Texas megachurch to raffle off free mortgage payments for New Year's Day service attendees

A Texas megachurch is offering a chance to have free mortgage and rent payments for congregants who will attend its New Year's Day service.

(Reuters/Edgar Su)Worshippers attend a church service at the City Harvest Church in Singapore, March 1, 2014.

The New Light Christian Center Church (NLCCC) has posted a Facebook flier announcing the raffle of free mortgage and rent payments during its service on Jan. 1. However, details on the advertised freebies have not been released, Charisma News relays.

On its official website, the NLCCC explains that it celebrates New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and other holidays in unorthodox ways so that Christians will be forced to examine the effect of these seasons on their relationship with God.

"New Year's, Valentine's and even Thanksgiving are celebrated in ways so contrary to the walk of holiness or sanctification that we, as Christians, need to take a hard look at the effect these times have on our relationship with God," the NLCCC wrote on its website. "The acid test of all behavior is in asking a simple question: 'Would Jesus participate in this?' Why should this test be avoided where holidays and traditions are concerned?"

Meanwhile, an NLCCC official told The Christian Post that the free mortgage and rent payment is part of an annual raffle initiated by their pastor, Bishop I.V. Hilliard. The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said it is merely a way to encourage their members to step out and attend church service on New Year's Day.

Although the raffle has been advertised on NLCCC's Facebook page on Saturday, the church official said they have started promoting the event since October. She added that they have also been issuing tickets for the raffle since last month but have not yet announced the number of rent and mortgage payments to be raffled.

"They are not discussing that information at this time. There is a budget but only the pastors have that," the official told the Post. "I don't think they will be willing to give that information out."

Bishop Hilliard previously earned flak in 2013 when NLCCC sent out a message to his "Friends in Jesus" list encouraging them to drop a $52 transportation seed which will be used to upgrade his ministry helicopter's blades. The controversial newsletter promised a "breakthrough favor" in 52 days or 52 weeks.