Kentucky Ethics League
Monday, December 11, 2017

Gambling

The Bible speaks of gambling issues as it does to all the issues of life. It upholds changeless moral values. It proclaims everlasting principles. It outlines the importance of loving God with our whole hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, and it gives practical help in enabling us to reject wrong and choose right. The moral ideals of the Bible and the Bible's insistence on obedience to the will of God are crucial for our examination and assessment of any issue involving human behavior, including the issue of gambling.

Biblical faith, with its stress on loyalty to God and it's call to life of trust, tolerates no bowing of the knee to luck, no dependence on chance, no encouragement to try to get something for nothing. Such idolatrous practices introduce grossly irreligious and painfully unethical factors into a person’s life and outlook.

Loyalty

Acceptance of the sovereign rule of God directs our loyalties and rejects the tendency toward materialism.

Gambling elevates materialistic gain to a dominant place in a person’s life. Hence it runs counter to Jesus' insistence that we cannot at the same time love God and money.

Preoccupation with material gain ignored the biblical warnings against greed and avarice. The love of money becomes the source of many kinds of evil. (1 Tim 6:10). Even the small-time gambler and the occasional bettor contribute to a pattern of greed and the exaltation of the false god of Mammon. "Beware of covetousness," said Jesus, "for a mans life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). The insatiable desire for gain, all too common in modern American culture, often wrecks lives. The essence of life consists in the love of God and neighbor (Matt. 22:34-40), in friendships (John 15:13), in contentment and gratitude (Phil. 4:11), in peace (1 Cor. 14:33) and in enriching family relationships (Matt 19:4-5)


Love

The central moral imperative of the bible is love -love of God and love of neighbor (Matt 22:37-40) and (Mark 12:28-34).

Love imposes strong demands upon us every day of our lives. Any tendency to limit love should be checked by Jesus' admonition for us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The word "neighbor", of course includes all the men and women and children in the entire human family. Love leads us to seek the welfare or interest of the other. It never allows us the luxury of self-interest to the exclusion of the other person's interest and needs (Phil. 2:3-4; Rom. 12-10; 13:10) Love is the royal law (James 2:8), the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2), and the principle by which our lives are to be regulated. (Rom. 14:13-21).

Love refuses to engage in actions that mistreat or exploit others. Love tolerates no denials of a relationship of self-giving love towards others. What does gambling do, for example to compassion and the concern for others which are the foundation of Christian Brotherhood? Love is surely violated when personal pleasure and profit are gained at another’s expense.

From the pamphlet published by:
The Christian Life Commission of The Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce, #550
Nashville, TN 37203-3696