Gyms, Priorities, and the Social Gospel


Well, what does this have to do with the church? There is no doubt that our children want to be constantly entertained. On Wednesday night, the Baptist church in town as well as the Christian church has a gymnasium filled with children. Sadly, there are no Bibles in their hands, only basketballs. What have they learned about God?

Sadly, too many want a social preacher or social church whose philosophies change the mission of the church into the things that are not spiritual. This leads churches to meet the needs of man which is why many congregations provide seminars on aging, depression, how to manage money, stress management and these individuals put pleasure above anything else as gymnasiums are built to help man meet his supposed needs. Now, more prosperous churches specify that gymnasiums, bowling alleys and social halls are needed who are constantly making efforts to dress up the service in order to make it more appealing. Soloists, quartets, choirs, musical instruments are all used to jazz it up. But, when did religion become a place of amusement?

I believe that Christianity is a demanding and serious religion. Interestingly, one man said that religions are amusing themselves to death using the contemporary phrase “awesome.” He goes on to say, Michael Jordan is “awesome,” movies are “awesome,” rock groups are “awesome.” When we say “God is awesome” or sing, “our God is an awesome God,” we do not redefine “awesome,” we redefine God. God is like Michael Jordan, movies, and rock groups.

Honestly, we must admit that we can usually find the finances for what we really want, or what we really think to be important.   Many in congregations tell others that their money is in very short supply even though they spend lots of money on everything they really want. Brother V. P. Black once said, If all the members of the Church of Christ would plan and purpose to give as God has prospered them, we could evangelize the world in a short time.   If members of the church had as much faith in the promises of God concerning giving as they do concerning the promises that Jehovah made about being baptized, we would have enough money in a short time to evangelize the world. Oddly enough, he so boldly pointed out that each year in America there is more spent for dog food than for evangelism.

Now, if you have argued that we need a change and to become a part of the entertainment industry by building a playhouse (gym) out of the Lord’s treasury to attract the young people of the community and to keep the ones we have, why not repent and determine to stand up for the biblical image of the blood-bought institution (Acts 20:28)?  Will you remember that our goal is not numbers at the price of truth? (Mat. 7:13-14).

No doubt, many have wrongfully spent large amounts of money on gymnasium type facilities. Yet, when congregations such as this one personally needs to bust down these walls because the building is too small and build a new auditorium, when we need a real fellowship hall so that the saints can fellowship with one another more readily, when we have a budget that includes helping the orphans out of the church treasury and helping missionaries out of the church treasury and helping the poor out of the church treasury and evangelizing more out of that treasury, I hardly see any such thing as a gymnasium in our future. Gymnasiums have never been justified when looking at the Word of God. It is only when men look to themselves that these things are approved.

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