by Paul Alexander
Society’s general perception has changed dramatically in favor of gambling, but has God’s? Just a generation ago, if one wished to legally gamble he had to travel to far-off Nevada or New Jersey. Today, a casino is located within short driving distance of most towns, and the majority of people have no further to travel than the nearest convenience store in all but a few states to wager on state-run lotteries. Once a social taboo, gambling and gaming have gone mainstream, and have even become a common church fundraiser with raffles and bingo. Is opposition to gambling just an outdated hold-over from the past? Following are ten Biblical and rational reasons why we should oppose gambling.
Gambling violates the Biblical command, “Thou shalt not covet”
(Exodus 20:17; cp. Luke 12:15; Ephes. 5:3; Col. 3:5) Most people would not buy the raffle ticket to “help the cause” if there was nothing to win.
Gambling violates the Bible command to “be content”
(Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5; cp. Gen. 3:6) The gambling industry cannot survive without covetousness, greed and discontentment. Remove these base elements from the human heart, and every casino would close down.
Gambling is a symptom of distrust of God’s ability to provide
(Psalm 50:10-12; Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19) Gambling gives a false hope — If I win, I will never lack again. However, we are to look to God, hard work and wise use of the resources God provides, not the elusive “jackpot”, to meet our needs.
Gambling misappropriates God’s resources
People would respond to an investment manager using their funds to buy Powerball tickets by rightly saying, “It’s not your money to take that risk!” The Christian’s money is not his either, but God’s, and he is to be a wise asset manager. (Deut. 8:18, Job 1:21; 1 Chron. 29:11-12; Ps. 24:1; Matt. 25:14-30; 1 Cor. 4:2)
Gambling leads toward greater corruption and destruction
The old “organized crime” has simply become legalized crime. “The ABC’s of gambling are addiction, bankruptcy, crime and corruption.” [Focusonthefamily.com, “Cause for Concern”]
(Proverbs 28:20; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; James 1:14-15)
Gambling hurts families
Read the “National Gambling Impact Study Commission [NGISC] Report to Congress” to find a host of gambling’s terrible unintended consequences on individuals, communities and families, including spouse abuse, child neglect and poverty. -www.ncfpc.org/specialngisc.html
Gambling is destructive to communities
NGISC Report to Congress — “The annual average costs of job loss, unemployment and welfare benefits, poor physical and mental health, and problem or pathological gambling treatment is approximately $5 billion peryear. This does not include gambling related incidences of theft, embezzlement, suicide, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and divorce.”
Gambling undermines a work ethic that builds strong societies
Proverbs 13:11 – “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.” (Also Proverbs 10:4; 12:11; 13:4; 14:23; 20:4; 21:25; Acts 20:35; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10)
Gambling opens the door to serious addiction (1 Corin. 6:12b)
Billboards along our interstate highways read, “GAMBLING IS ADDICTIVE! CALL 1-800…”, and the first full week of every March is “National Problem Gambling Awareness Week”. Nearly 5% of teens and 6% of college students have a clinical gambling problem. Another 10-14% are at high risk of addiction.
1 Timothy 6:9 warns of “…foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
Gambling is a deceptive trap (Proverbs 13:11)
“About one-third of all state lottery winners end up filing for bankruptcy”[Focus on the Family Mag.; Jan. 2002], and “80% of winners wished they had never won” [American Life, April 9, 2007].
What about financial investments?
Gambling is based on a desire for quick and easy wealth. An investment offers the possibility of long-term gain with patience. However, some investments can carry such risk and unreasonable promise that they become a “gamble”. Even legitimate investments can be wrong for a person if his motive is to get rich, or if he is trusting in his investments more than God to meet future needs.
- Gambling is neither healthy nor innocent “entertainment”.
- Good causes (“education”) and good motives (“If I win I will help…”) never justify wrong actions. Don’t gamble–give!
- Cultural acceptance (“Everybody’s doing it.”), government approval and religious participation (church bingo and raffles) never make a wrong become right.
- Gambling is bad social policy, it is bad economic policy, it is bad moral policy, it is bad family policy, and it is bad for the character, heart and soul of mankind. It undermines the foundation of a stable society and historically leads to increased corruption, poverty and abuse wherever it gains acceptance.
by Paul Alexander
What do you think? Is Gambling OK for Christians to participate in? Leave you comment in the section below!
Gambling is wrong, and if your a gambler don’t bring your winnings to the house of God.
Deuteronomy 23:18 (KJV)
Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Funny ever church I ever attended said ” if you win, don’t forget to tithe”
I am not sure where to draw the line but if all this is true then don’t ever start a business. You must depend on a whole lot of things that you have absolutely no control over.
good job trying to pervert the scripture rick, but people who pray for understanding know the difference.reading the bible and asking for wisdom can help you understand where the line is.
Your making bad comparisons. Gambling relies on chance and fortune which God says He hates. Starting a business requires wisdom and acts of faith that God is with you if your a believer. To the unbeliever a business is just wisdom alone.
Many gambling games are rigged and there are those who cheat. Taking chances of getting caught can result in fines, prison, or death.
Businesses are sometimes ran dirty also. There are those who break the rules and make ill gained profits. They too will meet their own destruction.
The man of God has integrity and stores up true riches for eternity. Riches that don’t fade away.
So Rick your comparison is to be expected, but to us crazy radical believers of Jesus, all things are done in faith and with a clean concious; or rather they shoule be.
If you have invested in the stock market, that’s gambling!! And most Christians have stocks….
You just described every company in the us we work for.
Just because you gamble, don’t mean you have an addiction to it. Some don’t gamble to get rich or even get by. Some just do it to relax and have fun. Funny how no one sees the stock market as a gamble???? Well it is. People invest there retirement with hopes of having more money for when they retire. And yes that’s a gamble. I am a Christian and I see no wrong in buying a lottery ticket or going to the casino as long as you don’t gamble away you bill or to live on money. Everything in life is a gamble, so does that mean we gotta quit living???
How can the wealth of the wicked be transferred into the hands of the righteous unless the righteous are positioned to receive? If you have taken care of your financial obligations and have an abundance remaining then why not spend a few dollars on a ticket?
The Bible is the Word of God…You either believe it all or not at all. You alone will have to give an account to God for your finances.
You people who believe it’s ok must not have read the article and looked up the references. It’s funny how you justify it by saying that it “makes you relax and have fun”. All of those are carnal and fleshly. We are to crucify the flesh, as much as possible, and trust the Lord for wealth. You will NEVER justify the lottery with scripture, just “I think” or “I believe” and NOBODY cares what you think or believe outside the Bible.