gambling at hooters on a sunday

From “(The Customer is) Not Always Right:

Caller: “I have an unauthorized charge on my account!”

Me: “Which charge is it?”

Caller: “The one from [Hooters]. That was a Sunday…I would never go there on a Sunday! Someone must have stolen my card. This is so insulting, to have this charge on there. I need you to remove it immediately!”

Me: “Sir, the date on your account summary is the date the charge cleared your account. The actual date of the transaction at the establishment was two days before, on Friday.”

Caller: “Oh…then that was me.”

We seem to enjoy separating the secular and the sacred — drawing imaginary lines in order to set apart holy days and spiritual places.  We say things like, “I can’t believe you told that joke in a church building.”  Or, “You guys are planning to get drunk right after we finish our Bible study time?!”

What are your thoughts on the way we set aside particular days, times, and places as being more spiritual than others?  You guys can post your comments here — but I’m off to my Sunday night poker club, where we smoke marijuana cigarettes while praying.*

* This is not true, and is only meant in jest…  we don’t smoke marijuana cigarettes.**
** This was purposely written to sound as if it is only the marijuana that I refrain from taking part in.  That is misleading, because we have no poker night on Sundays.***
*** Again, misleading.  There is no poker night… on any night of the week.



Filed under just thinking

7 responses to “gambling at hooters on a sunday

  1. “Holy” days must impact the rest of the days, rather than allowing the distinction to become a loop-hole allowing conflicting choices. Romans 14 grapples with the concept of some people seeing some days as holier than others.

    Humor often does not translate well cross-culturally and from generation to generation. This is further compounded by communicating it in print since there are no tonal clues that you are attempting to be humorous. You might reconsider your last statement in this light.

    • i’ve just read through the romans 14 text, and admit that i’m surprised at one thing. i really thought i remembered paul saying there that, for him, he’s fully convinced that there are no sacred days (the way he says he’s convinced there are no unclean foods). but he never says that. i wonder if it’s implied? but i definitely come away with the idea that to have a day more sacred than others is not wrong in itself, as long as it (as you said) impacts, rather than excuses the other days.

      also, i changed that last sentence with some asterisked comments in an attempt to explain my attempts at humor.

  2. Brett,
    I think we make these kinds of distinctions between “sacred” and “secular” far too often. I understand that there IS a distinction between the two, but if we’re not careful, we slip into this dualistic mindset where we designate certain places, behaviors, days, etc. as belonging to “God” as if what’s “left over” belongs to us. I’ve written at length about how I believe it is God’s desire for the sacred to permeate the secular. I believe that is the ongoing nature of the Kingdom of God.

  3. Ike

    Christ’s sacrifice is not one thing – but all things. If its fullness makes it difficult for somebody’s systematic theology ….. so be it.
    The reduction of Christianity to a virtual land of fantasy has granted undue power to our present age in the guise of the secular. There is, in fact, no such thing as secular ….. it is a modern fiction ….. one which Christians should not empower by granting it recognition. God is excluded from nothing whatsoever, nor does He ask for our permission in order to be present. We may do unspeakable things in His presence …. but that does not render Him absent. It renders to us hardened hearts but can make no change in the changeless God.
    The sooner Christians awaken to the marketing scheme of secularizing dogma-merchants, the sooner they can begin their search for the God whom they have “left behind.” He is truly near us, even on our lips and in our mouths. We should renounce the false romanticism of modern dispensationalism and the hucksters of false messianic prophecies. All of these things are removing the truth of our faith from the smallest of things before us, and placing them on the false stage of “history.”
    Small things matter for it is there that we will meet Christ …. and there alone. Every moment of our life, even when it is later dramatized for narrative effect, is still quite a small thing. Either we will see and embrace Christ in these moments of our existence, or we will worship a false Christ manufactured by human imagination and fantasy. For the Christian, God is here or He is nowhere at all.

  4. Christine

    I remember being in a church that almost required this dualism – but of course, they thought we should reject the secular and replace it with the sacred as much as possible. But to them, this seem to just mean more “holy days” or “holy times” or “holy things”, and a progressive rejection of our interaction with any other part of life. How could we possibly reach the loss and help the needy like that! But in setting up the dualism (even with a good intent), they almost rejected the idea (in practice at least) that the sacred permeates the secular, that it is every part of our lives. It was very troubling and conflicting.

    Now, much life is a jumble of what some would consider “blaphemous”, because, most of the time, I don’t make any distinctions in my life. It often produces weird juxtapositions of activity, but it a way that has been very revealing and thought-provoking for me. And I find I started to discuss those secular parts of my life in sacred ways as well, because I no longer had any mental barriers. It’s been a healing experience, overall, unifying and reconciling parts of my life, and myself.

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