I found out today that a church in my hometown of Jackson, Michigan is now offering services once a week at a bar. That seems about right and personally, I think this is great. I’m all for churches breaking out of the mundane stereotype of holding the Lord’s prayer in a stuffy building that smells of old people and Fig Newtons. Let’s liven it up a little, shall we? One of the first miracles Jesus performed was turning water into wine. Dude was into home brewing; clearly he liked to drink a little.
Music Pastor John Voelz at Westwinds Community Church was the one to come up with the idea.
“The idea of not mixing Jesus and alcohol is kind of an old-school one that isn’t part of the scripture – I mean, Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine and it was the best wine at the party,” Voelz said.
Totes the best wine at the party! Although, let’s be real. It was the only wine at the party. It’s not like anyone at the table knew how to judge the grapey undertones with a true pretentious palate that only the most serious wine drinkers of today’s modern age have. Was Jesus’ wine more of the 7-11 boxed wine variety or the stuff you pay $50 a bottle for that tastes more or less the same as the $2.50 bottles of Crane Lake you can find at Walmart? We’ll never know.
“I think Westwinds does the kind of ministry that’s always going to be mildly offensive to people who grew up in a very religious environment,” Voelz said.
Word. I like this guy’s style. I have a few questions about going to church in a bar though.
Can I order a drink?
Obviously, we’re at a bar. Why would one bring Jesus to a bar without indulging in some serious spirits? But I think it would feel wrong in a way, like I was being tricked. It’s just like in Flowers in the Attic when the children eat their grandmother’s cookies unbeknownst to them they’re poisoned. Don’t poison me, bro. I’m just trying to get my Lord on.
How many drinks is too many drinks tho?
So we’re like…I don’t know…20 minutes into the service and I have a serious thirst for my second gin and tonic. Or maybe I’m craving that Two Hearted Ale. Hell, maybe I’m feeling fucking fancy and I want to order scotch. Will it interrupt the pastor’s vibe when I’m like, “Give me a 12-year Macallan neat”? Will he be silently sitting on his throne of judgment criticizing me for not only what I order but how many I order?
Will the pastor be drinking?
Honestly, I’m going to take into account what the pastor is drinking. If he orders a MGD 64 I’ll know he’s not only watching his weight, but he’s a pussy. If he orders something more hardcore like a Jack and Coke I’ll be all, “damn pastor, you know how to party.” If he orders a craft beer from one of our local breweries I’ll have mad respect. If he doesn’t order anything at all I’ll be brought back to that memory of the first time my mom suggested I order a drink at a restaurant and I was definitely legal but it still felt weird to drink in front of her.
What do I do if the pastor gets drunk?
Okay, so say the service is nearly done and the pastor has thrown a few back and it’s obvious he’s drunk as fuck now. He’s slurring his words, fistbumping us after he makes a righteous point, and is all “Fuck yeah! Jesus!” What do I do? WWJD? Order him a large plate of cheese fries and chicken tenders, then hold his hair back when he pukes, obvi.
No, really? Who’s driving? Will Jesus take the wheel on this one?