Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Hour Church Services: Gimmick or New Direction of Religion?

While reading today's Sunday paper, I came across an article that provoked me into a posting.  Apparently, church services at Opal Divine (Episcopal) in Austin, Texas, have added a new segment they call "pub church."  It takes place on the third Sunday of every month.  Yes, bread and wine are served, but not as part of Communion.  Refreshments also include beer and cocktails throughout the Bible service/study called "The Front Porch."  There is plenty of music, but not hymns or modern-day Christian rock songs.  Bob Dylan songs are part of the band's set.  Is Opal Divine in Austin alone in this new 'brew' of worship?

Alcohol is being used as a lure for attracting more attendees for fading church services across the country.  Some churches even brew their own beer.  At the Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, congregation members go as far as tweaking the WWJD motto into "What Would Jesus Brew".  These new churches even argue that animals have souls, a belief not endorsed in the Bible.
So is this a good thing?  Turning church into a pub-like atmosphere? Part of me thinks that if all is fair in love and war, then all is fair in attempting to spread His Word.  However, are people even going to church to hear about God or is this really just an evening out?  Is this casual, lackadaisical methodology even working?  Do these new attendees want God in their life, but prefer Him on their own terms?  
We can all agree there is nothing wrong with adults who meet in church and then socialize at bars, but what about drinking during church?  What about the states that have legalized marijuana?  Will there be services available for those to share bong hits while learning about the Bible?  Is Sunday church supposed to be all about God or all about going?  What do you think?  Leave a comment.

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