Our governor is proposing a budget that includes gambling revenues from slot machines. Most of our churches oppose this but it probably will go through this time even though every time it has been on the ballot, the people have vetoed it.
The governor and state are grasping for revenue will little regard for morality.
It has come apparent to me that we live in an entertainment age. The American people want entertainment and want to be entertained whether with celebrity-ism, techie gadgets and social networking sites, sports, gambling, and, dare I say it, even church. Yes, the church experience should be entertaining in a big venue with sound bites and video clips. There is a make us feel good, don't talk about sin, and let us live our lives, attitude out there.
When the church talks of sacrifice, obedience, and the mystery of God, the culture doesn't want to hear of it. They want to be entertained and to feel good.
When I look to Christ and read the Scripture, I fail to see this aspect to our faith. Yes, we do feel good when our sin is forgiven, when we have the joy of our faith, and when we are in touch with the tremendous and gracious love of our Lord. Our faith isn't about entertainment but living in way that becomes more and more Christ-like and offers a transformation of life.
Moreover, worship is not about entertainment, but how we come before God to offer our honor and praise, coming into God's presence and together honoring the God of our lives, the God of all life. Sometimes it bubbles over in joy, at other times, it is more somber(as in Lent) but always humbling.
I confess that for me, worship is more about meeting God, encountering Jesus and his love, grace, forgiveness, hope and peace, than it is about being entertained.
I leave worship renewed, challenged, more hopeful, desiring more of what God desires for us and for the world, and willing to love in ways more Christ-like. Although I fall short, time and time again, I know that God forgives me and God's Spirit is work within me empowering me to do that which I cannot do on my own.
I pray that, we, as Christians, and as a nation, will move away from mere entertainment and this need to be entertained and make more valuable contributions to the world and to the betterment of the lives of people. May our downfall not be our need to be entertained but rather that we have spent ourselves on behalf of the good of another. I fear for our nation that we have succombed to this drug of choice - entertainment and it is more harmful than good.