Gambling ?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by west, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. west

    west
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    I know its wrong to gamble .We are to trust in the Lord and work for a living .But are then any verses that said point blank gambling is wrong .My sister in law is a big time Casino going gambler .Thanks .
     
  2. Rachel

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    Is she a Christian?
    What about all the verses about being good stewards? How can we be good stewards and throw money away? That doesn't feed anyone, give them clothing or anything else. It just puts more money in the casinos hands to entice sinning. I put state lotteries in the same category, I don't believe we should do that as Christian's. But that's my opinion, alot of other Christian's believe otherwise.
     
  3. Johnv

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    Scripture is silent on the issue. So we have to look at other scriptural implications. I'd look at it in two ways:

    1 - Are you gambling for the primary intended purpose of making a profit on your money? Is your gambling proving to be a financial burden? Are you always looking forward to your "next win"? Are you intend on "beating the odds"? Do you "live to gamble".

    If the answer to any of these is remotely yes, then this is a sure sign that a person has a gambling addiction, and is likely abusing gambling. It's an abuse of one's body and blessings, and we're scripturally warned against such abuse.

    2 - Are you gambling for the primary purpose of having fun? Is the money you use coming from funds you would use for, or have budgeted for, recreation or vacationing? Is your mood soured if you continually or even occaisionally lose? If you never win a penny, do you remain unbothered by the money speant? Are you aware that the house always wins? Would people describe you as a generally responsible person financially? In addition to, or in lieu of, gambling, do you responsibly spend or budget money on, and take part in, other forms of liesure that do not involve gambling?

    If the answer to all of these is "yes", then it's evidence that the person does not have a gambling problem, but simply enjoys the activity as liesure. This type of activity is not scripturally forbidden. Scripture does not discourage taking part in, or spending money in, liesurely activity. Nor does spending money on liesurely activity imply that one is a bad steward, so long as one's fnancial obligations (including giving) are being met.

    However, any liesurely activity, including gambling, can carry the potential for abuse. A Christian should always keep oneslef in check to make sure that the liesure is not becoming something that is being worshipped.
     
  4. Helen

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    In a funny way, I think "love thy neighbor as thyself" is a prohibition against gambling for money. Why? Because in order for you to win, others have to lose. In addition, the money YOU lose could have gone to help others if the money was that disposable!

    If your winnings depend on others' losings, or if your losing deprives your family or others of something good for them, then "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is definitely a prohibition against gambling at a casino!
     
  5. Johnv

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    So, gambling for, say, licorice whips, is okay?

    I only like the red ones, btw.

    I don't play poker, but a few of the boys from church have a poker night. They play for pennies, and the winner of the most hands gets his pizza paid for by everyone else.
     
  6. Helen

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    Gambling for licorice is probably not going to be something along the lines of cheating others out of their money or depending on others' losing. There is a world of difference between a few friends sitting around playing poker or 21 for licorice or Neccos (which is what we used to do) and going to a Casino where your losses are just about guaranteed in terms of money, time, and even ability to control what you spend!

    Use your head, John.
     
  7. Johnv

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    I did. See my previous post.

    I can certainly understand why some want to say that all gambling is wrong, but there's simply no scriptural leg to stand on in regards to that issue.

    If one is to use use one's head here, why is a person using one's head in regards to birth control somehow a scriptural violation?
     
  8. Helen

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    oh help. never mind if you can't see the difference.
     
  9. Johnv

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    I see little difference. In both this issue, and the birth control issue, you're elevating a personal view over a scriptural view.

    Now, going back to the main point here, see my first post. It is consistent with scripture.
     
  10. Helen

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    I'll let the readers decide who is using Scripture. I mentioned what Scripture I thought should be applied here to gambling. I said I thought God should be in control of conception. Yeah, I guess these are personal views to rely on Scripture and God, but I prefer that side to trying to depend on my own intellect.
     
  11. Ps104_33

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    What about the stock market. Especially options.
     
  12. Johnv

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  13. Magnetic Poles

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    I vote for John!

    Helen, any disposable funds COULD be used for something else. Have you ever spent any money on entertainment? Shame on you!

    Where scripture is silent, we are using our intellect by inferring meaning at all. God does not prohibit using our brains.

    I believe John's earlier summation very eloquently points out the difference between gambling to sustain one's self and gambling as part of an allocated entertainment budget. Big, big difference.
     
  14. Helen

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    As I mentioned, I don't think Scripture is silent.

    Our entertainment is probably different from yours. We have friends over for evenings of fun. We enjoy sunsets and sunrises, laugh at the dogs and grandchildren. Reading a good book with a hot cup of tea at my side is my idea of total relaxation. We play board games and cards and walk through antique shops. Sometimes we buy something. Usually we just enjoy looking.

    I love walking on the beach. I haven't been to a movie in years and we haven't found time for miniature golf, which we have promised ourselves sometime this year!

    I guess I don't really need to be 'entertained'. I find life lovely enough as it is right now. the blackberries are beginning to ripen along our back border and we ate some of the first sweet ones early this afternoon.

    Why have an 'entertainment budget' when there truly are people who are desperately in need of help right around us? That does not seem much like loving them as much as I love myself, that's all.
     
  15. Brian30755

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  16. Johnv

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    The only support you cited was "love thy neighbor as thyself". You surmised that, if you winning depends on other losing, or if your losing deprives your family or others of something good for them, then "love thy neighbor" qualifies.

    Two problems:

    1 - If one winning while another loses is a qualifier, then all contests are out, playing poker for licorice (since someone loses licorice), as well as the school fundraiser raffles, not to mention the cake walk at the local school carnival.

    2 - I can agree with your contention that if losing deprives you or something good, then it qualifies. However, it qualifies not as "love thy neighbor", it instead qualifies under the scriptural mandate not to abuse ourselves. However, budgeting for a trip to, say, Vegas, as part of a vacation budget does not in any way constitute an abuse, nor does it qualify as violating the "love thy neighbor" mandate.

    Probably true, but having a different preference for entertainment or vacation is by no means a scriptural violation.
    My, your self-righteousness knows no bounds. Now, everyone who saves part of their income to go on a vacation is "unloving". Ya know what? I worked really hard to save money to take the Mrs to Hawaii. And you think you can wave your holier-than-thou finger at me so casually? Sad. Really sad.
     
  17. Rachel

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    That is interesting, the points you make. I guess I've only heard or been around people that fall in category #1. Something to think about.
     
  18. Helen

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    Been there done that, John. I've changed, that's all. I'm not trying to play holier than thou. I'm presenting what I have found and how we have chosen to live in accordance with what we understand Scripture as saying. Should I not do that because it disagrees with you?

    But your logic about the cake walks and raffles are entirely wrong. People DONATE for those. They willingly give up a portion of their money and then if someone wins, great, and if not, they all had fun anyway and for what they all considered a good cause. They did not play with the intent to win. Gambling means someone who wants to win is losing money. It's a whole different thing and you are really clutching at straws to try to save yourself on this one.

    Looking at your arguments I'm willing to say that gambling in a professional establishment is wrong. Plain and simple. If licorice on the table is your thing in a neighborhood poker game, great. It is nowhere near the same thing. I think you know that.
     
  19. Marcia

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    In addressing this issue, I am not considering playing cards for candy or pennies to be gambling. I am answering based on gambling in casinos, playing the lottery, or other real gambling situations.

    The problem with making the distinction above, written by JohnV in his post, is that people are too able to rationalize what they are doing so they can do it. I cannot see people suddenly realizing that their gambling has slipped from a light entertainment to a serious problem. However, that is not the main reason I think gambling is problematic for Christians.

    I think gambling is based on a belief in chance or in luck, which is antithetical to a Christian view. I think gambling hurts a lot of people and to participate in that is, in some way, endorsing the damage gambling does. There doesn't have to be a scripture against gambling for it to be a bad idea.

    Whether it's a sin or not is irrelevant. I think the issue is: what biblical principles can be applied to the situation so that we can decide what the best course is to follow re gambling? And I think when we do apply biblical principles, gambling comes out as a bad deal.

    Not everything that is allowed is beneficial.
     
  20. Magnetic Poles

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    Oh contraire, Dear Helen! We enjoy all of those things too. The difference is, I don't pass judgment on those who enjoy things outside your list.

    I am not a big gambler. I haven't been to a casino in 3 years, and only spent $20 of my fun money. I may occasionally buy a lotto ticket, but again, that is just my fun money (whenever I have a little bit).
     

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