Cupid's Church

In the market for the perfect wedding? Try Cupids at Montville, Queensland. Overlooking a stunning vista is a purpose-built chapel, available for that special couple to tie the knot. It’s website boasts: 

The Chapel Montville is in its own right a lovingly constructed piece of art built with all natural materials from beautiful Helidon sandstone carefully shaped and styled together by a team of stonemasons dedicated to their craft, to the magnificent red cedar doors representing the tree of life, hand carved by a local Montville artist. The floors are striking with their light lustre of polished white onyx flecked with gold. The animals handcrafted into the pews and altar are stunning contrasts to the sandstone by design.

If that doesn’t inspire you, it goes further:

Nothing has been missed making every aspect of the chapel an amazing realisation of a magical vision reflecting the traditions and values of the creators love for all animals while maintaining that essential sense of intimacy and harmony. The spectacular views of the Sunshine Coast from the hinterland to the ocean makes the chapel the ideal location for any couple to celebrate their love and commitment on the day of their wedding.

It does sound fabulous, but it’s no church. It’s just part of the secular ‘dream wedding’ industry. Stern-sounding signs keep out visitors when the chapel is not in use. I saw similar establishments by expensive hotels in Hong Kong. Godless, ornamental structures with huge walls of glass, lovely backdrops and commensurate hire prices. I wonder how many of our English churches are essentially the same. Beautifully ancient buildings in lovely, arcadian settings, but little more than wedding and funeral venues.

Or what of those so called evangelical churches which really emphasise God's love? "God loves us all, no matter what we've done or who we are". "God loves us more than we love ourselves". "Receive God's love into your heart right now". These statements may be perfectly true and helpful, but the God of the Bible is righteous and holy as well as loving and kind. A church which only preaches about His love and nothing else is merely pandering to our pride- it's a mark of how important we are. Truly, such churches are nothing more than Cupid's Chapels.

The church is the visible community of God’s elected people, denouncing sin, proclaiming Christ and sharing His gospel. May we not merely become wedding venues for the discerning rich, but rescue shops by the very gates of hell. 

 

Elect from every nation,

  Yet one o’er all the earth,

Her charter of salvation,

  One Lord, one faith, one birth;

One holy Name she blesses,

  Partakes one holy food,

And to one hope she presses,

  With every grace endued.

 

S.J. Stone