Is Playing Cards a SIN??

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gregory Perry Sr., Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
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    OK people...all my christian life I have heard people either say outright or imply that playing cards is some kind of sin. I don't gamble....I'm 52 years young:thumbsup: and I don't recall ever playing a hand of poker in my life...don't even know how. I have played some blackjack but just for fun and I don't play anymore because I know it is one of the prime gambling games. I do play Solitaire of several different varieties and have played Hearts and Spades.....and oh yeah...Go Fish and War.....but no gambling games. What is it about cards that is supposed to be so evil. The only thing I can come up with is the wasting of time that we as christians are supposed to be redeeming. I would confess to wasting too much good time that could be used far more profitably. But the cards...what is wrong with them? BIBLE or at least sound BIBLE PRINCIPLE please.

    Thanks, Greg Perry Sr.:saint:
     
  2. Grasshopper

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    I think you would get better responses on the Fundamentalist Board.
     
  3. Jim1999

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    I don't see any problem with using cards for a game, a game board, or even a Bingo game without a prize. I play euchre at the Senior's Club, no money.

    When I was younger we called them the Devil's Deck, but then on Sundays, we didn't leave the parlour except to eat and the loo. We certainly didn't go outdoors to play on the Lord's Day.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. AresMan

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    Life's a gamble. Go jump off a cliff! :p
     
  5. Brother Bob

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    I think there were so many men who came home late on payday and had gambled their entire pay checks away and no way to feed or care for their families is why it became such an evil to play cards. Just my thought on it but I knew how gamblers were treated and what they were called as their families had nothing to eat. Also, it seem to be a desease, for the men who did gamble couldn't hardly quit for their life.
     
  6. AresMan

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    If you're not gambling, it is not a sin. Now, if your use of cards causes someone to stumble, don't play cards around that person.
     
  7. gb93433

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    Now many have substituted the stock market and the lottery.
     
  8. JonC

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    Card games are games. In itself it is not a sin, anymore than football (without gambling). I wouldn’t blanket gambling as a sin (but that’ just me). I don’t do it, anyway.

    Where gambling is a sin is that it is not being good stewards of what God gave us. Credit Cards, actually credit in general, has the same effect as gambling.

    Paying $20 to enter a poker game, if the $20 is simply entertainment money, I think isn't a big problem (if it is legal in area), but it leads to temptation and can get out of hand. Credit cards have had the same effect, probably distroying more marriages and families. Yet many Chrisitan organizations accept these cards (this board does).
     
  9. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    I disagree with JonC's assessment of gambling.
    Any gambling is sin. Why? Because it is seeking to gain money without working for it. One is leaving the gain of money up to the chance of the deal. This is no different than the lottery. Pure chance. This is not Godly. And puhleeze, don't anybody who is leaning to reformed theology declare that there is no chance it is all of god! Puhleeze!

    As far as cards being evil I think it hails back further than we might think. Back in the day, (even today) there were/are spiritualists/mediums who use certain cards for the practice of divination. I think the association grew from this. I haven't researched it but I think I am right.

    Can anyone confirm?
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Playing Cards

    It's my day off. I think I'll take a home run swing at this topic.

    There was a little pamphlet against playing with "face cards" years ago by Charles Weigle, the evangelist writer of "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus." Weigle's thesis was that in the Middle Ages, the cards had meanings that made fun of Christianity: the queen was Mary, the Joker was supposed to be Jesus, etc. (I don't think I have the pamphlet anymore.) However, I've not been able to confirm this myself.


    Another Fundamentalist who taught this was Wilfred Meloon, who wrote Hey! Young People! They Say I Am Crazy (SOTL, 1956). According to him, face cards were invented by the insane King Charles of France in 1392 (p. 15). He says that for 100's of years they were called "The Devil's Bible" and "The Devil's Picture Book," and quotes Presbyterian theologian T. DeWitt Talmage (1832-1902) as saying, "I would rather have my children play with a next of rattlesnakes than with a deck of cards!" So basically in the old days, all conservative Christians evidently opposed "face card" playing.

    The usual Fundamentalist position is not that playing cards in and of itself is evil, but that playing with "face cards," even if you don't gamble with them, can cause others to stumble by making them think you, a mature Christian, are gambling and thus it is all right.

    A funny story went the rounds when I was at BJU in '70-72. A student glanced in a room and saw some students playing Rook and was shocked, since he was brought up to believe that all cards were wrong. He rushed to Dean Liverman's office, and gained an audience with the stern dean of men. "Dr. Liverman, Dr. Liverman, I saw some students playing Rook in their room." Dr. Liverman looked pensive and said, "Well, the only one who ever beat me was Dr. Bob Sr.!"

    At Rice family gatherings we often played Rook and enjoyed it, but we never played "face cards" in the family. Just don't tell Mom about that son of the lady she was trying to help, and how he taught me poker! (It was Mom who insisted that I play with him.)

    Here is John R. Rice's position, which I scanned in from pp. 22-23 of Amusements for Christians, Right or Wrong? (SOTL, 1955).


    "Playing Cards Without Gambling?”


    “It is true that playing cards might in many cases be simply innocent squares of pasteboard. On the other hand, since regular playing cards are usually used for gambling, whether playing poker or bridge for money or playing bridge for prizes, it is likely that any young Christian who should see those cards in a person’s home would suppose that he gambled with them. And he would probably reason that if he played cards it would be all right for him to play bridge or poker. Or if he knew that gambling was wrong, it is nearly certain that he would think a person was condoning gambling, and his confidence in that person’s Christian life would be greatly shaken.

    “There are two Scriptures that should be noted. The first is, ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’ (I Thess. 5:22). The other is I Corinthians 10:23-33. It can be seen, then, that not all things which are lawful are expedient; that one must consider the consciences of weaker Christians as well as his own; that one must, whether he eats or drinks or whatever he does, do it to the glory of God, and that a Christian should be careful not to give offense “neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.’ Each Christian must seek to profit others in such matters. I say with Paul, that, “if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” (I Cot. 8:13).

    “It cannot be denied that regular playing cards are constantly connected with gambling, and one who is against gambling should not let anything leave the impression on others that he favors gambling.

    “It would be wrong for me to have whisky bottles sitting in my house even if I never drank, and I would not be willing to have even empty whisky bottles left about so that any one could misunderstand my position. You see, one must consider not only himself but others in the matter.”

    On other types of card games, Rice wrote on pp. 23-24:

    “I do not believe that Rook is a gambling game. I never knew of anybody to gamble on it, so I could not in good conscience preach against it, Since the Bible says nothing to condemn it as far as I know, of course I cannot denounce it. As far as I know, it is innocent amusement. God has not put any curse on paper, or on cardboard, and God has not rebuked games. And since Rook does not encourage people to gamble, I think it might be used by Christian people if very careful not to offend, not to do harm. However, young Christians have sometimes wasted too much time on Rook games.

    “When I was a boy we played Authors, a game played with cards, but of course it was never used for gambling. We also played Flinch, another game played with another kind of card. I never knew of anyone’s gambling on this, either.”
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The lottery, yes. But how is the stock market gambling? You are not trying to get something for nothing, and you are not depending on chance per se but on the success of a company.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    Interesting thought, John. And though I don't do the stock market scene, aren't we speculating when we invest, and isn't speculation some "form" of gambling ?
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Just finished the wife's excellent supper, with a cheese casserole and corn, and then made a nice cappuccino with chocolate flavored coffee sent by a friend in the States. I gambled on none of this, knowing my wife's cooking to be top notch! :love2:

    Now, although speculating on stocks can be called metaphorically "taking a gamble" (according to the MS Bookshelf dictionary) in the sense that you are taking a chance on it's value increasing, think about this. No anti-gambling law I know of prohibits speculation in the stock market. Legally, the stock market is a completely different issue than gambling.

    When you buy stocks you are buying something with intrinsic value which will remain valuable for an unforseen future, though it has (like everything else) the potential of losing value. However, when you buy a lottery tickey, you are not buying intrinsic value, but only a piece of paper that may or may not win. The attraction of gambling thus is the getting of something for nothing, but the attraction of the stock market is

    Here is the MS Bookshelf encyclopedia definition of gambling:

    "Wagering of money or other items of value on an uncertain event that is dependent either wholly on chance, or partly on chance and partly on skill. Gambling has been practiced by people throughout history.

    Today gambling occurs in practically all nations and takes a great variety of forms. Among the most widespread practices are betting on the outcome of horse and dog races; of bull, cock, and prize fights; of wrestling matches; and of such games as baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Other common forms of gambling include card and dice games, roulette, and bingo. Games of this type, as well as slot machines, constitute a major industry. The lottery, a form of gambling that dates from ancient times, is used as a money-raising technique by religious groups, charities, and governments, including most states in the United States and most Canadian provinces.


    "In general, the attitudes of governments toward gambling have been that the practice should be discouraged or regulated. One form of public betting that is acceptable in many states is the pari-mutuel (French for "mutual stake") system, which originated in France. It consists of a pool of betting moneys. Those who correctly predict winners of the first three places in a race share the total moneys minus a percentage for track management. Pari-mutuel betting is often employed for horse and dog races and for jai alai games."

     
  14. blackbird

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    Anybody for Boo-Ray??

    Rummy??
     
  15. John of Japan

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    I just notice I didn't finish a sentence in my last post. What I should have written is: "The attraction of gambling thus is the getting of something for nothing, but the attraction of the stock market is using your skills to increase the value of something you already have."

    And Blackbird, what in the world is Boo-Ray???? [​IMG]
     
  16. menageriekeeper

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    Knowing Blackbird, it's probably something like snipe huntin'. :laugh:

    I was raised same as JoJ, probably because my folks read so much of his grandfather's writings. We played a lot of Rook!

    Nowdays, people can and will gamble on anything so mere playing cards aren't associated simply with gambling. You can gamble with them, but then again, I can place a bet on whether Auburn will beat Bama next year, but that doesn't necessarily associate the sport of football with gambling. Just the same, there are other uses for playing cards than gambling.

    Still it would be interesting to know the origins of our decks. If I get a chance, maybe I'll google it later.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    We can get so worked up in semantics, especially when it involves a questionable practice.

    In fact, there is risk in everything we do involving money and investments. Our very insurance programs are taking a chance, as it were. Insurance companies take our premiums and invest them. We hope that all will go well and we will benefit in time.

    We had no pension plans for pastors when I started out. A company was started by Christians to benefit other Christian people with retirement funds. It was called Investor's Syndicate. I was able to invest $5.00 weekly. Now to-day, I enjoy a handsome retirement fund from that "chance" I gambled on so many years ago.

    So, call it what we will, we all gamble or take risks and that includes games and investments such as the stock markets.

    How many angels can dance on a pinhead anyway?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. JonC

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    av1611jim has a good point that it is seeking to gain money without working for it, if that is the goal of the individuals involved in the game. I think that the goal of the individual (entertainment vs. monetary gain) has a lot to do with it. But, I’m not at all saying I’m right on this issue.


    Cards used for divination, I believed, occurred in the 1300’s. Tarot cards as a game occurred in the 15th century.

    The first cards were the Chinese domino deck. Following this were the paper cards, again Chinese. Gaming cards predated cards used for divination.

    I think a major problem with accepting playing cards in general with the churches were alleged symbolism on the cards. For example, the four suits can be seen as the four seasons, the 13 cards per suit as the 13 phases of the lunar cycle, black and red for day and night, 52 cards in a deck as the 52 weeks of the year.

    The images on the cards were also used at various times in history to illustrate political and social issues.

    It amazed me that the lottery was overwhelmingly passed in our state where the majority of the citizens are Christians. Now we have a state that condones gambling, on a state level, but holds it illegal on an individual basis. How hypocritical is that!

    I’d prefer gambling in all forms to be illegal. Regardless on whether you think it a sin or not, it causes so many personal and social problems that I can not understand why a state would condone such an action.
     
  19. PastorSBC1303

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    No thanks. I prefer Phase 10 or Spades. :thumbs:
     
  20. SaggyWoman

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    Personally, I have never found a Bible verse or principle that would state that playing games such as card is a sin.
     

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