Dr. Couch, have you ever heard of Cowboy Churches?
ANSWER: Yes, I have. Where I live that are many of them. And it grieves me because this is but a gimmick in order to attract attention for going to church. This is part of the Emerging Church mentality. Use any device in order to get people to come to the services.
Now I want to be clear, I am always glad when the gospel is given. And most of these churches seem conservative and not liberal. But they certainly are not churches as described by the apostle Paul. A church is for the teaching of the saints, giving forth of sound and solid doctrine. A sound church should be making clear the Scriptures and exegeting the Word of God. But these churches simply give short devotionals and have a lot of country music entertainment. Most of the messages are short devotionals with little substance.
Many bring their horses in order to ride around the grounds together when the devotional messages are over. Some have reported to me that you can see in the faces of the younger crowd that they cannot wait for the entertainment to be over so that they can get on with the bar-b-que and then the horse riding. Those coming like to dress up with their cowboy hats and boots. They are into the cowboy mystique and like to play at church, as cowboys!
Many of these churches meet out in pastures or in open barns. Now that does not bother me. To have a biblical church does not mean one has to meet in a church building! But what is really happening is that these cowboys want to continue to play cowboys on Sunday. They like the Western setting, the boots and the hats. And, they need to be honest as to what really attracts them to such meetings.
Most of the "preachers" each Sunday are not well-trained. In fact, they would resent someone saying they should be, in order to clearly present the Scriptures.
Some would argue, "But this cowboy emphasis gets the cowboys here!" But at what cost? If few show up to hear God's Word, without some showmanship attached to the services, this simply tells us that indeed we are in the apostasy and the departure from the truth!
I happen to have some distant relatives who started going to such a church out in West Texas. At first, they raved at how good it was but then they began to slip, and finally they stopped all together. The reason: there really was no substance to what they were hearing. It was all fun and games in order to attract a crowd!
What would you think if we started a Boat Church, or a Chess Church? People who like boating and enjoyed playing chess would show up, but would this be a church meant to teach and instruct believers in the Scriptures? But think about it! Why not a Boating or
Chess playing church? If I can do a Cowboy church, one gimmick is as good as the next!
What disappoints me the most is: Christians are not thinking! They justify their foolishness without analyzing what they are really doing. And many are willing to attend such a church and leave a good Bible teaching assembly. There is an old saying: "Any excuse will do!"
Cowboy churches will probably be but a passing fad. Someday, these folks will wake up and say, "What in the world were we thinking?"
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch