Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Sin of Gambling: Part 5 - Conclusion

Conclusion

The matter of whether gambling should be permitted or not has a long history. At present, the perception of gambling is changing. No longer is gambling considered vice by governments and even some Christians. Rather, the industry has successfully sought to recast itself as part of the larger entertainment industry and participation in gaming activities of all varieties simply a matter of having fun.

Reasons why gambling should be permitted are convincing. Not only do many see gambling as a form of entertainment to be enjoyed, albeit by responsible adults, people have a right to engage in harmless entertainment if they so choose. It is an abuse of the power of government to prohibit citizens from engaging in an activity that is seemingly harmless while providing economic benefit to the community, the state, and individual participants. Legal gambling also provides government with a way to redistribute wealth from people higher up the socioeconomic ladder to those below by using the funds raised for special projects that primarily benefit the poor at the expense of the more affluent. Further, the presence of gambling in the Bible suggests that Christians are free to engage in this harmless fun.

While these arguments may seem convincing to some, especially Christians, each argument has been thoroughly refuted. The fact is that gambling is not merely entertainment. It remains an exploitive activity that drains financial resources from the economy, leads people into addiction, oppresses the poor, and ultimately undermines biblical principles for living the Christian life. With so much evidence pointing to the ills associated with and caused by gambling, it is rather simple to conclude that gambling is a sin and should be avoided by Christians. While it is easy to arrive at such a conclusion, describing the Christian response to gambling is a bit more difficult.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that believers are to be light and salt in the world. We are to live in a manner such that people will see our good works and glorify God (Matt. 5:13-16). Aside from concluding that Christians are not permitted to gambling, perhaps a lesson from Jesus will best summarize how the Christian should address gambling. In Matthew 22:15-22, the Pharisees tried to trap Christ by asking about the payment of taxes. Understanding the trap being laid for Him, Christ affirmed that some things rightfully belong to Caesar (the government) and some things belong to God.[1]

Governments have the right to legalize gambling if they are so persuaded. Sociologists will continue to analyze the culture and report on it from both a secular and Christian perspective.[2] Christians should avoid gambling, point out the inherent dangers of engaging in all forms of gambling, and should love those ensnared by gambling when the opportunity presents itself.



[1] Feinberg, John S., Paul D. Feinberg, and Aldous Huxley. Ethics for a Brave new World. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1996), 388.

[2] Carson, D. A. Christ & Culture Revisited. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co,, 2008), 226.

2 comments:

Steve Finnell said...

CHRISTIANS RECEIVE FORGIVENESS---ABSOLUTION?

Is the doctrine of absolution a Biblical fact or is it a tradition of men?

ABSOLUTION: Absolution is perceived to be the remission of sin, or the punishment due sin, granted by the church.

Can a priest or any man acting for the church forgive the sins of a Christian? NO, THEY CANNOT!

When Christians pray for other Christians; they are not granting forgiveness of sins committed against God. They are simply making a request. They are petitioning God. The church in general nor individual church members have no authority to forgive sins committed against God.

Luke 5:21The scribes and Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

Anyone who claims to have the authority to forgive the sins of Christians speaks blasphemies. Jesus could forgive sins because He was God in the flesh.

Jesus Christ is the mediator, the intercessor, negotiator, and advocate between Christians and God. No priest, preacher, the Virgin Mary, pew sitter, nor dead saint stands between Christians and forgiveness from sin.

Romans 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also interceded for us.

Jesus is the intercessor for Christians. Priests, preachers, the Virgin Mary nor any other Christians can reconcile differences between man and God.


1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Jesus Christ,


Jesus is the only one standing between Christians and forgiveness from sin. No man or women, dead or alive qualifies as a mediator for the forgiveness of sins.


1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


The apostle John said that the advocate for Christians who sin is Jesus Christ. John did not say that a priest, preacher, the Virgin Mary, nor any saint dead or alive was an advocate for Christians who sin.


NOTICE: There is not one case recorded in Scripture were an apostle or the apostles said to Christians I or we forgive you of your sins. THE APOSTLES TOLD PEOPLE HOW TO HAVE THEIR SINS FORGIVEN, THEY DID NOT GRANT FORGIVENESS OF SINS.


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Christopher Sanchez said...

Steve,

I am uncertain what your comments have to do with gambling. My conclusion does not discuss absolution in any way. A bit confused. Still, I am grateful you took time to comment and humbled by your visit to my site.