Nearly all churches today have some sort of eating facility, and usually a gymnasium/family life center is built as soon the church can afford it. Sometimes the food-and-fun part of the church building is the first part of the building constructed! Yet what so many accept without thought flatly violates the standard of New Testament Christianity. Here are three reasons why.
<h2> First, such is not authorized in Scripture. </h2> <p>By authorized we mean knowing it is God’s will. How do we know it is God’s will that money be spent on fun and games? What passage could be remotely twisted to establish that God does approve of such? Arguing that it is fellowship won t work since in the Bible fellowship refers to spiritual activities, not eating and playing (see 1 John 1:5). If we decide we can eat and play (despite the lack of Bible authority for it) in the church building using the church’s funds, what else can we decide we will do without Bible authority?</p> <h2> Second, it is not ultimately helpful to the church’s purposes. </h2> <p>Most churches put on various social and recreational opportunities with at least some emphasis on inviting the unchurched. This, apparently, makes almost anything right before God because the church is doing evangelism. Anything that gets a crowd, anything that might cause a sinner to stumble over the gospel is justified, according to this line of thought. Yet if this was really the way to save souls wouldn t God instruct the church to do these things? After all, who wants souls saved more than God? People in New Testament times liked to have fun just as much as people today do. The word gymnasium is a Greek word. They knew what gyms were back in Bible times. Why doesn’t the Bible record anything about the church building such? Further, we might ask if doing anything to draw a crowd really works why did Jesus refuse to provide meals for the crowd that sought Him (see John 6). Jesus actually sent people away (see John 6:66) who were only interested in entertainment and filling their stomachs with a free meal. Evidently Jesus knows something many today have not reckoned with: you cannot build the spiritual with the carnal. This is why Paul tells the Ephesian elders that he commends them to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32). It is God’s word that builds up not eating and playtime!</p> <h2> Finally, church sponsored recreation wastes the Lord’s money. </h2> <p>The ultimate mandate of the church is to save souls (1 Tim 3:15). Evangelism must come first, not basketballs or eating. How can one dollar be spent on fellowship halls or fun when preachers go begging for support? Churches today have built multi-million dollar fun facilities. How many preachers could be supported around the world for such money? How can such expenditures possibly be justified when people are dying lost every day? Worst of all, who’s money is being wasted? God’s money is. Churches are taking God’s money and spending it on their own desires instead of using it for the kingdom of heaven!</p>
In short, church sponsored recreation is wrong and it cannot be right. Instead of participating in this kind of sinful activity we must stand against it!