A reader notes:
I attend one of the churches mentioned in the article (Southland, near Lexington KY). We will be having services all day on Christmas Eve. To my knowledge, only a handful of people attending the church have any problem with the scheduling – it’s mostly people outside the church who have a problem with it. (As is usually the case. “I wouldn’t do that, therefore I am right in being indignant when others do it!”)
If we were a Catholic church, I think there would be a much bigger problem, but churches in the evangelical mold generally put much less of an emphasis on rites and rituals.
It makes me happy, because I absolutely love Southland, but I was planning heading to New Jersey Saturday night to be with family, and would therefore miss the services if they were on Sunday.
I attend one of the “megachurches” that was mentioned in the original version of this story that ran in the Lexington (KY) Herald- Leader on Sunday morning. For the life of me I can’t understand what the big deal is and why the MSM is harping on this unless they see it as a chance to embarrass evangelicals by presenting us as hypocrites. My church will be having three services on Christmas Eve that will be attended by at least 3,000 people over the course of the day. The church staff goes all out to make these services accessible to people in our community that might only attend church once a year. They go all out to have extra greeters and staff on hand to welcome these people to church in the hopes that they will come back again.
To expect the church staff to pull these events (and they are “productions” compared to the regular weekend services) off and then return eight hours later for the first of three regular Sunday services is ridiculous. My pastor works hard ministering to his congregation all year long and deserves to able to spend Christmas morning with his family opening Christmas presents and enjoying time with his kids and grandkids the same way that I will.
It boils down to a fundamental misunderstanding by the MSM of what evangelical Christian faith really is. They expect rituals and blocks of time allotted for God as opposed to the 24/ 7 Christ centered life that evangelicals live. In their view Christians are all blindly following a bunch of superstitious traditions and any deviation from what they expect is proof that our faith isn’t really all that strong.
By the way, my church holds a fourth weekend service: Saturday night at 5:30. That’s the service that my family attends. I haven’t been to church on Sunday in over five years. Somehow, I don’t think God is upset.