pokerfishandchips.com is probably innocent. It appears that the gambling is gone and just the card game remains. Yet something rings up oddly about the idea of a “poker ministry.” I did a google search using that term and found several other sites for christian (or, at least, church) poker clubs and/or ministries. This site claims that the fellowship is important, and that “it was never our intentions for this group to be some sort of ministry, but then again our intentions are not God’s intentions. Paul said,”…Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings.” (1 Cor. 9:22-23) It was easy to see that God was working in this group.”
I can’t judge whether God is at work in the group or not. I wonder if maybe the focus is getting a bit skewed. Then again, maybe it isn’t poker that is my concern. There are plenty of christians who have little time for Jesus and plenty time for golf, or tennis, or computer gaming, or …. Well, I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m sure that those who began the ministry are sincere, but I wonder if this might be a bit off the target? Next we’ll be seeing hula ministry … no, that’s already here isn’t it?
Dick Staub comments on Authentic Inauthentic Ministry today. I’m thinking that maybe the poker ministry and the hula ministry might be better than some of the youth ministry of our day…. At least they don’t pretend to be something other than what they are. While I’m not sure that I can figure out the relative value of this kind of stuff, I do remember the words of one of my mentors from way back: “Jesus plus ‘anything’, is usually poor theology, ineffective methodology, and the ‘anything’ loses too.“