Pub Church


Well, it had to happen and now it has. It would seem that American gimmicks-style Christianity has now well and truly reached Australian shores. An Australian Anglican Church in Stroud (with a rich history) has begun to hold services in the local pub ~ not that the building itself is the wrong place to hold church services. However, an argument could be made about the ‘appearance of evil’ I suppose. In this case however, the patrons of the pub (or church) will be able to have their beer while attending church.

All of this is meant to get more people along to church – to get people who wouldn’t normally attend to start coming. It all sounds typical of the ‘church growth movement’ type approach to church doesn’t it? Make sure you give unchurched Sally or whoever it might be, what they want and they will come to church.

Clearly their are many dangers with this type of approach, including the obvious of letting the world infiltrate the church and the church become ‘polluted’ by the world and its practices. Fairly soon you will be unable to differentiate between ‘Christians’ and those at church who are unsaved. No longer are Christians interested (so it seems anyhow) in being ‘apart from the world,’ ‘from being different to the world,’ etc. Now we must appeal to the world in order to be accepted by the world and to increase our numbers – yet the irony of all this is that no matter how many people still of the world begin coming to church or even attach themselves to the church, the church will still be no bigger than it was.

True salvation includes separation from the world and its values, and no attendance of church services without true conversion is worth anything to anyone in the light of what really matters.

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Marketing the Church


So I have been reading a book entitled ‘This Little Church Went to Market: Is the Modern Church Reaching Out of Selling Out (as mentioned in an earlier post during May 2007)?’ One of the things that the author (Gary Gilley) points out fairly early in his argument is that the church has moved from the perspective of worshiping God and teaching the elect, to entertaining those who go to church and bringing the unchurched in through various gimmics.

This appears to me to be a completely sound point. The focus of the truly godly churches throughout the ages has been on informed worship (in spirit and in truth), with a heavy focus on teaching true worshippers (those who are actually saved – the elect) about the God they are worshipping and what our response to Him should be (admittedly that is a simplistic summary).

What we have in the so-called churches of today is an increasingly market-driven approach in which it is necessary to out-entertain the world, in order to keep the world in the church (that is, those who are not saved, coming to church). Only this way can churches of today be considered successful. The emphasis is no longer on apostolic teaching, fellowship, prayer and the breaking of bread, but on those people ‘out there’ that we must get in here at almost any cost. So now we find that the church does ‘the world’ better than the world in many respects.

There was an Andrew Denton special on the ABC I think it was, just a week or so ago, in which he visited this major ‘Christian Convention’ in the United States. The mind can only boggle at what any intelligent person could be thinking when observing the amount of rubbish that is going under the name of ‘Christian worship and service’ these days. This picture of Christianity in America, did nothing for the true cause of Christ and his church, for those of the world watching such a program that accurately portrayed what was happening at the convention, can only be thinking, ‘what a bunch of wackos are these Christians!’ I was thinking it myself!!! One guy tried to show Andrew Denton the specks of glory on his hands that were reflections of the glory of God by virtue of him just being there – of course, Andrew Denton couldn’t see any of it, nor could the viewer – because it wasn’t there!

It is this sort of stupidity that has weakened the church in this day – yet in another sense the true church has not been weakened at all. As always, the remnant that is the true church of God endures, through all the difficulties that surround it and it will continue to do so until it is itself glorified and freed from all of this religion that has nothing to do with the true cause of Christ and his church.