Bryan and Tom, two single lawyers from New York City go to Reno, Nevada for a business trip. Tom was a Christian who went to church every Sunday; however, Bryan lived a bit on the wild side, enjoying parties and women. At the end of their trip, Tom invited Brian to go to a church with him. Brian was reluctant at first, but after thinking it over he decided to go anyway.
“I didn’t think Reno had any churches. I thought all Nevada offered was strip joints and casinos,” Bryan laughed.
“You’ll see. I’m sure there is a number of churches. I’m Baptist, so I thought we’d go to one to see how we worship,” Tom replied.
“OK, but you owe me one- if I go to a church service with you, you’re coming to a casino with me.”
“Well, that’s a deal,” Tom thought his partner’s offer was fair. He had never been to a casino.
Tom chose a Baptist church and they left to go there the next Sunday morning. When they arrived, a greeter stood smiling at the front, wide door, bid them welcome and gave them programs for the day’s service. As they looked for a seat, Bryan started to fidget. “I don’t feel good about this. I’m not a Christian.”
“Maybe the service will feel more accommodating as the service continues,” Tom said.
“I wonder what the pastor’s like? I don’t want anyone judging me.”
“I’m sure everything will be fine.”
After the service started, uplifting songs were sung and Bible verses were read. Then the minister- a Pastor Michaels got up to face his congregation and welcomed everyone. He was in his late 50’s with graying hair and wore glasses. He stood tall with a firm voice, and said, “Let us pray.” Then he gave a sincere prayer that lasted three minutes. After he asked everyone to be seated, he journeyed up to the pulpit. After roughly twenty minutes of a relatively fiery sermon about all types of sin involving money can lead to a slippery slope to being tormenting eternally in hell. Bryan felt a change overcome him a somewhat warm and fuzzy feeling.
“The service wasn’t so bad after all!” Bryan said. “But you’re still coming with me to a casino tonight.”
Later that afternoon, Bryan searched his computer for a local casino, but there weren’t that many. He chose the Giant Gold Club. They dressed in regular polo shirts and khakis and drove downtown to find the place. It took several passes around the street to find a building with a blazing blue sign which read Giant Gold Club.
After getting out of their car, they approached the door to the club where they were checked for weapons. They each had to pay a $40 cover charge, and then they walked in. Bryan found an automatic slot machine, put some money in and went to work. Tom watched Bryan handle the machine as Bryan explained the game he was playing. Tom learned quickly and found his own machine.
Across the room, Tom spotted a man throwing dice at a long table, smoking a cigar. Tom stared at the man’s face. Then he told Bryan to look at that man.
“Doesn’t that look like that. Pastor Michael from church this morning?” Tom asked him.
Bryan couldn’t keep his eyes off the show but pulled his head around to look at the man having a good time.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me! That’s him! I never forgot his face. That’s the pastor!” Bryan exclaimed as his eyes bulged from his head. “Seems like we got ourselves an immoral minister.”
Tom agreed and stared hard at the man, who was surrounded by lots of women who clung to the man. “Well, Bryan, you were right! Reno isn’t a very moral place after all. This is Satan’s town!” He stormed up at the man and lectured him on his lukewarm ways. The man was so drunk, he just stared at Tom, laughed hard, and said in a firm voice, “Hey! You need to come here more often. You’re the most nervous person here!” Tom walked back to Bryan. He was so angry he wanted to leave. Bryan wanted to stay, but Tom took a cab back to their hotel room. He didn’t get any sleep that night. The first thing he would do the next morning was to drive to the church and have a talk with that “pastor.”
Bryan finally walked in a drunken stupor at 2:30 AM. Tom pretended to be asleep. Bryan just fell on the bed and immediately began snoring loudly. It was just as well since Tom couldn’t get to sleep anyway. Tom got up early that morning at 7 AM. He got dressed and drove to the church at 9 AM. When he arrived he walked into the pastor’s office. He spoke to his secretary and demanded to speak to Pastor Michael.
“He’s not in. May I help you?”
Tom said, “That figures!”
Before the secretary could respond, Pastor Michaels walked in.
“Pastor, this man wants to talk to you.”
“Come into my office… Mister… ?”
“It’s just Tom to you.”
“Why are you so angry?”
“I saw you at that casino last night, having lots of fun.”
“Oh dear! You caught me!” the Pastor laughed.
“What were you doing in the casino?” Tom said raising his voice.
“Relax Tom. That was my reprobate twin brother, John.” Before Tom could say another insulting thing, he stopped.
“Your twin brother?”
“Yeah. I guess you must be from out of town. Everyone knows about me and my “evil” twin. So, I’m sorry you worried about this so much,” he said. “Do you go to church regularly?”
Tom said he went to church every Sunday.
“Well, if you go to church regularly, what were you doing at a casino?”
“I’m here with my reprobate law partner, Bryan,” Tom laughed.