Thursday, September 1, 2022

Casino Comes to Rockford



(John 3:19-21)


Casino Comes to Rockford

With every head bowed and eye closed, have you ever gone to a casino or played the lottery?

Please don’t tell anybody…but I have.

Proving Hans Luther was right when he disputed Martin’s call to monasticism as not coming from God which later proved right as Martin renounced it and said Christians have a duty a la the great commission of Matthew 28 to go out into the world and share Jesus, there have been a few times when I felt all the stars were aligned right in a Christian kinda way…and I bought a lottery ticket…and really thought I was going to win…maybe because I pledged to give a bundle to the church…even pay off some old voluntary-apportionment-not-mandatory-tax per capita to the denomination as long as they don’t give it to baby killers or apostates practicing neo-abomination of desolation in their sanctuaries…pay off any outstanding debts of anyone related to me or nice to me…help pastors with churches insisting they take a vow of poverty…send Leslie to Hawaii because she’s always wanted to go…after I bought a new Ping driver and played a round at Pebble Beach.

I was wrong.

Both times.

It’s kinda humiliating.

You stick that lottery ticket into the machine and it says, in effect, “You’re a Loser!”  I know it says “Not a Winner” but synonyms are synonyms.

Parenthetically, ever look at people in those gambling joints?

Kinda sad.

Some play because they have nothing better to do while others play because it’s their only shot at a procrastinated retirement plan.

Then there was the time during a iron pony ride that Paul gave a Benjamin to me to play Black Jack.  

Gone in 5 minutes.

I felt bad about that…because he said smart people do O.K. at it.

Beatles song comes to mind: “I’m a…”

Robert De Niro was right in Casino – a great movie in exposing the underbelly and collateral criminality and debauchery surrounding gaming though it contradicted just about every ethic in Christendom – “In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back.  The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.”

Of course, here’s what my dad said when I told him about the odds against winning the lottery: “Do you know the odds if you don’t buy a ticket?”

Point kinda made while some logic still sounds stupid.

I’ve had enough to do in my life and ministry like trying to encourage pastors and their denominations – especially mine – to remember Jesus in a John 14 kinda way; so I haven’t gotten involved in speaking up about the inevitable damages when a casino comes to town.

I know it’s kinda good for the economy.

So is doing business with China.

It starts out real well and then…

Back to gambling, I know some people with more money than they know what to do with it – If they asked me, I could go up to those reasons why I bought a couple of tickets – and they like the action.

As long as they use more of their money on doing good Matthew 25 kinda stuff, I look the other way like most of us even in churches that say they love Jesus while looking the other way at Godless politicians, school boards, and…

It just seems like such a waste of money.

On the other hand, I smoke cigars.

Now read Romans 3:21-26.

Blessings and Love!






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