An open letter to churches who cancel services for sporting events.

I don’t know if that happens everywhere else…but I’m in St. Louis and the Cardinals are in the World Series, and my Facebook feed is littered with minister-friends canceling their Wednesday services in favor of the game. So this is to them…

Dear Churches:

Just what in the fuck do you think you are doing? Shame on you. You have the most important message in the world, and you have members of your church who desperately need to hear it. Yet you are closing your doors in the era of DVR and smart phones, when those who are interested in the game could easily keep track.

To be clear, I’m not trying to fault anybody for wanting to see the game. If an individual decides to skip church (or anything, really) in favor of watching a ball game or whatever’s your idol (mine is music and yes I’m a hypocrite), I totally understand and support their right to do so. However, I do not support it on the corporate level of the Church. I think it’s disgraceful and frankly I’m ashamed of my friends who are pulling that shit.

Consider this, Church… You’re concerned with where people will spend their eternity. Important message, yeah? And yet when you close your doors, you are communicating not only that the ball game is more important than that message on that night…you’re communicating something much more damning. You’re communicating that your message is also less important than the message of all of the secular businesses that STAYED OPEN. Your message is less important than Walmart’s. Less important than the grocery store. Less important than the mall. Less important than the movie theatre. Less important than the porno-store. They all welcomed anyone in who needed them during the game. And where were you, again? Up to your ass in peanuts and cracker jacks on your couch.

Shame. On. You.

Look… I’m not an idiot. I know your numbers will be down. I know some of you will be sitting in a room alone or with only one other guy listening to the game yourself on the radio because no one showed up. I know you’ll be frustrated by that…

But I also know that some of your membership is desperately lonely, desperately depressed, and they’re so despondent that they don’t know where to turn in the Bible, so they’re not opening it at all, instead hoping they’ll get some flicker of hope at their Wednesday night prayer meeting. And you closed…your fucking…doors.

And that’s on YOU.

I only say all of this because I love you and I hate to see you going astray, Church. And that’s what you’re doing. I’m sorry. But it IS.

Cue long line of excuses…

-Derek, the Soon to be Shunned

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