Many Christians refrain from participating in the lottery because they see it as gambling, and therefore wrong, even if the lottery money goes toward a good cause. What is your take on buying lottery tickets?
I don't participate in the lottery. It is gambling.
I believe that all forms of gambling are wrong and that Christians who are serious about their faith and practical holiness will want to avoid involvement in any way. Gambling promotes the myth that there is a shortcut to financial success apart from G-d-honored labor (Eph. 4:28). It promotes pleasure at another's expense and emphasizes getting rather than giving (Acts 20:32-35)
Scripture teaches us that if we value G-d's approval and believe in living consistently, we must fix our minds on that which is true and honorable, just and pure, lovely and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).
Yeshua (Jesus) plainly warned against the snare of covetousness and taught that life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions. We cannot serve G-d and money (Luke 12:15; 16:13).
Gambling often becomes an addiction and is a continual source of heartache, poverty, and suffering to those homes where one or more members are ensnared. The existence of groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, which attempt to help individuals over come their addiction, confirms the seriousness of this problem.
I believe that the Scriptures teach us to abstain from all forms of greed. "He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live" (Prov. 15:27. See also Prov. 28:20, 22).
I believe the state-sponsored lottery is not a Scriptural way to raise funds for even the most noble of causes. It promotes the illusion to the poor that they may soon be the recipients of instant wealth and released from the hopeless cycle of poverty in which they find themselves. In reality, many of the poor waste some of their limited resources on the lottery.
The Bible teaches that godliness with contentment is great gain, and that they who want to be rich fall into many temptations and have many sorrows (I Tim. 6:6-10). "But thou, 0 man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness" (I Tim. 6:11).
The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.
That said, I agree with everything @Kristenmomof3@xanga said, but I refuse to be fanatical about it. If I get scratch-off lottery tickets from a family member at Christmas, I'll play along. Not sure what i would do if I actually won, though.
@SirNickDon@xanga - Considering the religious background of my family...I would probably die of shock if I got a scratch off from them for Christmas...so I wouldn't be able to participate then either LOL :)
I wouldn't call it innocent fun if it is a daily or even a weekly habit, part of an addictive attitude, or if your one and only primary goal in life is to win the lottery- that can be sad if at the end of your life, you don't win. I know a sweet sanitation worker who did just so. Thank God, his daughter worked hard, became a successful realtor and afforded him a proper retirement in Florida...she did what years of playing the lottery didn't do.
With that said, I do play...twice a year? Twenty dollars a round and only when the Mega Millions hit over 200 million. It's a long shot, and I know it, but if you have a dollar and a dream...
All that we have is the Lord's. I guess I can't justify spending His money on something like that. I've always told people that if I won the lottery, it would truly be a miracle as I don't play it. lol
I feel the same about bingo. It amazes me how many people think bingo is okay, but the lottery is not. Strange. To me, I can find better things to do with the money.......like feed and clothe my family. lol
I'm not fanatical. This is just how the Lord has dealt with me on it.
@SirNickDon@xanga - I was going to say what you said. I won't buy them myself; but I won't give back to a family member what they intended for goodness.
There was a church that got a winning ticket donated to them, and I wouldn't say that they are wrong for taking the money and using it for their work. Kind of what Joseph said, "what you intended for bad, God turned to good." But I would hurry out the door of any church who's policy was to buy even just one ticket a week to hope for such a windfall.
The interesting thing is that gambling, itself, is not a sin. People get this from where Paul tells us to be careful with games of chance or luck... however, didn't the disciples cast lots to see who would become the 12th disciple after Judas had died? That is a game of chance or luck. It is one of those things that, if over done, can become a sin. But isn't it like that with just about everything? So, I don't know. I don't mind playing the lottery every now and then, if I have a spare dollar or two handy. The key is to not let yourself get addicted and use self control.
I don't really have a conviction when it comes to gambling. Everything in moderation, I suppose. As far as it being a waste of money, I could waste money on any number of things, new clothes, gum, eating out, it's no different.
However, I'm not really drawn to gambling, so I don't do it. Also, the college I attend prohibibts it, so even is I were, I wouldn't do it.
Why is gambling wrong? I feel like a lot of verses are being stretched to ban more than is warranted.
As has been stated, the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. Anyone who buys a ticket hoping to get rich is making a stupid decision. Being stupid isn't necessarily sinful.
Gambling can be sinful if it takes control or leads you to blow money irresponsibly. However, some people do it for entertainment purposes (like going to a movie). If they set a limit and stop at that point, I don't see a problem there.
People who desire to get rich, especially without putting in any effort, have an unhealthy attitude. That's the problem that sometimes is manifested in trying to beat the house. Putting your trust in money (even money you don't have) is a sinful. You can do that even if you never gamble or make bets.
In a sense, investing money is gambling as well.
If you want to support a good cause, write a check. If the cause is worth supporting, why not give them all the money instead of hoping you get struck by lightning, I mean, win?
There are a few sides of this issue being presented here. There's a clear "gambling is sin," and there are a few others who say it isn't so, provided you don't get addicted or gamble the rent check away.
From my perspective, I play poker. It's a game, yes, sometimes it costs money. I play for fun, for entertainment, and for the challenge. While I certainly would like to "hit it big" one day, it's the daily mental challenge that drives me. Am I supposed to not gamble away money because I'm a steward of God's money? Yes, that's certainly one view. But, then what about spending money on stuff like movies or other forms of entertainment? If I played poker for 4 hours, and lost $40, is that really worse than going out for dinner and a movie and spending $50? Does the fact that I could win in poker make it more sinful? In both cases, I'm not spending more money than I can afford to spend. I expect some entertainment, and in the case of playing poker, I might be able to get some gain out of it.
It's like most things. Is sex sinful? No, unless it's used outside of its original intent. Playing games, watching entertainment, or other "worldly" things could fall under the same category.
It's no worse than allowing yourself to watch most TV shows. Of course, no one wants to give up watching profanity, fornication, vulgarness, coarse jesting, etc,... I have no issues with someone buying a ticket as long as it's not an obsession. When the Powerball hits $100 million-even I'll throw down a buck or two for fun.
This is a little bit like drinking. Many people are addicted and by playing yourself may also be encouraging the problem
As for the statement "even if the lottery money goes toward a good cause". The states will make this argument themselves, but I have yet to see a Lottery commercial that presents the lottery as a fund raiser. They rather play off of peoples greed, "Become a millionaire" not their charity, "give to our schools and you might win"
The lottery is gambling, true enough,so is the stock market.
Playing the lottery is not coveting someone else's money. Yes, the pool of money that one might win does come from many different people, but they all volunteered to give that money, just like I am when I play and they all did so with the understanding that someone might win.
I work two jobs. I trust on my Saviour to provide all my needs. When I play the lottery, I'm not neglecting my obligation to work for my needs or fail to trust God to provide for me.( By the way, if I ever did win, it would be God allowing it, so he would be providing it.)
People can become addicted to the lottery, not usually the big multi-million drawings, mostly the scratch-off tickets, but people become addicted to alcohol, sex, food, bowling, exercise, any number of things. The problem is not the item they allow themselves to be addicted to in most cases, but their failure to look to God for His guidance.
I think it's fine. In moderation. I think if you're family has a need and you're not meeting it so you can go spend it at the casino or buy lotto tickets, that's a problem. I think if you buy a powerball ticket here and there, God's alright with it. I wonder if non-Christians ever get sick of our black book of things you're not allowed to do if you are a Christian and all the judging that goes with it..seems we're always debating what's "allowed" and what's not. As for the stewardship, I'm guessing that EVERYONE has spent money on things they didn't need. Whether it's a new pair of shoes, earrings for a special night out, a bigger home in a nicer area, decorations for your house, the computer itself, all little luxuries that most of us afford ourselves, I don't agree with that angle at all.