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Gambling vs. Faithful Stewardship

Sunday, June 05, 2011 | Comments (55)

I closed the last post with a list of four distinguishing marks drawn from a standard definition of "gambling." All four of these are true of every variety of gambling:

One, something valuable is put at risk. Two, something belonging to someone else is at stake as a prize. Three, an element of chance is involved in determining the outcome. And four, no new wealth is created in the process.

Now, let's devote a few posts to considering each of those features of gambling, one at a time. It is my contention that there's something in each one of them that conflicts with biblical principles. We'll take them in order, starting with the first:

Gambling places something valuable at risk for an illegitimate purpose. That violates the most basic biblical principles of wise and faithful stewardship.

Let me point out first of all that one of the fundamental principles of all biblical stewardship is given to us in the Tenth Commandment, Exodus 20:17: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." It's is a sin to covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. This is not a gray area.

Gambling is covetousness distilled to its very essence

I know people—and in all likelihood you do, too—who claim that they gamble only for entertainment or recreation; not out of greed or covetousness.

But if it's mere entertainment they seek, why not play a game without staking any money on the outcome? Every gambler to whom I have ever posed that question has given me the same answer: "To play a game with nothing at stake is not as much fun." The stake makes the game more "fun" or more "interesting."

As a matter of fact, one commenter made that very point: "Poker simply doesn't work without some money at stake . . . the money at stake adds to the enjoyment of the game." He said he plays for small amounts—so that "the financial losses are not enough to be any more than entertainment money, and the prize not enough to create greed."

Analyze that for a moment. Why would the element of gambling make a game more "fun?" There is only one reason: because the "fun" is derived not from the game itself but from the possibility of winning something that belongs to your neighbor. In other words, what makes gambling "fun" is pure covetousness.

Sorry to be blunt about it, but that is sin.

Note carefully: it's the principle of covetousness that makes that sort of "fun" sin, not the size of the stake. A Christian who thinks it's safe to cultivate covetous desires as long as the sum at stake is small has completely missed Paul's point in 1 Timothy 6:9-11:

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Gambling involves an inordinate desire to get something from one's neighbor without a legitimate exchange. So it is a sin on those grounds, even if we said nothing further.

But There's More . . .

Gambling can be a sinful dereliction of the steward's duty for several other reasons as well. Note: I'm not arguing here that every act of gambling is necessarily tainted by all the following sins. But these are all major factors in the complex of evils that commonly accompany gambling. Anyone who practices gambling as a pattern of life is systematically tolerating and even cultivating the sin of covetousness in his or her heart. That person will of course be especially susceptible to many of the corresponding temptations, too:

  • Slothfulness. Get-rich-quick schemes are practically all foolish and immoral. Solomon wrote this in Proverbs 28:22: "A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him."

The promise of easy wealth is an overt appeal to slothful desire. Yet most gamblers freely acknowledge that the promise of gaining money quickly and with little effort is one of the major factors that adds to the "fun" of gaming. In other words, gambling fuels both covetousness and sloth.

  • Foolishness. Listen to Proverbs 22:16: "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want." That's an interesting verse. Most of us will instinctively understand that it is sinful to oppress the poor in order to increase our riches. But the verse also says that you shouldn't just give your money to the rich. Who would give their money away to rich people? People who gamble in casinos are doing it all the time.

Numerous studies have shown that poor people tend to spend a much larger proportion of their income on gambling than people in middle—or upper-income brackets. Gambling is a particular plague on lower-income people, primarily because of its illegitimate promise of getting rich quick. More than one study has demonstrated that the poor bet more than three times the amount wagered by persons in middle-income and upper-income brackets.

Meanwhile, those who are licensed to sponsor lotteries and casino games never lose—they gain enormous wealth by taking money off the top, and by skewing the odds overwhelmingly in their favor.

In other words, money won in state lotteries and other forms of gambling is money taken from the poor. And money lost in such wagers is money given to the rich. So both of the evils condemned in Proverbs 22:16 are fostered by the machinery of gambling. If you want to oppress the poor and give your money to the rich, there is no more systematic way to do it than through gambling.

  • A lack of self-control. Furthermore, as the above statistics (and many others) indicate, gambling is seriously addictive. Research suggests that one in every ten gamblers does so compulsively. There are an estimated ten million gambling addicts in the United States alone. And the average compulsive gambler has debts exceeding $80,000. It is a bigger problem than alcoholism. And in areas where gambling is widespread—such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City—the suicide rate is three times higher than the national average.
  • Miscellaneous concerns. There is the stewardship of time. Gambling consumes people's leisure time with activities that are neither relaxing nor healthy for the body.

We could also talk about gambling's negative impact on philanthropy and charity for the poor.

And there's gambling's destructive consequences for marriage and the family; its detrimental effect on society, the crime rate, and the spiritual climate wherever gambling flourishes. Gambling has been shown to contribute to turmoil and physical abuse in the home, crime and violence in society, and all kinds of personal and psychological disorders in the person who is addicted to gambling.

The effects of gambling are virtually all bad. And no wonder. It is contrary to everything Scripture teaches about wise stewardship.

Phil Johnson
Executive Director


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#1  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 3:41 AM

Amen!!!

I am so thankful you have taken a very serious look at this issue. I don't know how anyone could refute what you have pointed out, and what the Bible clearly teaches on this matter, but we all know some will go to great pains to justify this obvious sin. Maybe we all need to study Proverbs a little closer, as many of your references were taken from there.

Awesome article!!!

#2  Posted by Mark Veit  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 7:13 AM

wow, well said. I myself have gambled over the years and do see the point of some that do gamble. But I happen to agree with Phil's break down.

I don't gamble now and haven't for many years. The aspect I would like to mention is not so much the debate here, as how important is the argument is? Arn't there more important spiritual truths that should be addressed? I like to drink as a escape. I hate drinking as it is not a good testimony and also attached are many negitive factors. I battle with NOT drinking and to spend my time explaning how "two" beers is ok because I don't drink 13 beers, is somewhat silly and really a waste of time. I'm not casting stones at the people that gamble, as I have tons of other sins I battle with constantly.

Hope everyone has a Godly veiwpoint day. :)

#3  Posted by Tom Jourdan  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 8:23 AM

Thanks Phil for the wonderful articulation of scripture. I am learning so much and look forward to future posts. This has been very "eye opening" to so many people that are reading I am confident of. The word of God pierces to the marrow. It cleanses us if we only allow it with a humbled spirit. Your clear, God given capability to teach and articulate the word of God is a blessing.

The argument that gambling violates the 10th commandment (Exodus 20:17) that you so well articulated could not be more simple to understand. It couldn't be more black and white than that. However, there will be plenty of believers that not only want to justify their sin, but those of others as well. I know too well personally the hurdles one will go to in one's mind to justify their own sin and make room for just "a little sin". If we have been taught from our Master we should know that "a little leaven, leavens the whole loaf".

I am no historian of the faith, but I enjoy learning from those that have gone before me. Am I correct to say that before our generation, or the last 2 or 3, the church spoke pretty much with one voice to the sin/evil of gambling. If I am correct, why is it that we have a generation of believers, as evidenced on these blogs, that are so content with allowing the culture to influence their thinking and not the word of God.

My assumption is if you went into church history you would find these same arguments made from men of God preaching from the pulpits of not only America but all over God's world. This is nothing new. I would be very interested to learn from those that have studied church history and can demonstrate the harmony between generations before to now that would strengthen the young believer that may be "getting it" but still struggling somewhat.

Thanks and always in Him - Tom Jourdan

#4  Posted by Darrel Robertson  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 10:08 AM

Hi Phil, nothing wrong with this , in fact I agree with you and when you say "gambling "fun" is pure covetousness. "Sorry to be blunt about it, but that is sin"....Dont Be sorry Phil its taken right out of Gods Mouth....But I must say a thing or two here but first let me tell you where I am coming from, I have been a Christian now for 49+ years I was saved in the Pentecostal CHURCH and didn't like what I was seeing in the Church as a whole so I was led to John Macarthur, and have been more saved ever since...LOL I attended Bible College ...not for reasons like you or many on here, I took evening classes just to get the truth ...and after a few years of credited classes..They told me before I signed up one more year if I would take a class here and there of a certain subject I WOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A DEGREE in Biblical studies..So I did and upon doing that a few Churches my wife and I went to ask me to serve as Elder or Decor and with much prayer I did accept....now During some of the finance meetings tithing and income to the church would come up and The Church would try to find a way to bring in money and the #1 thing that the Pastors would hit on was stewardship...but it was done out of context, they would hit hard at members who threw away their money on GAMBLING, new fishing poles, Boats, Cars, etc...and would twist scripture on how that money should stay in the Church...WHY?...WELL MANY CHURCHES TODAY PRACTICE coveting THEM SELVES....YEP!...One Church wanted to put up 5 big screens in the foyer(spelling) just like the Baptist Church 1/2 mile away....WAS IT NEEDED I voted NO!.

I remember One friend of mine who was on his staff that said their Church was wanting to put in two espresso coffee bars and they had a fund raiser to where the one who contributed the most got to park in the Pastors parking space for the whole month....My Friend told me they needed 2 expresso coffee bars like they needed a hole in the head.

I could tell of another story of a Church that wanted a so-called prayer garden...and The staff heard a couple that went to las Vegas for their Vacation, two weeks later one of their Children was diagnosed with a liver disease which she fully recovered 6 months later and their Pastor told them because they were not good stewards that this was Gods Punishment for them not contributing to the Churches Prayer Garden...Point I want to make here is Churches need to be careful on how they bring forth the teaching on stewardship because as we look around I see way to much extra fluff in the Church kingdom, and much of that can be contributed to Greed and Coveting also...GAMBLING in a impulse way is not healthy, But if you play certain games where you have a well thought out plan,and greed don't drive you but being rewarded for your intelligence, and knowing how to play the game, to me is nor more a sin that a Pastor using scripture twisting and false guilt to make people give so they can covet to look the best in town.

#5  Posted by Mark Tanner  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 10:21 AM

Gambling - No one in their Christian mind can deny that GAMBLING is poor stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to us; especially of those within the US because we are the "wealthiest nation" on the planet as it stands today.

We, because of the "DIVINE PROVIDENCE" of God, will be held to a higher standard of what we did with the resources given to us and frankly this promotes "fear" in me. Why? Because even on my most godly day I am faced with challenges concerning stewardship of what God has blessed us with and I desire to honor God in all things.

THINK ABOUT THIS - everything we have belongs to GOD, was given to us by GOD, and we are tested in every manner and will GIVE an ACCOUNT before God as to how we used what was given to us. When I look at my everyday life I see failure after failure and desire and pray to be a better STEWARD of the things given to our family by God.

When you see the FACT that what you have that is good is a GIFT of God and that He owns everything, including YOU and you are HIS STEWARD of these things, then it changes your perspective and makes you more aware of whatever decision concerning time and money-knowing we will give an account!

Put ALL GAMBLING aside and never consider it again and when tempted, then pray to God to forsake any temptation! Let us all consider we are being tested as to the good in which God has given us and let us be BOLD in doing the will of God that we will be blessed in all that we do!!

#6  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 11:04 AM

Read some of it, notice it uses billons of dollars and no wonder USA is getting poor and jobs are closing. Casinos fault. I think.

Just wondering.

#7  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 11:46 AM

Amen

#8  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 1:26 PM

That's why God gave us gifted teachers, to make things clear. Thanks Phil. I'm on my way to bring the message to my audience.

#9  Posted by William Rhoden  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 3:23 PM

Hi Mr. Johnson,

I live and work in Mesquite, NV. A little town of about 20,000 people on NV/AZ border. This town is built on three casinos and golf courses. As a schoolteacher, many of the students I teach are sons and daughters of casino workers. In fact, Southern Nevada in general is one of the most spiritually dry and confused areas in the nation.

I appreciate you taking the time on this series. To know gambling's sinfulness and why helps prevent the normalization of gambling in my life. While I don't gamble, it's such a part of the fabric of this community that I can become used to it's presence. After all it's everywhere from the supermarkets to the casino's themselves. Thankfully the Gospel is more powerful than money, and hopefully God will bring more solid believers to this area and others like it.

#10  Posted by John Park  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 8:16 PM

Let me first say that I am a long time supporter, follower, and someone who agrees 99% of the time with the GTY crew. I do think that gambling in general should be avoided and do not gamble myself. It could lead down very harmful roads and I do not support it. I tell people not to gamble.

However, I am hesitant to fully agree in this case. My concern is that we need to be careful to call things sin b/c that is ultimately God's prerogative.

A lot of the examples used here are sins associated with gambling and not about gambling.

For example, covetousness is always a sin no matter what the activity. I agree that this sin is prevalent in gambling, but not always. We must make a distinction between $5 home buy in games vs $1,000 a hand black jack games.

This brings me to my next point. We need to separate out people who are professional gamblers, problem gamblers, people who really do want money from gambling, and like the college student in your original post, people who play exclusively for entertainment. We cannot presume to judge people's motives.

I know many people who play small stakes poker games who have huge salaries (6 figure+) and believe me they are not coveting over winning $50. If someone in good faith says they play small stakes poker games, which I did in college, for entertainment there is no reason to not believe them. Seriously, when I used to play, it was for some cheap entertainment - no coveting involved. It is not fair to tell people every time they play poker they covet - this is simply not true and something we do not have the ability to judge (it may even be sinful to be judging this way!). Again, there are other reasons to discourage gambling, but that does not give us the authority to call something sin.

My final point is regarding the quote:

"One, something valuable is put at risk. Two, something belonging to someone else is at stake as a prize. Three, an element of chance is involved in determining the outcome. And four, no new wealth is created in the process."

None of these points are sin in of itself or in combination. At best, loose extrapolations from faithful stewardship must be made. I think that the argument the college student made is valid - How is spending much more money at a baseball game stewardship let alone better stewardship? The interpretation here that anything that fits the four criteria above is bad stewardship is just an opinion of one's own conscience and not a definite 100% sin. The same goes for slothfulness and foolishness. What about the MIT blackjack team? That was anything but slothfulness and foolishness! They studied an intense amount, made money, and was so good they got booted out of casinos!

The part that makes it so difficult is that gambling in general is associated with those sins (thus a reason to not be associated with it), but in of itself is not. Perhaps it is something we should discourage b/c it can lead to some many sins so easily.

#11  Posted by Stacey Weneck  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 9:54 PM

One thing I disagree with is this: gambling is not necessarily "fun" because you are coveting someone else's money. I think putting money on the line, however small an amount, adds an element of risk, which can be thrilling to some people. I don't gamble myself, but I can see why the risk of losing ten bucks based on your skill might be thrilling for some people. Like riding a roller coaster.

#12  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 10:30 PM

Just some more opposition here Phil. Respectfully, I think this is what happens when ministries such as the one you are a part of provide such good teaching to God’s people. When a teacher tries to say something is sin, when God has not, your listeners are able to spot error and legalism when it appears. The argument against gambling you are attempting to back up with scripture sounds as fallible as those from legalist Baptist I know who try to say smoking and dancing are sinful. They have got there verses too, and they miss apply them just as you have done. It brings me no joy to say this brother, and the opposition I have to your view comes with prayer for you as I know it is the Spirit that does the convicting, not man.

Lets start where you started. You said, “All four of these are true of every variety of gambling: One, something valuable is put at risk. Two, something belonging to someone else is at stake as a prize. Three, an element of chance is involved in determining the outcome. And four, no new wealth is created in the process.”

Restaurant owners fall under this too. They put there own money (that’s valuable) at risk to open a brand new restaurant, that’s a risk. They take money from other people, sometimes poor people too. (And yes, people in casinos are putting there money down on the table just as freely as those in the restaurant put theirs down on those tables, and with gluttony and greed in their hearts too.) There is an element of chance as to the owners success or failure. And fourth, no new wealth is created. All the money the restuurant owner has is taken from his customers, just like casinos take money from their customers. The restaurant owner makes billions off of poor people's gluttonous indulgences. It must be a sin to be a restaurant owner, because so far it fits every problem you have with gambling.

One could quite easily argue too that coveting is what starts a restaurant in the first place. The owner covets other people’s money, and the only way he can get it is by selling food for more then he paid for it, and not only that, he sells it to poor people too and makes money off them. Poor people walk out of the restaurant with less money then they came in with. One could argue at least they were fed at the restuarnt, but some casinos will also provide free food, so people come out of casinos with a full stomach and less money then they came in with, just like at a restuarant. According to your application of Proverbs 22:16 and Exodus 20:17 owning a restaurant is sinful. I have never met a restaurant owner who started the business to break even, just like you have never met a gambler who gambles with no intention of walking out with other people’s money. Continue to next post. I ran out of space.

#13  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 10:30 PM

The whole idea behind opening a restaurant, is to go home at night profiting at others expense. And both the casnino owner and the restaurant owner feed their customers. And customers at both businesses walk in with sinful intentions, either gluttony or greed, and both business owners profit. Atleast there is a chance at a casino to walk out with the owners money which he is freely giving to his customers a chance to take, but in the restaurant owner's case, he will never let you walk out with any of his money, not even a chance. Who is the greedy one?

Another place your argument falls apart. You said, “Foolishness. Listen to Proverbs 22:16: ‘He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.’ That's an interesting verse. Most of us will instinctively understand that it is sinful to oppress the poor in order to increase our riches. But the verse also says that you shouldn't just give your money to the rich. Who would give their money away to rich people? People who gamble in casinos are doing it all the time.”

Phil, people is restaurants do it all the time too. And so do people who play in the stock market.

Proverbs 28:22: "A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him." Then why are you putting your money in the stock market Phil? The stock market fuels greed and covetousness and yet you give your money to those greedy rich day traders and business owners. And your desire to put your money in the stock market is no doubt fueled by a desire for more money then you currently have. Is that greed, or discontent?

Another place where your argument falls apart. You said, “Gambling involves an inordinate desire to get something from one's neighbor without a legitimate exchange. So it is a sin on those grounds, even if we said nothing further.” First of all I know plenty of gamblers who do not have an inordinate desire to get something from there neighbor. Second, it is a legitimate exchange, I have never scene anyone held against there will to play poker, slot machines, the lottery, nor any other form of gambling. All gambling I have scene, people were giving there money away as freely and legitimately as they do at a restaurant. So if, to quote you, “it is a sin on those grounds, even if we say nothing further”, then I am sorry to be blunt but every point you made there was wrong and there is no ground to stand on.

I could go on further Phil, but I believe I have given enough here for you to consider. Until next time, remember, I am praying for you.

#14  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Sunday, June 05, 2011at 10:36 PM

#10 and #11

Amen, good post.

#15  Posted by Joseph Whiting  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 8:01 AM

Phil,

Thank you so much for your ongoing series concerning gambling. While, I thank the Lord, I have not had a problem in this area it is great to be taught what God's all sufficient Word has to say about it. Your teaching will surely come in handy in the future. I have a question; would it not be a better idea to be change some of the terminology? For example; alcoholism exchanged for drunkenness, and addiction for enslavement. Would it not be better to have biblical terms so that we do not reflect psychology's labeling? I know terms are not the focus of your article though. Anyhow, I've greatly enjoyed your clear and concise work, have grown from its teaching, and look forward to learning from the rest of it in the near future. Please feel free to educate me if I am wrong in my observations. God bless.

Joe

#16  Posted by David Busscher  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 8:10 AM

Wauw...I played poker online the last 3 years in my free time. Made a lot of $. Began with playmoney (no money that is) and build my way up.

Its a game of skill in the long run, so i thought it was ok, but after this break down (and the other blogs) i see how it being so time consuming, getting something for nothing fast and easy at others expense is wrong. In my gut i knew it was not ok, but due to the winnings i told myself; 'heey', 'in a tournament alot of players buy in for 5$ or so, all by their own free will, so its a lucratieve hobby, no harm done'.

'I am not addicted and its in my free time of my own money'.

When is asked myself would i do this when there is no $ to win?

Answer is no...

I was on the fence last months, i knew it was not ok but could not put my finger on it, This blog was the last straw in terms of arguments forcing me to stop in order to have a clean conscience before the Lord.

Funny thing is...i am born agian, know the Bible from front to back, but still could defend it for myself becauce it was not direct in scripture, and since poker is a skill game like chess, but only with a small element of chance (long run skill wins) and not dumb gambling, i kept it going.

AWESOME PIECE OF BIBLE STUDIE~! tnx.

David from the netherlands.

#18  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 9:45 AM

#12 Luke Fulliton

What kind of nonsense is that?

The restaurant owner is not putting his money on risk. He is not in the hands of the false god "chance". He is putting his trust in God. Doing honest work. The customers are getting exactly what they ordered. I think you should defend your case better.

#19  Posted by Donovan Epling  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 10:18 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#20  Posted by Marc Lambert  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 10:43 AM

I am really enjoying this series and reading all the comments. I'm still not sure where I fall on the issue. However I do have to point out a flaw in one statement. You said:

"There is only one reason: because the "fun" is derived not from the game itself but from the possibility of winning something that belongs to your neighbor. In other words, what makes gambling "fun" is pure covetousness."

There is another reason besides the fun of winning. That is the thrill of risk. Like a mountain climber might get the joy of reaching the top (winning), there is also the thrill from the risk of falling. In the same way the person gambling may have the thrill-seeking rush that they may lose.

This doesn't necessarily make it OK. Thrill-seeking may carry its own problems, but it is a valid reason for why people gamble and thus makes your "only one reason" statement a little narrow.

Love what you're doing. Keep it up.

#21  Posted by Joseph Whiting  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 2:53 PM

Donovan, I agree with you. Nit-picking or off topic was/is not my intent. It was an honest question.

#22  Posted by Andy K  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 2:59 PM

RE #12

Luke, your restaurant "parallel" makes no sense. A restaurant involves a fair exchange of goods. I pay $5 and I get a hamburger. The restaurant owner makes a desirable product for a reasonable price and EARNS a profit in the process. Gambling would be if I put $10 in a "restaurant machine" and it spins a wheel and gives me 1) a steak & lobster dinner OR a hamburger OR a bag of chips OR a 'sorry try again.'

#23  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 3:51 PM

Casinos are not just gambling, sexual immorality and drug users. People tell me it's a great place, but looking in the uttermost

it's poverty and wickedness. Las Vegas is called Sin City. Gamble one's life. hmm.

Jesus drank wine, but never a sinner. We are and need God's help to overcome these things like gambling,drunkness, etc. God's Word is the best.

#24  Posted by Micah Marchewitz  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 5:39 PM

Luke #12

comparing going to eat at a restaurant and going to gamble at a casino does not work. I don't understand how you can state eating is a form of gluttony? Would that apply with going to the grocery store and buying food there?

We are called to represent Christ and the love of Christ in everything we do. That includes entertainment.. ALL forms of entertainment including gambling. You can call it legalism if you want but if it does not glorify God then it is sinful. There is no other way to put it. Going into a Casino to gamble does not glorify God.

When I go into a restaurant to provide a meal for my wife and children I am not walking into the restaurant with a sinful motive like you put it. It is an act of love (feeding my kids) and we give praise and glory to God for the oppurtunity to do so.

There is nothing good about going into a casino. My last two posts over the last two threads gave experiences I have had in casinos from before I was saved. There not good and I would argue that people who claim they are have:

A. not spent any time in them to see how sinful they are

B. spent so much time there that they don't want to stop the sin and are justifying their actions.

Thanks for the posts Phil.. I am learining alot.

God Bless

#26  Posted by Darrel Robertson  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 6:07 PM

Phil...I think we should clarify something here, and that is the word...COVET...is it wrong to COVET something like Rocky road Ice cream?

Yes we read where we do not covet our Neighbors possessions to the point of stealing or taking his wife to have sexual relations with her....I think David was a good example of this.

And I must say Phil when I do Gamble, I am not trying to Covet riches I am wanting to WIN!..I play the College Football scene, fellas give up their Money to try to win Games, so when they give their money over it is no longer theirs, its the house I try to devise a plan through lost of studding a plan and trying to be smart enough to look at each team so where I come out with more winners than looser thus I get paid for my effort.

Covet is of Greek origin and it means "grasping for more" or being greedy. Jesus said "Take heed and beware of covetousness (greed) for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15). Constantly craving more makes it difficult to appreciate the things and blessings we DO have.

In a culture that pushes us to crave more, we are one of the most dis-satisfied people! When we see someone with more than we have, we must be very careful....so then At its root, it is dissatisfaction and ungratefulness for that which God has provided you.

Instead one focuses on what God has provided someone else...in turn I am not doing that, MANY THAT PLAY THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL like myself, are cashing in on those that think they know it all and out of ego and pride give their money to the house saying..."I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these teams or this team will win" and what I am saying is "HOUSE YOU HAVE THE POINT SPREAD TO HIGH OR TO LOW" I will give you so much saying it is wright or wrong..now I am not stealing anything, the fellas gave it up, so if I put down 600.00 on 6 teams and win 4, I am a winner in the fact I HAVE BEAT THEY SYSTEM. By coming out on top 200.00....where is this a sin?

Is it wrong for a NFL team to COVET a super bowl ring? by doing everything they can to win it?....is it wrong to COVET a lovely lady then make her your wife for 40 plus years like I did?...is it wrong for a lady to COVET healing so bad she just wanted to touch the hem of our Lords GARMENT....was it wrong for 3 gentlemen to covet healing so much for their friend that they tore a hole in the roof of a home Jesus was preaching in so that they could have their friend healed?

So how then is it wrong if I like to play College football, to where many like to devise their own systems to win and get rewarded for their efforts by winning back what they put in and then more, no greed, no covet, just plain ole competition between me and the house, and those that think they know it all.

My point here is COVET by itself is not a sin.....its how we covet that is...I am open for answers...or opinions.

#27  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 6:58 PM

And refering back to the restaurant analogy. The businesses owner is the gambler. He profits at the expense of others. Not all businesses offer goods in exchange for cash, some offer entertainment. (i.e. owners of baseball teams and movie theaters) but all the owners fit Phil’s definition of a gambler.

#28  Posted by Micah Marchewitz  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 7:55 PM

Luke- #27

That really does not answer any of the questions asked of you by me or any of the other posts

What your stating is what was discussed on the last thread, with that reasoning you might as well say everything has risks and life is a gamble. That is not the point of thes series.

I have asked this a few times and left it open to anyone who supports gambling. In what way does wagering money glorify God at all? How is gambling Godly? I think it has been adequately stated why it is a sin and the people who disagree with that have been very forthcoming with there reasoning and that GTY is wrong and or legalistic. But no one has said how it is Godly, what fruits of the spirit are manifested? How is it honorable to our Lord? Thats my question.

#30  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Monday, June 06, 2011at 9:07 PM

Luke,

I really don’t understand why you are trying to push the comparison of a restaurant owner (or any business owner) to a gambler but it is an argument that has no substance and is insulting to all hard working, honest businessmen. Risk cannot be eliminated in life and the presence of risk in earning a living does not make it gambling. The business owner provides a good or service and is paid in return for it. Scripture confirms that a worker deserves his wages (1 Timothy 5:18, Luke 10:7).

To everyone,

I think each person who considers themselves a Christ follower needs to ask themselves what they have their heart set on. Some of the blog responses seem to be doing gymnastics to justify gambling as not wrong. The greater question is, do you love God with all your heart? Scripture tells us to keep our eyes on the true prize and to throw off everything that might hinder our race (Hebrews 12:1, 1 Cor. 9:24). It is impossible to read through Acts and Paul’s epistles and not be impressed with Paul’s single minded focus and devotion to living for Christ. Phil is bringing up good points as to why gambling is a sin which easily entangles and needs to be thrown off. We should be focused on being more emptied of ourselves and living to bring Him glory. As Paul warned the church in Rome, we must understand the present time. “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12) Christ died to save us. Let us keep our focus on our heavenly purpose. Acts 20:24: "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

#31  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 6:04 AM

Today is my birthday. Smiles.

Hi Darrell, you brought up a great question. I can help. Smiles.

Covet is a desire to have something that's not ours. Well, a woman

touching the hem of Jesus' robe has to do with faith as well the 3

guys open the roof up to let the lame man to Jesus.

Covet and faith is different. Thanks for sharing it. God bless.

#32  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 9:37 AM

Happy Birthday Dan!

#33  Posted by Nancy Medeiros  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 9:57 AM

Hi Phil,

I've been reading your topic about gambling and it seems that within your "definitions" (biblically of course) of it that the game of "Bunco" would be a no-no. I saw 3 very vague comments about the game on this blog, but nothing that really talked about it in depth. I even searched the whole gty.org site to find out more about it. Bunco seems to be quite popular amongst church members these days. Many think its okay. Many are unsure and hazy about it. I think it needs to be addressed, head on, not vaguely. Talk about the game, how it's played and the principles, and if it at all fits into our biblical walk with Jesus. Comment on thoughts such as: "Bunco's okay because we use it for Christian fellowship." or "Bunco's okay because we don't use money, but gifts instead." etc, etc.

May I make a request to write your next blog entitled something like, "Bunco: Biblical or Bogus?" or "Bunco: Is It Just An Innocent Game?"

Respectfully, I don't expect that you would since you may have your own agendas to tend to, but I can tell you that a lot of people would appreciate it and it would be so helpful. There are too many people lukewarm about this subject. We should be able to offer a clear answer from the Lord.

I believe that if I can trust anyone to write up a good commentary on this subject, it would be the pastoral staff at GTY.org. I hope you'll consider my request. (Make a sub-category of the Gambling issue maybe?)

Thank you for listening.

Your Sister in Christ:)

#34  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 10:35 AM

#33 Nancy Medeiros

I can feel your sarcasm all the way to Denmark. Did you, in your search, find and read John MacArthurs sermons/teaching on the topic?

Would you please comment on wich bibleverses or specific conclusions you don't agree? And why? Maybe some specific questions would help.

#35  Posted by Jane Wilson  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 10:56 AM

My husband and I decided that although some cousins and friends did "light gambling" here and there- poker, NCAA bracket challenge pools, etc. We would draw the line with our children. We allow them to play the games, but NO GAMBLING. Not for for money, not for candy. The outcome? We still get a kick out of guessing the NCAA bracket challenge- a family competition. But can you guess how often our children want to play poker? Never. There is no point, no thrill without the stakes. Some games are made to exploit the thrill of sudden riches. It is a slippery slope. We do not regret our decision. Our children's friends have a lot more freedom in their "gaming". And at times our children feel we are too restrictive. But ultimately we are trying to teach them to be responsible with their "wealth" and hard earned income. (They each earn by working.) I think deep down, they see the problem. But the lure, as in any sin... is the thrill... and it can be intoxicating. Especially when you start to win for a season. (Carefully crafted seasons by the enemy I expect!) But we are instructed to be wise, discerning, and sober-minded. We have chosen NOT to follow the world's wide path on this one. No regrets.

#36  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 11:26 AM

I would like to bring up another point as to whether or not gambling is sin. If it is sin, then it is time to start the process of church discipline laid out in Matthew 18:15 and carry it all the way to excommunication if it comes to that. It is time for Phil and everyone who agrees with him to confront every Christian they know about their “sin of gambling”. When there are brothers and sisters in Christ being disciplined by the church as they should if they are unrepentant, then I will take Phil seriously. Unless he treats this so called sin of gambling as sin ought to be treated, I can only assume that he does not truly believe it is sin. For if he knew of a brother-in-Christ who was an unrepentant adulterer, he would be called by the word of God to begin the process laid out in Matthew. Actions speak louder than words and opinions.

Keeping you in my prayers.

#37  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 11:54 AM

#36 Luke Fulliton

Dear friend.

You should be very humble about this matter.

Excommunication is often done by God himself.

My very best friend, a dear Christian brother through 20 years, turned his back on God, and walks no more with Him.

Now he loves the world, and hates God.

#38  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 12:21 PM

Happy Birthday, Dan!

#39  Posted by Micah Marchewitz  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 12:22 PM

Luke-

Are you interested in a conversation or are you just going to continue to state how much you don't agree with the postition that gambling is sinful? People have asked you numerous questions and you have ignored everyone. Why is that?

#40  Posted by Eileen Harris  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 4:12 PM

Happy Birthday, Dan!!

God Bless

#41  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 5:03 PM

Thanks, :) I appreciate it.

Luke,

You mention Matt 18:15. If I had a friend who gambles. Pray till God helps me to know what to say to him to help him overcome it with God's guidance through his Word. Proverbs is helpful for it's has God' wisdom in that book.

God bless.

#42  Posted by Ronald Caruso  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 7:36 PM

#33 Nancy

Many people on the these blogs have asked for a "ruling" on Bunco as well as Grandma's Bingo because we TRULY want to know how to apply the principle consistently.

It's an honest question that you, I, Donovan, Luke and others have asked only to be passed over and (almost) always redirected to the Casino gambler.

Someone? anyone? Is it a Sin for my Christian Grandma to Play $2 Bingo???

Please, I am begging, answer this question directly and avoid attacking me because i asked the question...again.

In His Love, Ron

#43  Posted by Rebecca Schwem  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 8:03 PM

You know, there are some sins in this world that are so overt, so obvious. Recognizing them as sin is truly a no brainer. But what is less obvious is the trickle down affect. The less obvious that spins off the obvious.

You notice that big ol' redwood. You can hardly see around it. But that little tiny seed can be trampled underfoot and go unnoticed....until it starts to sprout and flourish.

I'm thinking about what Phil said about gambling and how you have to have a covetous heart in order to enjoy it. I can tell it's hard for some to think that is what they are doing. The other gambler is willing to let you covet what he may or may not have. So it seems OK.

My husband and I have bought over the past 40 years, two different times, homes that were a bargain buy because the seller was getting a divorce. Once, we were touring one of those homes that we eventually bought. We looked in the ten year old son's room. He was looking on. My ten year old son was with us as well. We left this young boy's room and while in the hallway, heard a scuffle. This child, this child who was experiencing a serious loss, his dad moving out, loss of his home and loss of his bedroom to some other kid, was a victim of adults gone wrong. Out of frustration, he decked my son! Felt sorry for both kids. My poor son had no idea what that was about. But I did. We were going to get a great deal due to this kid's loss.

We are bargain shoppers. We used to look for real estate that sellers could no longer afford due to job loss or death or divorce. You can get some good deals that way. But it bothered me terribly. I know, I know, if we didn't buy it, somebody else would. And maybe we were even helping them close a chapter in their lives that needed closing. But that's not the point.

The point is, to seek out those kind of situations, you can get a thrill almost equal to gambling. Will they take your offer, will they crater under serious emotional pressure? Or won't they? It was coveting. And my heart won't let me enjoy making a gain off of someone else's misery. If I allowed it to be entertaining, and believe me there are many that do, it would be coveting.

But I know there are a ton of opportunists out there that are considered successful due to their shrewdness. And I won't stop them. It will go on. But my heart does not enjoy making a profit at another's expense and misery. I think the worse thing we can say is that any of it is entertaining. I think we need to re think that one.

I think gambling must encourage covetousness in order to enjoy the game. Your opponent may have something you want and you can't play successfully without concentrating on that fact. That's coveting. But it's subtle cause both agree to be suckers...at some point! And how the winner enjoys watching the loser. Like I said, some sins are not as overt as others, except to God. Fool God with your best poker face? Hardly.

#44  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Tuesday, June 07, 2011at 8:11 PM

Happy birthday Dan!! May our Lord and God continue blessing you!

#46  Posted by Jeremy K  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 12:48 AM

I'm in absolute agreement that gambling is a sin. Unfortunately for me the stock market question hasn't been answered in an adequate manner.

"...so you can sit there at the internet and punch in orders and do all of that, it's been made a lot easier to turn what should be a market for business into a casino"

Source: Warren Buffet

I think what ought to be made clear is that the stock market should not be held up there as something sacred. It can be manipulated and people do gamble on there whether you acknowledge that or not, to me, it’s all Matthew 22:21

*They gamble by not investing for long periods of time.

*They gamble by placing all their savings with one company (a “hot tip”) instead of diversifying their portfolio.

*They gamble when they enter the market without knowing what they are doing.

These definitions are not written into state or federal law but don't rely too much on that, because I speculate that within 10 years the gay lobby will have their way with legalising gay marriage, and given you've committed yourself to the law here to back up your case, you’ll have real trouble citing the law to make your point against same-sex marriage into the future.

#47  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 6:58 AM

Luke @#36

You have two things going on here, and I have to admit I see a bit of confusion on your part. On the one hand, you obviously think games of monetary chance, like poker and blackjack, are no more sinister than "Monopoly," "Risk," or "Battleship." And that highstakes gambling is no different than when a person risks opening a BBQ joint. Of course, unlike the gambler, the restaurant owner generally has to take out a bank backed loan, and is actually working, putting in long hours to produce a product he markets and sells to the public. I am mystified as to how you think the two are even remotely related. If you believe this, you either lack basic business knowledge and you haven't had to counsel families in severe debt because of gambling.

But on the other hand, moving to your claim that a gambler should be disciplined out of the church if "Phil is serious," I see even more confusion on your part. Particularly as to how church discipline is suppose to actually work. First, Phil is, in a manner of speaking, "confronting every Christian he knows" about the sin of gambling, because he's writing this up on a public blog. So by the very fact people are coming here and reading these posts, they are being confronted.

Second, a godly church will be confronting members caught in this sin and Lord willing, helping to disciple them as to why it is wrong and why they need to stop gambling. It's like with any sin: once the person is caught and confronted, the leaders should take all the necessary steps to help this person, not condemn and throw him out. Church discipline should ultimately be a "nuclear option." IOW, once the leadership have exhausted all biblical avenues in bringing the person to a place of repentance and the person remains obstinate, then and only then does church leadership move to have him disciplined.

#49  Posted by Nancy Medeiros  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 8:47 AM

Rudi,

I'm sorry you read it that way. Absolutely no sarcasm was intended. I'm just asking for a more in depth discussion on the topic. Your remark is quite hurtful and it's mostly the reason why I shy away from even writing on the computer. People can't see emotions or feelings and take things the wrong way.

To Phil,

I also apologize if you took my message as sarcasm. Not intended. I have much respect and thankfulness for your articles. John MacArthur is my favorite author and speaker. I love to listen to his sermons all the time. And I have listened to them on this topic as well. Again, I was just asking for more on "Bunco". Thought I'd be able to gain a bit more insight specifically on it.

Sorry for all for the confusion or unintended "tone"

#50  Posted by Nancy Medeiros  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 8:58 AM

Thank you Ron. That's all I was trying to get at. Obviously I'm not clear on whether a $5 or gift Bunco game or your Christian Grandma in a $2 Bingo game is sinful. I'd like to know that I can ask a question hear without an unloving answer.

#51  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 9:46 AM

I got a real problem. I can be very cynical. As a former fireman for many years, I really know for sure what the word "deadly" means. I’ll not excuse it, but repent because it’s actually a gross sin. To make things worse is to be both cynical and personal at the same time. I’m really working hard on this. A third element is how to communicate a very serious matter to someone who is unable to hear, because they already have settled their mind. All this makes a very harmful cocktail.

But it is not personal. We do not trash people because of a stain in their character. Nor do God.

Nancy - please forgive me. I didn't see your smiley at the buttom.

#52  Posted by Nancy Medeiros  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 10:28 AM

Thank you Rudi. That was a very kind message.

Please mark me as very "open-minded". I want nothing short of God's scriptural truth. I'm pretty much leaned toward the thinking that even the harmless little things such as Bunco, Bingo or, even a rarely purchased $1 Lottery ticket is wrong according to God's teaching. I would think it falls into the category that "no sin is too small or too big", sin is sin, period.

One thought I had was, who knows if an individual in the Bunco or Bingo group feels burdened to come up with that $5 or even $1 bill, or even a gift to donate. I know when I played years ago, I really didn't have $5 to spend each week. Although not positive, and after searching the scriptures, I got to feeling that this was wrong to do.

As Christians we need to give, not take away. We need to be receptive and considerate of others. Everyone has their own circumstances that are not known to others. In these type of "chance" games, can't they be played without a prize, but just for fun and fellowship?

I admit for myself that it gets pretty frustrating when you're trying to study a subject that is not "cut and dry" and you often get "redirected" to somewhere else. Sure, God's word is the first place to go to of course. But sometimes it's nice to get a further commentary on that specific subject. Especially when there are so many others that wonder the same.

Thanks for listening.

Your Sister in Christ:)

#53  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 2:58 PM

Hello Fred #47,

Thank you for your kind questions. You asked me, "Of course, unlike the gambler, the restaurant owner generally has to take out a bank backed loan, and is actually working, putting in long hours to produce a product he markets and sells to the public. I am mystified as to how you think the two are even remotely related. If you believe this, you either lack basic business knowledge and you haven't had to counsel families in severe debt because of gambling."

Thank you for reading and at least seeing the point I was trying to make. I understand you might not agree, but thank you for listening. I do believe the two are related. There are families out there who are in severe debt because of failed business attempts. Like the gambler who keeps losing, there are also families who do the same with their businesses until financial ruin. Now as to the hard working gambler. Professional gamblers do work hard, it is not easy to consistently win and take the house. It takes great time, effort, skill, and analysis, right down to your poker face. One of the ways hard work comes into play in gambling, of any sort, is trying to get the odds in your favor over the house, and there are different ways to do that. But even if you succeed in making the odds in your favor, there is still the element of what is called money management and minimizing risk. Amateurs often do not take these things into consideration. To professionals it is their job, and they treat it like work. Amateurs play at gambling, professionals treat it no different than a job. If you need an example, of something that supports what I have written, look into the MIT math student gamblers. There is no sloth, laziness, foolishness, nor sin involved with what they did. Quite the opposite. They were very serious and focused. They worked very hard to come up with a way to profit at black jack, no different then a business owner who puts a lot of time and effort into making his business successful. The business owner who takes out a loan, and starts a business believes the odds are in his favor that he will profit, if he didn't he wouldn't start it in the first place. The students from MIT are a perfect example of why the business owner and high stakes gambling are no different. Both profit at the expense of others. Both put great time, effort, critical thinking, and labor into their job.

#54  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 4:02 PM

Luke # 53 said:

Professional gamblers do work hard, it is not easy to consistently win and take the house. It takes great time, effort, skill, and analysis, right down to your poker face.

I agree with you that gambling is hard work. Sinners always work hard at their play. Psalm 7:14 says of the sinner, “Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief.”

Or how about Jeremiah 9:5 “They weary themselves committing iniquity.”

Here’s one more verse to consider as you think about gambling: “Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool.” Proverb 10:23

There is sanctity in work, Luke. Gambling is not part of that sanctity. In my opinion, your efforts to sanitize and present gambling as a legitimate means of personal provision--especially your mention of the mathematical elements involved in “getting the odds in your favor”--are sad.

#55  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 4:12 PM

Luke (#53),

Another problem with viewing gambling as work is that it is an act of theft (see Phil's post on mutual consent). Professional gamblers are little more than professional thieves who work hard to take what belongs to others without giving anything in return (except misery).

People who attempt to start a business do so in order to offer goods and services to others. They work hard, not merely to win money, but to offer something people want to pay them. In gambling no loser wants to give their money. There is no exchange of goods and services.

The reason people fail in business are many, but it is entirely different than losing in gambling. Business is a system of exchange and sometimes people don't want what a business offers so it fails. But gambling is a system of theft where no one wants to give--everyone wants to take--and there is only one winner. It's simply a categorical mistake to mix the two.

#57  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Wednesday, June 08, 2011at 4:28 PM

Oh, like if one takes the money, having no pity on the person. the one took the money is in greater sin. See that alot of times. very sad thing.

#58  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Thursday, June 09, 2011at 12:50 PM

Hello Tommy and Gabriel,

Thank you for your comments. In regards to your verses Tommy, I agree the wicked do weary themselves in their sin. But those verses apply to those committing sin. Gambling in and of itself is not sin. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might...". And that is what the students from MIT and professional gamblers and successful business owners do. All throughout proverbs we are told not to be lazy, but diligent workers. You would not frown on an athlete for his diligent effort at winning in the Olympics. And yes, he does win while others lose. The Bible does not frown upon winning at sports, but are you trying to say that God has made the distinction that beating someone on the ball field is ok, but not at a card table. Or that winning in a sports competition is fine, but winning at a monetary competition is sin? I have never seen God make that distinction in his word. (However I could be wrong, if so please send me the verse where that distinction is made.)

If gambling is stealing then so is charging admission to a museum. Look at the definition of the word stealing before you try to lasso gambling into its loop. If gambling is sinful stealing, then so is stealing a base during a ballgame. Check out the online reference of the Merriam-Webster definition of stealing.

As to the business owners that Gabriel mentioned. I am related to business owners, I have friends who are business owners, and I have grown up around the self employed. I have yet to meet one successful owner, even the ones that are Christians, who went into business for the reasons you listed above. (i.e. to offer goods and services to others) They are self employed because they can make more money that way.

#59  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Thursday, June 09, 2011at 3:09 PM

Luke:

I cannot take your claim serious that gambling involves hard, honorable work, skillful analysis, and careful mathematical execution.

Acquiring wealth without an honorable commitment to legitimate labor is sinful in the same way that enjoying intimacy without a legitimate marital commitment is sinful. Solomon weaves those arguments throughout his wisdom literature when warning his son of youthful enticements.

Speaking of the purpose of work—since you argue the point that professional gamblers are actually working, let’s take a look at what Scripture says.

Ephesians 4:28 says, He who steals must steal no longer, but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Commenting on that passage, John MacArthur writes: Our labor should be in what is good, in work that is honest, honorable, and productive. The term agathos (good) connotes that which is good in quality, and here refers to God–honoring employment. A Christian should never be involved in a job, profession, work, or business that demands compromise of God’s standards, that dishonors Him, violates His holy commands, or misleads or harms others in any way.

Performing with his own hands stresses the truth that the norm is for every person to be responsible for his own provision, and even more, to share with those who, in spite of hard work or because of devastation or incapacity, are in need.

Not only should our work harm no one, it should be for the specific purpose of helping them—to share with him who has need. A Christian’s desire to earn more should be for the purpose of being able to give more and help more. Beyond providing for his own and his family’s basic needs, he gains so he can give. Like the rest of his life, a Christian’s occupation—directly or indirectly—should above all else be a means of service to God and to others.

#60  Posted by Luke Fulliton  |  Thursday, June 09, 2011at 4:36 PM

Beautifully said Tommy. There is a lot of truth to what you said. I guess I still simply disagree with the premise that gambling is in and of itself dishonorable, or some form of stealing. I can see how it would be difficult for some people to see this. I have seen gambling done in an honorable, cheerful, God honoring fashion, with no relation in any way to theft. I believe stealing is sin. I disagree that gambling falls within the realm of stealing. Some people think drinking alcohol is also sin, and unfortunetly some have never seen it done in a God honoring fashion. So to I think the same applys here. Some people haven't seen gambling done in a God honoring fashion.

I know many Christian nurses who work in Catholic hospitals. According to your quote from John MacAurther, are you saying that those nurses are in sin? You and I both know Catholocism is a false religion leading many astray. The Catholic religion harms many and misleads many, in many different ways. Yet those nurses are employed and working for them. Are they in sin? I think you are being dogmaic where the Bible does not. Unfortunately, I think we just might have to agree to disagree.

#61  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, June 09, 2011at 4:49 PM

Luke,

I been in schools and work that mocks me for my love for Christ. Stand strong is all I do. Thanks for sharing it.

God bless.