A few reasons why gambling dishonors God...

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(Tim) Many believers gamble, some in the stock market, others playing bingo or the lottery, and still others in casinos. So posting this from David Wegener, our Africa correspondent, is no exercise in a well-worn public policy debate, but rather a pastoral warning to me, you, and every believer. Thank you, David, for passing this on.

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We got some new books for the Theological College of Central Africa library, recently. Now they are being processed to go into the collection and I was reading one of them this morning. The book is, John H. Leith, 2001, Pilgrimage of a Presbyterian: Collected Shorter Writings, ed Charles E. Raynal, Louisville: Geneva Press. On pages 208-13, there's a short article he wrote in 1956 titled, "Gambling--What's Wrong with It?." Here's a summary:

1. "Gambling encourages the belief that a man can enjoy the advantages of a prosperous society without making a significant contribution to that society."

2. "Gambling arouses false hopes and gives little in return."

3. "Gambling is parasitic by nature. It creates no new wealth and performs no useful service. At best, it merely redistributes wealth from ... the many ... to the few."

4. Gambling is an attempt "to escape responsible work..."

5. Gambling contributes to the breakdown of society. Gambling is associated with political corruption, bribery, violence and murder. "Gambling contributes to dishonesty." Many companies blame gambling for staggering percentages of losses of the company. It leads to "unpaid debts," and it has "corrupted sports."

6. Gambling may become an addiction and has done so to many people to the ruin of their lives.

7. Gambling is poor stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to you.

8. Community life is possible only when each person attempts to make a contribution to the general welfare. Gambling is an attempt "to take from the community while refusing to give anything in return."

9. We are our brother's keeper. Since gambling causes some to fall, we may not engage in it.

10. "Gambling does not help men become more Christlike. It aggravates human weakness. It stimulates greed and breeds covetousness."

An unknown early Christian wrote: "Do not be a dice-thrower but a Christian: cast your money on the table of the Lord at which Christ presides and the spectators are angels and the martyrs are present; and the patrimony which you are about to squander with that ruinous passion divide instead among the poor: lose your wealth to Christ."