EDITOR, The Tribune.
If we did not consider ourselves a “Christian Nation” I would keep my mouth shut, but as a Christian in a Christian Nation, I feel the need to speak out.
I read the story in this morning’s Guardian “Pastors ‘sensitized' to gambling, and I think it is good that reverend Philip McPhee agreed to meet with a coalition of web shop owners.” (I hope we can see as Christians how well the number guys work together), but the meeting should have been to tell them what Jesus would have told them, not to hear how much they have done for the country with their ill gotten gains.
The article further went on to say, Rev. McPhee said: “We got a very positive input of what the web companies are all about, what they are doing and how they contribute in many ways to the benefit of the country.”
What really got me was the statement by McPhee, which said “the Church could not remain stagnated’ on something which takes place on a daily basis which could prove beneficial to the country.” Beneficial in what way Rev. McPhee? Financially? I cannot think of any other contribution that gambling makes other than the almighty dollar, and that alone is a red flag! Prostitution takes place in this country on a daily basis too, and it provides much needed funds to women and children and even the young homosexual men and women who sell themselves for money, but should we have a referendum to make it legal? Are we now, as Christians, willing to stoop to anything as long as money is involved? How far will it go?
Remember, Gambling has been "illegal". The government of this country at one point made the decision to make it illegal, and there was a reason why! What happened to that reason? Did it just go away?
The worst kind of evil is the kind that comes with a sugar coating. Jesus saw the sugar coating when the devil asked him to bow down and worship him, and told him that he would give him all the riches this world had to offer! Jesus was hungry! He was tired and he had nothing, but he knew that being temporarily broke and hungry is a lot worse than being eternally lost!
Whatever happened to, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus!?” Philippians 4:19 God does not supply our needs by allowing us to do things that are contrary to his will. The ability to utilise funds that come from games of chance, and winning the lottery is not a blessing from God. Remember, the devil can bless and answer prayers too!
Quoting from Jack Zavada, “Gambling is a way to bypass work, but the Bible counsels us to persevere and work hard: Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4,)
One of the key principles in the Bible is that people should be wise stewards of everything God gives them. Gamblers may believe they earn their money with their own labour and may spend it as they please, yet God gives people the talent and health to carry out their jobs, and their very life is a gift from him as well. Wise stewardship of extra money calls believers to invest it in the Lord’s work and to save it for an emergency, rather than lose it in games in which the odds are stacked against the player.
Gamblers covet more money, but they may also covet the things money can buy. The Bible forbids a covetous attitude in the Tenth Commandment.
Gambling also has the potential to turn into an addiction, like drugs or alcohol. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2 million U.S. adults are pathological gamblers and another 4 to 6 million are problem gamblers. This addiction can destroy the stability of the family, lead to job loss, and cause a person to lose control of their life. I wonder how many Bahamians have lost control of their lives because of their addiction to gambling?
Some argue that gambling is nothing more than entertainment, no more immoral than going to a movie or concert. People who attend movies or concerts expect only entertainment in return, however, not money. They are not tempted to keep spending until they "break even." (And in my opinion, Christians should spend their time doing God's work, catering to the needs of the less fortunate and the lost, not being entertained, but that's another story...)
Finally, gambling provides a sense of false hope. Participants place their hope in winning, often against astronomical odds, instead of placing their hope in God. Throughout the Bible, we are constantly reminded that our hope is in God alone, not money, power, or position.”
The desire for riches is a trap that will bring this country to ruin and destruction. The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas. A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. We cannot serve God and money!
Choose ye this day whom you will serve!
July 6, 2012