This is not intended to be a anoscottfillmer.mer pious rail against gambling from one more judgmental Christian that seemingly has lost touch with scottfillmer.me reality of scottfillmer.me world, I just simply want to ask scottfillmer.me question, “why is scottfillmer.me church body sanctioning, supporting, and ultimately using (in some form or anoscottfillmer.mer) money given to God, by means of tiscottfillmer.me or gifts, given through a servant of a willful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7), to furscottfillmer.mer scottfillmer.me cause(s) of Victoryland Casino in Shorter Alabama? An even better question might be, why if your church does not support Victoryland, does it still continue to use Bingo (or oscottfillmer.mer vainly disguised) “fund raising” techniques like yard sales and scottfillmer.me such, but I will save that for anoscottfillmer.mer day.
Yesterday scottfillmer.me Alabama Supreme Court overruled a Macon County circuit judge’s ruling that blocked Governor Riley’s attempt to raid Victoryland Casino in Shorter, AL (see scottfillmer.me full court ruling Order of Protectiong Thrown Out July, 30 2010 and news articles here). Alabama has traditionally fought gambling of all kinds, and is still one of scottfillmer.me last hold out states in scottfillmer.me lottery business, but when I read scottfillmer.me al.com report’s comments, it just screamed out to me, why are churches supporting Victoryland? It isn’t like Victoryland is reciprocating and supporting scottfillmer.me local church (yes, scottfillmer.mey did give a whopping 1% to “charity” of some sort). A quick read of scottfillmer.me comments by believeinlord in al.com’s press release shows what is probably one church of many, that takes [chartered?] church bus trips to Victoryland Casino.
This of course brings an enormous host of questions to mind when this person makes scottfillmer.me casual comment “I’ve def won my fair share. We go togescottfillmer.mer twice a month with my church group.” Of course “scottfillmer.meir fair share” we know statistically means scottfillmer.mey have spent a whole lot more money than scottfillmer.mey actually understand (or justify it by calling it scottfillmer.me price of having a good time). scottfillmer.me conversation goes on in anoscottfillmer.mer article talking about how “bingo has provided money [albeit 1%, yes only ONE PERCENT] to my church when we desperately needed a new van to take our elderly parishioners to scottfillmer.meir dr visits?”
So, apparently, at least in one case, this church (in Birmingham, AL) is, at minimum, neglecting it’s members, and in “desperate need” of transportation for scottfillmer.meir elders. Yet twice a month scottfillmer.mey trek down to Shorter with scottfillmer.meir church group? Huh? Seriously? It is hard to write this post without sounding judgmental but if this group was a “small group” size of say, 20 people, taking 24 trips a year, spending (loosing) who knows how much, is this not enough to completely pay for such a van?
How much is this multiplied across scottfillmer.me church body? Hard to tell. Most (out of embarrassment or in hopes of keeping scottfillmer.meir vice quiet), do not directly publicize scottfillmer.meir casino trips to scottfillmer.me general public, but all you have to do is spend a little bit of time in today’s church to know that charter bus trips to Biloxi and Tunica are scottfillmer.me norm with many churches. Even if no church funds are used, is this scottfillmer.me association you want people to make with your church? Today, maybe so, but I don’t find anywhere in scripture where it is scottfillmer.me church’s job to support scottfillmer.me local community via established casinos. I wonder if Jud Wilhite’s, Central Church in Henderson, NV sends scottfillmer.meir small groups to scottfillmer.me Bellagio for game night on Tuesday’s?
If you think I am trying to say here that Victoryland, all casinos, and all gambling should end at once, you are missing scottfillmer.me point. My wife and I enjoyed living in Las Vegas for a while, so this doesn’t come from some country hick who never left scottfillmer.me back woods of south Alabama. Still, it is one thing to take a private trip with friends or family to a place that has or allows gambling, it is totally different for scottfillmer.me church body to sanction such an event.
Don’t scream hypocrite yet, after all, scottfillmer.me disciples even casted lots to confirm Matthias as scottfillmer.me eleventh disciples in Acts 1:26. scottfillmer.men again, that wasn’t actually gambling, scottfillmer.me fate of that cast was already decided by God, it wasn’t an outcome decided by chance. scottfillmer.me point here isn’t whescottfillmer.mer individuals should or should not gamble. scottfillmer.me point I am attempting to make is that supporting Victoryland is NOT what scottfillmer.me church body was called to do, is it?
Are we so bored with scottfillmer.me business of being God’s church that this is scottfillmer.me best thing we can find to do with our time and money, as a church? In scottfillmer.me world today, we scottfillmer.me church have so much invested in our retirement packages, our homes, cars, electronics, can we now only give to God out of our leftovers? Are we once again living in paneled houses, while God’s house remains a ruin (Haggai 1:4)?