The Journey 114
Read: Acts 8: 8-25
A Church has launched a fight against gambling and lottery. Kate Shellnutt in Chron. Com reports that a community of Baptists Christians has began waging a fight against the Texas Lottery Commission, arguing that the lotto has proved unsuccessful in raising funds for state education and wrongly exploits the poor. The Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas has lobbied against the expansion of the lottery and specific parts of the system, but this is the first time they’ve proposed the abolition of the lottery entirely, according to Suzii Paynter, the group’s director. “Having a deceptive product that is supported by the state is morally wrong,” she said. “From a Christian perspective, that is wrong. We have a moral aversion to exploiting poor populations.”There is already a controversy with the current winner in the much touted mega million of 2012, wherein suddenly one person in the group that owned the ticket has claimed that the ticket was her own. Yahoo news and other news channel reports that looking back into history, winning the lotto was the worst thing that could happen to an individual. Lives are ruined, family is broken, most of the winners have ended behind bars or committed suicide. Winners have left a scary trail of doom and destruction not only of human life, but also lasting impact on the family and society. What is noteworthy here is that a church in this country has come openly to oppose a system that corrupts and destroys not only individuals and family but the society and country as a whole. This week we are meditating on the theme “Transformation in my parish”. The portion that we will meditate today is from Acts 8: 9-25. This is the portion where we find the “conversion” of Simon the sorcerer. When Philip preached the good news of the kingdom of God, Simon also believed and he was baptized. But as we read the word of God further we find that his conversion experience was not genuine. Later when Peter and John comes to the believers, they lay their hands on them to give them the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is at this time Simon also wanted this power of the laying of hands, through the offering of money to the disciples. Here is a man who wants to use his faith to make money. He is rebuked by Peter and John and Simon offers and apology and not a repentance for his sin. History later teaches that Simon never became a Christian and he later also began preaching certain heretical teaching and also created a statue for himself. A man who claimed to have conversion experience but life totally being built on monetary benefits, or trying to build a life on money, power and authority that comes the easy way. I think this is the life style that the people in particular and society in general is looking up to. When such a goal and focus is what people is looking up to, the government is also there to make fast buck by fooling people. It is here that we as members of the body of Christ needs to stand together so that we empower and consentize people to build lives not on easy money but by submitting to the power and plan of God and allowing our Lord to guide and direct our life through ones relationship with Him. If we are pursuing a dream without God that dream can turn into a nightmare very soon. This is what the church is called to preach in the society. Helping people to pursue their dream with God and not with the world.