Churches are opening their doors to businesses in order to survive
Sunday looks very different from Monday at White Rock United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. During the week, a florist fills out orders next to an artist working on a project. Down the hall, students practice tai chi.
Declining attendance at America's churches -- a persistent trend in recent decades -- has forced some to take a novel approach to keeping their doors open: renting out otherwise empty space during the usually quiet mid-week, CBS News' Omar Villafranca reports.
Larry Duggins heads up the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a group that helps congregations become a place for commerce. "Churches close when they can't get beyond that, unless they have some extraordinary other way to get people to come attend," he said....
Actually, DF, you're treading on dangerous ground with this crowd, but as one who's version is the 1599 Geneva...which matches perfectly with Scripture quoted in William Bradford's "Of Plimouth Planation"...I get your point exactly. James VI was no friend of the church or Kirk. But that said, his government authorized version does read better than mine and is the version my household tends to memorize.
Perhaps you are right, sc.; my corruptions are many and mighty, while my virtues are few and anemic. I was saved by the grace of God in 1979. Do you think it would better if my speech were seasoned, as yours seems to be, with vinegar and lemon juice? Can you please help me find some scripture that commends a critical spirit such as yours?
The rules that King James made for the translators of the Bible were that they were to use the word 'church' instead of 'congregation.' That would have made it more helpful for the Puritans who were upset with King James; they were using the Geneva Bible instead. Funny how today, many who love the Puritans will defend the King's version of the Bible!
Dr Tim Wrote: "Christopher had a thought? Wow, that‚Äôs twice now he‚Äôs done that!"
Well, considering that your mountain clan homeschooling taught you that numbers only go up to two, I'm not surprised by your count, because anything past one, is always, two. Going from pre-K, to a graduating Senior in 6mos, with a rock that has "Diploma" scribbled onto it, but spelled wrong, is nothing to be proud of.
Hey, QC...I thought I should stop by to make sure you didn't take my comment as me talking at you, and trying to say that's the way it is. I was just giving my own, personal thoughts on it, but I also understand where you were going with your thoughts and examples.
Good comment about Tyndale and Bible translation below. It reminded me of the rules that King James established for his translation, and one of them was to use the word 'church' when referring to any gathering of the people. At issue in his day was the meaning of church, and he supported only the established church, not these upstarts doing church in furniture shops or people's houses. To this day, with so many people's slavish adherence to the king's version, that confusion of "church = building" exists.
Today a related issue is parking--many folk cannot host a gathering of more than 4 people in their home because they don't have adequate parking. Those who live in apartments or condominiums are lucky to have 2 spaces for their unit. Now many condos have meeting rooms that the residents can reserve, but again, the problem is parking--where to put 10 to 15 cars that would be needed. A separate issue is zoning, where the local city or town might put down the hammer on any large gathering of people in a residential district. A neighbor would blow the whistle when he sees 5 or 6 new cars parking in front of the home where the gathering is happening, especially if he had friends that wanted to visit him to play bridge that night.
Hi QC, I understand the picture you're trying to paint, but I see two completely different scenarios, between what White Rock church has done, what Missional Wisdom Foundation is all about, and what you're describing, and I think, arguing as safe and allowable(?)
I guess how I'm looking at it is whether or not I can imagine a decision made as being God approved, and even, God being responsible for making happen. Missional Wisdom is in the business of turning houses of worship into non-descriminatory places of commerce. White Rock, as I see it, relied upon the efforts of man to solve a financial issue that I just don't believe was an answer to prayer, or even, God approved. The fact that they've allowed their house of worship to be rented to anyone who can write a check, is hardly a financial victory for them, but rather, gross comprimise. They didn't rent to the nice, older lady who likes to arrange flowers, or a gentleman who teaches how to paint landscapes, and nature art. They are renting to anyone with a check that can be cashed. Personally, I don't feel houses of worship should be turned into sites for secular commerce, and they most certainly shouldn't be allowing other gods and the metaphysical in to solve their financial woes. That's my take, anyway.
Lest my question be lost, I am not suggesting or asking about someone's Tia Chi or Yoga class but old Widow Jones, a church member, who wants to arrange fake flowers into wreaths for sale but has no room in her tiny apartment. Or for those churches that host or operate schools, pre-, elementary, and secondary, that include Christian teaching. Or offers a portion for of the facility for a Christian group's ESL, but the group is not a ministry of the church but renting space as an outside group.
Got Questions wrote: .... Jesus Christ created and holds the world together, not the Tao or an invisible force called chi: ‚ÄúFor by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities‚ÄĒall things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together‚ÄĚ (Colossians 1:16-17). Doing Tai Chi, even for physical purposes, is paying homage to a spiritual belief system at odds with God‚Äôs Word.
from "What is the Christian view of Tai Chi (TaiChi)?"
Some of these activities at the church is want to taken as commercial partners are anti-christian
I agree that the activity depends on the motivator but particularly if Jesus is being preached through whatever the activity may be. There are a number of churches that are kept financially afloat by their attached pre-schools which are run as separate but associated businesses. Some branch out to full blown Christian schools.
The other question that came to mind was the concept of providing space like a kind of micro-loan to help establish a church member in meaningful employment. I've wrestled with the overall question of the deacons' fund providing micro-loans for years. By relieving a need within the church body, is that appropriate?
Christopher000 wrote: Matt 21:12-13 Instead of a den of thieves, they've allowed other gods...
Great citation Bro. Chris hope you are well.
Matt 21:13 It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
And if you follow the cross reference to see where "it was written", in my opinion, you come across a more detailed account of the picture through the context of the chapter in which the citation comes from.
Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
Hey Steven, thanks for your comment. Yes, I realize that what I quoted wasn't necessarily inline with the specific reason Jesus had for His righteous anger at the time, and tipping over tables, etc. I was considering a bigger picture of what else Jesus wouldn't have considered appropriate in His father's house, and what we shouldn't. I get that the church isn't a building, but since Jesus still considered the building, His father's house, and to be respected as such, then I think we have the same responsibility, and expectation.
I don't see a little, Christian bookstore as being any issue, but renting out to keep the doors from closing...I just can't quite grasp that as God's way of answered prayer.
Anyway, all of that aside, my whole thing was that the church rented out to a yoga studio, Tai Chi classes, and who knows who else, doing/practicing what else. This is why I don't see it as being okay, don't view it as an answer to prayer, and why I quoted Matthew 21:12,13. Instead of a den of thieves, they've allowed other gods, and universal consciousness into God's house, to keep the doors to God's house open, and that was my main issue.
Yes, it is true that the people not the building are the church. Interestingly, the Bible translator and martyr William Tyndale, refused to use the word ‚Äúchurch‚ÄĚ as the translation for the Greek ‚Äúecclesia‚ÄĚ but used the word ‚Äúcongregation‚ÄĚ. (I have a facsimile reprint copy of his 1525 NewTestament translation!)
Having said that, if a Christian congregation or local church owns or has exclusive rent of a building, they should obviously ensure that it is used exclusively for their work and witness for the Lord and not for wrong purposes.
Also with more and more restrictions on religious freedom imposed by local, state and federal governments, it is just not wise for them to claim tax exempt or official charity status, that involves any kind of official registration. Too many strings may be attached and they may be put under pressure to compromise.
I would suggest that the reason Jesus drove out the tax collectors was similar to the reason Ananias and Saphira (I probably spelled that wrong,) were killed. It wasn‚Äôt about doing business. It was about trying to get rich while using God as your ‚Äúbait.‚ÄĚ I don‚Äôt have a problem with a Church having a bookstore‚ÄĒ(especially the ones who carry my books, Lol,) if they are trying to get good authors into the hands of believers, that is awesome. But people can always go to Amazon for a better deal. Conversely, the temple worship of Jesus‚Äô day required the possession of a sacrifice, and they (in the name of the Lord,) lied to the people who were changing money for an animal, (in lieu of traveling 100 miles with a sheep, you‚Äôd buy one there.) The money changer‚Äôs sin was twofold: first, they were charging exorbitant prices for it to get rich, when the people had no other choice. Second, when some brought in a sacrifice, they would say it was unacceptable and force them to purchase a new one at a higher cost. Again, all for profit. Just a thought.