Flabbergasted

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by mike, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. mike

    mike
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    All you pastors out there,

    I was absolutely floored today after church. My wife, kids and I went to her family's Christmas get together this afternoon. My mother in law, who is a member of a church we know quite well and were members of years before had an unusual request: She had gone to the local casino with my father in law, his brother and wife. While there she won $800, and talked with her pastor (who is SBC btw) and he told her that gambling was ok as long as it didn't take over and push other things out of the way. She paid a few things with the winnings and gave the rest to the church consequently.

    Bolstered with that, she asked my wife if they could take our oldest son there to gamble when he turns 18 in May. My wife said, "Absolutely not." My mother in law just said that she'd talk with me about it when it got closer to his birthday, but clearly did not agree since she had what she felt was her pastor's blessing on the matter.

    She is not a very mature Christian at all and I'll easily be able to show her Scripturally why he may not go, and also why her going to some casino is the wrong thing to do. After that, it's up to her regarding going in the future, but at least she'll know the truth.What totally befuddles me is her pastor giving his blessing to such a thing. It absolutely blew me away! This fellow has pastored there for a couple years and his predecessor was very clear on matters like this. She is my mother in law and I love her dearly. However, I my own church to pastor and have enough on my plate without cleaning up this mess. :BangHead:

    I know how I will be handling this situation, but at the same time I need to be a little more calm and prayed up before I tackle this. It really bothers me a lot.

    What say all of you?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I'd be interested in seeing the Scripture that says gambling is wrong.

    You can set standards for your family, and should stand on them. Don't be surprised if others who don't believe in those standards operate differently.

    Maybe we should begin by figuring out what exactly Scripture says about his matter. :)
     
  3. Zenas

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    I’m not a pastor so if the moderators want to delete my post, feel free.

    First, I recommend you pray about the situation a lot.

    Second, I would adopt a practical approach rather than a scriptural approach. Make sure your MIL understands she is going to have a net loss if she continues to patronize a casino. They don’t put up those facilities because the patrons win more than they lose. Then make sure she understands how habit forming it is. If she is that thrilled over her first trip there, she may already be hooked and just doesn’t know it yet.

    Third, have this same conversation with your son. You might also inform him that he won’t find anyone there his age. Casinos are mostly patronized by old people who can’t afford to be there. The glamorous portrayals you see in the movies just don’t exist unless you go to Monte Carlo or Nassau or to one of the very large establishments in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

    Fourth, resign yourself to the fact that your son can go where he wants to after he turns 18.

    Fifth, pray about it a lot.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    :)
    Yes. Today we need a proof text about everything to prove it's wrong. Then, if given a proof text, we say, well, in its strict context it doesn't apply to me.

    There are many many things that are just plain common sense. :)
     
    #4 preacher4truth, Dec 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2010
  5. mike

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    Thanks for the thoughts. The truth is, my oldest son has zero interest in going to some casino with his grandparents. I was mainly bumfuddled with the fact that her pastor, whom I don't know well at all basically gave an endorsement of any sort. I can't think of a single SBC colleague in this area who would have done so.

    The casino has had some dubious things happen and its reputation isn't the best. I am bothered however by the fact that a pastor was used to try to show me, a pastor as well, that I should let one of my kids do something that we are opposed to.

    He won't be going, as he told me, "Now that would be really cool: playing poker or something with Gramdpa at the gambling hall..." :laugh:
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    I'm not a pastor either, but I deal with stuff like this in my family too. I find two things to be helpful in dealing with my inlaws: 1) a well taught child who is NOT afraid to speak up (sounds like you have that covered)
    2) a soft spoken reply.

    Since I can find no direct scriptural warnings against gambling, I find discussing the realities of gambling (you are GOING TO LOSE) and the setting of boundries (decide how much you are going to shove into those slots BEFORE you step into the casino) to be more useful than ranting about "sinfulness". (direct turn off for my inlaws, especially fil who was made a DEACON in their little church!)

    If your inlaws are mature enough, a discussion about stewardship might be helpful. My inlaws are not. (for that matter my husband doesn't see gambling in the light of stewardship, he just hates the impact such places have as a whole, so I let him be)

    Above all, remember that the Holy Spirit who guides you is perfectly capable of guiding them. Sometimes we "more mature" Christians get up on our pedestal and forget that we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit just as much as others.
     
    #6 menageriekeeper, Dec 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2010
  7. Joseph M. Smith

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    You also need to talk with your mother-in-law's pastor. It is not unusual for people to twist what someone like a pastor says in order to make it come out the way they want it to. On occasion I have heard myself "quoted" with words or meanings that I do not in the least recognize. A little detective work, and then maybe a heart-to-heart with your fellow pastor.
     
  8. jaigner

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    You don't need to get all up in arms about this. The notion that gambling is always wrong in every circumstance is extra-biblical and more of a moral tradition than anything else.

    I definitely don't think it's wise, especially after my first time in a casino. It will also be my last.

    But if your M-i-L wants to go, it's no big deal, and if she asks your 18-year-old son to go, it's no big deal. If the pastor doesn't agree with you on the issue, it's no big deal, either. Let your son make the call here. It sounds as if he's not particularly keen on the idea, anyway.
     
  9. matt wade

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    Mike,

    Unfortunately when I read your post I knew that you would have the liberals come out to tell you how gambling isn't wrong. Please don't pay any attention to them. These are the same people that will tell you drinking, smoking, women pastors, and homosexuals are OK. Take what they say with a large grain of salt.

    Keep standing on the Truth and keep preaching it brother. Raise your son up properly (it sounds like you have) and you'll have no worries.
     
  10. annsni

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    I would explain that you are trying to teach your son wisdom when it comes to money and gambling is not exactly "wise". I don't see anything wrong with going and playing with a limit - with money that would not go to another need you have and that you have no guilt playing with the money that could put food on someone's table (I'm all about the guilt - LOL). I'd look at verses like:


    Proverbs 13:11 "Dishonest money dwindles away,
    but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."

    Ecclesiastes 5:10 "Whoever loves money never has money enough;
    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
    This too is meaningless."

    Proverbs 23:5 "Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle."

    Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

    I'd say that at this point in your son's life, you really want him to understand hard work, being faithful to the Lord with our finances and realizing the reality that casinos make money because of gambling - that they take people's hard earned money and leave tragedy in it's wake. If someday he wants to go, that will be up to him but he is still under your parenting influence and neither he nor you want him to go and that they need to honor that decision.
     
  11. jaigner

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    The Truth is that gambling, just like drinking, is an issue of conscience. These two issues are so entrenched in fundamentalist culture as being wrong that it's hard to look objectively.

    Also, Matt is making things up, as he usually does. I have never said homosexuality is okay. In fact, I've said the opposite many times.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yea, put your life savings on RED & let it fly baby, let it fly! {SNIP}
     
    #12 Earth Wind and Fire, Dec 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2010
  13. matt wade

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    I never said that you in particular said anything about homosexuality. You just seem to think that I talk about only you. Please stop thinking so highly of yourself.
     
  14. thegospelgeek

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    :thumbs: Amen !
     
  15. Jerome

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    Even Jaigner's own United Methodist Church takes a strong stand against gambling:

    From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church — 2004:

     
  16. TomVols

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    This thread has nothing to do with pastoral ministry. And it's gone to mudslinging rather quickly. Reprise the theme song and roll the credits.
     
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