Several years ago, in Rogers, Arkansas, the United Pentecostal Church has taken some “unique” approaches to attracting worshipers to the church. Are you ready for this? You might want to sit down. One Sunday, the church held an activity called “Checkered Flag Sunday,” which featured a car show, a biker show and remote-controlled car races. Representatives of the West Coast Choppers, CMA Bikers and the Gold Wing Association attended the church services.
“Checkered Flag Sunday” is the third program of the church’s fall attendance drive. “It has really been a success,” said Russell Hamby, who co-pastors the church with his father, Norm Hamby. “We want to make an effort to attract people from the community of all races to attend our services.” Hamby said the event was an especially fun event for the young people in the church. “We do not want to be out of touch with the community,” Norm Hamby said. “We believe the church ought to stay in contact with the community.”
Mr. Hamby described the event as a success, but he added it would have been a better event if it was not for the rainy weather. He said the church will also hold a “Checkered Flag Sunday” next year as part of its attendance drive.
The article would not be complete without a quick review of what they have done earlier this year and what is planned next. The first event was called Dress Western Day which featured pony rides for the children. The Sunday before Halloween, church members held “Trick or Treat or Fill Up the Seats.” Russell Hamby said members were encourage to fill up the pews and a potluck dinner was served after the services. Hamby said the church beat a goal to break the 200 attendance barrier on Sunday. The church’s fourth activity will be held at 10 a.m. this morning. It is called “Victory Sunday.” Hamby said the church will recognize all veterans. He encouraged all veterans in the area to attend the program.
Now who really thinks that our Lord died on the cross so that a so-called “Christian” group can have pony rides or car shows? What is described above is a complete sacrilege, even if it is from a group that is hopelessly caught up in religious error. This should anger you because what this does is show the world that a “legitimate” religious group believes the Bible teaches this!
The Bible absolutely does not ever give any authority for this kind of recreational display. This demeans the church and lowers it to the level of just another secular activity. The church of our Lord Jesus Christ has specific activities which it is to accomplish (Ephesians 4:12).
The church is authorized to support the preaching of the gospel, only the gospel, and nothing but the gospel (Philippians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 11:8). You cannot find any authority in the Lord’s book for the local church to preach or teach something else, such as landscape painting, CPR, or tax planning seminars. The church is authorized to edify itself. In the New Testament, this procedure always involves offering its members spiritual guidance (Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 14:26). You cannot find any authority in the Lord’s book for any other type edifying. The church is authorized to aid saints in need (Acts 4:32-35; 11:27-30; Romans 15:25-32; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9). You cannot find any authority in the Lord’s book for the local church to be involved in general benevolence.
All of the activities in the previous paragraph are pure in the sight of God because they are approved by God. Car shows are another invention of the “social gospel” which must be rejected and rebuked!