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Holy Gas, Batman! Church Tempts Parishioners With Fuel

America's car-culture worship might be reaching new heights, and transcendent ones at that. A church in Snellville, GA has developed a new strategy to tempt newcomers and get butts in pew seats: free gas.

Rusty Newman, the church’s senior pastor said of this congregation-filling promotion: “We don’t know how far it will go with these soaring prices, but it may make someone’s night.” The church set up a sign to alert passing motorists of their offer (a $500 gas raffle — hmm. Sounds familiar. . . ) on a busy road in town and soon after they were inundated with calls. So many that the church had to order a whole new phone line just to keep up.

Pastor Newman looked to the Bible for an endorsement from a higher authority for his gas scheme, and came to believe that Jesus feeding a great many with a few loaves and fish was the answer to his prayers. “If it was just to get people in the building, it would be wrong. But we want to meet someone’s physical need and eternal spiritual needs.”

It's not enough to pray for lower gas prices, now a break on gas is bait to worship? Is this creative clergying or misguiding the flock? Would you stop in and pray for a chance to fill up your tank?
Source

UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Did I miss the announcement of the gas contest?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I guess I just come from the perspective that you should do "anything" to get people in to your church. I think that there needs to be a certain level of integrity, and this kind of exploits people's desperate situations, IMO. I understand other people think differently, and I am ok with that! :)
stephley stephley 9 years
Judgments come pretty fierce and swift on a lot of items here- mentions of illegal immigrants draw particularly rapid, uncharitable responses, IMO; why should a church raffle be handled any more delicately?
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I see what you're sayin pop!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I agree that you aren't contemplating your carbon footprint if you are starving. I guess I didn't find that point really relevant to this conversation, since it's based on the assumption that the money is going to feed starving kids. I assume the money is being used for a good cause, just not that one in particular, that's all. There is always the argument that if something ends up "doing good" the method of getting there isn't important. Like, "if more people go to church, then how is this bad?" Or, "if we can give more money to charity than how is this bad?" But based on some of the responses here, it's clear that not everyone buys into the method that was used, even if the end result does more "good" than "bad".
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
pop - its is my understand that most of the money from churches go to feed the starving in the community or to community efforts in general, or feeding the poor/mission trips, etc... The point I was trying to make with that statement was that its pretty easy to sit around contemplating your carbon footprint when you don't have to worry about whether or not you'll get to eat your next meal.
syako syako 9 years
well Jill who is to say this church isn't already doing community work? I mean, we are really quick to point the finger and judge.
syako syako 9 years
:rotfl: I think all arguments were based on speculation... ;)
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Is the money going to charity or the church? I just think that you can get more people in the pews by going out and making a positive difference in their community. There are so many ways people are struggling now, and church volunteers could make a huge difference. I think that would be a more respectable way to get people into your church, instead of baiting them with free gass. How many people do you think will sign up for this prize that have no intention of really supporting this church?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
"Maybe we should ask the starving kids the proceeds may go to feed whether or not they car about their carbon footprint." Where did it say the proceeds are going to feed starving kids? I realize you said "may" but let's not base arguments on complete speculation here!
stiletta stiletta 9 years
I don't get Scientology at all.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
At least they are being honest about it and not doing a bait and switch like Scientologists!!!
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Hey, when are they announcing the winner?
stiletta stiletta 9 years
I agree UnDave. Anything that gets butts in seats is good, and what harm is there? Maybe you change someone's life?
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Ooooh if it's one of the obnoxious ones from the Gore thread I'm going to be irritated. :rant:
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
As to the gas raffle. Any way that you can get the people into the pews is a good thing. I don't know of many people who would be tempted by a prize. Some pastor's sermons aren't worth sitting through to get the prize...
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
ooooh! i hope its undave! Thanks Cab! :hug:
syako syako 9 years
well like Cabaker said, chances are all the proceeds of the raffle are going either to some poor children in the city or some other charity or church-related activity. So I don't think it's necessarily a gimmick for people to choose faith, it's a way to raise money for a good cause and bring awareness to those in the community about their church. I guess we'll just see it differently though, and I'm OK with that. :)
Jillness Jillness 9 years
If the church wanted more parishners, why not try to draw people in based on the gift of Faith? It just seems very wrong to me to lure them in with something that is completely unrelated. Does God really need a gimmick? There is a part of me that is insulted by this approach.
emsmiley emsmiley 9 years
I'm from Snellville! I know it's goofy to be happy that my town is being mentioned, but whatever.
syako syako 9 years
That's what I was saying!! I bet you it was...
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"the winner was a brand new user." Wouldn't it just be hysterical if it was one of the crazies that was talking trash to hypno and Harmony on the Gore thread the other day? Hysterical in a tragic kind of way...
syako syako 9 years
I disagree wholeheartedly with that statement jill.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Like Shaw says in Major Barbara... If you approach a starving man with bread in one hand and a Bible in the other, it isn't conversion it is a bribe.
syako syako 9 years
my church is raffling off a polar bear...
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