Monday, January 14, 2008

"Give Us A Shot"

Jesus spent time with sinners (Matthew 9:10-13).  He even drank wine (Matthew 11:19). Yet we must not associate with drunkards (I Corinthians 5:7) or teach people to sin (Matthew 5:19). So what's the balance?


'Give Us a Shot': N.C. Church Hands Out Shot Glasses at Bars

Sunday, January 13, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  —  To get people to attend his new church campus, Robbie McLaughlin is sending his message out to where the people are.

Next Friday, staffers from Next Level Church of Matthews will go to bars in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte to hand out shot glasses which ask patrons to "give us a shot" and bear the slogan, "Real church for real people."

The idea is to draw people to the Ballantyne campus, which opens next month.

McLaughlin is the pastor, and said he is confident that it will be controversial, but he said the goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church. He said it's to impress people who don't.

Next Level is a nontraditional church that encourages members to dress casually and snack on coffee and doughnuts during services.

McLaughlin said the idea has caught on, and in two years, the church has grown from a handful of members to more than 700.

This is just down the road from where I live. Their church is growing? Wonderful! I hope those are genuine Christians on the rolls. I wonder if it's the shot glasses that are so effective? Would it be acceptable, for example, to hand out condoms at a brothel or to give weapons to murderers with the with the words "Give us a shot" emblazoned on them? Is a sin less of a sin because of some naturally derived morality rather than that which is revealed clearly in Biblical revelation? Jesus drank with sinners, but I doubt He condoned drunkenness. He forgave prostitutes and welcomed them, but I doubt he offered them tools to assist them in their sin. No, in fact He called them to stop sinning. Perhaps that's what this church does and the article has left that tidbit out. Nevertheless, I doubt the message to stop sinning is overly effective when sinners are given a symbolic wink at their sin.

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Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

Although I agree with you that this method of evangelism may not be the best way to reach the lost, what would really be cool is if each of the shot glasses had a big hole on the bottom. Ok, maybe not.... ;)

Tue Jan 15, 12:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lionel Woods said...

This is a tough one bro. As I imagine pastors in a bar handing out shot glasses, I wonder what is the intent of people who drink the small amount of fluid with exuberant alcohol content?

My next question is so what the church grew (not to you but to the pastor) to 700 people. Olsteen did that in a week! We must ask ourselves what exactly is the intent of the local fellowship? To have people come and observe or to become disciples of Christ.

My next obervation is that if we do things to get them, we will have to do even more to keep them. That is why I am heavy on Gospel preaching and very skeptical of programs.

I think this sort of evangelism can have some benefits but only if the unadulturated Gospel is proclaimed, but I would bet a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich to my paycheck that it is not.

Hope I am not over the top here!

Tue Jan 15, 04:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

Not over the top at all, brother Lionel. On the money, I'd say.

Bro, would that make it a holey (holy) shot glass? hehehe. You know, we've come a long way, haven't we, since Broad Street Billiards 16 or so years ago. I'd say we've been on the wrong side of a shot glass. I'm glad we weren't given a one by a church.

Tue Jan 15, 05:11:00 PM GMT-5  

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