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Do you approve of gambling Bible?

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Man playing for money online

If you get carried away by the film and television, think gambling -on especially in casinos, are the stuff of rich, attractive and sophisticated. But it is obvious that the reality is very different.
In the real world, lottery, sports betting and online gambling have as many followers as the casinos themselves. A scholarly book on the subject indicates that gambling is "an almost universal vice whose appeal has spread like wildfire" ( Internet Gambling [The Internet gambling]). Poker, to cite one instance, has become one of the "sports" fashion on television and on the Web According to one newspaper, a group of experts noted that the number of poker players in the United States doubled in only eighteen months.

Speaking of gambling, we mean those in which a sum of money bet in the hope of winning a larger amount. Many people believe that there is nothing wrong with making bets, as long as the money you are playing is his and not fall into addiction. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that gambling "are not in themselves contrary to justice. However, become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to meet their needs and those of others. " However, there is provided no biblical basis for such a claim. So how should a Christian do this? Does the Bible allow gambling?
First, we must admit that the Scriptures contain no specific laws on gambling. However, that does not mean that do not offer any guidance on this subject. The Bible does not provide a specific rule for every situation before us, but it gives us this command: "Keep perceiving what the will of the Lord" ( Ephesians 5: 17 ). The Greek verb translated "perceiving" carries the idea of "a diligent search effort of understanding" (Ephesians. Commentary for exegesis and translation.) Therefore, the Christian who desires to do the will of God must a diligent effort to understand the biblical principles related to this topic. We will discuss some scriptures. While reading the verses, we invite you to ask yourself the following questions: "How does this biblical principle with gambling? If I play for money, would you be doing the will of God? ".

The lure of good luck

Bets are based, after all, on chance. Because of this, and especially when there is money involved, players tend to rely on luck, a mysterious force that supposedly controls the results. For example, in order to attract good luck, many people buy only certain lottery numbers, blow the dice before throwing superstition or even avoid certain words in the card games and other games.
Now, what's bad entrusted to the vagaries of chance? Does not it just an innocent game? That was what they believed some of the ancient Israelites. They hoped that luck could bring happiness and fortune. But how God saw that mindset? Through the prophet Isaiah, God said: "You are those who forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, who arranged a table for the god of Good Luck and those who fill mixed wine for the god of Destiny" ( Isaiah 65:11 ). As we see, the Lord considers the belief in luck is a form of idolatry and therefore incompatible with true religion. After all, implies that relies more on an imaginary power than God himself. And, of course, no reason to think that the Lord has changed their outlook on the matter.

The origin of the awards

Whether you are betting online or in a casino as if bought lottery, who play for money often overlook where the prizes are really. And the big difference between gambling and a purchase -or another transaction legitimately is that the player intended to keep the money they lose the other. * According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada, "by every person who gets rich with the lottery, there are millions who have lost their money. " What biblical principles can help us understand what God says about these games?

The effects of the game

Is it really possible to become addicted to gambling? After studying how some players react to winning and losing bets in an experiment, the psychiatrist Hans Breiter made the following comment: "When [the subjects] received a monetary award [...] in the brain are activated areas similar to those of cocaine addicts when they get a dose. "
The last of the Ten Commandments to the Israelites were told: "You must not desire your neighbor's wife, nor his servant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor " ( Exodus 20 : 17 ). Indeed, covet the goods of others -so that includes their money and belongings was a sin as grave as his wife desired. Centuries later, the apostle Paul reminded the Christians this command: "Thou shalt not covet" ( Romans 7:7 ). So, if a Christian wanted to stay with what your neighbor loses, would not that greed?
Journalist Phillip Vogel wrote: "I admit it or not, [most players] deep dream of turning the ante - but only be a few dollars into a fortune. " Yearn for a "lucky" to make them rich overnight. This attitude is in stark contrast to the Scriptures, they advise that Christians "do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, to have something to distribute to someone in need" ( Ephesians 4:28 ). Moreover, the Apostle Paul clearly said: "If anyone will not work, he shall not eat." So Christians are expected to "eat food that they earn" ( 2 Thessalonians 3:1012 ). And it is obvious that the stakes could not be considered a real job.
matter how intense they can be some gambling, which earns them a payment is not earned for work done or services rendered. The player puts his money knowing he has little chance of succeeding, but hoping that chance will favor sooner or later. In other words, aims to make profits with little or no effort. However, the Scriptures indicate that the true Christian make their living by the sweat of his brow. King Solomon wisely said: "As for man, there is nothing better than to eat and drink and actually have your soul to see good because of his hard work. This [...] from the hand of true God "( Ecclesiastes 2:24 ). Rather than build castles in the air or easy solutions, Christians come to God to find true hope and happiness.

A very dangerous trap

Even if someone does well with gambling, do not let the excitement you from seeing the long term. As indicated  Proverbs 20:21 , a greedy person may get many gains at first, but "his own future will not be blessed." Many winners have finished discovering, to their misfortune, that money does not bring happiness. It is certainly much better than we heed to the Bible and not rely "on uncertain riches but on God, who gives us all things richly for our enjoyment of them" ( 1 Timothy 6:17 ).

The servants of God make a living with their work

But beyond the losses and gains, gambling has a much darker side. The Bible says: "Those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" ( 1 Timothy 6:9 ). Speaking of a "loop", the verse refers to a trap designed to trap a victim. This has happened to thousands of people who bet for the first time a small amount, just to "try their luck" ended up trapped in a "loop" that could not escape. And that's how the addiction to gambling has ruined many careers and many broken families.
After analyzing all these Bible verses, what do you think? Does God approve the gambling? The Apostle Paul gave this advice to Christians: "Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind, that you may prove to yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" ( Romans 12:2 ). The true Christian does not guide his life by popular opinion, but by the will of the Lord. He is the "happy God" and also wants us to be happy ( 1 Timothy 1:11 ). If we obey, enjoy life without suffering the painful consequences of gambling.
Woman sitting on a pile of money
Where does the money earned in betting?


* On pages 25-27 of the number of 8 October 2000 of the magazine Awake, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, explains why investments in the stock market are not considered a game of chance.

Published in The Watchtower   of March 1, 2011

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