Local brew pub is host to nontraditional church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, May 30, 2009.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    Christ said, "Go ye into all the world ............"



    http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2009/05/25/news/local/27-local.txt
     
  2. Pastor David

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    While the pub is not an adequate substitute for the pew, the notion of reaching people in places like an ale house might get one accused of cohorting with drunkards and tax-collectors (sound familar)? We don't need to look to do 'church' in a place like this, but at the same time, we don't need to neglect the duty to speak to people about Christ in places where they very well might need Him the most.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    I'm all for nontraditional churches. My city has a "cowboy church" for all the people who ride the rodeo circuits on the weekends. The meet on Tuesday nights in their western attire, Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected is preached, and people are saved.

    So the location of this church doesn't bother me. It's unorthodox nature doesn't bother me. That fact that they are drinking a beer doesn't bother me ...... even though it is my own personal choice not to drink at all. What bothers me is the fact that nowhere in the article did it state with explicitness just exactly what was being preached.

    Here's an initial line in the article that grabbed my attention in not a good way.


    Is this a "philosophy" of The Well, taught by its pastor or is this a ignorant turn of a phrase by the writer of the article?

    And here's a quote in the comment section by one of The Well's supporters.


    If that is what is being taught there, then this is no Christian church.

    The article also stated this.

    Again, I don't know exactly what he is "preaching", but this doesn't sound like the gospel to me. It sounds like Woodstock. Don't get me wrong, my traditional church serves the community, too. We spend more time, effort, and money than you can shake a stick at on local and global philanthropic callings ..... but that isn't my church's mission.

    I like the comment made by this reader.

    This next section, to me, was the most disheartening.


    He's not about practicing baptism now? I can only ask are people being saved now? I'm glad that they are supporting the Montana Rescue Mission. That's a good thing and I'm glad that they can ask questions and discuss the scriptures.

    I'm just not so sure that their "message" of "living community" is the same gospel that Jesus brought into the world.
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome
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    The Well is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

    Montana Missional Communities

    "only one self-identified CBF church exists throughout the entire Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. But that’s only part of the story. . . . through the states of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico . . . no CBF congregations. The same is true for yet two more states . . . South Dakota and Nebraska."
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    We need to reclaim more spaces for ministry like this group is doing.

    While we might disagree over some aspects of their presentation theologically (though I suspect their wording is to help non-Christians more than appease Christians) I certainly support their efforts to go where the lost are and reach them there.

    We are completely off our rockers if we think we'll see any tremendous harvesting in our established churches over the next fifty years. If we have a "they will come us" mentality we'll keep missing those who need to hear and see our numbers continue to dwindle. In the church where I get to serve we are seeing a great number of new, first time converts because we are going to the places where they are and not expecting them to come to our building.

    The church is just a building, it isn't sacred space imbued by the Holy Spirit as annointed ground. The Church is you and I and we are go out into the highways, byways, and sideways of life to reach those who need to hear the precious Gospel of the Jesus Christ.

    "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if you must use words." Seems appropriate for this thread. I'm just tired of having to care about the senseless things that only stodgy Christians keep score over. Its time to move beyond minor points of life and embrace those who need the Gospel. Yea for this church and yea for their hearts! :)
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    I don't think that preaching Christ crucified and Him resurrected is "senseless thing that only stodgy Christians keep score over".

    I don't believe that trying to ascertain if they are preaching the Gospel or not is a "minor point of life."

    Yes, it is time to embrace those who need the Gospel. My point is .... are they preaching the Gospel?

    Here's from one of their supporters.



    This isn't the gospel.......whether it is preached in a bar, a monastary, a field of lilies, or a prison ward.

    The place matters not .... the Message matters gravely.
     
  7. Harold Garvey

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    I don't see where drinking beer and discussing local concerns qualifies anything as a church.

    The fact is that if Christ is preached sinners will see Him, see themselves, and see others need for Christ.

    This is truly sad anyone could possibly consider this a church when it is nothing but another mockery of holy things.

    As the church slumbers away this sort of thing runs amuck.
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    Be ye holy because HE is holy. Our body is a temple of God......
     
  9. donnA

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    no gospel in this so called church.
     
  10. gb93433

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    I think Ralph west has done a great job at this from the start in Houston, TX. He started Brookhollow Baptist Church which also became known as "The Church Without Walls.


    http://www.churchwithoutwalls.org/ourhistory/
     
  11. Crabtownboy

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    Seems to me some people are jumping to conclusions. We do not know what is preached when preaching is done. Newspaper articles tend not to say much about the theology of any church. So, I'd with hold criticism until we know what is preached ... and newspapers are not the place to find out.

    :smilewinkgrin:
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    Before I read the link, I read the article, and found Tucker had attended BTSR, which is an organization having ties to the CBF.
     
  13. Scarlett O.

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    Here's their website.

    http://www.thewellatbillings.org

    You'll have to draw your own conclusions.

    Mission: "Honor God, Live Community, and Serve Others"

    Vision: "A church for people who don't believe in church"

    I'm still undecided. Under the "Why meet in a brewery" link, they spend a page and a half in defense of alcohol consumption.

    I couldn't find one sentence about Jesus's death and resurrection, only that they are interested in "making the world a better place and even following the life of Jesus."

    Read it all for yourself. Maybe you can see something that I can't.

    Again, I have no qualms that they are non-traditional, that they meet in a bar, that they drink, or that they are "post-denominational".

    I just want to know what they preach as the Gospel.
     
    #13 Scarlett O., May 30, 2009
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  14. gb93433

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    I like what they suggest in serving others at http://thewellatbillings.org/100%20Missional%20Opportunities.pdf

    My prediction is that they will change as the current attenders get older.

    The Well at Billings Will:

    "Share 50% of its resources with our Missional Partners. We believe we should give away the same amount we spend on ourselves."
     
    #14 gb93433, May 30, 2009
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  15. ashleysdad

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    I went to their website and I did not find much there that would indicate what they actually preach, however one of the links was for their facebook section and I found an interesting entry from one of the (to use their word) participants of the church.

    Bruce wroteon March 25, 2009 at 8:23pm

    I was standing in line at post office earlier today, and service was very slow. A young woman with a 2-year old struck up a conversation with a (very nice) grandmother. They talked about kids and grandkids for a moment or two, but I thought the young woman seemed to be trying to steer the conversation somewhere. So the conversation turned to the horrible airplane wreck in Butte earlier this week, and then the young woman ... pounced.

    "I'd like to tell you about what I believe is the most important thing in life," she started in. The grandmother looked hesitant but did not turn away. "Do you believe in heaven?" the young woman asked. Sure, the grandmother said. "And do you believe in hell?" the young woman continued. "I'll go to purgatory one day," was the response (OK, so the grandmother is a Catholic).

    "Well, Jesus died for our sins," the young lady continued (purgatory did not throw her off). "We all deserve to die and go to hell, because we're all dirty rotten sinners, but Jesus died on our behalf, so we can go to heaven" ... and she went on and on (you know the routine; she went through it like an autotron, as I was once trained to do, although it never really took to me very well).

    How many evangelicals in America are, like the young lady today, while hell-bent on the afterlife, are totally misrepresenting the biblical concepts of life and afterlife? I'm certain she had never been told that hell is a modern English concept whose imagery comes from Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost, not the Bible? Would her faith be shaken if she knew that the Hebrew Sheol and Greek Hades (from whence the English concept of hell casually borrows) are simply the abode of the dead, with no moral distinction (whether torment or resurrection)? Would she be shocked if one day she read the New Testament and noticed that Jesus is more concerned about life on earth than he is the afterlife, that the Kingdom of God is the here and now every bit as much as later existence, that salvation is framed within the context of engaging the travails of earth and humanity as a follower of Christ (rather than the result of rote prayer or ritual aimed skyward)? Would she be amazed if she compared what her local church spends its time and money on/with, to the life and commands of Christ?

    How did Christians come to the point of taking their eyes off of Christ to focus on fantasies about the afterlife? How did Christians become so hell-minded that the Kingdom of God receded into the distance, exiting the earth altogether? How did heaven come to be relocated to some mysterious place in space, and hell banished to a place not of this world? How did God become reduced to an angry old man who so hates his creation that he automatically consigns all humans to a human-contrived eternity of torment and torture ... except for those humans who happen to pray the "sinners prayer" ... or (for the Calvinists) the individuals who God randomly prevents from meeting their otherwise-destiny? And how in this world did the institutional church evolve into being a protectorate of imaginary places, cheerleader of death and destruction of "the other," and enemy of the planet, all the while ignoring Jesus' commands to seek justice and do mercy (and in this manner be healers of humanity)?

    How can Christians in America today look past people who are begging for the healing of salvation, instead absorbed in grasping and self-consumption and building of temporal edifices to God even as they dismiss humanity and earth in a glorious march to the soul's self-rewarding afterlife?

    Who is the fool in this drama? And why is Christ but a bit actor upon the stage of Christianity?


    I read that entry and a few posts down was a response from one of the ministry team members

    bruce, kudos my friend, i my have actually said amen as i read that.

    miguel, tough questions, especially the one about how am i as one man...

    both of your post ring to one point in my mind, make a difference where you are at, NOW. in the end that is what we all can do and what we all need to do. my thoughts!


    To me it seems that they are more interested in the social gospel then the real Gospel. I may be misreading it but it sounds very off. If you want to check it out go to their website and click on the link for their facebook group. You will need to expand the selection of entries to include all but it is there.
     
    #15 ashleysdad, May 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2009
  16. Scarlett O.

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    From their website....



    Then they proceed to give their "100 missional opportunities". I won't list them all. This is under their link of "how to serve others."


    And finally, here are their beliefs of what "living community" means in their mission statement.




    I am having trouble reconciling these teachings of the "hope, community, and serving others" with John 4:1-26. They state that they are bringing that "eternal message" to their community. I don't think this is what Jesus was trying to convey to the woman at the well.
     
  17. tinytim

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    Garth Brooks had a song that would fit this church...

    If your paycheck depends on the weather and the clock
    If your conversation calls for
    A little more than a coffee pot
    If you need to pour your heart out
    And try to rectify some situation
    That you're facing
    Contact your American Honky-Tonk Bar Association.
    When Uncle Sam dips in your pocket
    For most things you don't mind
    But when your dollar goes to all of those
    Standing in a welfare line
    Well rejoice you have a voice
    If you're concerned about the destination
    Of this great nation
    It's called the American Honky-Tonk Bar Association.
    It represents the hardhat
    Gunrack, achin'-back
    Over taxed, flag-wavin', fun-lovin' crowd
    They're heart is in the music
    And they love to play it loud
    There's no forms or applications
    There's no red tape administrations
    It's the American Honky-Tonk Bar Association.
    We're all one big family
    Throughout the cities and the towns
    We don't reach for handouts
    we reach for those who are down
    And every local chapter has a seven day a week
    Available consultation
    For your frustration
    It's called the American Honky-Tonk Bar Association.
    It represents the mud flaps
    Six pack, bare crack
    Over-taxed, flag-wavin', fun-lovin' crowd
    They're heart is in the music
    And they love to play it loud
    There's no forms or applications
    There's no red tape administrations
    It's the American Honky-Tonk Bar Associatio
     
  18. Robert Snow

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    Jesus drank wine; these people drink beer. What's the problem?
     
  19. Allan

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    So you contend that drinking is what constitutes a church?
    Strange theological stance for a believer to hold.
     
  20. gb93433

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    While that church clearly states what their aim is many others have not but are nothing more than entertainment centers being big on making people laugh in an erffort to get more nickels and noses while the world is going to hell.

    Just think about how many pastors have tried to mimic Rick Warren. It reminds me of what Geroge Barna wrote about a church that sent its leaders to Willow Creek and once they returned and implemented tjheir ideas the church grew from 50 to about 500. Then the following year they went back down to 50. Too many pastors are really methodists by a different name thinking that methodology is the answer. Methodology is not the answer, God is. Jesus already gavce the methodoly but too many people are not interested and wil not do that.

    A church that is humble and makes disciples is a genuine church that is growing in love with Jesus Christ. Too many are about building programs and building buildings rather than building people in such a way that they are rooted and built up in Christ so they can make disciples any where they are located.

    When I first started pastoring I was amazed at how many older pastors told me not to share with other pastors what I was doing because they will steal sheep. Those pastors had the same answer when I asked them about the doors they knocked on each month.

    God's program is so vast compared to my little world. When we give ourselves away God blesses. I do not need to fear about my little world being taken away as I do ministry. There is more than enough room, until everyone is a follower of Jesus Christ. To this day I have never run out of work to do.
     

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