What's Wrong with Gambling

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I have a friend and co-worker who goes to a church called “First Congregational” and she raised a question for me that I need some help in answering. A member of their congregation has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and they are in the beginning stages of organizing a fund-raiser to help his wife and 2 young children. The catch is this; There can be no alcohol or gambling involved. 😦 I asked her to mention to her fellow organizing committee members to remember Jesus’s first public miracle to help them get past the “alcohol is unbiblical” mind-set. However, I can not come up with anything that would allow them to have gambling. And when I speak of gambling, I am talking only of having a raffle. Can someone tell me why gambling in any form would be bad?
No. I can’t. But, if the Church teaches that we must not gamble, I will stand corrected.

Gambling, like drinking, comes in many forms and the problem comes when there is an addiction to something that takes you away from God and your community. You can even have an addiction to the Internet. (I raise my hand).

Seek out the problems of addiction and you’ll find your answer. If you gamble for fun on a moderate level (you have to decide what is moderate) then you’re fine.
Theologically there are four conditions which it is commonly held must be present for gambling not to be illicit. Namely:
  1. Whatever is being gambled must rightfully belong to the person doing the gambling. For example, gambling with someone elses money without their permission, or gambling with money that is supposed to go toward the welfare of ones family are both wrong.
  2. The person gambling must do so by his or her own free will and not under duress or unjust compulsion.
  3. There must be no fraud, deception or “cheating” involved.
  4. The game must be fair. That is, it is wrong to “hustle” someone by taking advantage of their lack of knowledge or skill at the game.
One gambles, for instance, when one invests money in stocks or other things, or when one insures ones property or life.

There is also a difference between high stakes and low stakes. A person who, for example, plays bingo at the local parish hall or buys a lottery ticket for a dollar or so is not truly said to be gambling.
The CCC puts it this way:

Paragraph 2413

Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
I would suggest that the burden is on those who say all gambling is wrong.
I agree that in and of itself, gambling is not a sin. However, if the person belongs to a church that say NO GAMBLING then I will respect them for obediance to their authority.

( I just looked at my grade school report cards… i will never learn to spell)
Sola Scriptura would seem to state that gambling and drinking in moderation are OK?

A 'man-made 't’radition would condridict sola scripture by saying all drinking and gambling were wrong?

See the above links and the other threads that discuss this.

1 Tim 5:23 “23 Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”:love:

Etc., etc…
go to newadvent.org and then to gambling…

Gambling was forbidden for centuries under apostolic censure
and the injunction against gambling was re-iterated by the Council of Trent.

You know, you don’t know how these things come up, but some theologians later pencil-whipped the problem and came up with guidelines that have been stated elsewhere in this thread. So, there.

I think the ‘fix’ was in. Somehow the church stood to make money on gambling and so some bright theologians were called in to “make it right.” Go figure.
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