by Bobby L. Graham
Are Gambling and Playing the Lottery Sinful?
Gambling in any form, including the lottery, has proved to be a financial drain on those who can least afford the loss. It is also a social blight to the communities depending on it, and a moral curse to those participating in it. By leaving such a wake of destruction wherever it spreads, how can people recommend gambling or even a lottery?
Jimmy the Greek, a famous oddsmaker from a previous generation, warned about becoming involved in gambling: "They should never legalize gambling in America. If you think dope addiction is bad, a guy who gets hooked on gambling goes all the way. The average American does not have the discipline to quit. God forbid if they legalize gambling." Jimmy quit gambling in 1961, did not visit the newly opened casinos in Atlantic City, NJ, and had no plans to do so. He further said gambling is for suckers and that he had seen many lose their homes and families because of gambling debt.
"But the lottery is just a game," one objects. Friend, it is much more than a game. It is a legalized form of betting on the outcome of a drawing for a winner. In that respect, playing the lottery is precisely like betting on a football game. Both forms of gambling involve a game (football and the lottery), but both are still gambling: placing a wager on the outcome of an event. Whether the event is a game of skill (football, horse racing) or one of chance (lottery), the outcome is not known because chance is involved even in a game of skill, thus allowing the placing of a bet/wager on its outcome. This is what gambling is, and the unknown element provides the thrill for millions!
Why are gambling and playing the lottery sinful? Consider the following brief list of scriptural reasons:
Playing the lottery is not just a game. People who think so are deceived, thus making themselves even easier prey for the "gambling mania" sweeping the nation and the world and more likely victims of the destruction which gambling can produce. Friends, wake up, and realize what is happening to individuals, married couples, families, churches, and communities because of gambling's push to control our lives!
Author Bio: Bobby L. Graham preaches and is an elder for the Old Moulton Rd church of Christ in Decatur, AL. He and his wife, Karen, have three children: Richard, Mary Katherine Winland (Darren), and Laura Paschall (Jeremy). He can be reached at email@example.com.