Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Pub Theology"

Emergent Inebriates - There They Go Again!

"A growing number of Christian groups from a variety of denominations are taking God to the bars, launching religious-themed pub nights dubbed 'martini masses' or 'theology on tap' in an effort to broaden their reach.[1]

Mixing theology with inebriation is rapidly becoming established as a new way to do evangelism. The latest article on this new wave of tipsy testimony comes from yesterday's Globe and Mail in Vancouver, Canada: "Go on, have a pint with the Lord." The article begins:

On Wednesday nights at Ballygiblin's pub in Ottawa, the most animated conversations involve neither hockey nor politics. Instead, over pints of their local microbrew, patrons are more likely to be engrossed in debate over the significance of Jesus Christ in the modern world.

Pastor Ahren Summach of the Ottawa Valley Vineyard church realizes it may be an unorthodox place to hold his weekly theological meetings.

But since they began earlier this year, his sessions regularly draw more than a half-dozen men who gather to drink and examine such questions as, “Is Jesus God?” and “If God is good and all powerful, then why is there suffering in the world?”

The appeal of holding the meetings in a pub, Mr. Summach said, “is trying to blur the lines between what's a sacred space and what's a secular space. Without the religious setting, you get more authentic discussion, more honest questions and a little more honest sharing.”

According to the article, these "new theology pub groups" are becoming widespread. They "have also cropped up across Canada, in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver."

The previous Herescope post by Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Emergent Inebriates: Some thoughts on 'Pub Theology'" reviewed this phenomenon, which is also coming in like a flood in America as one of the hottest new "tools" for reaching out to the lost.

Some of us recall that in the days of the "Jesus Movement" we did street witnessing, and occasionally walked into bars. But it wasn't to drink. It was to offer lost souls the opportunity to get saved by Jesus Christ and to be freed from their sins. Rather than staying in bars, people were pulled out of bars! The power of true Holy Spirit revival, to which we were eyewitnesses, is now being replaced by a tipsy technique of mixing carnal with spiritual, where the purported soul-winners become indistinguishable from the lost, and where the "mind of Christ" becomes dulled by inebriation.

The Truth:

"[T]he devil never speaks any truth but with an intention to deceive."[2]

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:12-13)

1. "Go on, have a pint with the Lord," Wendy Leung, Globe and Mail, October 12, 2009.

2. Matthew Poole's Commentary on Acts 16:18.