Gambling

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Brother Adam, May 12, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    Why don't Christians gamble? What does the Bible say against gambling? I ask for several reasons:

    1) Someone came up with a theory that if he gambles and donates all his winnings to charity and when he loses it goes to education anyway, that he really isn't gambling, just having fun in the process of giving.

    and

    2) I have been known to by a lotto ticket once or twice a year and would like to gather evidence for or against it myself.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  2. Don

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    A few things pop into my head.

    1) The individual with the theory is justifying his love for "risk." Does he really, truly turn all of his winnings over to charity? And I assume that what you're saying is that the money by all the "gamblers" goes to some educational fund; how much of that money actually goes to the educational fund? (You'd be surprised how many "non-profit" organizations actually spend more than 25% of their earnings on "administrivia.")

    2) When I buy a lotto ticket, or a bingo card, I encourage the continuation of such things. The next time you walk into the store to buy a lotto ticket, or you're in a bingo parlor, take a long, hard look around at the people that are also spending their money on lotto tickets and/or bingo cards.

    3) Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:24

    Just my thoughts on the issue of gambling.
     
  3. Helen

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    Gambling is betting everyone else will lose. It is betting enough people will lose so that you will win something. It is based on greed and the idea of something for nothing. But there's no free lunch -- you are just betting that everyone else will lose enough money to pay for your lunch.

    Do you really want to be involved in something where you are out for yourself at the expense of everyone else involved?
     
  4. Bible Believing Bill

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    Be careful of buying into the theory that the money goes to education. It is true in many states that lottery money goes into the education fund, but what they don't advertise is that if x amount of the education money comes from the lottery then x amount can stay in the general fund that would have gone to education it the money hadn't come from the lottery. It is not extra money for education.

    Bill
     
  5. OSAS

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    Years ago I voted for the California Lottery, and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Since its inception it has panned out to be absolutely nothing that it was "hyped" to be.
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    Hey all you Californians on here what about all the Indian Casinos?... Talk about gambling?... There are four within a twenty mile radius from where I live in San Diego. People just can't wait to empty their wallets and purses... Brother Glen :eek:

    [ May 13, 2002, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  7. Brother Adam

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    All is very interesting. Thank you for your thoughts. I work a lotto counter at times (not exactly at my own will), so yes, I know exactly what type of people usually buy lotto tickets.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  8. Don

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    Adam, I didn't mention "types" of people. All I said was take a hard look at the people buying lotto tickets or playing bingo.

    Most of the people I see are using money they could have used to buy diapers, or clothes, or food...all in the hope that they'll "strike it rich the easy way" and have more money for diapers, clothes, and/or food....

    [ May 13, 2002, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  9. Brother Adam

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    Don, yes, I know what you mean. More than anything else on this thread though, besides moral and ethical reasons against gambling was biblical support. So far only one person has offered any passages.

    The nearest I have come to gambling is the lotto counter at our store. I have never been in a bingo parlor, nor have I ever been to a casino. I think I have spent a whole total of 4 dollars on lotto tickets my entire life. Frankly, I think people who are going to spend money on the lotto should take it and spend it on a necessity or give it to charity.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  10. pdp27

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    State sanctioned lottery is just a voluteer tax.

    South Carolina recently enacted the lottery this past January and of course it's selling like crazy, making the state all kinds of money. The funny thing is that just a couple of years ago, the state banned all forms of video gambling.

    I say it's funny because apparently gambling is only evil when the private sector is making the money and good when the government is making money.

    I believe neither should be allowed
     
  11. Jonathan

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    Adam, as usual, you bring issues to the board that require a little extra thought.

    We Baptist are a varied lot (perhaps more varied than any other "named" group) but one thing that we all agree on is that we are a "people of the book" (of course this has different meanings to different Baptist groups).

    Those of us who agree that sola scriptura is foundational to our belief system sometimes fail to see how brutal a "master" this view can be.

    I may not like (i.e. preference) gambling because of the host of sins that seem to accompany this activity but I cannot find a biblical admonition (i.e. doctrine) against it. The three passages listed so far in this thread do not condemn gambling anymore than they condemn military service or public execution.

    Gambling, like the occasional alcoholic drink, is simply not condemned in Scripture.

    Do I approve of either of these activities? No. Do I wish that they were explicitly condemned in Scripture? Yes (this would make those annual abstain from alcohol lessons much easier).

    But if I am going to be one of the people of the book then I am going to have to restrain myself from creating doctrine out of a combination of tradition, preference, and an agendized view of Scripture.

    Further, as many clearly biblical issues that require my attention in these days (open theism, the nature of God, the nature of salvation, a God-centric view vs. a man-centric view, etc...), there are simply some traditional issues that do not represent a hill to die on.
     
  12. Helen

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    I disagree with you, Jonathan. Here is the Scripture:

    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    Which person, winning money, shares it with his neighbors?

    Would you be willing to spend as much money helping your neighbors or simply in the name of fun for them as you do on yourself where gambling is concerned.

    Don't look for individual Scriptures about a certain thing when Jesus said that ALL the Law and ALL the prophets hang on the two commandments regarding loving God and loving your neighbor.

    Is gambling glorifying to God?
    Is it loving your neighbor?

    No?

    Then don't gamble.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Helen is right. Gambling is based on greed. No matter which way one cuts it it all boils down to that.
    Two incidents come up in my mind.
    Years ago, as a teenager, I watched a man gamble away his money on this now-you-see-it-now-you-don't kind of game. Somebody set up a small table in a street corner and the game was to guess where a small seed was after this somebody
    shuffled the seed back and forth three small cups.
    You actually saw the seed rest finally under one but when he lifts the cup up it just isn't there.
    The betting man lost every way. Then he went and
    killed himself. Turned out the money was for his college tuition.
    Then, a few years later while I was travelling on an interisland vessel, an old man got into this game where you put your index finger inside a rolled belt. The object was that when the belt was unrolled your finger should be in the inward part. He lost everytime. He was found hanging by the neck in the men's lavatory. The money he lost was to pay for the surgery of his wife.
    Gambling is foolish, and addictive.
    A cop friend of mine in the Philippines would pawn his service pistol to the gambling house maintainer just so he could continue gambling after he'd lost his entire pay.
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    I know this is kind of off the topic but what about this illustration of gambling at the crucifiction.

    John 19:23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

    24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I think gambling is well covered under teh biblical principles of stewardship. It is simply not a good or wise use of money. It is throwing money after ridiculous odds in a venture that you have no control over. The stock market (which some use as a comparison) is different in that it is something that can be studied and pursued with logic, reason, and knowledge. The only logic reason and knowledge in the lottery is what day to watch TV so you can see the winning numbers. If we are to be wise stewards of our money, gambling is certainly unbiblical.

    It is interesting that on the same board where the amount of money being spent on buildings is discussed, the lottery is also being discussed.

    As one person said, a lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.
     
  16. Jonathan

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    Which person, having earned a sustantial sum as a result of study, application, and willingness to take career risks, shares it with his neighbors?

    I have known both gamblers and earners to share their surplus with their neighbors.

    Sorry Helen, this passage doesn't discuss gambling.

    I don't gamble. But I have been known to take long weekends taking my children to the zoo or to an amusement park. I can assure you that, in each instance, I spent more money on myself and family than I did for any of my neighbors. Did I run afoul of the verse you mentioned?

    Be careful. The same standard that says that dropping a couple of rolls of quarters in a slot machine will become the same standard that says to purchase a software game, a newer car, a newer piece of furniture, a meal at a restaurant, 65 cents on a soft drink, tickets to baseball game, etc... is not in keeping with these commandments.

    A very good question. I agree with the view that the "Glory of God" is our chief end (along with enjoying Him forever). Most of the types of gambling that I have seen occur in ways that I would definitely think to be not glorifying God. However, I have to fall short in saying that ALL gambling cannot glorify God. Just as I would have to say that ALL participation in organized athletics, or purchase the latest gospel CD glorifies God.

    [quoteIs it loving your neighbor?[/quote]

    I made some buttermilk biscuits (from scratch, of course) the weekend before last and ate them with sausage gravy and then had some of the best butter and honey on them that I've every tasted. Was I "loving my neighbor" by these actions?

    I am just not as comfortable as you seem to be in creating law here.

    I do not gamble. I oppose the legalization of gambling whereever I can. I counsel against gambling. But I have to stop short of stating that ALL gambling is contra Scripture.
     
  17. Jonathan

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    And yet, Pastor Larry, I know of folks who vacation in Las Vegas and the surrounding area periodically; plan to spend $20-$50 entertaining themselves in a casino with no expectation of anything in return other than entertainment and/or incredibly inexpensive lodging and food. I know of many others (myself included) who enjoy periodically taking the wife and kids out to a minor league baseball game and spending less time and probably more money expecting nothing in return other than entertainment (with expensive food and hard seats). Participation in both of these activities can be a violation of the expectations of stewardship. But not in every instance.

     
  18. Helen

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    Glen -- gambling and other things are mentioned in the Bible. This does not make them right. The fact that even our Lord's clothes were the subject of sinful activity at the end is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 22. But where the Bible recounts history, that does not make that history or the actions of that time right in the eyes of God.

    Jonathan -- I'm afraid you are challenging the wrong person. We have five adopted special case kids. Our old Toyota van was literally falling apart on the roadway when my brother GAVE us an $18,000 one year old Ford van. We are putting a Zimbabwean student through medical school because his funding collapsed along with their economy and he was stranded with his family in Australia. We grow a lot of our own vegetables and share. My chickens lay more eggs than we can use -- so we give them away. I refuse to buy a ticket to a ballgame or concert -- they are not worth the cost.

    Yes, we are trying to live our lives to the glory of God and to love our neighbors as ourselves -- even if most of them ARE Mormons!

    I very much feel that gambling is against the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. It IS based on greed and it DOES depend on others losing their money. There is no possible moral justification for it.

    As far as your choices with your life and your family, you are not accountable to me and I refuse to pass any kind of judgment based on what you have said here. You are accountable to God. He knows the truth of what He has given you and where He is leading you. I don't.
     
  19. Don

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    Jonathon,

    Is pornography expressly forbidden in the scripture?

    If it is, then please show me. If it isn't, but you agree that pornography is wrong, then you must admit that the principle is there--as is the principle against gambling.

    And unless I learned new math, I presented 4 pieces of scripture--all having to do with gambling for our savior's garments as He died on the cross.

    When they could have been looking to Him for their salvation, they were gambling on earthly things instead....

    [ May 13, 2002, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  20. Pete Richert

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    Yes. Matthew 6:28. One could argue that one could be able to look at pornography without lust but I would probably laugh at them.
     

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