September 22, 2010

Is This Really the Hill to Die On?

Here I am, once again reading the denominational newsletter (from the denomination I was born, raised, and schooled in) from the state where I currently live and serve. And here I am, once again, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs because they've taken up 1/4 of the paper to shout from the rooftops that singlehandedly gambling is going to loosen Alabama from it's hinges and send us spiraling hopelessly into the pit of Hades. Forgive me, but did I miss the biblical mandate to take the message that "Bingo is a tool of Satan" to the corners of the world? Do you very nice people not understand that there are MUCH more important things for us to spend our time raising our voices about? And what really chaps my butt is that many of the people who decide to constantly picket and protest are members of churches where the very people doing the screaming will go out and bet on a golf game, spend $150 on dinner, never blink one eye toward helping the poor or a single mother, and yet still have the audacity to decide that this is what their entire denomination needs to be known for! 

[If you haven't picked up on it yet, this aggravates the ever-loving fool out of me. I'm already very aware that we ("we" meaning me & my church) are the jet-blackest black sheep in this club of ours. And about that, I could not possibly care less. I would need CPR if I found out any of those folks ever read my blog anyway.]

Don't get me wrong - I know that there are a ton of people who are so addicted and consumed by gambling that their right arm might as well be a slot machine lever. And there are families ripping apart because someone's Dad is (right this minute) betting the house on the St. Louis Rams for this Sunday. (Even if you don't gamble you know that's a bad move. Right?) Gambling can mess people up. And so can cigarettes and diesel fumes and all that freaking chocolate and lard that someone is uncontrollably stuffing in their mouth right now. Not to mention poverty and homelessness and porn and all that TV you're watching. And did I mention cigarettes? Don't you get it people? They don't need you to tell them that the Tradewinds Casino is going to be the Devil's tool in the demise of their neighborhood. In fact, Satan is probably loving every minute of this. Why? Because it's one more thing in the eternal list of many that has distracted us from the real mission we're called to be on and the life-changing message that people really need to hear: JESUS LOVES YOU! 

Why on God's green earth would anyone who doesn't know Jesus give one flying flip about a bunch of "apparent" religious zealots telling him or her what he or she should & should not do? You think you're protecting your kids? You're not. Getting rid of a casino doesn't protect your kids. YOU teaching them biblical, ethical, and moral responsibility does. YOU exemplifying for them what it means to be a steward of all that God has given you does. But yes, I'm well aware of the fact that yelling and screaming (or even tactfully and lovingly protesting) is just a whole lot easier. Too bad it's not biblical.

If you want to make a sign, holster a bullhorn, start a petition, or (for heaven's sake) start burning things...please do it under YOUR name and not His. The 
"Kingdom of God is advancing rapidly"...and I can assure you, there's not a casino in the world that's going to stop it!


Charlene said...
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J. Gary said...

Amen!! I love this post. Some people will protest anything they can find, but never lift a finger to ACTUALLY spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They wouldn't share their faith on a dare. They be found in most Churches of all faiths and in all facets of the "non-believers". They can judge based on appearance or anything else they decide is wrong......
I love you, Brother!