Lottery

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. Salty

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    If a member of your church won it big in the lottery - say - $250,000 net - would your church accept the offering of the winner ? :1_grouphug:
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    This is fun, its a bunch of theologically loaded questions...;)

    I have yet to see a verse that prohibits either the lottery or gambling in the Scriptures.

    Let me ask another:
    If a member buys 10,000 shares of stock which triples in value in 9 months, he sells half and gives the proceeds to your local do you accept it? Is it any different?
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Sure.

    Yes.

    Stock is actually a share of a company that has value. Gambling involves buying nothing but a chance of gaining a prize.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    What better use for the Devil's money than the Lord's work?
     
  5. Salty

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    But stock is also a gamble - You buy 1,000 shares of BB at $10 per share = $10,000. In one week the price goes down to $5 per share - you have just lost $5 Grand. So in essence there is no difference - unless you can fortell the future.

    But would you accept an offering on the 250 G lottery winnings?
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    As a voting member of my church, I would have to say yes, but with stipulations.

    Because a large percentage of the money more than likely came from the pockets of people who should have been spending it on rent, baby diapers, and food for their families, I would want my church to accept it only if we spent the money on the poor, infirm, homeless, needy, helpless, and hopeless. I would even accept it on behalf of missions.

    I would be highly opposed to taking it and spending it on building projects, staff salaries (which includes me), or non-philanthropic/non-evangelistic agendas.

    Because of the poverty level of so many of the the people playing the lottery and how I believe that the state is personally robbing them, I couldn't in good conscience have my church take the money to pay my albeit small salary.
     
    #6 Scarlett O., Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  7. Baptist Believer

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    No, not really, unless you are throwing darts at a board to select stocks. And frankly, even doing that whatever you buy (if you diversify) will almost always gain value over the LONG term.

    Furthermore, if your definition of "gambling" is taking a risk on things when you don't precisely know the outcome, then starting a business is gambling (as well as just about everything in life).

    Yes. I would accept money on any windfall, unless it was gained from illegal activity or the money given was used as a basis to try to control the church.
     
  8. annsni

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    A church local to us had this happen to them and they did end up taking the money. It's now been a few years and they are struggling in a lot of ways.

    Our staff talked about it a lot and my senior pastor brought up a good point: Why preach against gambling but accept money from doing just that?

    Oh and my dear husband has a term for the lottery: "the idiot tax".
     
  9. Gwyneth

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    My church would not accept it.
     
  10. ituttut

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    Life is a gamble. Money becomes dirty when you give it to Sinful things. Is the church Dirty? How does the Gospel of the Grace of God get spread to the world by man? FOLLOW THE MONEY, but not when given to Evil.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Why on earth not take the money? You are not endorsing the lottery or the winner, just accepting the money. The only way I would turn it down if there were strings attached. If it went into the general fund and the gifter did not stipulate how it was spent I would certainly accept it.

    What if. . . .

    A local drug dealer got saved, repented of his drug dealing ways and wanted to give the church a million dollars.

    The owner of a brothel or bar got saved closed his business down sold the property and wanted to give the money to the church.

    A church member found oil in their back yard and wanted to give a million dollars to the church.


    What right do we as a church or as an individual to tell someone that their gift is unworthy? Would we stand by like Judas when perfume was poured on Jesus' feet and say that it should have been sold and the money given to the poor?

    If they are giving as unto the Lord and we as a church are standing in the Lord's place then we should accept the gift graciously. Then we can decide how to spend it.

    The only gift I would turn down would be if it had strings attached and then it would depend on the strings. If they wanted to give money but specified that it had to be spent in a certain way or that the new building or whatever had to be named after them, then I might turn it down.
     
    #11 North Carolina Tentmaker, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2011
  12. Jim1999

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    If the giver didn't want recognition, he/she could give the gift anonymously.

    The Salvation Army in Florida refused a substantial donation from lottery winnings on principle.

    Yet, it was the founder of the Salvation Army who reportedly said, "The devil has had it long enough" when he was criticized for collecting gifts at the local pubs.

    I once preached against gambling at my local church, and met an embarassed 15 members at the local general store buying lottery tickets....I remained silent!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Alcott

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    I bought a few lottery tickets a number of years ago, including some scratch-offs, in which I had 2 $40 winners in a short span. Then I almost did what those little winners are meant to do-- keep on buying, with the idea that if I can win $80 I can at least equal that and maybe win much more. The most logical thing occurred-- I bought a bunch more, with only a few 'winning' $2 or $5, or whatever tidbit amounts, and quickly got tired of it. But while I was doing that for a short time, I happend to see an acquaintance of mine doing the same thing. I first knew him for the public service job he held, then he had become part of the church I was in under "Watchcare;" he was not actually a member, having not been baptized by immersion, but an active participant.

    That was several years ago, and I hadn't-- and still haven't-- seen him in recent years. But about 2 weeks ago I went to a drug store where another old acquaintance works (part time, I think), and she asked if I remembered [that guy by name]. I told her yes, then she told me he won $1 million in a scratch-off. I don't remember how she said it; whether she knew it for a fact, or just 'heard it.' Nor do have any idea if he still goes to that church, or to any, let alone any circumstances about contributing a part of it. I just wonder if (supposing this is true) he is going to continue to buy any kind of lottery tickets, now that he's won what is inevitably the most he will. As well as how many thounsands he likely spent in getting this big one. And ultimately, getting all the facts and figures and calculating the probabilities and expectations of making a real investment. Sure, he beat the odds, but by how much?
     
  14. Thousand Hills

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    I agree the lottery is essentially a regressive tax. Rich people don't buy lottery tickets because they know money can't make them happy.

    If the situation Salty posed in the original post were to occur at our church I would be against it and would hope others would as well. I could only see more trouble come from it - disputes over how to spend the money, etc.
     
  15. matt wade

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    So, if a member of your church makes his money as a doctor, would you insist that his giving be used only to help sick people? What about a defense attorney? Should his giving be used only to help criminals? What about someone that makes their living catering dinners and parties for the rich and famous? Should their giving be used only to help the rich and famous?
     
  16. Crucified in Christ

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    The rich do not buy lotto tickets because they know that it represents the least likely return on their money.
     
  17. Crucified in Christ

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    Of course, one major difference between your analogy and the OP is that in the examples you offer, the person seems to have repented from the unsavory activity through which they received the money (the oil money excluded as I doubt there would be any such feelings there). Would you accept the money of a known drug dealer if he refused to leave drug dealing?
     
  18. Thousand Hills

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    Come and listen to a story bout a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed, then one day he was shootin at some food, and up from the ground came a bubbling crude, oil that is, black gold, texas tea.......

    I wonder how much the First Baptist Church of Bugtussel got from the Clampetts? :laugh::laugh:
     
  19. Crucified in Christ

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    While there is always a temptation to say yes to things like this, I would not want to accept it. I have had to counsel people who have had incredibly difficult gambling addictions. These are addictions that have ruined lives, marriages, and families as much as drugs or alcohol ever could. I am certainly not alone on here in terms of seeing such devastation.

    Anyway, I think we have to be very careful in formulating our policy on this issue as we can become an encouragement to gamblers. I have actually heard people say that they would love to win the lottery in order to give a large portion of the money to the church. Obviously, it is a giant problem when people justify their addictions with such pious excuses.
     
  20. Scarlett O.

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    I don't understand your analogy.

    Doctors, defense attorneys, and caterers provide a service to the public and are compensated for their work. The bible speaks over and over of a work ethic.




    Playing the lottery is not the same thing. I've seen the people in my neck of the woods who play the lottery. The money is just nothing more than ill-gotten gains.
     
    #20 Scarlett O., Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
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