Church Is: Closed
Today, we’re going to look at a story that, I’m sure, will be widespread across the blogosphere, but one that everyone needs to see and consider.
Fox News Reports:
This Christmas, no prayers will be said in several megachurches around the country. Even though the holiday falls this year on a Sunday, when churches normally host thousands for worship, pastors are canceling services, anticipating low attendance on what they call a family day.
Critics within the evangelical community, more accustomed to doing battle with department stores and public schools over keeping religion in Christmas, are stunned by the shutdown.
It is almost unheard of for a Christian church to cancel services on a Sunday, and opponents of the closures are accusing these congregations of bowing to secular culture.
“This is a consumer mentality at work: ‘Let’s not impose the church on people. Let’s not make church in any way inconvenient,'” said David Wells, professor of history and systematic theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Hamilton, Mass. “I think what this does is feed into the individualism that is found throughout American culture, where everyone does their own thing.”
Professor Wells said it well (no pun intended). It is catering to the unsaved, and putting aside the needs of those who are saved. What better day to have church but on Christmas Sunday?
Willow Creek Church spokeswoman, Cally Parkinson, defended the move to not have services on Christmas Sunday by stating:
“If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don’t go to church, how likely is it that they’ll be going to church on Christmas morning?” she said.
Other megachurches are doing something much better:
First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla., led by the Rev. Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will hold one service instead of the usual two. New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., led by the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, will hold one Sunday service instead of the typical three.
Now, quickly, we must ask ourselves “What’s wrong with not having church on Christmas Sunday?”
That’s where the difference comes in on this site. I really want you to consider that. We need to ask ourselves tough questions like that and answer them biblically.
First of all, in the beginning, God set aside a day of rest to worship him. This day is made to please God. Our churches are there so that those who are saved can come into a building together and worship God. Please note, much of the evangelism takes place outside of that building, not always on Sunday mornings.
Christmas is a day set aside by man to celebrate the day Christ was born on this earth. It was probably one of the most important days ever, apart from Christ’s death and his ressurection from the dead. If Christ had not been born of a virgin as the Scriptures foretold, he would have never died and he would have never been raised to life again, giving us the opportunity to receive forgivness from our sins and to receive the gift of eternal life in heaven forever.
What better day to go to the house of the Lord and worship him for the greatest gift on earth? Why back down to the commercialized Christmas? Why cater to the unsaved and put aside the spiritual needs of those who are already saved? You cannot feed Christians on milk forever. Why do you disdain their needs? Why do you put them aside?
Who cares what the world thinks? Why are these workers for the Lord tired? Why are they tired of doing good? Why “take a day off” from doing the Lord’s work? That makes no sense at all!
These congregations are ” bowing to secular culture” and they know it. People who don’t want to attend church on Christmas Sunday are showing who it’s all about: and it’s not Christ. It is obvious that those who want to “be at home” do not want to be in the presence of the Savior.
Now, I’ll give you this: they are having services beforehand. But why not Sunday? Because, they say, “our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched.” Is that their only mission? What kind of church is that?
I leave that up to you.