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Is Gambling a Sin?
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Post Is Gambling a Sin? FG Minister
Seriously. Is it in the Bible? I know it isn't wise and can lead to financial ruin, but is it a sin? The COG may teach against it, but on what grounds? Maybe it violates some "bad stewardship rule." Proverbs condemns "get rich quick schemes," but doesn't say they are sins. Casting lots is frowned upon, but is it a sin?

I have never gambled or bought a lottery ticket, but last month a church member said she bought a $1 ticket at the gas station and won $50,000 - $37,000 after taxes. This woman and her husband are just working folks with a low income, and they struggle with health issues. She said she hadn't bought a lottery ticket in years. My response - I WAS VERY HAPPY FOR HER AND TOLD HER SO! My gambling in the stock market has never paid off this well!

Is it a sin, or just bad stewardship? I know someone will ask - did she pay her tithes? She gave a nice offering for missions. I'll leave it at that.
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8/19/23 7:59 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
It violates the Golden Rule, in selfishly seeking gain from the loss of others. Legitimate businesses add value to the economy. Gambling only takes, as even the winnings of the one must always by definition be less than the losses of the many. It is a regressive tax on stupidity and poor math skills. It adds nothing to society, but only takes, as the house must always win more than it loses in order to keep the charade going. It is motivated by pure selfishness and greed, for no one would ever buy a ticket or drop a coin in a slot machine if there were zero chance of winning something one has not earned.

The Christian is to trust God as Provider, and invest his time, talent, energy and money in a wise and intelligent manner, so as to bring blessing upon his house and so that he may be a blessing to others.
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8/19/23 9:04 am


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Post Re: Is Gambling a Sin? caseyleejones
FG Minister wrote:
Seriously. Is it in the Bible? I know it isn't wise and can lead to financial ruin, but is it a sin? The COG may teach against it, but on what grounds? Maybe it violates some "bad stewardship rule." Proverbs condemns "get rich quick schemes," but doesn't say they are sins. Casting lots is frowned upon, but is it a sin?

I have never gambled or bought a lottery ticket, but last month a church member said she bought a $1 ticket at the gas station and won $50,000 - $37,000 after taxes. This woman and her husband are just working folks with a low income, and they struggle with health issues. She said she hadn't bought a lottery ticket in years. My response - I WAS VERY HAPPY FOR HER AND TOLD HER SO! My gambling in the stock market has never paid off this well!

Is it a sin, or just bad stewardship? I know someone will ask - did she pay her tithes? She gave a nice offering for missions. I'll leave it at that.


I think you nailed it on bad stewardship. Best description yet?

As far as tithes, I don't support an OT concept that has little to no traction in the New Covenant.
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8/19/23 1:09 pm


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Post Re: Is Gambling a Sin? Cojak
FG Minister wrote:
My gambling in the stock market has never paid off this well! .


This point is hidden from many since many , unknown to them, are depending on someone else who is gambling for them in many retirement programs EVEN our own Church of God ministers retirement has a very knowledgeable brother that does a great job buying and selling the right stock. Embarassed Embarassed
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8/19/23 1:42 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Gambling is truly an attempt to gain something for nothing, a zero-sum game, with the odds very definitely stacked against the gambler and in favor of the house. Sheer gullibility on the part of gamblers is what makes casino owners rich.

Investing, on the other hand is purchasing a portion of a legitimate business, with a view to benefitting all involved by adding something of real value to the economy. In the US, it is investing in the future of the American economy. Despite some temporary setbacks in the economy over time, it continues to grow and reward smart investors in the long run.

One may as well say that starting a business with the goal being to add real value to the economy is gambling as to say that investing is gambling.

Investing in legitimate businesses focuses on the long-term growth of the business and of the larger economy, supports profitable, legitimate businesses that excel at meeting the needs of its consumers, generally eventually punishes crooked businesses or businesses that fail to provide a valuable product or service to the economy, and actually adds real value to the economy while rewarding prudent investors. The investor actually owns something of real value when he invests in a legitimate company.

Gambling, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on the immediate gamble, the hope of getting rich quickly. The gambler owns nothing by placing a bet, and can only gain if others lose. Gambling venues are a parasite on any economy, and tend to support negative, sinful ‘businesses’ such as alcohol consumption, prostitution, and organized crime.

Investing, on the other hand, has as its aim the growth and excellence of the company, and no one must lose anything in order for the investor to realize a profit. The goal of investing is the exact moral opposite of the goal of gambling. Investing in a legitimate business aims to benefit society and the business owners, while the goal of gambling ‘businesses’ is to take advantage of the reckless stupidity and greed of carnally driven people.
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8/19/23 3:26 pm


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Post Gambling is NOT a sin...but it can become one Aaron Scott
When you buy a lottery ticket (or, as has been many times in my case) are given one, you have purchased several days worth of happy thoughts. You can imagine what you will do with the vast wealth you may win. I enjoy that, frankly. When I don't win the jackpot, oh, well, it was fun while it lasted. And if were one to buy a ticket, I could easily go and spend it on another ticket--for the price of a large Snickers--and enjoy a few more days of delight--and not gain any weight in the meantime.

But when you spend non-discretionary dollars--e.g., your rent or grocery money--on the lottery, that's an issue. Further, it's an issue if you then go and ask someone for groceries or the such.

But if you have money that you would otherwise spend on candy or the such, and you want to buy a lottery ticket, it's not a problem, I don't think.

I am unsure of why Quiet Wyatt sees it as not following the Golden Rule, since I don't see it as SELFISHLY seeking gain from the loss of others. If that is definition, then pushing a hard bargain to buy something from someone else comes close to that, since they are making less than they wanted.

Also, that is precisely what happens every day in the stock market: People who bought at $100 sell to you at $70. So I think there has to be more to it.

TO ME, gambling is wrong in the following circumstances (perhaps there are more):

1. If you are spending money that you do not have to spare.

2. If you are going to place that would harm your testimony.

3. If you not tithing and giving in offerings, but are playing the lottery.

And the such....

Casino games have BUILT-IN ODDS that give the house the advantage. That is, this is not the casino cheating by making the roulette wheel stop so you will lose, but because they have the OO/green that gives them a 2.7% edge over you. That is, not matter what you bet on, the ball will have an additional (casino-owned) slot to fall into, making you slightly less likely to win.

If you play a few games and win, fine. But if you keep on playing, the probabilities ALWAYS give the casino the edge, even if a small one. If you come in with 100,000 dollars and play long enough, you will leave broke.

I don't recommend gambling for some of the above reasons. But one that is particularly nefarious is because it is addictive. People think that if they are on a losing streak, they are bound to do better if they keep going. And then they're broke.

Again, if you have fully discretionary funds AFTER all necessary funds are provided for AND you have paid your tithes, etc., a lottery ticket is not a sin, as far as I can see. But it can become one if it gets ahold of you...or if it causes you to start spending what you cannot afford to spend.
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8/21/23 10:57 am


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Post FLRon
Here’s how I see this. Gambling in and of itself is not a sin. At least not in the sense of sending one’s soul to Hell. If, after taking care of all of your financial musts(family, house, food, church, etc), you have discretionary money left over, what is the moral argument against buying a lottery ticket or a Bingo card?

Of course, anything can be done to excess. That would become sin if you forgo responsibilities to gamble. I see this entire issue as just one more area where the cog inserted itself where it never belonged. Legislating morality never worked and never will. If anyone believes a cog member wouldn’t think of buying a lottery ticket just because the church said they can’t isn’t living in reality.

Now, who should I send my tithe on 100 million to?
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8/21/23 12:09 pm


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Post skinnybishop
Here is what I find interesting. I said it in another thread, but it bears repeating:

I know a man who is strongly against church raffles, to raise money..... but has no problem with a silent auction for the same purpose.

He's against buying a $5 ticket, to win a donated item.
But not against placing a $5 bid, to win a donated item.
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8/21/23 1:06 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
An auction is quite different from a gambling. There is no gambling to it at all. It is simply bidding on something, naming how much one is willing to pay for it. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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8/21/23 3:01 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
All laws are an effort to legislate morality/behavior. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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8/21/23 3:02 pm


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Post Should poker playing preachers (PPP) have their ordination revoked? caviator


Last edited by caviator on 9/29/23 7:12 am; edited 5 times in total
Hey, DOC
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9/26/23 4:04 pm


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Post Cojak
FLRon wrote:
Here’s how I see this. Gambling in and of itself is not a sin. At least not in the sense of sending one’s soul to Hell. If, after taking care of all of your financial musts(family, house, food, church, etc), you have discretionary money left over, what is the moral argument against buying a lottery ticket or a Bingo card?

Of course, anything can be done to excess. That would become sin if you forgo responsibilities to gamble. I see this entire issue as just one more area where the cog inserted itself where it never belonged. Legislating morality never worked and never will. If anyone believes a cog member wouldn’t think of buying a lottery ticket just because the church said they can’t isn’t living in reality.

Now, who should I send my tithe on 100 million to?


I remember once buying a lottery ticket. and for a few days wondered what to do with multiple millions. I thought I could probably pay off all the debts of the churches of ministers who post here. give enough for our pastor to buy his own home and build the new sanctuary, I also remember thinking of sending RR the money to buy a nice truck and 5th wheel with a MC rack on the back for his retirement. I wanted to buy a home for a good pastor who lives attached to the church and draws no salary. However I did not win as you can guess. But I did really enjoy thinking of all the good I could do with that income.

This was back when the tickets were $1. So you can figure it has been a long time since RR retired.

There is MUCH danger where gambling can BECOME A great sin and ruin families. Just today I heard that a person I know well had lost his home, because he was gambling.

So YES we can make lots of things a SIN and hurt ourselves and family.
Crying or Very sad

PS FLron, If I try that again I will remember you! Smile Smile
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9/26/23 6:04 pm


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Post Da Sheik
If I were a betting man, I would say it’s not a sin necessarily, but it could be. Acts Enthusiast
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9/26/23 6:54 pm


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Post Cojak
Da Sheik wrote:
If I were a betting man, I would say it’s not a sin necessarily, but it could be.


Shocked Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Love it.
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9/27/23 7:15 pm


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Quiet Wyatt wrote:
It violates the Golden Rule, in selfishly seeking gain from the loss of others. Legitimate businesses add value to the economy. Gambling only takes, as even the winnings of the one must always by definition be less than the losses of the many. It is a regressive tax on stupidity and poor math skills. It adds nothing to society, but only takes, as the house must always win more than it loses in order to keep the charade going. It is motivated by pure selfishness and greed, for no one would ever buy a ticket or drop a coin in a slot machine if there were zero chance of winning something one has not earned.

The Christian is to trust God as Provider, and invest his time, talent, energy and money in a wise and intelligent manner, so as to bring blessing upon his house and so that he may be a blessing to others.


What if someone spends an extra $5 at McDonald's that they wouldn't have spent off the value menu because they wanted to try to get Boardwalk off the cup or friends when McDonald's has the Monopoly game going. That $5 is like gambling, isn't it? So the person wins the million dollars. Aren't they depriving all other players of the Boardwalk piece.

(I don't know if it is still the same, but they used to put Park Place on a lot of cups and fries.)
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9/29/23 4:22 pm


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Da Sheik wrote:
If I were a betting man, I would say it’s not a sin necessarily, but it could be.


How much of your reward in the afterlife would you want to bet on that?

(Just kidding. Not a real offer.)
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9/29/23 4:23 pm


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Let's say 300 gatherers come across a honeycomb all at the same time and they have an agreement that if this happens they cast lots to see who gets it. You can say this is gambling but it was the fruits of their labor.

Kids can bet that whoever wins a race home gets to ride shotgun. Is there any sin in that?

What about a group of young people playing poker but just for pennies? It is gambling but the amounts are so small it's not going to take any milk money out of any kids mouth.

What about entering sweepstakes in making money that way. Is that earned? If unearned money is unlawful then why wouldn't it be wrong to participate in sweepstakes and other contests?

Couldn't God bless some old missionary who poured out his life and didn't save up a retirement by having him win a contest and the Lord so chose?

We need to teach diligence and good stewardship. We need to teach diligence and good stewardship. But the Bible does not say thou shalt not Gamble
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10/1/23 9:21 am


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Post caseyleejones
Da Sheik wrote:
If I were a betting man, I would say it’s not a sin necessarily, but it could be.


Kind of going with this...even though the username and avatar is pagan. Wink
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10/1/23 1:10 pm


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Post Re: Should poker playing preachers (PPP) have their ordination revoked? Cojak
caviator wrote:


Are these guys preachers, I don't think I ever heard of PPP, LOL

My daddy did not gamble, but once gave away a bicycle to the kid who brought the most of his friends to SS.

He also gave away a car and a pony at different times. A ticket was given for each new person brought to church over a period of 4 weeks. After the 4 weeks a drawing was held and the winner got the prize.

The largest number in church was on the day the pony was given. the Church Avg SS attendances was 150-200 normally. AT the pony drawing we had over 860 in SS. The road in front of the church was closed.

I heard a pastor ask my dad at camp meeting, how many of those people did you keep? Dad smiled and said, "Our average attendance is now 50 more a Sunday, how did you do during the contest?"

My dad was a SS pusher. He had heard once that the Catholic Church said, "Give us a child until he is 8 years old and he will always be Catholic." He believed it and wanted children in church. I heard him telling a new pastor once. Get 20 kids 8-14 and keep them 10 years and you will have a solid church.

He wanted kids in church to save their souls, he used hundreds of unique ways to advertise that...

Sorry for so many words.
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10/2/23 11:19 am


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Post caviator
Since bishops are now allowed in Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian etc. pro-gay services, how about casino poker tournaments? If Bishop D. put 300 years of experience to investigate TJ for comments on the internet, shouldn’t gambling bishops be investigating too? Hey, DOC
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3/15/24 6:51 am


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