My point is that few gamblers think through the philosophical foundations of what they are doing. And if we are in trouble financially, we should trust Him to help us out. Another interesting bit of information: I am currently single waiting on God trying to be sexually pure completely. Click to Continue Reading. Saying that, you can not change your husbands behavior.
Therefore, we reject the greedy shortcuts offered on every hand. Finally, our God has called us to be neighbors to those around us. Or we think that there is some kind of moral difference between betting a little and betting a lot. On that point, we need to hear the words of Billy Graham. The appeal of gambling is somewhat understandable. There is something alluring about getting something for nothing.
I realize that, and that is where the sin lies. Gambling of any kind amounts to theft by permission. The coin is flipped, the dice are rolled, or the horses run, and somebody rakes in that which belongs to another. The difference is only the amount of money involved. The Billy Graham Counselors Manual, p. My conclusion is simple: There are good, solid reasons for our opposition to all forms of gambling—legal and illegal. And although many Christians gamble, we may fairly say that gambling itself rests on principles which are the very opposite of the Christian faith.
We may for the sake of convenience identify five popular forms of gambling. Each one is based on greed in one form or another. In each form, the greed masquerades as something else. There is pure gambling. By this I refer to games of chance which involve no skill whatsoever. These are games which are played solely for the purpose of betting money. Examples are bingo, keno, lotto, lotteries and raffles.
Included in this category would also be slot machines and most dice games. This is the worst kind of gambling because it is based on pure chance. Therefore, you might call it pure paganism. It is greed masquerading as harmless entertainment. There is gambling on sports events. This has a bit more redeeming value since an actual contest of skill is involved.
Yet the game and the gambling are two separate things. It is greed masquerading as team spirit. There is gambling on card games. This, of course, is a big part of the Las Vegas scene but it is also found in many homes when the boys get together on Friday night. It is greed masquerading as friendship. There is gambling on charitable lotteries. A great many good organizations use raffles or lotteries as a way to make money.
Typically you buy a ticket for a small price and the winner is chosen at random from a container holding all the tickets sold. The cost of the prize is deducted from the pot and the charity gets the rest. This presents most of us with a dilemma. If we buy a ticket, we are gambling, no doubt about it. But greed is still the motivating factor. The charity knows it can raise more money by appealing to greed than to altruism. It is greed masquerading as charity. That comment may seem…well, it may seem uncharitable and I do not mean it to be so.
My greater point is this: If you want to give to the American Cancer Society, go right ahead. I do believe in charitable giving, but I also believe there are better ways to raise money which do not involve gambling.
I do not have time or space to discuss the question of church-sponsored gambling. It is, however, worthy of note that many Catholic leaders have come out against the practice in recent years and some bishops have banned it altogether. Those who believe in such things as church-sponsored bingo games justify them as harmless diversions which help meet the church budget. Furthermore there is no such thing as harmless gambling any more than there is such a thing as harmless greed.
There is gambling on horse races. More and more states are using pari-mutuel betting as a way to raise money without raising taxes. It is greed masquerading as good government. The only point I would add to the above analysis is that not everyone who gambles is a greedy person.
No doubt the prospect for financial gain often takes a back seat to other, nobler motivations. A person who bets ten dollars on a football game may truly feel that his relatively small wager is a sign of his school spirit. That fact is true and such a trivial amount of money is not likely to corrupt him or hurt anyone else. The same may be said for those who play bingo for money and the guys who play poker on Friday nights. More often, such small-time gambling is motivated by a simple desire to get together and have fun.
The money involved simply makes things more exciting. My point is that greed is always involved in gambling, even in the nickel and dime variety.
When you decide to buy a raffle ticket, or when you bet twenty dollars on a round of golf, your motives may be noble and true and you may not feel greedy at all. Greed is always there. Take away the temptation to make some easy money and no one would ever gamble again. We come at last to the bottom-line question: How should the Christian feel about gambling? I have three suggestions to make.
Let us be careful to live in a manner consistent with our Christian faith. That simply means living with the Bible as our guide. Gambling is based on a set of pagan presuppositions, all of which are contrary to the Christian faith. Am I thereby suggesting that if you put a quarter in a slot machine when you go through Las Vegas on vacation, you have sinned against God? Let me put it this way. The sin may be a small one, but little sins often add up to big transgressions.
Concerning that hypothetical quarter, at least this much is true: You have wasted your money and your time. You may also be leading someone else astray by your thoughtless example and they may spend far more than your prodigal quarter. At the very least, you are acting in a manner inconsistent with the Christian faith you profess to believe. The same is true for spending a dollar to buy a lottery ticket. In both cases, the money is not the issue.
Great principles are at stake whether you spend a lot or a little. Let us take our Christian convictions with us into the voting booth. This is always a good principle, but especially on an issue like gambling. Here in Illinois we have horse racing, dog racing and the state lottery. Soon we will have riverboat gambling.
Plus we have betting lines in the newspapers and TV shows offering to show us how to beat the spread. There are office pools, bingo games, who knows how many clandestine floating card games. Gambling is big in Illinois. Is it any wonder that organized crime is also big in Illinois? It is a fundamental principle that the role of government is to uphold the welfare of its citizens.
Legalized gambling puts the state in the business of sanctioning, sponsoring, and promoting gambling enterprises. Is that what we want for the state of Illinois?
I suggest that we take our Christian convictions with us into the voting booth. And we ought to vote our convictions whether or not we think we will win. Let us ask God to teach us contentment with what we already have.
This is the central issue in the gambling debate. Do we believe that God will take care of all our needs all the time? But God has promised to take care of his children. And he has done it over and over again. What we truly need, he has promised to supply—through miraculous means if necessary.
The least child of God is in better shape than the biggest high roller in Las Vegas. Revenue and jobs are two arguments frequently advanced in favor of gambling and the lottery.
Yet, when Tom Dewey was governor, he addressed the NY legislature as follows: A guiding principle to consider is that both one's time and money belong to God.
Consider the parable of the talents where the owner gave one servant five talents, another three and the last got one. The last man hid his talent in the earth. The owner rebuked him. How much sterner might have been the reproof if he had gambled it away? If your time and money were your own, we could say, "gamble all you please, it's your own business. The Bible adds that thieves will not get to heaven.
This is an interesting statement: Whereas, if you leave home and drive just a few blocks, your chance of a fatal car accident are 1 in 1 million. Another interesting bit of information: Governor Washburn of Wisconsin in his annual message of January 9, , declared, "Some law seems to be required to break up the schools where gamblers are made.
Even the church unwittingly, no doubt is sometimes found doing the work of the devil. Thank you so much. We have had the new casino in our area for about 2 years now…and here are the cold facts which I tried to educate those about:. Glad we have common sense Christian women like you. I pray it fails. Does this make sense? Which way the money should flow. Thank you again Francis. Anyway, even if we are trying to use money from winning at gambling, it is sin and should not be done, even if its to feed the poor.
God would never, ever approve of sin for any reason. Plus after I had won something I would usually use the money to buy a cd or book I wanted. I am so depressed and worried. Actually just came back from the casino. I am a Christian and I just hate doing it but no excuses I go for the excitement.
I am currently single waiting on God trying to be sexually pure completely. Trying to quit smoking. Sometimes I just feel as though all I do is battle. Gambling leaves me feeling empty like every other sin. So I think it is a sin. I just needed some ammo for my weapons. I think the money I spent on gambling could have went to a savings bond for my son.
Thanks for this article. I am adding gambling to the fight as well. Not to try to stir up egos and pride. God prefer produce of goods over money. Anyway tithes are for levites, for churches that uses tithes to collect oney, please prove that you are levites. I believe in giving to the church to manitain a proper place for gathering and worships. Please help me decipher what to do. My dad has this fascination in casinos. He requests money from me does not demand from time to time but I am personally against going to casinos.
I want my dad to be happy but I do not like casinos. What do I do? I would stop this…you are enabling your father to become addicted to gambling and since gambling is sin you are helping him sin.
Do you want your dad to be happy or do you want your dad to stop sinning? Decline it…or you are both headed down a spiral because gambling is sin and God is not going to bless this at all. If those are true, then gambling in a casino is sin! If you win and someone else sees you win, then they might be tempted to try it!
If you could do it in a private setting without sinning in the process cards and illegal activity are sins , then you might not actually be sinning if you are not one of those that has a problem with it. Hello friend and thank you for your comment. I never said that gambling is not sin but actually, that it is sin. I think we agree on this, right? And, the NIV Bible is not evil my friend.
Please be careful about making such accusations my friend. We all have differences and use different translations, but even the King James has several miss-translations in it, so none are completely perfect.
I just had to comment, because I feel like your statement that gambling was only mentioned once in the Bible is inaccurate. The only person to suffer for that wager was Job. One could argue that God gambled so it must be ok. There are so many things in life that can lead one down a slippery slope. People get addicted to eating, which is something we must do to survive, but it can quickly turn to gluttony. People work hard to have a comfortable life, but quickly we can become workaholics constantly striving for more.
Seniors love to play bingo for small prizes such as snack crackers or tissues. Are they truly gambling or simply having fun playing a game with friends. Evil that grows from gambling has less to do with the act of gambling and more to do with the heart of the individual. If one believes that God sees all and knows all, then He would know your heart, when you gamble, and whether or not you will win.
I think it is wrong to tell someone not to tithe from gambling money. If that is how God decided to bless them, then let them give freely of that blessing. A person who feels guilt from gambling, should not gamble. If you open your heart to God you will feel His presence and He will guide you.
It is the heart that defiles the body and leads to sin. And God did not gamble with Job. For every winner, there are hundreds of losers, so if I disagree that God would bless them through something that is clearly sin.
Ask your pastor about this and see what he says. Job was not a gamble made by God but a test to prove Satan was wrong, which he was. There is no doubt about that…even if only one verse says so. One verse from God is enough for me. Let not him that gamble judge him that gamble not and vice versa, i have yet to see in the bible that gambling is a sin.
Lack of temperance which is no self control is the sin here.