Why you cant have Church in a PUB.

Today this article was posted in the newspaper:



Pastors Calvin Culverwell and Vic Francis are turning Albany Sports Bar into a make-shift church starting this Sunday.

Members of the Protestant Albany Shore Vineyard Churches have been working on the project for a year.

They aim to help people reconnect with religion in a relaxed place.

You can even have a beer during the service – providing you pay for it – and pizza and fries will be provided.

”We like to sit down, we like to eat together, we like to have great conversations. That’s a human thing but it’s a Kiwi thing as well,” Culverwell said.

”When I look through the Bible I see Jesus is someone who valued those things as well.

”So to me it seems it almost goes hand-in-hand.”



It should be noted for clarity that I have been a bouncer in these bars, and have had first hand witness to what goes on there.


1. They are NOT turning a bar into a Church. They are going there whilst people are going about their normal business of getting drunk, and then going out/home (on any evening 80% of ALL crime will be alcohol fuelled in NZ).

2,  They are going there and drinking alcohol and eating pizza (pretty much what everyone else is doing).

3. The north shore of auckland is reknown for binge drinking and alcohol issues with teenagers.

4. Church is a gathering of believers to worship God, to strengthen one anothers faith, and to learn and grow in the ways of God’s kingdom. This is NOT Church.


5. They are condoning, visibily and actively one of the worst problems in New Zealand society.

I can not understand why any reasonably minded, community oriented rational person would condone drinking in today’s society. I have even LESS comprehension about why a Christian would condone drinking. I can understand going to a pub, having a pizza and an orange juice and cracking a chat about life, the universe, and everything. But to be seen actually drinking? Irresponsible to the highest degree. To be seen drinking “at church” – my goodness.. its an abomination.

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6 Replies to “Why you cant have Church in a PUB.”

  1. dear sir you might be interested to know that without pubs the catholic faith in the uk would not have survived. The only place where people could meet in large numbers without suspicion was often the local hostlery and between the late 1600s into the late 19th century pubs were often the place where the the eucharist could be celebrated so just be careful about knocking the idea if people feel safe in such an enviroment particularly where christianity is a minority primarily at the moment i look towards the levant we can ask that under the cover of the pub the gospel may be spread

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I dont think the issue is quite the same. In fact, they are not. I have no real issue with people doing it for proper reasons (persecution, witnessing, or because there is nowhere else to go, etc).

  2. Jesus said…’Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…’ Matthew 28:19

    Where would Jesus be? Not in a church pew but with the prostitutes on ‘K’ road, with the drinkers in the bar, with the poor and the hurting, with the sick and grieving…Our instructions as believers are clear ‘to go!’

    This is clearly not condoning drinking but clearly meeting the people in a place of need, where the problems are and where the most love is needed….thank you to the pub that was generous to provide the place and space…I know some ‘churches’ that wouldn’t do this much.

    We don’t want ‘religious garbage’, we want the love of Jesus to shine through in a struggling world. As the spiritual battle rages we need to get off our spiritual ‘high horses’, get on with our calling, not fight each other but be united in Christ… and not be tripped up by the deceiver!

    I pray for this church; that the Lord would guide in His infinite wisdom and souls would be saved and lives changed…because in a hundred years or so from now that is all that REALLY matters!

    1. Sharonne,

      If they want to go along K’Rd and witness, or go into a Pub and witness, that’s fine. But if you can not see the difference between that and having “church” in a bar, and including booze and pizza…

      It _is_ condoning. By doing the thing, you are agreeing with and supporting the thing. Whilst you might not be saying “I agree with getting drunk and beating your wife”, you ARE saying that it is OK to drink.. and it is clearly NOT ok to drink (since it plays a part in 80% of all crime in NZ for a start).

      People say “well, Jesus drank”. Actually, we are told Jesus was called a drunkard by some people who were insulting him, and that he turned water into wine. I dont recall reading anywhere in the Bible that Jesus actually drank. Here is a fairly simplistic but accurate summary: http://www.humblefishmall.com/wine.html (note I do not necessarily agree with everything written in this article)

      1. Dear sir

        You do not have a full understanding of all the events that have taken place to get this church this far and what has really happening here. May I suggest that you get all the facts and go straight to the source. Instead of ‘talking about’ how about ‘talking to’ the parties involved.You may be pleasantly surprised! Remember the media has a way of sensationalizing.

        God is sovereign and He has lead and opened the doors.

        Get the job done body of Christ.


        1. Sharonne,

          I dont need to. Unless they are not going to a bar to drink and eat pizza and call it Church, then they are wrong. It doesnt matter HOW they got there, what they are doing is ethically irresponsible.

          If they are going to a bar to witness, and lead by example by NOT drinking booze, well, then we dont have a problem.
          As long as they are drinking alcohol in the name of Jesus/Church, they deserve condemnation.

          (ps, there is no evidence that Jesus drank alcohol, so even their justification for this is flawed)

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