The Pen

Passion City Church Cancels Church Services for “Sabbath Break”

I’m not making this up.  I don’t think I could.  This is actually happening.  Louie Giglio’s Passion City Church has canceled its Sunday services on August 27th and September 3rd for what it has deemed a “Sabbath break”.  The church’s pastor has instructed his congregation not to come to church on the Lord’s Day in order to “Stop. Rest. Remember”.  A cursory biblical justification is given on the church’s website for canceling Sunday services for “Sabbath rest” but it’s not hard to discern that this course of action is a plainly ridiculous one for any biblically grounded church to take.

According to Giglio, “Sabbath rest is how we begin each season.”  Here Giglio seems to have confused a church’s fiscal year (it is common for churches to end their fiscal year at the end of September) with the actual seasons of weather which ancient agrarian cultures such as Israel used to mark transitions. It is surely no small coincidence that the church is canceling services on Labor Day weekend, which is usually a weekend of low church attendance, especially for seeker-sensitive churches like Passion City.  Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta Georgia, where Passion City Church is located, is filled with popular events such as the Chick-Fil-A College Kickoff, Dragoncon, and Atlanta Black Gay Pride.  Perhaps the leadership of Passion City Church thinks that its congregants and army of volunteers would rather attend these events than a worship service at Passion City.  (I can honestly say that I’d rather go to a Comic Book convention of an event for gays than a service Passion City Church….by the way, Roll Tide).   The church’s website, while telling worshipers to stay home on Sunday, reminded them to still send in their gifts.  After all, the staff people not putting on a church service on Sunday still need to get paid.

Louie Giglio and his close friend Andy Stanley are both products of First Baptist Church of Atlanta.  Exactly what happened there?  The past year has seen Andy Stanely cancel church for Christmas and Louie Giglio cancel church on Labor Day Weekend.  Readers with friends or family members involved in either Stanley’s North Point Church or Giglio’s Passion City Church would do well to pray for the souls of those loved ones.  They might also consider giving Charles Stanley a call and asking him, “What exactly were you thinking with these guys?”

Do not forsake the gathering together of the brethren.   Make sure you go to church at a sound, biblical church this Sunday. While you are there, you can stop, rest, and remember what Christ has done for you.   By the way, when you got saved (if you’re a Christian), you entered into God’s Sabbath rest.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant