How will you celebrate the resurrection of God's only son? Well, if your family is observing this wonderful holiday at a church that's not giving away free cars and TV's, you're a chump!
Corpus Christi's Bay Area Fellowship Church is giving away over $2 million in prizes -- without a catch -- to folks who attend the church's Easter services April 1-4, Pastor Bill Cornelius tells Hair Balls. This breaks down to 16 cars, 15 flat-screen TVs, furniture suites, and laptops.
One of our first questions for Cornelius was: Doesn't this sort of trivialize the occasion? Rabbits and painted eggs obfuscate the reason behind the holiday (the reanimation of the fetid, decomposing corpse of a homeless, rabble-rousing Jew) enough without tossing in worldly spoils, no?
Cornelius has this one down pat: "People have been giving away heaven at churches for thousands of years, but suddenly we get all this press and excitement because we add cars to it," he says. "Isn't that funny how that works?" (The church is also giving away 300 bikes to kids in a low-income area of Corpus Christi).
The good pastor says the giveaway is just a tangible example of the "Ultimate Giveaway"; he says the real pitch is something along the lines of: "If you think a car is good, you can get to heaven for eternity and a relationship with Christ for free today."
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And for all your heathens reading this, we made sure to ask if non-Christians were disqualified from this Bible-based bounty. And the answer to that, praise Jesus, is a resounding "no." Cornelius stresses that his church is not your boring old everyday church, but a place that is extremely welcoming to non-Christians who might have been put off by more stuffy houses of worship.
"Non-Christians [may be] uninterested in God, but they're definitely interested in a 32-inch flat-screen," he says. The point is, everyone is welcome. Cornelius says he's confident that many first-timers will come for the prize but return once they see how awesome the congregation is.
"We're going after people that would rather have a beer and get laid than anything else -- that's who we're trying to reach," he says.
We're pretty sure there's no shortage of those folks.