Is Gambling a Sin?
It no secret that there are a lot of gambling lovers among people who believe in God. It is natural that most of them think about whether their hobby is a sin. Sometimes, they come to pretty unexpected conclusions in their reasonings.
We tried to sort out this issue. Although the author of this article has pretty good knowledge of the Bible, he doesn’t consider himself an expert in Christian moral. That’s why the statements mentioned below shouldn’t be perceived as axioms or dogmas. This is just an opinion of the person that has devoted much time to reading and studying the world’s most famous book and had a chance to watch how gambling changed people.
What does the Bible say?
However surprising this may sound, the Bible doesn’t give an obvious and unambiguous judgment of gambling for money. This form of entertainment has been known since ancient times, though. In addition, gambling per se is not mentioned in the Holy Scripture.
However, some characters from the Holy Scripture seemed to get engaged in something similar to gambling. For example, Joshua divided the lands by throwing lots (Joshua 18:10). After crucifying Jesus Christ, the Roman soldiers divided his belongings by throwing lots as well (John 19:24). It’s not hard to make analogies with lotteries. While the soldiers surely deserve condemnation, the first example is flawless. As the Bible doesn’t give hint on how to regard gambling, we’ll think logically. When advertising their services, casinos, bingo halls, poker clubs, totalizers, lotteries, and other establishments of the sort lay emphasis on positive emotions and joy promised to clients. However, everyone understands that these impressions stem from the opportunity of getting easy money.
It was long ago proven that very few players come to casinos to get nothing but pleasure from the game. Most gamblers count on laying hands on easy money. This is what distinguishes casino visits from other forms of entertainments like going to the theatre or museum.
Regarding those who like money, the Bible expresses clearly. Read Gospel of Luke 16:13, First Epistle to Timothy 6:10, or Ecclesiastes 5:10. The Bible calls on everyone to earn their living by hard and fair work and not to look for easy money. God tells people to use their talents, money and spare time wisely and reasonably. He would hardly consider the night spent in the casino to be a wise act.
You can gamble not only against the casino. Suppose, you decided to play preference with your neighbor or poker with your fellow traveler for some money or petty things. In other words, you want to own other person’s belongings, which is condemned by the Bible.
Remember about problem gambling – pernicious obsession like drug or alcohol addiction. Therefore, players that suffer from problem gambling become slaves of their habit (see Second Epistle of Peter 2:19).
The Bible offers a lot of ideas that condemn addiction to gambling in one of another way.
Of course, not all sins are expressedly condemned in the Holy Scription. However, in most cases simple logic is enough to make the only correct conclusion. However you may be trying to convince yourself , God doesn’t approve of gambling. Therefore, if you consider yourself a true Christian, you must already have the answer to your question.
To those who don’t believe in God, we also recommend to be cautious. Don’t let greed overshadow all virtues. Consider gambling an enjoyable pastime rather than a source of income.
P.S. On the other hand, the author of this article has been to many casinos whose walls were consecrated by Christian clerics. What is more, he saw priests playing gambling games. So if you are looking for a formal excuse for your actions, you won’t have any difficulties finding it.