Friday, January 20, 2006

Rolling the Dice


Paul states that all things, unless specifically forbidden by God, are lawful for me as a Christian BUT not all things are beneficial for me as a Christian.


Gambling is not expressly forbidden by scripture. Many Christians tend to ask questions on controversial subjects like this as "Can I do it?" Though the theological answer is "Yes" the impact on your testimony needs to be considered. The better question here is, "Should I do this?"

Here are some simple guidelines....

APPEARANCE

I Thess 5:22 warns us to avoid the appearance of evil. Gambling has long been associated with vice and corruption. Few people would dispute that. Places of gambling and their patrons are usually unsaved individuals where their flesh is driven by greed, lust, and pride. Now, that does not mean everyone who participates in the activity is a greed driven lust monger but is the appearance of a Christian in that enviroment going to be a stumbling block to someone? Is that beneficial?

ASSOCIATION

Eph 5:11 warns us not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Las Vegas advertises itself as "Sin City" where you can engage in open vice but need not worry because what happens in Vegas... stays in Vegas. The Mafia played a large role in establishing Las Vegas and Atlantic City as places of gambling and adult entertainment. Corporate America attempted to clean up Las Vegas with family friendly resorts and activities for kids while mom and dad gamble their college savings away but have since discovered the high rollers and those who want the vice have been staying away. Now the trend is going back to those images of the late 50's, 60's and 70's where Joe Average can go and rub shoulders with gangster bad guys and be "naughty" away from home. Is that beneficial?

ACCEPTANCE

Is 5:20 warns us to be careful when good is portrayed as bad and bad as good. There is a very open acceptance of gambling today. Most states feature Indian Casinos and lotteries. Gone are the images of smoke filled dark rooms with cheap women. Now casinos look like hotels with shopping malls inside them. You stop and get a manacure and a Chappachino on the way to the roulette table. Wal-Mart sells gambling kits that have small roulette wheels, poker chips, and other assorted gambling games. Poker with the kids has replaced Clue or Monopoly. Is that beneficial?

AUTHORIZATION

James 4:17 tells us that when we know to do right and don't we have sinned. When we accept and participate a practice like gambling what is the message we are sending to our children? Even if we set a limit and do not exceed it when betting and have not lost our savings or become drunken, depraved, and homeless from the vice of Vegas... we are telling our kids it's okay. Is that beneficial?

The whole concept of gambling from betting on a ball game to playing poker has roots and a history that is tainted at best and corrupt at worst. Is this something we as Christians should condone and associate ourselves with? What positive fruit has gambling brought or produced? Is this beneficial?


1 Comments:

Blogger Whole stole my name said...

Are you against Wheel of Fortune? Derived from gambling which you have described as evil.

What's your view on the stocks, bond and future markets? Gambling the share price will climb.

6:10 PM  

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