“Our country was built with the King James Bible and a gun.” Pastor John Koletas, Grace Baptist Church, Troy, NY
Why does it always have to be a Baptist church? And, a “Grace” one at that. To say that Pastor Koletas does not have a firm grasp on reality in 2014 would be an understatement. Of course, that could explain why his church has scheduled a raffle to give away a modified AR-15 high-powered rifle at the end of a worship service on the Sunday, March 23 to one
lucky providential winner. I wish I could make this stuff up, but Christianity in America continues to be destroyed from within.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I support the 2nd Amendment and the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, although I am a bit perplexed as to why a legitimate hunter needs a rifle capable of shooting 800 rounds per minute. I have hunted in the past and have no objection to hunting now. I have many avid hunters and sportsmen (and women) in the congregation I serve in southern New Mexico. I have in the past and will continue to in the future encourage them in their passion for hunting. However, my encouragement will not extend to raffling off weapons of any sort, either at a worship service on the Lord’s Day or at any other event that we might have.
I will, all day and twice on Sunday, give away the most powerful weapon we have — God’s Word — and the glorious Gospel that the Bible so lovingly and magnificently presents to a lost and dying world. That is the mission of the church. When we conflate the call of the Biblical Gospel with the lure of the political gospel, we are headed in the wrong direction. And, make no mistake. When we resort to gun raffles for people in the pews and allow politicians in the pulpit, we have prostituted our churches on the altar of cultural Christianity!
That kind of anemic, unBiblical (even for KJV-only types) Christianity will not win the world to Christ. In fact, it will do the opposite. It will reinforce the worst kinds of stereotypes of Christians. We won’t need President Obama to point out the clingers. They are now on display — and even on the staff of some Baptist state conventions — for the lost culture to look at with bewilderment. One such denominational employee is Chuck McAlister, who has been hired by Kentucky Baptists to bring guns and the gospel to the hills and hollers of the Bluegrass State:
In an interview, McAlister says he’s just meeting people where they are. “If simply offering them an opportunity to win a gun allows them to come into the doors of the church and to hear that the church has a message that’s relevant to their lives, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that,” he says.
If we want to meet people where they are, then the church can begin to offer all kinds of raffles to get folks into the buildings. Why stop at guns? After all, guns may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I can think of a few other legal enticements that can be raffled that would lure people — mostly men — to church on a Sunday morning. Facetious? Absolutely. Not too far from the truth? You betcha!
Churches throughout American, including in New York and Kentucky, have the right to do stupid things, even giving away guns at a worship service. I just wish these churches wouldn’t wrap their stupidity in the Gospel! That won’t be good for anybody’s sake and it won’t be good for the sake of the Gospel.