A Tulsa church has caused controversy for allowing congregants to drink alcohol on the premises. Sunday, Oct. 26, East Side Christian Church featured “Beer and Hymns Sunday” as part of a series about the future of the Christian church around the world, according to Charisma Magazine.
The church maintains there is a three-beer limit and ID’s are checked at the door.
First Christian Church of Downtown Tulsa, Harvard Avenue Christian Church, Phillips Theological Seminary, and Oklahoma Disciples Foundation are also co-hosts of the weeklong event that features Portland-based religious author Christian Piatt.
“Everybody’s welcome. No questions are banned. No holds barred,” Michael Riggs, senior pastor at First Christian Church of Downtown Tulsa, told Fox23.com. “Just come and re
spect each other’s opinions, and just have a good honest conversation about God while having a few beers at the same time.”
East Side Christian Church is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 2014 Yearbook reports a 35 percent increase in total membership over the past decade.
Jennifer LeClaire, news editor of Charisma, agrees that with declining numbers like those debate is warranted, but questions whether slamming down a few brews is the way to solve the ills of the Church.
“Are beer-based outreaches really edifying in the end?,” LeClaire wrote. “If we compromise the purity and holiness of the Christian faith to win souls, are we really leading them into a true salvation after the bottle of beer is empty? Or are we merely compromising the gospel in the name of soul-winning without fruit that remains?”