Monday, December 10, 2007

A Mega-church Grows in Vegas

From Zach at Revolution in Jesusland:

On the flight out here, I watched the film about Reverend Billy, What Would Jesus Buy. (I’ll write about that in a post soon — they sent me a copy to review.) The movie is about some folks barging into Starbucks and Wal-marts yelling at people to “stop shopping.” Billy wants them to spend more time living and loving than consuming. The film contrasted images of maniac children tearing presents open with people communing around the Christmas table.

In his sermon today, called “An X-Mess Story,” Jud had a similar message—but he wasn’t shouting at strangers in a Big Box store. Instead he was delivering it to ten thousand people (or so, over the whole weekend) who were members of a community, all seeking something together.

Vegas seems like it would be an interesting place to study religion. The city attracts a certain kind of person -- specifically the risk-taker -- but it also seems to cry out quietly for some kind of spiritual fulfillment. Obviously there is quite a bit a consumerism that occurs in the Nevada desert. but I think a deeper, and more interesting, examination would be to study what Las Vegans -- no strangers to placing a bet themselves -- think about Pascals' Wager.

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