A pastor gets a tattoo while members of his congregation watch. I don’t know of any specific prohibition against tattoos in the Bible, but…REALLY??? Okay, so I’m one of those old fogies who keeps repeating the adage, “I never met anyone who regretted NOT getting a tattoo.” I don’t know what this guy’s tattoo is or says, but I may find out.
Guys dismount from Harley Davidsons and assorted other V-Twins in leather vests to climb the steps of an old banquet hall to worship.
Old, young, rags to riches, hundreds mingle in a borrowed “sanctuary” to hear a Bible lesson and sing praises. Roughly half of the attendees are wearing jeans and sporting tattoos on bare arms.
Cowboy Churches, Nascar Churches, and now: Biker Churches. An agnostic in my family (who I love dearly) responded to my initial description of this church and my intent to check it out with the words: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.”
He may be right, it may be ridiculous, but if it turns out to be legit and genuine, who knows where it might lead me?
Is this inclusiveness, or exclusiveness? Is it a gimmick to attract a typically un-churched, and therefore relatively financially untapped segment of society?
Or is this truly what Jesus Christ is leading some of his apostles to do: reach out to the outlaw and outcast, gather in his flock of those rejected by American society and show them the path to His everlasting love?
I’ve been a critic of mega churches, especially Fellowship Church of Grapevine, Texas, for a while now. I’ve no beef with having fun while you worship, but the extravagant stage shows and “creative” (i.e. gimmick hook) sermons I witnessed at Fellowship Church in Grapevine left me with a sense of unease, not one of having participated in communal worship of the Creator of the Universe.
For some time now I’ve bumbled around, visiting churches now and then, seeking a true church home. I’ve found some very sound churches that preached firm foundational messages. I’ve found one church whose pastor I admire for his in depth sermons that made me think, challenged my intellect, and always fell in line with God’s Word. But in my heart I’ve always left with the feeling that it just wasn’t home.
Fellowship is what has been missing most of all. The few places where the fellowship seemed genuine have also been a bit outside the pale of orthodoxy.
Lately I’ve been reading up on Hope Fellowship in Irving, Texas. It didn’t start as a “biker” church, but not long after its founding a massive crew of bikers attended one Sunday and became regulars. Their influence brought in others, and it simply became a biker dominated crowd. Looking at others of this ilk, I am intrigued.
I will likely attend the Hope Fellowship service this Sunday, as a seeker for a new church home and as a journalist. If they’re anywhere as genuine as the folks at Freedom Biker Church seem to be in the video below, I may just find a pastor and group of Christian siblings that I can settle down with.
Then again, it may be a big fad, or worse, an exploitation of society’s outlaws who simply want to start anew.
We’ll see. It’ll really all depend on the money trail…that’s always the best indicator between truth and deception.