By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
December 1, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE – The apostle Paul rebuked the Church at Corinth for failing to properly observe the Lord’s Supper when they turned what should have been a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice into an occasion for self-indulgence — eating before everyone had arrived and some even becoming drunk. It’s not hard to imagine what the apostle’s reaction would be to a section in a Fayetteville bar that’s named The Church and features a mural of the Last Supper including a bottle of liquor and a central figure blessing a bag of potato chips.
“The mural is especially egregious,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. “The Lord’s Supper illustrates the great truths of the Christian faith: the truth of Christ’s atoning blood shed for the sins of the world, the truth of his broken body, the tremendous suffering he endured to set our souls and bodies at liberty to serve God. To demean this ordinance or sacrament of the church by associating Christ’s sacrifice with the debaucheries of strong drink and with a bag of potato chips demonstrates clearly the deleterious effect of alcohol on morality.”
Creech learned of the mural recently when a reader of the Fayetteville Observer wrote the newspaper saying the business, called The Church at Paddy’s, was “making a mockery of something important to many” and that the mural was “disturbing.”
The business owner, Paddy Gibney, told the newspaper that the mural, which includes his face and the faces of some of his employees and friends, is in compliance with state and local rules regarding signage and alcoholic beverage advertising. The publication pointed out that the First Amendment allows freedom of speech and quoted Gibney as saying he believes that God has a sense of humor.
“I think He does too. But I’m sure God doesn’t think his bar theme and the mural are funny,” Creech said. “Instead, it’s very sad, and makes people wonder if there is anything regarded as sacred anymore.”
According to the Fayetteville Observer, The Church at Paddy’s, an extension of Paddy’s Irish Public House, opened in March and includes lots of religious iconography, in part as a “nod” to Gibney’s Catholic faith and Irish background.
But Creech said the bar’s use of church themes is sacrilege — the crime of stealing what belongs to God and misusing what is to be regarded as sacred.
“When Christians observe the Lord’s Supper, they are saying that everything in their lives is to be used to bring glory to God. The bread and the cup are symbols of the most common of life’s activities, something as ordinary as daily eating and drinking. When Christians gather around the Lord’s Table, we are identifying with Jesus Christ in every aspect of day-to-day living,” he said. “We have been saved by Him, sustained by Him, and are committed to doing nothing that is inconsistent with this way of life. How can this amazing truth, signified in this rite of the church, be properly associated with the use of the recreational drug of liquor, a drug that destroys more lives than all of the other illicit drugs combined?”
Creech questioned why local churches have not banded together to express opposition to the mural.
Creech added that some might argue their church uses alcoholic wine for the Lord’s Supper. “But I believe I could make a safe guess they don’t use hard liquor as depicted in the mural at Paddy’s Bar,” he argues. “Moreover, you can look until the cows come home and you won’t find any scriptural support for the use of an intoxicating wine during the Lord’s Supper. The elements used were unleavened bread and ‘the fruit of the vine,’ – a designation in the Biblical narrative to show its uniqueness, void of fermentation.”
“This is what’s wrong with our country. Too often we remain silent in the face of woeful ungodliness, never utter a word, and hope the rapture comes quickly to lift us out of our responsibility,” he added.
“The apostle Paul taught the Lord’s Supper was so holy that some Christians had been judged and died prematurely because they had failed to recognize its holy significance properly. If God judged his own in such matters, then how shall the unregenerate stand?” Creech admonished.
Pictures were provided courtesy of the Fayetteville Observer.