Some North Texas Churches Closed On Christmas Day

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s not as simple as saying it’s gift versus God. On a holiday increasingly influenced by popular culture and traditions though, some churches are picking their battles.

Nearly 10-percent of churches nationwide are cancelling Sunday services this weekend in order not to compete with Christmas morning plans.

Grace Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Arlington is one of them.

They’ve enjoyed a month of advent services, and will be holding services Christmas Eve.

Sunday morning though, the doors will be closed.

“People who are not used to having these traditions, they’ve already got their traditions,” said pastor Bob Oliver. “Church is a bit of an imposition.”

Oliver said his church polled members and found many didn’t plan on attending Sunday.

Rather than just give up on worship all together, they decided to at least try to send home Christmas in a box.

The church put together more than 80 square, tin boxes, filled with items to help families worship at home Christmas morning.

They have scripture readings, a CD with Christmas hymns, a candle and a star for kids to hang on the tree.

“We looked at it and said ‘okay, let’s be considerate of the Christian tradition and let’s be considerate of the traditions people have in their homes and families that they’ve made over generations,’” Oliver said.

The idea of cancelling services on the second biggest Christian celebration of the year still seems countr-productive to some pastors.

“If we would schedule a regularly scheduled service because it’s Christmas, it somehow seems inconsistent with the whole spirit of advent,” said Pastor Roger Rymer of Lake Ridge Bible Church in Mesquite.

His church will scale down to just one service Christmas morning.

It will be more family oriented, with children dressing in nativity scene costumes.

Cancelling completely though her said might risk preferring convenience over commitment turning Christmas into a celebration without significance.

“Our church family would be disappointed, if we didn’t have church on Christmas Sunday,” Oliver said.

Some analysts said the decision may not be as significant as it might seem simply because it is not an issue pastors have to face often.

It was 2005 the last time Christmas fell on a Sunday, and it won’t happen again until 2016.

More from Jason Allen
Comments

One Comment

  1. Mailman Dan says:

    Yet the NBA begins their season the same day, and people will pack the stands and gather around the tv.

    Just a matter of people picking their gods. Same can be said of people that get up at 1am to stand outside a store for hours to get 20 bucks off a tv, but are too tired at 10am Sundays to make it to church.

    They are just not Christians.

  2. TNT says:

    So make a later service time. Noon, maybe? This is exactly why I don’t attend church anymore. Pastors are weak in one way or the other, whether they’re just motivational speakers like Joel Osteen or showmen like Ed Young, Jr., or just weak men like Bob Oliver who don’t want to be an “imposition”, these are the kinds of “pastors” who are destroying the body of Christ. I can literally have more connection with The Lord in my own household, and it’s a sad day and age when the communal fellowship of CHURCH is all but extinct.

    1. Seriously, You Must Be Joking says:

      Extinct for sure, you can tell by the number of churches scattered thicker than McDonald’s and Starbucks on every corner in the DFW area. You can tell by the number of ‘Jesus is the reason for the Season’ signs and the heavy Christian influence. Yes, for sure the church is all but extinct.

  3. Satan says:

    HAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!

  4. NiteNurse says:

    Growing up if Christmas landed on a Sunday it was extra special. My parents made sure we attended church and then we would have a special Christmas dinner. Although I’m not religious now I find it interesting that here in the middle of the bible belt pastors aren’t preaching on Christmas day.

    1. CSB says:

      Thank you! That last sentence especially was spot on!

      1. WeArentAllLikeYou says:

        The bible belt is frayed and tattered. It’s about time. The buckle rusted off a loooooooooooooooooooong time ago.

    2. The Pagan Perspective says:

      I guess that the hypocritical, religious “leaders” just figured that there wouldn’t be enough money brought in through their weekly arm twisting sessions, or maybe that their giagantic egos could not compete with the Pagan traditions of trimmed trees, gift exchanges and feasts on Yule.

  5. A Christian Perspective says:

    What about the family? This pastor is simply saying celebrate Christmas with your family and honor the birth of Christ with your family instead of dragging them out to attend a gathering in a building. I think it is honorable that he cares more about family spending time together than opening the church doors.

    1. God is DEAD says:

      Nice excuse, but “dragging” your family to a “building” is still CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS WITH THE FAMILY!

    2. The Pagan Perspective says:

      {What about the family? This pastor is simply saying celebrate Christmas with your family and honor the birth of Christ with your family instead of dragging them out to attend a gathering in a building. I think it is honorable that he cares more about family spending time together than opening the church doors.]

      Yeah, your justification (or just fiction) sounds about par for Christians… Funny though, that these “pastors” say, as you put it, “celebrate Christmas with your family and honor the birth of Christ with your family instead of dragging them out to attend a gathering in a building” once every seven or so years! When it is convenient for the lazy “leaders.”

      Also interesting… the bigger the “MEGA-ego, MEGA-church,” the more likely they are to close up the ATM, uh… I mean temple for the holiday! You folks are getting your wallets sucked dry by these charlatans!!! All while they blame “big government ” for doing it, when it is really “BIG CHURCH.” But, if ya’ll are foolish enough to go for it… PAY UP!

  6. Concerned says:

    Funny how people today are more interested in an excuse rather than actually taking part.

  7. Concerned says:

    I also think it is funny how my first comment the night of the broadcast did not make it to the website.

    My comment was how I thought it was a shame how CBS showed video taped images of an ash wednesday service at a catholic church then also of an Easter service, but yet the story had nothing to do with the catholic church at all. Was this for promotional purposes? I think CBS should be ashamed. The Catholics have enough trouble with the media as it is. That was very poor journalism and a low & cheap shot.

  8. Sloppy Work CBS News says:

    In the video the clip with Roger Raymer (and his name is Raymer not Rymer as printed above) says “Church Closed.” His church held services of Christmas morning. The credit in the video is deceiving. Also, the story above says, “‘Our church family would be disappointed, if we didn’t have church on Christmas Sunday,’ Oliver said.” Oliver didn’t say this, Raymer did. Oliver’s church was closed. Pure sloppiness on the part of these “journalists.”

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