Casino Christian Community School
Yet this is exactly what gambling involves. So the money does matter, and therefore gambling really is covetousness. If gambling fits this, then we should all gamble bountifully! Life in the Womb. C Copyright , , David E. God and the Pledge of Allegiance.
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States therefore have strong incentives to protect their citizens from the encroachment of casinos. Yet since the s they have worked with private businesses in ways that harm communities. States typically legalize casino gambling by changing state constitutions. They create regional monopolies for the casinos. They regulate lightly and often in ways that discriminate against other legal businesses. They rescue casinos from bankruptcy. In short, without the legal, administrative, regulatory, and promotional advantages provided by state governments, casinos would not be spreading into mainstream American life as they are today and would likely still exist only on the fringes of the society.
For this reason, we view state sponsorship of casino gambling as a regressive and damaging policy. Wherever we stand on the morality of gambling, Christians should at a minimum be able to agree that state governments should not be using their power to sponsor and spread casino gaming. If we love our neighbors we will oppose this most nefarious form of crony capitalism and require that states stop propping up community-destroying casinos.
Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College.
Get updates on the latest and most popular blog posts from Acton. By continuing or clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. About Events Publications Multimedia. Free weekly Acton Newsletter. Buying stock is no more inherently gambling than is ownership of any other business. The intent is to make a profit by producing something of benefit to customers.
Investors receive their share of these profits in the form of dividends or increases in the value of the stock. Further, when stock is sold, both buyer and seller agree on the price. There is no wager - no prior agreement to risk loss at another's expense. If either thinks the price is unfair, they refuse to deal.
It may be possible to gamble or otherwise sin in the stock market, but buying stock does not inherently constitute gambling. Some think insurance is gambling. But again, there is no wager and there is compensation. No one agrees to gain at the expense of someone else's loss. On the contrary, the whole purpose of insurance is to compensate the insured if he does have a loss such as death, car wreck, hospitalization, etc. If no such loss occurs, the customer has purchased the peace of mind of knowing he would have been compensated if he had experienced a loss.
Regardless of whether or not this is a wise investment, the point here is that it is not gambling. In short, none of these examples constitute gambling, since no one necessarily wants uncompensated losses to occur. But the gambler always wants financial loss to occur, because he hopes to profit from those losses. If someone says, "It's for a good cause," then just make a donation and skip the gambling!
Also included are some athletic leagues where winners are not just awarded a trophy or plaque, but players put money into a "kitty" then play to try to win some of the money. Even if small amounts of money are involved, such activities still violate Bible principles.
Further, they establish a precedent that makes it impossible for one to consistently object to other people's gambling. Where do you draw the line and say, "This much money risked is all right, but any more is immoral? The word "gamble" is not found in the Bible, yet the practice violates Bible principles regardless of the amount of money involved. The Bible authorizes only three morally legitimate ways for money or possessions to pass from one owner to another.
Gambling fits none of them. One may be paid as compensation for work done to produce goods or services that benefit other people. Scripture strongly teaches this "work ethic. If they will not work, they should not eat. We must not try to live off the labors of others.
We can expect goods or services from others only as compensation for work we do that produces something of benefit that which is good - Eph. Gambling undermines the Biblical work ethic because, instead of accomplishing productive labor that benefits others, the gambler seeks to get something for nothing by taking what other people have earned. If someone claims that gamblers must work to win, we respond that this is not the labor described in these verses, because it produces nothing of benefit to others.
Instead it attempts to take what others have, without compensating them. A thief also must do some labor; but such "work" is forbidden because it is harmful to others, not beneficial. If gambling were Scriptural labor, then all gamblers should be paid because all are laboring to win.
Someone may argue, "Gamblers are just paying for a form of entertainment. But gamblers are all providing the same "service" for one another; so if gambling were legitimate entertainment, then all participants should be paid or all should pay. The gambler does not want the other players to profit; he wants to profit at their expense! This violates the principle that the laborer is worthy of his hire. A person may simply agree to exchange possessions goods or money with someone else.
Each party is paid or fairly compensated by receiving possessions of fair value in return for what he gives up. Note that, in a fair transaction, both parties receive what they view as fair value compared to what they give up. Neither party should attempt to take other people's property without giving fair value in exchange. But again gambling does not fit here, because the winner has no intention to compensate the loser.
In fact, each gambler hopes other people will lose so he can take their property, while at the same time he hopes no one will take his property. This violates the law of exchange. A person may knowingly choose, of his own free will, to unconditionally give something away as an expression of good will or kindness, with no obligation for the receiver to offer any compensation in return.
If gambling fits this, then we should all gamble bountifully! Do gamblers consider giving to be more blessed than receiving? Is this what motivates gamblers? No, they agree to give if they lose only because they want to win what others possess!
Again, gambling does not fit this category because gamblers do not give willingly, freely, as an act of love or compassion. God authorizes three legitimate ways for people to obtain property from others. Gambling not only does not fit any of them, but it clearly contradicts and undermines them. Hence, it is a morally illegitimate way of obtaining others' possessions. If it does not fit these categories, then what category does it fit? Consider the next point. In general covetousness is the desire to wrongfully take someone else's property.
It is "a desire for the increasing of one's substance by appropriating that of others" Baker's Dictionary of Theology. So a person is covetous if he wants to take other people's property in a way not authorized by God.
So covetousness contrasts with the legitimate means for obtaining the property of others. Clearly gambling fits the definition of covetousness.
A legitimate gift involves willingly choosing to give as a gesture of good will and kindness. If we seek to take someone else's property which he really does not want to give, while at the same time we seek to avoid giving him fair compensation in return, that would be covetousness.
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