What do you think about churches doing Judgment Houses?
This is a great question asked of me recently by an FBC member via email. Below is my response:
I have attended numerous ‘judgment houses’ (basically, a baptized haunted house for churches – you can find a bit more about them here) in my day. They were very popular when I was a teenager and youth pastor. I even took my youth group to ’em every Fall.
I think they can be good – but overall, I am very skeptical about them. Though I believe God can and does use just about any means to communicate the Gospel to people – I don’t care for the tactic the majority of these kinds of things use to ‘scare’ people into heaven.
That’s what generally happens. Students (of all ages) usually walk through a dramatized version of someone dying in a car wreck (or something similar) and that person ends up going to hell. Sometimes several people die – some go to hell and others to heaven. The heaven and hell scenes are usually very graphic, intense, and frightening.
Again – I am NOT saying God cannot use them (I believe He has and perhaps still does). But I don’t think these things are His primary means of communicating the Gospel to lost people. To be really honest, usually alot of time, money, effort, and energy go into something like this and a there ends up being (in my opinion) a bunch of false conversions (people who make a decision, never to be seen or heard from again) along with a few genuine ones. Again, in my opinion, if you are going to put that much time, money, effort, and energy into something – why not use some of the means already spelled out for us in the Bible????
I do feel like I need to add at this point something the Apostle Paul said about a somewhat similar deal in Philippians 1. In response to those who ‘proclaim Christ’ in a wrong or insincere way, Paul said, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice” (See Philippians 1:15-18). Paul was happy the Gospel was being made known – regardless of the tactic.
Do I like the tactics used in the majority of Judgment Houses? No. I don’t. However, I know that many my own motives and methods haven’t always been stellar either. At the end of the day, if Jesus is made known to more people, in THAT I need to rejoice.
That’s what I think.
What about you, blog people?