Monday, October 27, 2014


This headline out of Tulsa, OK caught my attention over the weekend past: “Christian Church Offering Beer to Congregation During Service.”   At first I was stunned, and then disappointed, that a Christian Church would pursue such a potentially damaging methodology.  This accommodation is wrong on several levels, not the least of which is the source of stumbling it will be to the 12 million alcoholics and problem drinkers and their loved ones in our nation. 
Every year, 1400 American college students between 18 and 24 die from alcohol related injuries… 150,000 develop health problems that are alcohol related.  Every day 13,000 children and teens take their first drink.  26% of alcohol abusers are underage.  [I could go on and on.  There is so much more to indict the poor judgment employed by Eastside Christian Church.]  Here’s the thing: According to Alcoholics Information, the entry level for a future of alcoholism is beer consumption. 

Upon further investigation I discovered this strategy is the latest attempt by the Disciples of Christ Christian Church denomination to be rescued from 20 years of decline.  Two-thirds of their congregations have been in decline for ten years, both in average attendance and in income.  63 percent have been in decline for 20 years or more.  Only one out of six of their congregations are able to sustain full time ministry today.  Giving has declined by 52 % in the last 20 years.  Giving to missions has decline by one third.  And most of their remaining income is spent on buildings and pastoral salary and benefits.  Their churches are dying and closing at the rate of more than one a week.  It doesn’t take a Harvard PhD to see the direct ‘cause and effect’ relationship between their cultural accommodation in methodology and their demise?  It’s sad to me.
Father God, renew your people who have lost their way.  Revive in your church the desire to reflect your holiness and to resist the lure of the world, the flesh and the Devil.  We pray for a dynamic witness of the good news that Jesus saves and keeps and satisfies.  In His name and for the sake of His mission in this world we pray, amen.

Pastor Ken

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