Gambling

In the March 4, 2003edition of his weblog, Albert Mohler notes that, "According to some estimates, as much as one-third of the nation's money supply now moves through the gambling industry each year. Looking at a recent annual economic report, management consultant Eugene M. Christiansen determined that 'Americans spent more on gambling than they did on health insurance, dentists, shoes, foreign travel, or household appliances.'

"The Bible is clear on this issue. The entire enterprise of gambling is opposed to the moral worldview revealed in God's Word. The basic impulse behind gambling is greed - a basic sin that is the father of many other evils. Greed, covetousness, and avarice are repeatedly addressed by Scripture - always presented as a sin against God, and often accompanied by a graphic warning of the destruction which is greed's result. The burning desire for earthly riches leads to frustration and spiritual death.

"As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, 'the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil' (1 Tim. 6:10). Greed was involved in Judas' decision to betray Christ, in the deceit of Ananias and Sapphira, and was the root moral issue in the Rich Young Ruler's refusal to follow Christ's command.

"In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, greed is presented as foolishness, and Jesus amplifies this teaching in His parable of the rich man [Luke 12:16-21]. Trusting in his economic prosperity, and planning to build even bigger barns to hoard his wealth, the man is called to account by God, who said to him, 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.' This is not likely to be found as a popular inspirational text at the local casino.

"The Bible presents the stewardship of material possessions as a crucial issue of discipleship. The Christian understands that his possessions and money are not his own, but God's. We are trustees who will be judged for the quality of our stewardship. Those lottery tickets and trips to Atlantic City are going to be hard to explain when God calls stewards to account."