The Church as a Paraphernalia Shop

I spent my formative years in Hawaii where marijuana would find you rather than having to look for it.  But there was a unique phenomena surrounding the use of marijuana.

There were shops that sold the paraphernalia for consuming marijuana but not marijuana.  Obviously its sale was legally controlled or rather prohibited but not the tools needed to do what one does with marijuana.

While staring at the ocean on vacation with my family I had a strange thought flash across my mind

Is the CHURCH (you pick the form) much like a paraphernalia shop, selling all the items that surround the consumption of grace yet not dispensing the very commodity it was designed to distribute?

In fact the paraphernalia-doctrine, forms, programs, positions, traditions, etc are the main offering of the church and the essence of its existence often must be found in other places

Like a paraphernalia shop you can get everything you need except that which is most important.

Perhaps that is why rapid reproductive movements of Jesus’ work and teachings happen apart from what we know as the local church?

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