Long ago before I became catholic I attended a “church” in Rhode Island that would not let anyone in after the service had stated. As far as not letting them out, I never heard of that. Another thing this church demanded is that once the service began there would be no talking. Even wispering to a neighbor. Control much?
I can assure you that I’d call 911 if I was locked in a building and know that should there be an emergency I wouldn’t be able to get out. Unless the doors will allow people to push the door open from the inside that’s illegal. They need to be reported.
Maybe they were trying to imitate the upper room scenerio, with the locked doors.
Before i came back to the fold, my first and last non catholic sermon i attended they did the same. It gave me a rather uneasy feeling.
Definitely. But it just says the doors are locked, it doesn’t say that the people are not allowed out. Although I understand that is the intent, I’m sure the locking is within reasonable means. I mean, if you come visit me at my home, I will lock the door when you get it. Am I guilty of false imprisonment? I hope not. I’d let you out whenever you want.
Is it common? No. I’ve only heard it done among independent fundamentalist Baptist churches and other cult-like groups. I heard years ago about this being done in Jack Hyles fundy church Indiana. Of course locking the doors would be the only way anyone could sit through his sermons.
I asked the guy who told me this what his reaction would be if he were visiting Hyles church.
He said “I would truly LOVE for them to try to stop me from leaving”. :eek:
I don’t believe this story, so I will not render a legal opinion on finer points of false imprisonment, kidnapping, or what I might do if faced with either.
In my own parish church, the faithful normally enter the Narthex from the west, through one of five east-facing doors. Anyone may exit through any of those doors at any time. During the sermon though, four of the doors are locked to restrict entry. Even when locked, exit is always possible. Re-entry is not permitted until the sermon is over.
On Sunday, the doors are constantly monitored by our ushers, two of whom are full time police officers in the city where our parish is located. As such, they are as prepared to escort the elderly to their seats as they are to quickly, quietly and politely, bring visitors into compliance with the exit/re-entry policy.
A speaker system allows the sermon to be heard in real-time by those who (for whatever reason) prefer to be outside.
I have no reason to doubt my son and his family as to whether or not the doors are locked. However, you of course are free to do so.
It is a relatively small community of less than 10,000 people. We stayed at a motel next door to one of the churches, and I can tell you, once it was 901, we didn’t see any other people going in or out until they all came out at about 1015.
I can verify what you’re saying because it was (and apparently still is) being done in IFB churches. Particularily Jack Hyles church when he was alive. And I’m sure the practice hasn’t stopped since he went to meet his maker.
The whole “locking the doors” practice is directly based on their view of evangelism. Hyles taught “instant” “zap into the Kingdom” salvation. He believed there was a “window of opportunity” in which the sinner is “convicted” and will “accept Jesus” that must be taken advantage of. Similar to an “impulse buy” in sales. Locking the doors of the church, in his eyes, allowed the Holy Spirit to move freely and ‘convict’ the sinner.
In fact Hyles actually spoke to a secular sales conferance once because they wanted him to share his version of “evangelism”. None of this is made up and I can give proof of this practice.
One area Hyles and his minions fail to realize however when it comes to using this ‘sales’ technique in regard to evangelism:
The car dealership will not lock the doors of the display shop until you on the dotted line.
One of my brothers goes to an IFB church - (R.B. Thieme (deceased) and son) and he’s said they won’t let anyone in after service starts. And if you’ve never been there, they won’t let you in. People are allowed to leave though.
Though as others have said, I’d be worried about firecode violations. :eek: