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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

GAMBLING

Legalized gambling is constantly in the news here in Alabama. Of course if "charity" bingo was actually "charity", don't you think the Red Cross, Easter Seals, United Way, etc., would have been doing that years ago to raise money? I've also read that the "bingo" machines in the weeds that keep popping up overnight are nothing more than the usual "one-arm bandits", simply slot machines.

This is a bit long, but here are notes I took of a sermon that Steve Murrell preached on March 8, 2009 at the Huffman church of Christ here in Birmingham.

GAMBLING ... Consensual Theft

Gambling propogates an immoral, predatory, and exploitive industry. The amount of money does not alter the Biblical principles that it violates. Where do you draw the line?

1. Gambling breeds greed and covetousness - 1 Tim. 6:9-10. Take away the winnings. Would you play just for fun? Would casinos prosper? The love of money runs the industry.
2. Gambling violates the principles of stewardship - Mt. 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-43; 1 Cor. 4:1-2.
3. Gambling violates the "Golden Rule" - Phil. 2:4; Prov. 14:31; 22:16; Zech. 7:10. It is predicated on losses and the suffering of others and preys on the desperation of the poor. The poorest people (in the $10K range) spend an average of 10% of their income on gambling; those earning over $40K spend only 1%.
4. Gambling violates the principles of honest gain - Prov. 13:11; Acts 5:3-4; Eph. 4:28. The Bible gives 4 means of honest gain: honest work, fair exchange, investment (Mt. 25:14-30, esp. v. 26-27), gifts (Acts 20:35).
5. Gambling results in intemperance and addiction; otherwise, why have Gamblers' Anonymous? 1 Cor. 6:12. The results are often child abuse, domestic violence, divorce, suicide. (The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act of 1996 [Publ.L. 104-169, 110 Stat. 1482, enacted Aug. 3, 1996] is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This legislation established the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in 1997 to conduct a comprehensive legal and factual study of the social and economic impacts of gambling in the United States. Results can be found at http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/reports/fullrep.html)
6. Gambling sets a bad example/reputation - Prov. 22:1; causes others to sin (Mt. 18:6); shows lack of love (1 Cor. 8:13); and destroys influence (Mt. 5:13-14).
7. Gambling breeds other sins - things associated with gambling - Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5. Is gambling a work of the flesh? or a fruit of the Spirit? Between 1992 (before gambling was legalized in Tunica, MS) and 1996, misdemeanors and felonies went from 689 to over 11,000.
8. Gambling destroys the home. In Biloxi, in 1992, before there was legalized gambling, the Gulf Coast Women's Crisis Center received 167 calls. In 1997, they had 715 calls, an increase in 4 years of 328%.
9. Gambling is associated with evil companions - 1 Cor. 15:33-34; Eph. 5:1-11; 1 Thes. 5:21-22.

Using Titus 2:12, is gambling:
Ungodliness?
Worldly lust?
Sober living?
Righteous living?
Godly living?

2 comments:

JLI said...

I wanted to share this brief article by Dr. Adrian Rogers. Falls right in line with your sermon notes:

What does the Bible teach about gambling?
Monday, September 18, 2006

What does the Bible teach about gambling? Does this include investing in the stock market?

Gambling of any sort is built on a faulty premise; it really has the spirit of thievery. Why is that? Legitimate business is win-win. If I sell you a widget for a dollar, you get the widget and I get the dollar. We both win. Nobody can win at gambling without another losing. Many of the losers are those least able to afford it.

One may object, "But nobody is forced to gamble." Gambling done willingly doesn't make it right. A duel, for instance, is murder by mutual consent. Just because two people agree to shoot each other doesn't make it right.

The person who gambles and wins has the motive of getting something from another for nothing: thievery. The person who loses has the same motive, but has the added problem of being foolish. The Bible says "Woe to him who increases that which is not his" (Habakkuk 2:6). The "woe" that is so evident is addiction, broken homes, increases in theft, and the warping of children.

Investment in the stock market, on the other hand, is not gambling because again it is based on the win-win philosophy. Basically one party provides funding enabling another party to offer a legitimate product or service, and both benefit. Yes, risk is involved, but risk is not what makes gambling wrong. We take risks every day, like when we get in a car. Greed and gain without mutual benefit is the issue that makes gambling a sin. In fact, when it comes to prudent investment for long-term gain, the Bible encourages it (Matthew 25:14-30). That's simple stewardship. God expects our lives, both financially and otherwise, to bring great gain for the kingdom of heaven.

Everything you are and everything you have belongs to God. Your choice is to squander it on the things of this world or give it all to Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor, for incredible eternal gain.

(What's really funny is the the "captcha" I have to type in to post this comment is "GRASE" (grace). Ironic!)

Netagene said...

Thanks so much! I heard a similar one several years ago. Also, I heard that Andy Rooney talked about a similar thing on TV. It was called "Let's List the Lottery Losers". You can read it at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/16/60minutes/rooney/main1412330.shtml

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