Sixteen cars, 15 flat-screen televisions, furniture sets and other prizes are lined up at Bay Area Fellowship Church and ready to be claimed by anyone who attends the church's Easter services on Sunday.
Though the church of some 7,000 weekly attendees has regularly flexed its creative muscles to draw the unchurched, the upcoming "Ultimate Giveaway" is like no other outreach it has ever attempted.
Pastor Bil Cornelius, who made the game show analogy, admits it's a bit "outrageous." But he sees it as "an opportunity to share Christ with people who may never go to a church for any reason," he told The Christian Post.And then there's this:
I don't mean to pick on this one church, because goodness knows there's a lot of similar nonsense going on out there. But there are so many things wrong with this, both for this body in Corpus Christi and others of its ilk -- that a church would make its focus cash and prizes rather than the sovereignty of God. That church is akin to a slot machine -- show up and you could win an Audi! That on the weekend Christians acknowledge the price paid for their sin -- the death of God's Son on a cross -- this is what this church is choosing to do, at best eclipsing and at worst ignoring the cost of our sin as well as the primacy of the gospel.
I now have another item on my prayer list for this Resurrection Weekend -- that the publicity and outcry this church's antics have garnered will be used by God for His purposes and not the world's; that the unchurched sheep who find their way to these services will be given supernatural grace and godly insight to look past the snake oil and mercenary tactics to, in spite of all efforts to the contrary, acknowledge their sins against a holy and all-powerful God, know that Jesus Christ died to spare them (and me) from His wrath, and turn their lives and will over to Him; and that the elders and pastor of this church would chose the narrow gate in the future and feed their flock on the meat of God's Word.