As a pastor with a mission to re-Christianize Springfield it seems pretty obvious to me that God is trying to get our attention here. In recent months we’ve had an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, flooding, and a freak blizzard that broke half the branches off our trees. Massive damage, over and over again. But instead of waking up to these alarms and repenting from our individual and corporate sins, we just keep pushing the snooze button.
Now we’ve suffered a natural gas explosion so powerful and so unusual that made headlines all over the world. What did it destroy? The SCORES strip club, a place whose sole purpose was to make money by encouraging men and women to sin.
I was mocked by the Springfield media for suggesting that the destruction of SCORES may have been the hand of God, but surely I am not the only person in this city to draw this conclusion.
If the obliteration of SCORES actually was by God (even Mayor Sarno acknowledged that it was a “miracle” that there were no deaths or serious injuries), then what is the message God is trying to send? Could it be a warning to Springfield NOT to build a casino here?
Lets look at the big picture. We’re a city that almost went bankrupt due to massive political corruption not so long ago. We have an enormous drug problem with drug dealing gang bangers killing each other on the street over turf and hundreds of hard-core addicts wandering the streets looking for things to steal. We‘ve got widespread prostitution. We’re a city whose “revitalization plan” centers on an “entertainment district” that is missing only the red lights to identify it by its proper name. (And by the way, who had the bright idea to allow these strip clubs to open next to a day care center?) Now we’re being sold the notion that the key to our financial future is a gambling casino.
Hmmm, political corruption, drugs, murders, prostitution, strip clubs and gambling casinos. Am I the only one who feels like we’re in a bad remake of The Godfather here? Is this city being run by the MOB???
If God did want to send Springfield a message, could He have done it any more blatantly than to literally pulverize the very center of the “entertainment district” during the period of public comment about the plan to bring in casinos?
Several weeks ago I led a delegation of local residents to speak against the casinos at the city council. We also delivered a 500-signature petition asking the city to put our national motto, In God We Trust on the front of City Hall. In my view these are opposite and contradictory goals.
Who will be the Savior of Springfield? Jesus Christ? Or Vito Corleone? As the Scripture warns, “You cannot serve both God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
Unfortunately, the city is pressing forward with its choice of gambling instead of God.
I could be wrong, but I think God just cast His vote over on Worthington Street.