I recently went to Las Vegas, Nevada (aka Sin City) for the first time. Vegas is infamous for being a huge party city where people go to escape their mundane reality to go a little crazy. The motto of the city is “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.
I, on the other hand, am not much of a partier, at least in the sense of getting drunk. My idea of a party is going to Taco Bell and telling my girlfriend that she can buy whatever she wants off of the value menu (cuz I spoil her), and eating what we bought with a cold can of Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so Vegas isn’t really my scene. But I went to Vegas for a race my friends and I did. We stayed three unforgettable nights. We stayed at a hotel perfectly within walking distance of all the chaos that the city had to offer.
I will briefly go over my first impressions of Vegas to give those who haven’t been to Vegas an idea of what it is like, then speak on whether I think Christians should go to Vegas.
My initial thoughts on Vegas:
I didn’t expect to see creepy dudes on every corner yelling sexually explicit statements to entice me to go to some strip club. I wasn’t all about that at all. The only strip club I want to attend is a club completely devoted to the production and consumption of chicken strips, but that’s not what they were offering. No thank you.
On the ground, I saw cards scattered throughout all of the city that had naked women posing provocatively. I had never seen anything like that before. I just kept walking.
I had never walked around in a casino before, so I surprised to see all the cleavage typical of casinos. Waitresses go up to people gambling and ask to get them drinks. Their cleavage helps to get them more tips, so it’s common to see a lot. Seeing all this depressed me, since I kept thinking that that women is someone’s daughter and, in some cases, someone’s mom. And now they’re exposing themselves like that just to get a little more money.
I felt an overall emptiness in the city. I saw people smiling and laughing, but it seemed like they were playing in a shallow pool of pleasure.
People were enjoying the moment as much as they could, but moments come and go. Excitement based in gambling, drinking, or partying quickly evaporates. Then, you’re looking for your next game, next drink, or next club to attend. I saw this one girl crying and, at least to me, she seemed to represent the overall sentiment I received from the city. People playing in a shallow pools of pleasure, which will soon be gone.
Those are just some of my thoughts of Sin City to give you an idea of what I thought of the city. I remember leaving Vegas and saying to myself that I would never go back to Vegas ever again. It just wasn’t my scene and I constantly felt as if I should have stayed home, since the city had nothing to offer me.
Well, then I bet you assume I think Christians shouldn’t go to Vegas either.
I don’t think it’s wise to go to Vegas for the purpose to party the night away. Even if you can control yourself like me, it’s still not the best place to go for fun. You’ll be surrounded by a lot of temptation to sin.
I’m not against Christians having a drink or two, but trying to drink a drink or two in Vegas is like trying to eat a candy bar or two in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You’re surrounded by temptation to go further than you originally intended However, that is something you truly have to discern with Holy Spirit and some wise counsel.
I personally would never go to Vegas for the traditional reasons, but I would for ministry reasons. Vegas is entitled, “Sin City” for a reason. There is a lot of messed up things going down in that city. However, there is also a lot of good things happening in Vegas.
For example, XXXCHURCH helps share the love of Jesus to the sex industry and they also provide incredible resources to help people like myself to stop being addicted to porn. In fact, their founder, Craig Gross, is a big reason why I desire to be a pastor. And they’re based in Vegas. There are many also brothers and sisters in Christ who go to Vegas to share Christ.
I had a pastor in Vegas tell me that Vegas isn’t Sin City, but instead it’s Grace City.
I like that.
Christians shouldn’t say that they will never go to Vegas again since Vegas (and any other city) is filled with people who need to hear about how much God.
I have to admit that my first trip to Vegas wasn’t all that great, but that was my fault. I didn’t seek out opportunities to share my faith. Instead, I was just stunned by what I saw.
However, the next time I go will be different. And I hope other Christians will join me in not writing off Vegas as a condemned city. God loves people in Vegas and He wants us to share the name of Jesus in Sin City.
Jesus said, “‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15).
Jesus didn’t command us to go into only the parts of the world where we want to go or where we feel most comfortable. Instead, Jesus commanded us to go into every city and proclaim the name of Jesus, so let’s do that.
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20