Last night marked the first ever “worship service” for the Soul Revival Biker Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The Friday night event was held in the same building where Global Vision Bible Church (GVBC) meets. Readers of Pulpit & Pen will recognize GVBC as the church founded and (still) pastored by the disgraced and profane adulterer Greg Locke. Locke recently announced from the GVBC pulpit that his personal trainer, Chris Welborn, was to become the pastor of a new church which would be meeting on Friday nights on the GVBC campus. To anyone with a modicum of discernment or decency it should be clear that a church founded by a man, Welborn, who counts Greg Locke as his pastor and was ordained to the gospel ministry by GVBC should be avoided like the plague. What might not be so clear is that “affinity” churches such as Soul Revival Biker Church are based upon a model that is antithetical to the teachings of scripture.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+3&version=NASB
Paul was specifically teaching the Galatian church that its gentile members did not have to conform to Old Covenant Jewish ceremonial laws to be in right standing before God. Broadly speaking, Paul communicated that unity in Christ transcends social and cultural boundaries. Christ is greater than the culture and His people are identified as just that, His people. They are not to recognize, within the church, the separating differences that the world sees. If someone in the ancient world would have tried to set up a church just for slaves, just for Gentiles, just for Jews, or just for men, the Apostle Paul would have rebuked him strongly. So why should someone in the modern world set up a church for cowboys, gamers, hippies, soccer moms, or bikers? Such affinity churches focus not upon unity in Christ across economic, cultural, and racial lines but separate believers into subcultures. Furthermore, such churches shift focus away from God and towards worldly interests. There is certainly nothing wrong with temperate enthusiasm for horses, video games, folk music, youth sports, or motorcycles but are these things around which people should gather for church? Affinity churches seem to be based more upon marketing than the Spirit. Mt. Juliet’s new biker church is no different.
Once more, it should come as no surprise that something so grossly unbiblcal and worldly came out of GVBC. GVBC already recognizes “internet members” who have no physical presence in Tennessee but are expected to view streaming services and donate from their homes. These “members” are separated from local fellowship while members of the biker church are separated from Christians who don’t share their subculture’s enthusiasm for leather, denim, and tattoos. If anything, this biker church venture seems like another way to monetize the GVBC campus (by bringing in activity on a Friday night). Soul Revival Biker Church is essentially Chris Welborn’s business, backed by another scoundrel entrepreneur in the sordid gain trade, Greg Locke.
Remember, the gospel divides sinners from saints and changes lives. The gospel brings Christians of all stripes, shapes, and sizes together. It doesn’t group them into affinity niches. I encourage all associated with GVBC or Soul Revival Biker Church to remember the biblical and practical advice that was recently shared on the Soul revival Facebook page.
If anyone is wondering what the actual preaching and singing was like at the Soul Revival Biker Church service, it is linked above. I watched some of it and it was extremely odd. After some singing from a praise team, Welborn came on stage and led an “ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party” jam and then led the congregation in the pledge of allegiance. He then gave some of his personal testimony.
*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 at 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.
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