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The Simple Truth About Gambling

The Simple Truth About Gambling

by Cecil Smith

Published in
The Christian Informer
November, 2001

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Last updated:
November 1, 2001.

THE ARTICLE ENTITLED: What the Gambling Industry Won't Tell You, You're Not Just Losing, You're Being Taken recently ran in The Readers Digest. I was amazed at one of the first statements made in this article. The writer stated of game of Keno that the odds of hitting it rich or hitting the "ten spot" are nine million to one. Dying from a dog bite is 60 times more likely. "Despite those odds," he added, "a $2 bet usually pays off at only $50,000 to $200,000." If I understand these odds, this means that for every eighteen million dollars spent some $50,000 to $200,000 dollars are paid out, leaving the casino with seventeen million, eight hundred thousand dollars. Any way you look at this, only the casino stands to win. As George Washington once stated of this vice, "It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief."

While the word "gamble" is not found within God's Word, there are many Bible principles which teach us that gambling is wrong. There are those who rise up from time to time and argue for their right to gamble by saying, "Well, you can't show me in the Bible where it says, ‘thou shalt not gamble.'" We could very well argue, "Well, you can't show me in the Bible where it says thou shalt not be a slave owner." The point is, the principles of New Testament Christianity will always abolish slavery. In fact, in practically every country where the doctrine of Christ has been preached, slavery has eventually been abolished. Paul stated, "Let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3). Certainly this principle, when followed, will cause anyone who holds slaves to free them. The very next verse states, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (2:4). Paul very clearly let it be known that we are not to be a selfish people, we are to look out for those around us. In fact he goes on to add "Let this mind be in you which was also in Jesus Christ." To my knowledge, no one has ever accused Jesus of being a slave owner or of physically forcing people to do his will. Instead, we see a savior who was so unselfish and so loving that he died upon the cross for you and me while we were still in our sins. The point is, the principles of these verses will not only abolish slavery, they will also abolish gambling when they are implemented into our lives. They will turn each of us into willing servants of those around us, who look not after our own interests but the interests of others.

As we can see from the statistics of the above quoted article, gambling also is a violation of good stewardship. Jesus expects us to be good stewards of the blessings he has bestowed upon us. I wonder how many people you have known who were killed by a dog bite. I know of those who have been bitten by dogs, but very seldom do we hear of anyone dying from such. Yet, this is 60 times more likely to occur than hitting it rich while playing the game of Keno. I'm sure the same is true across the board when it comes to gambling as study after study has shown. If participating in such is good stewardship, then pray, tell me what would constitute poor stewardship? If throwing two or three dollars into the state lottery occasionally is a proper use of the money the Lord has blessed us with, then throwing ten or more into the local dump should prove to be even more rewarding! Our duty in life is to be like Christ. Can we even begin to imagine him gambling, and encouraging his followers to do the same? Gambling is certainly not good stewardship, and thus it is a violation of God's Holy Will. That, my friends, is "the simple truth about gambling."