Gambling: Harmless Fun or Addictive Trap?
by June Narber
“In the churches at large, both Protestant and Sabbath-keeping, gambling has been labeled as a sin. Is it really sin or is it something more damaging in terms of human behavior and addiction?
While sin is clearly defined as the breaking of God’s eternal law as summarized in the Ten Commandments, there is a correlation between some behaviors associated with addictive gambling that include coveting, lying, and having an idol in place of God. On the other hand, random gambling, such as buying an occasional lottery ticket just for the fun of it can hardly be put into the same category as addictive gambling. So how do we approach this subject?
Coveting is the desire to possess something that is not ours. When a person sees another’s money and belongings and yearns to have them, that is sin. When a person gambles on a regular basis for the purpose of obtaining money to gain what that person is coveting, by biblical standards this is certainly sin. On the other hand, if a person hopes to win the lottery and buys a lottery ticket on rare occasions, is this really covetousness or just a random act that is more for amusement or entertainment?…”
(this article is an excerpt from the September–October 2007 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
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