When an Evangelical Pentecostal Church Alienates its Neighbors and is Rude

An experience while running errands this afternoon becomes a quick post. What do you do when an evangelical Pentecostal church alienates neighbors and drives a wedge in the community it serves? Why do churches act like that? Do they think they are helping their community? 

“Christianity means a lot more than church membership.”

Billy Sunday

“The word ‘Christianity’ is already a misunderstanding – in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross.”

Frederick Nietzsche

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV 

 

Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossoms from 2019 

 

This afternoon I went out into the Washington, D.C. area to run some errands. In this post I am not going to identify the church or the business that this happened at, but it was a stunning situation of arrogance and being rude. The Washington, D.C. area has over 6,200,000 people that live in the District of Columbia,  Maryland and Virginia as well as a small part of West Virginia. This afternoon I went to a business that is in a shopping mall. I walked into the store and I couldn’t believe what I encountered. Behind the store is a Hispanic, Pentecostal evangelical church. Now this church probably thinks its serving God and the community its in. Its probably helping immigrants to the Washington, D.C. area. This church is probably doing a number community engagements in the Spanish community. However, this afternoon the church was being so loud and making so much noise that you heard all the commotion through the wall. The walls were shaking in the store I was in. When I entered I asked the clerk, 

“Do you have a headache yet?” 

He responded by telling me that they called management for the business complex and asked for the church to turn down the volume. It was upsetting customers, who complained. The church complied for a brief time and then they turned the volume even louder then it was previously. The level of noise was incredible. Shortly after I arrived a female walked into the store. And the Pentecostal preacher was screaming in Spanish through a microphone. It bled through the wall. Every other word it appeared was “Jesus ” in Spanish. The female after a while asked the clerk, 

“Do they give you a break? Will they stop? It just seems like it goes on and on? How do they do that? Don’t they get tired?”

After the customer complained, then the manager for the small business came out and talked about his frustrations with the church. How they tried to work with them and co-exist in a way for both. He commented that other stores or businesses don’t function like this. Its just this Pentecostal church that keeps going forward and disrespecting its neighbors. As he was speaking people were clapping and the minister was yelling in Spanish. The female customer left and then another customer popped into the store. The male customer said something to the following effect. 

“Wow they are loud, have you raised the sound issue with the church..?”

Then the conversation repeated itself. After that I found what I was looking for, paid and left the business. I had a raging headache from the experience and couldn’t wait to leave. 

 

When Churches Isolate Their Neighbors and are Rude

 This situation was profoundly sad and I was reflecting on how this church was driving a wedge between itself and its neighbors and the community its in. From the church perspective it could have viewed the businesses around them as unsaved or heathen. Maybe its wrong to say that perhaps. The fact that people complained and they responded by turning up the volume louder really comes across as arrogant to me. While this post deals with this Pentecostal church I reflect on some of the stuff I have read over the years. Neighbors upset about people that drive to Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist and illegally park in the neighborhood. Churches that are rude to neighbors in the communities they serve, plus you can have Christians violating speeding laws trying to get to church or leave after the service. Then you can have Christians who overwhelm restaurants who work the staff hard and don’t leave tips. Or you have people who go to restaurants who are rude and snap at the waitress when thirty minutes earlier they were praising the Lord. I could go on and on, but I think I made my point. Honestly I didn’t think that running a Saturday afternoon errand would result in such a post. But it sure did. But remember its all for Jesus. You can be as rude and inconsiderate as you want but in the end of the day its all for Jesus. That alone can justify the arrogant behavior,  

 

2 thoughts on “When an Evangelical Pentecostal Church Alienates its Neighbors and is Rude

  1. HI, Eagle. I’ve worked with Spanish-speaking churches in the States since the early 80s. Some common denominators are:
    -The louder you are, the more worshipful you are.
    -The louder you are, the more God will be glorified.
    -The louder you are, the more unsaved people may be saved (recently arrived Hispanic immigrants really think of the States as equal to Sodom and Gomorrah, and it’s accentuated when they lose their kids to gangs, guns, drugs, and sex).
    -The less-educated pastors (those who have not finished high school or who never attended seminary) are usually the loudest.
    Most people in the Hispanic community don’t get that upset, unless they are second generation and have become more acculturated. If the owner of the mall hasn’t bothered to call the police, get a citation for noise abatement, eviction notice, etc., it will probably continue. However, education by law enforcement usually works pretty well with these folks. That has been my experience. The longer they are here and the more acculturated they become, they learn about noise ordinances, sound proofing, loving their neighbors, and that they need to obey the local statutes as well as keep current on the rent,

    All these people bothering them about the noise probably make these “hermanos” (brethren) think they are being persecuted, to the glory of God!

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  2. All these people bothering them about the noise probably make these “hermanos” (brethren) think they are being persecuted, to the glory of God!

    I vaguely remember hearing about such “Evangelicos” in Central and South America. Their churches and rallies have loudspeakers turned up to 11 broadcasting to the entire surrounding town. And a lot of the Testimony/preaching is RABID anti-Catholic (on the level of Calvary Chapel’s Raul Rees in the Eighties). Have you spoken to any Spanish-speaker who was in the “storefront of vibrating walls” as to what was being preached?

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