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GAMBLING

GAMBLING
MARVIN L. WEIR

One does not have to do very much research before finding out that crime figures of all types are tied in with gambling. Gambling has become a “respectable” (?) and very popular sin within our society, and each year it makes more and more people its prisoner. Instead of being encouraged, gambling needs to be exposed for the menace to society that it is.

Gambling Defined

Gambling has been defined over the years as risking what is yours to get what belongs to someone else with no service rendered and no merchandise exchanged. Thomas F. Eaves defined gambling as follows:
 

“A simple definition of gambling would be, desiring the possession or possessions of another (prize) the gambler creates a risk (that of losing his own possession) in an attempt through chance to gain the possession or possessions of another with nothing given in exchange. Gambling takes many forms: cards games, dice, numbers, betting on elections, buying sweepstakes tickets, betting on horse races, slot machines, betting on sporting events, various types of sports pools, punch board, bingo (for money or prizes), buying tickets in raffles, betting on recreational activities, matching for cokes, and even pitching pennies. It should be also noted that whether you are gambling or not does not depend upon the amount you are risking. It may be five thousand or five dollars, it may be fifty cents or one cent — the principle is the same, only the amount differs (Thomas F. Eaves, Gambling And The Bible, Fort Worth: Star Bible Publications, n.d., Tract No. 77, p. 5).”


There have always been members of the Lord’s church argue that some things should not be considered gambling because the amount risked is insignificant. The flaw with such reasoning is that the meaning of “significant” is apt to change from person to person. A millionaire might not consider losing 1,000 dollars a significant loss, but a college student would probably consider such a loss to be extremely significant. Some justify participating in that which constitutes gambling because the proceeds go to “a good cause.” The “end” now suddenly justifies the “means.” It matters neither the amount nor the cause; gambling is wrong!

Gambling And Taking Risks

Supporters of gambling like to contend that all of life is a gamble. They say that where “chance” is involved gambling occurs. Athens Clay Pullias addresses this charge as follows:

“The gambler often justifies his gambling by saying that everything in life involves chance, or he may say that everything we do involves risk and danger. These things, of course, are true. What then is the clear line of distinction between gambling which is a vicious and corrupting sin, and the taking of risks that are essential to productive living? Gambling differs in that it involves the creation of unnecessary risks, which may endanger financial security. The creation of these risks undermines, and eventually will destroy the Christian virtues of productive work, thrift, and the desire to earn what one claims the right to have. Gambling is sinful because it involves the desire to obtain something for nothing, which itself is a violation of Christian ethics (Athens Clay Pullias, What Is Gambling, Nashville: Tract by author, pp. 1-2).”


Thus, the farmer who plants crops in anticipation of selli


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