THEN it hit both of us: there are amazing parallels between a casino and the modern church as practiced in the USA:
- People gather to seek hope and a better way of life
- It's a place of prayer "Come on, let me win just this once"
- People give money in the belief that money will be multiplied if they are faithful
- The lame halt and poor occupy the seats (visit one on a senior day with a busload of people on oxygen feeding the slots)
- There are just enough testimonies (stories) of people receiving large payoffs to keep faith alive
- The atmosphere is saturated with music
- From time to time the Casino / Church brings in a big name and it draws a crowd (Vegas Shows)
- There are small groups that gather. They share in meetings of hope, it's a time of fellowship. Most of the time in casinos small groups gather around a green felt covered table. Church??
- Hospitality is a gift. Drinks and eats flow freely
- People let their guards down. They quickly make friends. In fact many meetings leading to matrimony happen in both places.
- No one asks you to be a member to be part of the fun.
I'm sure you can come up with others, these were just the most obvious. I wonder how many cars were on church lots in Madison that morning at that time?
OH, one other thing. Both build huge edifices to the honor of their mission. Casinos seem to be able to easily make payments on the buildings. Look at Vegas. Churches? HMMMM