Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Spread of Gambling

The September 18, 1996 edition of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram ran an article on the subject of gambling. It was found on the opinion page, and authored by the nationally syndicated columnist, William Safire. In his article, he gives two quotes from Senator Richard Lugar, as he was addressing a group called the Christian Coalition. I would like for you to consider the two quotes:

“The spread of gambling is a measure of the moral erosion taking place in our country…It says that if you play enough, you can hit the jackpot and be freed from the discipline of self-support through a job or the long commitment to ongoing education.”

“We cannot tolerate the ‘get rich quick’ symbolism of gambling while pleading with our children to avoid other ‘tosses of the dice’ that lead to unhealthy living and destructive behavior.”

Finally, a quote from Safire himself, as he seeks to explain the problem of gambling:

“The issue is state-sponsored gambling, a $40 billion-a-year cancer ravaging society, corrupting public officials and becoming the fastest growing teen-age addiction.”

It amazes me that society in general recognizes gambling as a vice, and yet there are some Christians who see nothing wrong with it. In most places, gambling that is not state-sponsored is illegal. It is considered a “vice” and is regulated and prosecuted by “vice squads” in our various governmental agencies. It leads to child abuse and spousal abuse as needs are neglected in the covetous pursuit of the dollar. It is a scourge on society; it feeds on a greedy desire for the easy life, which (to almost every individual who wastes money on the lottery) shows itself to be only a mirage.

The issue is not “blowing a couple of bucks”, it is not “the thrill of anticipation”, it is rather the bankrupt and covetous character of a man who would have “the easy life” without the needed honest and diligent effort. Senator Lugar’s description of this as “moral erosion” is accurate, and gambling should not be defended by any Christian. Notice the following two scriptures which clearly show that gambling, by its nature, is corrupt and indefensible to those who would serve God.

2 Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”

Colossians 3:5, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

Some Thoughts on Gambling
Authors Unknown

  • The best throw of the dice is to throw them away.
  • Gambling is like diving into an empty swimming pool. The chances that you’ll hit bottom are about the same.
  • He who hopes to win what belongs to another deserves to lose.
  • All vices are of personal origin. Playing cards do not make the gambler, nor a bottle of liquor the drunkard.