Can the Church Provide Recreation & Entertainment?
A. Many churches are zealously providing recreation and/or
entertainment today; e.g., they have their kitchens, fellowship
halls, and athletic buildings.
1. They seem to think that the end justifies the means;
however, we can not do evil that good may come. Rom. 3:8
B. In this lesson, we want to look at why the church (from its
treasury) cannot furnish recreation or entertainment. (See
I. IT IS NOT THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH.
A. Jesus did not come to entertain. Luke 19:10
1. The gospel is God's power to save. Rom. 1:16
2. The mission of the church is to uphold, defend, and proclaim
the truth which saves men's souls. 1 Tim. 3:15
a. The church is to edify. Eph. 4:16
b. It is to aid its own members. 1 Tim. 5:16
II. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR IT.
A. We must respect the silence of the Scriptures. 1 Pet. 4:11; 2
1. We are not to think of men above that which is written. 1
2. Rev. 22:18 - Not only is "rewriting" the Scriptures wrong,
but to teach something as though it came from the Scriptures
is also adding to the word.
3. Heb. 11:30 - The Israelites trusted that if they did it
God's way, it would accomplish the divinely intended
B. Some say, "It is not expressly forbidden."
1. They are looking for: "The church CANNOT provide
recreation and entertainment."
a. The Lord only stated what he wanted, not all the things
He does not want.
b. The assumption that we can do whatever is not
expressly forbidden opens the doors for anything under
III. IT IS NOT "CHURCH BUSINESS."
A. The church does have a "business." Acts 6:3
1. Paul made a difference between the social and the spiritual.
1 Cor. 11:22,34
2. Foot washing belongs to the social things of the home. 1
a. Likewise, this is where recreation and entertainment
IV. IT IS TO PUT NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOLY AND THE COMMON. Ezek.
A. The church providing recreation and entertainment is not in the
New Testament which was sealed by the blood of Christ. Matt.
26:28; Heb. 9:16-18
1. All things used in God's service must be sealed with the
B. The church providing recreation and entertainment is "common"
and cannot be part of the work and worship of the church.
V. IT LEADS AWAY FROM SPIRITUALITY.
A. It substitutes:
1. Food for the stomach for food for the soul.
2. Play and laughter for worship and spiritual songs.
3. Fun and frolic for meditation and prayer.
B. Phil. 3:19; 2 Tim. 3:4
1. "If you win them on a hotdog, you've got to keep them on a
VI. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS A SPIRITUAL KINGDOM. Rom. 14:17; John 18:36
A. One lady said that she would not let her children ride on the
"church" bus anymore because, "It's too hard on my children's
1. The "liberals" were offering candy to entice children to
ride on their bus to services.
B. Jesus did not approve of the people who were seeking Him to
obtain food. John 6:26-27
1. "Churches today are more interested in healing the sores on
Lazarus, than changing the heart of the rich man."
2. "Jesus didn't come to get the people out of the slums, but
the slums out of the people."
VII. THE BIBLE TERM "FELLOWSHIP" IS NEVER USED IN REFERENCE TO
RECREATION OR ENTERTAINMENT.
A. It is a spiritual fellowship based on gospel teaching. 1 John
1. Jesus died on the cross to bring spiritual fellowship, not
to bring people togther to drink coffee, and to eat donuts.
2. A man of the "liberal" persuasion complained, "The smell of
food distracted me from my worship."
a. The problem was that some were preparing the food
during the services for their "fellowship" meal which
was to follow immediately after the services.
3. Remember Paul's words. 1 Cor. 11:34.
a. The Lord's church is not a social club, but a soul-saving
VIII. CHURCH-FURNISHED ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION HAS NOT ADDED TO
THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCHES GIVEN TO SUCH.
A. Bemoaning the fact of slow growth, someone said, "Maybe it
would not be out of order to stop cooking in our church
kitchens; stop playing in our athletic buildings; and call for
an old-fashioned prayer meeting, get back to God, back to the
Bible, on fire with real love in our hearts for lost souls."
B. The entertainment projects go over big for a time, but in the
final analysis, they introduce worldly things into the church.
1. It encourages worldliness in the hearts of people. 1 John
IX. IT IS A NEW THING.
A. Several years ago church-furnished entertainment was opposed by
gospel preachers in terms nobody misunderstood.
1. B.C. Goodpasture, in an editorial in the Gospel Advocate,
May 20, 1948 said, "It is not the mission of the church to
furnish amusement for the world, or even for its own
members...The church would come off a poor second, if it
undertook to compete with institutions established for the
express purpose of entertaining people. Only as the church
becomes worldly, as it pillows its head on the lap of
Delilah, will it want to turn from its wanted course, to
relatively unimportant matters."
2. Old time gospel preachers would ridicule the denominations
by saying, "You have started a new office." When they
asked, "What new office?" they replied, "A church cook!"
A. Our forefathers wrote the constitution of our country in such a
way that there would always be separation of church and state.
1. Today, modern man has the problem of wanting to join
church and home.
2. The results are more devastating than joining church and
a. Church-provided recreation and entertainment has
caused a loss of spirituality among the churches. It has
brought a flood of worldliness into the churches.
b. The end result is that souls are ruined, lost, and damned
B. Let us seek the old paths which have been set forth by our
Creator, and not the ways of our own devising. Prov. 16:25;
Jer. 6:16; John 4:24
Why The Church Cannot Provide Recreation & Entertainment
Not the Mission of the Church
Silence of the Scripture Forbids It
It is not "Church Business"
Putting no Difference between Holy & Common
Kingdom of God is Spiritual
Leads Away From Spirituality
Term "Fellowship" is Never so Used
Has Not Added to the Growth of Churches
It is a New Thing