The article describes the event as follows:
"Holiness in the Hood" spread out across the church parking lot, where a three-on-three basketball tournament was in progress; down the front steps, where a disc jockey blasted out rap music; and into the side yard, where hamburgers and hot dogs sizzled on a grill outside a huge tent erected to fend off sporadic rain.Sounds fun to me, except of course for the worship services on either end of the event.
"This is a community event," said Jamey Wills, daughter of Overseer James Wills, Love Fellowship's pastor. "We want to provide a safe environment for young people that gives them something to do. It gets young people to come together in love and unity. We're just trying to touch a young person."I'm all for providing safe environments to youth, although I think I can do without "trying to touch a young person." Seems like the Catholics have seen so much trouble for being unable to resist this urge that others would have learned to avoid it by now.
Seriously though, I applaud the church for organizing what sounds like a good time for families who might be in need of one. I think it is too bad that there have to be strings attached though. The whole "touch a young person" makes it clear that evangelism is the goal. It is too bad that providing young people with a safe and enjoyable experience isn't a sufficient goal in its own right.
But the question this raises for me is a little different. What I want to know is "What about the nonbelievers?" Do non-Christian families not desire fun? Are their children less deserving of safety? Could they attend such an event without being subjected to proselytizing?
Anyone needing a smile, encouragement or a kind word only had to drop in Saturday afternoon at Love Fellowship Christian Church.Does "anyone" really refer to anyone, or is it limited to Christians? Perhaps I deserve criticism for being too damn cynical here. Can't the church simply be trying to do something positive for their community without conversion being a part of it?
"What we hope to do is bridge between the church and the community," Jamerson said. "We want to re-establish the church as the community. The majority of people around this neighborhood don't attend any church. Events like this show people we can have a good relationship with Christ regardless of race. We can make our cities better places to live in."I guess not. Not when events such as this are designed to "get you ready for Jesus." Oh well.
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