Church in a Bar?

Discussion in 'The Rapture, Bible Prophecy, and End Times Chat' started by Chris, Apr 15, 2019.

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  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Church in a Bar?
    By Dr. Mark Creech

    Having church in a bar is a new phenomenon, but a growing one. It’s largely an informal movement started in recent years that has spawned hundreds of church services in dives and bars across the country.

    In an article for The Wisdom Daily, Irwin Kula, says, “People have gathered for ‘Beer and Hymns’ in Portland, ‘Church-in-a-Pub’ in Fort Worth, ‘What Would Jesus Brew’ in Michigan, and the ‘Bar Church’ in D.C…

    Kula urges his readers to note the welcome message from one group in Boston, which reads:

    “Welcome to the Pub Church! We are a church in a pub, and the Spirit is with us. In this place, feel free to move about, help yourself to food and drink, and express yourself openly! We come together with a variety of thoughts, stories, talents, hopes, and hurts; all we bring is welcome. We pray that in coming together with all our differences and with the Spirit, we participate in a new divine reality. This is sacred space.”

    Supporters of this venue for worship argue it is an unconventional way of doing church, but it’s also in response to the decline of institutional religion in favor of a new kind of church experience. It draws people who would never attend a traditional church and it’s less judgmental, they say. It’s devoid of religiosity and focuses on relationships. A bar is a place, they believe, that one would likely find Jesus if he were here today.

    I cannot deny the Scriptures tell us that Jesus was found among sinners and associating with them in places commonly rejected. I cannot deny that some churches have been atrociously unwelcoming, self-righteous, pretentious, hypocritical, and even abusive. Nor can I deny that God’s Spirit can do his work in the most unbecoming sites and situations. But for me, a partnership between a place that celebrates alcohol and the holy work of God is an unequal yoke that ultimately does more harm than good to both the sinner and the saint.

    I think it’s difficult to justify the complaint that the traditional church has been too offensive for one to attend, but then ignore the villainy of the bar.

    One poet expressed it this way:
    The name of each saloon is a bar,
    The fittest of its names by far.
    A bar to heaven, a door to hell,
    Whoever named it named it well.
    A bar to manliness and wealth,
    A door to want and broken health;
    A bar to honor, pride, and fame,
    A door to sin and grief and shame;
    A bar to hope, a bar to prayer,
    A door to darkness and despair.
    A bar to an honored, useful life,
    A door to brawling, senseless strife;
    A bar to all that’s true and brave,
    A door to every drunkard’s grave;
    A bar to joys that home imparts,
    A door to tears and aching hearts;
    A bar to heaven, a door to hell,
    Whoever named it named it well.

    The Scriptures speak with the strongest of warnings about things that happen in a bar.

    “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).

    “Woe to him who gives his neighbor drink; pouring out from your wineskins to make him drunk so as to gaze upon his nakedness” (Habakkuk 2:15).

    These passages indicate the individual who drinks and the barkeeper who pours the alcohol share in personal and corporate responsibility for the resulting harms.

    Alcohol continues its blight upon every phase of human life. Despite the fact we’ve dignified its use in the present and so many pastors and professing Christians seem averse to those so-called holy rollers, which challenge its use as something better left alone, alcohol’s long trail of tears is undeniable. Day by day, science is supporting the contention that abstinence is the better way.

    According to a recent study from the United Kingdom, a bottle of wine per week is like smoking ten cigarettes in the same period in terms of cancer risk. That’s significant when you consider the average American who smokes consumes around 100 cigarettes a week. Whether a smoker or not, a bottle of wine every week increases the risk of cancer.

    Studies are determining that even moderate drinking is an important public health issue. A major new study from the University of Oxford, Peking University, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences reports that alcohol use increases the risk of stroke. “There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke,” researchers determined. “Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke.”

    Medical News Today reported this month:

    “A new study goes against the grain of previous research by suggesting that alcohol-induced brain damage does not stop when alcohol use ends. Instead, the harmful effects of alcohol may continue during abstinence. The findings have important implications for the process of recovery from alcohol dependence.”

    In other words, the negative impact of an alcohol disorder on the brain can continue after committing to a life of sobriety.

    This is not to mention that excessive alcohol use leads to approximately 241 deaths every day and 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year in the United States from 2006-2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. And the economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 (the latest figures available) were estimated at $249 billion.

    Jesus said:

    “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

    The first part of Jesus’ saying fits the many outcomes of alcohol use and abuse. It’s a thief that can steal, kill, and destroy. But the mission of Christ is to give life and to give life more abundantly. The two purposes are diametrically opposed to each other.

    Providing a Christian witness in a bar, I would say, is legitimate if the goal is to get people out of there. If its purpose is to get folks away from the bar so they can be instructed, encouraged, and held accountable for a holy life, that’s a worthy objective. But to set up God’s house in the devil’s lair where people are continuously subjected to temptations that steal, kill and destroy life, is a misapplication of Christian missions.
    SonSeeker, Andy C, Hidden and 3 others like this.
  2. Spartan Sprinter 1

    Spartan Sprinter 1 Well-Known Member

    Hillsong use to own a nightclub here in Australia, they were trendsetters ahead of their time
    SonSeeker, JSTyler, Hidden and 2 others like this.
  3. mattfivefour

    mattfivefour Administrator Staff Member

    There was a bar church a few years ago here in Springfield, Illinois. It flopped.
    Cindy S., SonSeeker, Andy C and 7 others like this.
  4. Anewcreationinjesus

    Anewcreationinjesus Well-Known Member

    :nope All the scriptures that say ... Do not be conformed to the world, you are not of the world, the world is passing away and the lust of it....the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.... we are to come out of the world, not be like it!!! Pubs by their very nature encourage drunkenness!

    The world has truly entered the church....
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019 at 4:08 AM
    Dave, Cindy S., ByGod'sGrace and 9 others like this.
  5. endofdays

    endofdays Well-Known Member

    theres been a few near me as well
  6. Salluz

    Salluz Well-Known Member

    While I don't fully agree with having fellowship in a bar of all places, the article seems to be unnecessarily anti-alcohol. Jesus drank wine, and it is portrayed in other places in scripture as good "making merry the hearts of men" for example. Just because people abuse it doesn't mean it is inherently sinful. To say so would be to call Jesus a sinner for drinking it, and I would hope no one would go that far... as for the healthiness argument, unhealthy does not equal sinful. There's an appropriate way to enjoy alcohol. It's the excess that should be warned against.

    I also think the verse from habakkuk isn't saying what the author said it is saying. A plain sense reading makes me think it's talking about getting someone drunk to convince them to have sex, not selling someone alcohol
  7. kathymendel

    kathymendel Well-Known Member

    We live in winery country. There are a couple of wineries that have invited local churches to hold Sunday morning services as an offsite ministry. I see nothing wrong with that. They are out on the highways and bi-ways preaching the gospel to people who may never set foot in a church building. And, I agree with Salluz, it is the over-indulging that becomes sin. I'm sure Jesus, who made wine and drank wine, would have no objection to us enjoying a glass or two now and then.
  8. MePlus6

    MePlus6 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to derail this slightly...

    241 deaths per day for excessive alcoholic consumption.

    46 deaths per day for prescription opioid overdose according to the CDC.

    Why are painkillers being so tightly controlled now but alcohol is still wide open?
  9. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    I would like to see clear Biblical citation for this. Otherwise, you're on very unstable ground for truth.
    ItIsFinished! likes this.
  10. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    All very-very slippery slope arguments.

    Just for reference;
    - I was drunk, which is a nice way of saying fall-down-dirty-alcoholic.
    - I started with a single drink. I was young, and not particularly rebellious when I had my first drink. It was innocent, experimental and casual.
    - As I grew in the habit and "lifestyle" I was surrounded by people with the exact same arguments you present, all of which contributed to my reasoning and excuses. Evey last sin, every bad decision was wholly mine BUT it would've been great to have someone, anyone say, "maybe you shouldn't!"
    - The people I mention that I was surrounded with, drank with me or worse yet, bought me drinks. They were "christians" with similar arguments to yours.
    - It was so easy to be an alcy-bum, until I met Christians that took a firm stand.
    - I credit God first of course, but then the people, the genuine Christ follower people that God brought into my life for convicting me to make a change.
    - Bottom line - NO BOOZE AT ALL = NO DRUNKS AT ALL - The math is simple.
  11. Kaatje

    Kaatje Well-Known Member

    And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
    (Matt. 26:27-29)
  12. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    I've been there, done that and have all the physical, emotional and spiritual scars to prove it. Booze in any quantity is toxic.

    Only someone who never drinks, has never drunk and has the moral and spiritual constitution of post Damascus Road Paul should even consider trying Bar ministry.

    Can anyone tell that I have strong feelings and or opinions on this topic?
  13. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    Fermented? Intoxicating? I appreciate your post, I need more proof that Christ drank alcohol.
    ItIsFinished! likes this.
  14. MePlus6

    MePlus6 Well-Known Member

    1 Timothy 5:23
  15. MePlus6

    MePlus6 Well-Known Member

    Christ also turned water into wine for wedding guests. Do weddings, if they serve wine, serve grape juice?
  16. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    Does alcohol help or harm health? It's an age old question. I know that it kills cells and microorganisms in any quantity. The question I'd ask in light of this verse, did Paul recommend fruit juice or alcoholic beverage. Fresh or fermented?
  17. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    Now or then? What is good wine? I reiterate my previous question, fresh or fermented?
  18. Kaatje

    Kaatje Well-Known Member

    Question: "Did Jesus drink wine/alcohol?"

    There is only one group of people who are explicitly told in the Bible to never drink wine/alcohol, and that is the Nazirites (Numbers 6:1–4). Jesus was not a Nazirite; He was a “Nazarene,” a native of the town of Nazareth (Luke 18:37). Jesus never took the Nazirite vow.

    Christ’s first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana almost certainly involved a fermented beverage. According to Jewish wedding tradition, fermented wine was always served at weddings; if Jesus had provided only grape juice, the master of the feast would have complained. Instead, he said the wine was better than what was previously served; it was apparently a “fine” wine (John 2:10–11).

    The Greek word for “drunk” in John 2:10 is methuo, which means “to be drunken” or intoxicated. It is the same word used in Acts 2:15 where Peter is defending the apostles against accusations of drunkenness. The testimony of the master of the feast is that the wine Christ produced was able to intoxicate.

    Of course, just because Jesus turned water into wine doesn’t prove that He drank the wine at the wedding, but it would have been normal for Him to do so. What it does prove is that Jesus doesn’t condemn drinking wine any more than He condemns eating bread. Sinful people abuse what is not inherently sinful. Bread and wine are not sinful, but gluttony and drunkenness are (Proverbs 23:2; Ephesians 5:18).

    In Luke 7:33–44, Jesus said, “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (emphasis added). In verse 33 Jesus is making a contrast between John the Baptist’s “drinking no wine” and His own practice. Jesus goes on to say the religious leaders accused Him (falsely) of being a drunkard. Jesus was never a drunkard, any more than He was a glutton. He lived a completely sinless life (1 Peter 2:22); however, Luke 7 strongly suggests that Jesus did indeed partake of alcoholic wine.

    The Passover celebration would also have commonly included fermented wine. The Scriptures use the term “fruit of the vine” (Matthew 26:27–29; Mark 14:23–25; Luke 22:17–18). Of course, Christ participated in drinking from the Passover cup (Mark 14:23).

    All Christians would agree drunkenness is sinful, and Christ Himself warns against it (Luke 12:45). However, a biblical view of wine is that it is given as something to delight in (Psalm 104:14–15). There are plenty of warnings against alcohol abuse, in texts like Proverbs 20:1, because sinful men are more likely to abuse wine than to use it in moderation. Those who try to use Jesus’ probable use of wine to excuse their drunkenness should heed the warning in Luke 12:45. Christians who want to keep a biblical view of drinking wine should either drink in moderation, never to drunkenness, or abstain totally.
  19. JSTyler

    JSTyler Well-Known Member

    That is the kind of citation I look for. I do however, disagree with some of the conclusions they draw, but that's me, my take on scripture and history. I do have a few brothers and sisters in Christ that agree with my position. They are very few.

    I've only ever lost this "argument" and believe that I will always lose it. Most people, Christian or not want to drink alcohol or have the "freedom" to do it, regardless of the personal risk and or impact on those around them. I did, hypocrite that I was and to my everlasting shame.

    I probably won't continue on this subject after this post, in hopes of avoiding division unless directly asked for clarifications on any misunderstandings.
    Forgiven1 likes this.
  20. Anewcreationinjesus

    Anewcreationinjesus Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there are some on here, myself included, who have as part of our testimonies that God has changed us from what we were, also including "abominable drinking parties" as the word says. ... Am looking forward to that new perfect wine when Jesus brings his kingdom :)
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