Article - The Christian & Gambling [Part 2]

Gambling is becoming one of the most highly addictive and destructive problems our nation is facing. For example, studies show that in 2001 the “gross revenues from gambling were $68.7 billion — more money than Americans spent on music, movies, spectator sports, video games and theme parks combined”(Minnesota Department of Mental Health)! If we think gambling is not a problem that we have to worry about, we better wake up! The National Council on Problem Gambling reported in March 2003 that over 80 percent of U.S. adults have reportedly gambled at least once in the past year. A recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health concluded 4.2 million Americans are addicted to gambling, 60 percent of whom have yearly incomes under $25,000. The amount of problem gamblers America has today is larger than the population of Los Angeles, California! Indeed, gambling is a very serious social problem. Yet, it is a more serious biblical problem. Let us consider three more reasons why gambling is a sin.

Gambling causes Christians to be addicted to evil practices. The Christian should be able to say, “I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). The Bible teaches that a Christian should not allow anything, except Christ, to control him (Romans 6:16-18). The addictive nature of gambling violates the biblical teaching of self-control. If I am addicted to gambling, I do not have control of myself, gambling controls me in some ways. The Bible makes it amply clear that Christians must have control of themselves (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). Gambling is a sin because it causes Christians to be addicted to the wrong things. 
Gambling sets an evil and worldly example. The Christians is called out of the world to serve God (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). Jesus taught us to be a good and shining example to those around us (Matthew 5:16). Paul encouraged Timothy to be an example of faith to the believers (1 Timothy 4:12). One of the major problems with gambling is that a Christian cannot maintain a good example and be a gambler. Gambling is associated with such evil things as drinking, drugs, sex, smoking and reveling. If the Christian is to abstain from evil (1 Thes. 5:22), and gambling is directly associated with evil, how can a Christian gamble and still please God???? Gambling is a sin because it ruins the Christian example. 
Gambling can cause dishonesty and deceit. Like the drug addict who has to rob the local store to get his next fix, so the gambler may be led to commit crimes to get to the next poker table. For example, A U.S. News & World Report analysis found crime rates in casino communities to be 84 percent higher than the national average. An astonishing example of this type of dishonesty is reported by Focus on the Family. They report that a church secretary in Minnesota stole $186,000 from the church to finance her casino and lottery obsession. While this may be the exception not the norm, the statistics show us that crime, & dishonesty go hand in hand with gambling. Christians should provide for things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17). Gambling is a sin because it breeds dishonesty & deceit. 
Dear friend, the problem of gambling is growing out of control in our local communities. May we do something about this problem by standing up and speaking out against this malicious evil.

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