N.B. Hardeman: ". . . it is not the work of the church to furnish entertainment for the members. And yet many churches have drifted into such an effort. They enlarge their basements, put in all kinds of gymnastic apparatus, and make every sort of appeal to the young people of the congregation. I have never read anything in the Bible that indicated to me that such was a part of the work of the church. I am wholly ignorant of any Scripture that even points in that direction" (Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. V).
B.C. Goodpasture: "It is not the mission of the church to furnish amusement for the world or even for its own members. Innocent amusement in proper proportion has its place in the life of all normal persons, but it is not the business of the church to furnish it. The church would come off a poor second if it undertook to compete with institutions established for the express purpose of entertaining people. It would make itself ridiculous if it entered into such competition. Again, it is not the responsibility of the church as such to furnish recreation for its members. A certain amount of recreation is necessary to the health and happiness of the individual . . . but it is not the function of the church to furnish the play. The church was not established to furnish athletics. .For the church to turn aside from its divine work to furnish amusement and recreation is to pervert its mission. It is to degrade its mission. Amusement and recreation should stem from the home rather than the church. The church, like Nehemiah, has a great work to do; and it should not come down on the plains of Ono to amuse and entertain. As the church turns its attention to amusement and recreation, it will be shorn of its power as Samson was when his hair was cut. Only as the church becomes worldly, as it pillows its head on the lap of Delilah, will it want to turn from its wonted course to relatively unimportant matters. Imagine Paul selecting and training a group of brethren to compete in the Isthmian games!" (Gospel Advocate, May 20, 1948, p. 484)
Roy H. Lanier, Sr.: "Recreation and entertainment are good for young people,. . . But such activities are the responsibility of the home, not the church. . .And there are congregations which have kindergartens five days a week for children under school age. Some of them charge tuition, but some do not. . . Where is the Scripture which authorizes a church to educate the children of parents who are able to pay for their education? And if the church charges tuition, where is the Scripture that authorizes the church to charge for its services? A church may as well charge for its Sunday school instruction as to charge for its Monday school instruction. The truth of the matter is that the church is involved in a work which it is not authorized to do, and using the time and energy of its members in a work which is the responsibility of the home" (Firm Foundation, March 22, 1977, p. 201).
Compiled by Shawn Paden