What Is Wrong With Gambling?
This is the second part of the article. In it, Strickland deals with what gambling is and the reasons gambling is something Christians must avoid.
First, there are three legitimate means of transferring property: (1) By the law of LABOR where money is earned and paid for effort and labor expended, whether the effort or labor be mental or physical. Since Adam and Eve’s eating the forbidden fruit, it has been God’s law that man work for his food (Gen. 3:19), and the Apostle Paul charged that “If any man would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thes. 3:10). (2) The law of exchange, where something is exchanged for its value in money or goods. In John 4:8, while Jesus rested at Jacob’s well, His disciples went into the city TO BUY food, not to gamble for it. Joseph’s brothers went down into Egypt to buy corn (Gen. chs. 42 and 43). And when Araunah offered to give David his threshing floor, the oxen and the wood, with which to offer sacrifice, David replied, “Nay, but I will buy it of thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God which cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24: 23, 24). And (3) The law of love, where money and or goods are given with no expectation or desire of any return. The Samaritan of Luke 10:30-37 is a good example to follow here. Also, see Acts 20:35 where Paul states that: “So labouring we ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Gambling does not qualify when measured by any of these laws or rules.
Second: Gambling does not contribute anything laudable or good to society. Rather, gambling supports and is supported by a corrupt segment of society and is contrary to the very principles, which should undergird true human relationships. It has been said that “gambling is stealing by mutual consent just as dueling is murder by mutual consent.”
Third: By gambling many a poor man has robbed his wife and children of the food and clothing they so desperately needed; many suicides have occurred as a consequence of gambling, and wrecked homes, financially and by divorce are among its fruits.
Fourth: Gambling is “of the world” (I John 2:15-17), and it is a tool of the Devil. Gambling is ugly, degrading, and sinful. Truly, “They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Finally, gambling has an evil influence. And the Christian must maintain an influence “void of offense.” There is nothing wrong with eating meat, and the Christian has the right (privilege) to eat it (1 Tim. 4:3-5), but the Apostle Paul wrote: “Wherefore, if meat maketh my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” (1 Cor.8:13). Gambling is wrong and the practice of it is sinful, but if it were not, since its practice robs one of his good influence, the Christian cannot afford to engage in its practice.
What Is Wrong With Gambling?