Friday, May 21, 2010

Go to Church, Win a Thousand Bucks!

Before I begin, next week I'm taking a week-long break from blogging so I will not be posting here next Friday.

Now, on with today's blog post.

As you may know, church numbers are currently at an all-time low. We've read the reports about how more people my age consider themselves more "spiritual" than "religious." So what should the Church do? How can we spread the Gospel to today's world?

How about offering them $1,000? That's exactly what this church in Chicago is doing.

Money quote (no pun attended): "I wanted to teach the parallel between faith and finance."

*Record scratch* Wait, what?

Now maybe I've got the wrong Bible translation but I don't remember Jesus holding any contests to which of His followers will win money. I remember something about Jesus feeding five thousand people with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. I remember Jesus telling a rich young ruler to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. And I think I remember something about a poor widow giving away her last two coins. But I don't remember anything about Jesus giving a thousand bucks to whoever was sitting in the right seat.

You have to wonder, too, who is attending that church for the Gospel, and who just wants the money.


  1. It does bring up an interesting question though. What of the gospel are we willing to sacrifice in order to get people to come to our church? Do we have to compromise the gospel when we do things like this? Or is this a legitimate way to get people to come and hear the gospel? I don't see any difference between this and Rick Warren bringing the Jonas Brothers to sing at Saddleback on Easter Sunday.

  2. Yeah, that was pretty weird. I mean, I'm glad the Jonas Brothers are Christians and they believe in abstinence. But if you're a 12 year old girl and you heard the Jonas Brothers were stopping by your local church, chances are you'd be more interested in seeing the Jonas Brothers live than hearing the Gospel.

  3. Pastors do interviews with famous people all the time as a way of getting people to come--I don't see any problem with that. What bugged me about the Jonas Brothers was I'm pretty sure it was just a regular concert--no praise and worship songs at you just hear a sermon about Christ raising from the dead and out come the Jonas bros to sing about crushes and breakups! There's a verse in the Bible though that talks about the disciples getting all worked up because someone else is preaching the good news of Christ who have been formally made apostles, and the rebuttal, and a pretty darn good one, is that if people are being saved, then it's not a bad thing.

  4. Great post. This kind of junk bothers me for several reasons.

    1. It makes church look like a cheesy game show.

    2. It's desperate. Shouldn't showing the love of Christ be compelling enough without $1000 attached?

    3. You're going to get people in the church with wrong motives. Although I wholeheartedly welcome "sinners" to church, I don't welcome people who are just there for money.

    4. Better to give that $1000 to the poor then waste it on some greedy churchgoer who doesn't even want to be there.