high will be from the Jesus topping! Ha ha! Perfect for my selfie!
Society: No, leave the Jesus label off. We live in Californica. We don’t care what you get your fixxx from. But if it’s something pertaining to sexual deviancy, we might invite you to our business parties.
- The Atlantic: The Social Dynamics of Coffee Shops (June 13, 2012)
- The University of Virginia Press Release: The Coffee Shop Effect (October 15, 2014)
- Preen Inquirer (feat. Olivia Estrada): Are You Overstaying at Your Favorite Coffee Shop? (October 12, 2017)