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Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition: evangelical church gives away two semi-automatic rifles in a raffle for fathers on Father’s Day, in a bid to attract parishioners to Sunday worship

26 Jun

Attend our church; maybe win prizes! (And what a prize… Given away in church, no less…)

Because Word and Sacrament just ain’t enough for modern men…

Doing it all wrong! The linked article shows this is another dog-and-pony-show evangelical church, ‘heavy on live bands, tattoos, and everyman Jesus worshipping.’

Though to that, they add giving away guns and embracing of uber-macho bro-speak, calling some hypothetical (probably non-existent) whiners failing to set their alarms to get to church on Father’s Day morning then whining about not getting a chance to win the guns ‘pansies’.

To their credit, the article does point out they try to encourage married couples to have more sex. That’s all well and good, but are they targeting women with that message in particular? (Since they’re usually the ones responsible for the lack thereof, in terms of withholding it, using it as a bargaining chip, etc.)

Oh, and BTW, what the fuck is all this talk about zombies? They don’t exist! Why try to sell the merits of owning one of these raffled semi-automatic weapons on the basis of how well they could blow away mythical creatures that don’t exist (and, for that matter, are a sacrilegious parody of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body)?

C’mon! MAN UP and tell how well they blow away EVIL PEOPLE! Or are you too much of a ‘pansy’ for that?

(I jest, of course. I recognize that’s in poor taste. But I happen to think that not only is giving away prizes to attract people to church wrong, but giving away prizes of that nature just may possibly be the looniest idea ever, as well as the worst in poor taste… But I’m Canadian, so what the hell do I know, right?)

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19 responses to “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition: evangelical church gives away two semi-automatic rifles in a raffle for fathers on Father’s Day, in a bid to attract parishioners to Sunday worship

  1. James and the Giant Peach

    June 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

    This is why I love small churches. When we feel that we are small we go evangelize even more. God ultimately makes people’s faith grow, we are just houses for Jesus Christ. We don’t want to give away free stuff, and even if we did, frankly we can’t afford it!

    This is a problem I see once a church has reached a moderate, large or even MEGA size. Then the church becomes about maintaining that same level of people. Which starts off with good intentions but ends terribly. They’ve moved in to a large building, now they have to maintain its monthly costs. So they add little things slowly. Maybe they will come if we install air conditioning. Maybe they will stay if we get better seats. Maybe they will be entertained by live eagle shows or rock concerts. Never mind the fact that Jesus Christ, the greatest evangelist of all time, had thousands of people desert him at once.

    I googled that gun model, supposedly the MSRP is around 2000k. I want you to think, how can a church afford to give away 4k worth of guns? That’s like double to triple the rent of my church! That must mean they are making more on the side. And how heavily branded that church is. I feel as a church grows, it emulates more and more of the corporate model, and then only seeks to further the corporation, rather than the original purpose which was to get people closer to God. It doesn’t happen suddenly, so people do not notice it. But at one point it clicks, and you find yourself in McChurch. At least the people watching football on Sundays and not at church are honest about their intentions. Entertaining ourselves is not giving service to God.

    On the other hand, I have to give props for the fact that this church even mentioned Father’s day. My church gave a sermon on mother’s day, but on father’s day at the end of the sermon, a happy father’s day was tacked on.

     
  2. infowarrior1

    June 26, 2014 at 2:38 am

    That’s why there should be a limit to the number of members a church can have before it must undergo cellular division. This ensures maximum efficiency and impact.

     
  3. Sanne

    June 26, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Well, I don’t know…I tend to think it’s funny, I wish our church did it:) I envy Americans because of the right to legally possess firearms. And there is too much pacifism preached nowadays, Christianity used to be warriors’ faith.

     
  4. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:02 am

    @ James: Agree completely. Small churches often are better, because they don’t fall prey to such temptations – unless they have complainers wondering how they can turn their small church into a big one…

    @ infowarrior1: Some churches do that; have a policy of starting a new church once they reach a certain number. I think that makes sense…

    @ Sanne: You can’t possess firearms at all, legally, in the Netherlands? Here in Canada you can, notwithstanding some basic psychological profiling and firearms safety training required first… Guns are quite widespread in Canada; rifles and shotguns especially; many people in rural areas are farmers and/or hunters, so they have them…

    I think there’s a balance to be struck; I think Britain’s and Australia’s gun bans go way too far; I think America’s wide open gun availability goes too far the other way. IMO, we in Canada have that sweet spot – we have a fairly homogeneous population in our rural areas and smaller minority groups (percentage-wise) than America or Britain, so racial / ethnic factors hardly come into play either; but despite widespread firearms, we don’t have the rate of murders and mass murders that they have either in America – where all manner of weapons are readily available – or Britain – where they’re banned but still find there way in there…

    To me, this is a separate issue from war and pacifism; this is about crime, and law, and such.

     
  5. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:09 am

    As for the humour, there’s humour in the delivery, yes, but you know, my fellow Reformed believer, that our kind eschew gimmickry, in favour of the pure Word and Sacrament. 🙂

     
  6. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:10 am

    (As per our understanding of what God desires in our worship…)

     
  7. Elusive Wapiti

    June 26, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I thought it was a win-win-win, honestly. It owns and extends the “clinger” stereotype the left likes to throw at rural whites to suburban ones. It parallels slutwalks for promiscuous women, only much less slutty and with far more clothing. And it gets guys excited about church, if only for a brief moment, which is likely a nice break from the guys having their balls busted off the other 364 days of the year.

    Of course, that begs the question “why attend a church where your balls are busted all the time”, and “why does a church need to give away guns to attract / retain men”, but that’s for a different thread.

    I echo Sanne above…I appreciate the possibliity that the black rifle giveaway is all in good fun. And I too appreciate the emphasis that Christianity used to be a warrior’s faith. This ‘Jesus is my emotional tampon in the sky’ stuff gets old after a while.

     
  8. Elusive Wapiti

    June 26, 2014 at 6:48 am

    “My church gave a sermon on mother’s day, but on father’s day at the end of the sermon, a happy father’s day was tacked on.”

    More or less the same here, except that “happy father’s day” was mentioned first. That was after, of course, telling all the guys in the audience that the goodies passed out to say thanks for all the moms weren’t being replicated for them, and that guys should just “deal with it”.

    Not that I care about cheap chocolate and a rose being thrown my way–I’ll take a scimitar distributed by a moistened bink, thank you very much, or in this case a phat AR–but the ‘man up’ tone was unnecessary.

     
  9. rezzrovv

    June 26, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Slightly separate subject but the genuflecting over father’s day vs. mother’s day has me thinking a lot about the nature of women these days. Women are innate nurturers what with oxytocin, carrying a child in their womb for 40 weeks and then providing their sustenance for a period via their breasts, they have a far greater physiological and psychological investment in a child. And because of this, they are aggrandized because as Paul said, man comes from woman. So what happens is that women are considered less sinful than we men because they stereotypically play it safe in life and are less aggressive. But from my perspective, though perhaps not more sinful, women are dramatically and desperately as sinful as men though it shows in being manipulative, controlling and largely self-obsessed vs. pornography and violence. They are both seeking to meet their supposed needs apart from God. Men stop going to church because you have these ridiculous praise songs by people who mean well I’m sure but go on about Jesus as your boyfriend. Well, read Revelations and get back to me. I’m not looking for a boyfriend. I’m growing to really dispise the North American evangelical scene and so thankful I’m not in it. I’m sick and tired of how we entertain our youth with pizza and the modern-day equivelant of parlor tricks. I’m tired of f*ing electric guitars and hip, ripped jean worship leaders. I’m sick of celebrity pastors wearing mics made famous by Garth Brooks repealing into a mega theater. We are pandering to the visible church to the detriment of the invisible. How does the New Testament describe the means of conversion? Preaching. Period. Not appealing to a narcissistic culture with short attention spans through gimmicks. And why is that? Because the church is the embassy and the ordained, called minister of the Word the ambassader. All are called but not everyone is chosen so we should stop trying to force the issue and remain true to the calling of the church; word and sacrament. All that are His will be effectually called and will join His body if we faithfully follow the dictates of His will. I’m reminded of Aaron’s sons who worshipped God in ways not ordained by God. It didn’t end well for them.

     
  10. James and the Giant Peach

    June 26, 2014 at 10:56 am

    @infowarrior

    From my study of Christian medieval history, monks would establish churches along a river, when it got to a certain size, he would leave along with a portion of the members and go down river and start another church, and repeat this infinitely.

    @Elusive Wapiti I Agree, and thankfully my church is moving away from boyfriend songs about Jesus. However while Christianity has a warrior culture, it is not supposed to be like the “warrior culture” espoused in the Koran where the prophet goes and kills people with his followers. Jesus was a warrior in the sense that yes he could call a legion of angels on your butt, but he didn’t. He flipped over tables to cleanse his temple but he didn’t kill the people. He came to freedom to the Israelites, yet didn’t violently free Israel from Rome. He told Peter to buy a sword to fulfill scripture, yet when Peter used the sword on Malchus he rebuked Peter. Christ’s sword was a spiritual sword “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

    Guns are OK in my opinion. If the church had done something like say, fellowship after church at the local gun range, I think that would have looked a lot better than giving away 2 free guns. The Father’s Day video update didn’t help.

    In his video:
    -He mentioned zombies, double tapping, the greatness of the two gun models but Jesus Christ was not mentioned a single time in the video. I watched it twice to make sure, not a single mention of Christ or God.
    -He called people who didn’t come to church last week chumps, and he encouraged you not to be a wuss. Fine this could very well be the way he talks, or a joking manner.
    -He said don’t show this video to everyone so less people could show up to church and your chances of winning are higher (????)

    I may be wrong and maybe he found a way to solve a men demographic issue. But what kind of generation are we in that we need guns or other factors to come to church when the promise of salvation and a chance to repent from sins isn’t enough? Then again I am another mann who am I to say how people come to Christ? But like I said, people don’t find themselves in McChurch, it just happens to them. It is a very fine line between using something to attract more people to Christ, and giving incentives and entertainment for people to come to your church.

     
  11. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I’m with James. We don’t need gimmickry of any kind; such is antithetical to the Gospel mission, to let God’s Word and the Sacraments suffice in drawing people unto Himself.

    Yes, the sword of which Christ spoke about when He said “Do not think I am come to bring peace; I bring not peace, but a sword” meant that same sword, the Word of God, which divides believer from unbeliever, and body from soul, etc. We are told to put on the whole armor of God – and that’s a metaphor; He meant spiritual armor for the battle we are in, a spiritual one.

    God indeed does not shy away from such masculine rhetoric; that alone should be enough.

     
  12. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

    (As well as, of course, getting churches to boot out misandry, and return to how they used to do things.)

     
  13. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Then men will feel at home in churches, again.

     
  14. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    BTW, I’m glad that my church tradition just offers a brief word about mothers on Mothers’ Day, fathers on Father’s Day, and otherwise ignores both, in favour of expositional, rather than topical, preaching of the Word; that means no pandering to popular prejudices…

     
  15. Sanne

    June 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Will, you can possess firearms in the Netherlands, including semi-automatic rifles (full automatic rifles are forbidden for civilians), but you have to be a member of a gun club for at least a year and get police clearance, I think. That makes it too complicated for most people.

     
  16. infowarrior1

    June 26, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Risk, adventure and challenge. A spiritual war yet unlike islam not physical. Those are the elements that church culture should espouse. Then men can feel at home in the church. I hope the red pill proves to be an antidote to the 8 centuries of feminization.

    For your resource here is a ebook that focuses on the very issue of the feminization of the church:
    http://podles.org/church-impotent.htm

     
  17. Will S.

    June 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    @ Sanne: Ah.

    @ infowarrior1: I hope it does, too.

     

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