This is Christmas, day 3 in the Church calendar. Yesterday my topic was Of Jesus Birth, where I was attempting to explain by scripture of Christ Jesus being the first and last, The Alpha and Omega, of creation, Revelation 1:8:
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
We know by the prologue that this is Christ speaking Rev: 1 v1, “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” There can be no confusion over Christ and God Himself being one and the same.
Aramaic Bible, translated says:
“I am The Alap and The Tau, says THE LORD JEHOVAH God, he who is and has been and is coming, The Almighty”.
We are told that Christ came into the world to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15. I alluded to that perhaps the reason that the last act of creation was to create a new world because mankind has failed God, to be blunt – un-repentantly sinned against God. I read an excellent analogy of sin and our attitudes toward sin posted by a reader called; Playing With Killer Whales.
I wonder, what is the church’s attitudes toward sin? How many pastors are willing to preach frankly on sin?
Let’s look at Gambling. While there is no passage that states directly, “Thou shalt not gamble”, is not gambling covetousness? The Tenth Commandment admonishes us not to covet. Coveting, greed, and selfishness are the base emotions that entice people, including many Christians, to gamble. Does not gambling distract us from the lesson in Jesus preaching to trust in the Father for all our needs? If gambling were a sin, how many pastors would refuse a gift of monies obtained from the proceeds of gambling?
The question becomes: Is gambling sin? Can a Christian gamble and not sin/covet? Why then is he gambling? Is casino gambling different from playing the lottery?
Let us say then, hypothetically, that a church condemns gambling and its members refrain from doing so. Knowing that the proceeds from gambling support many institutions within the community, do the members of the church continue to avail themselves of those services supported by gambling; children’s hospitals, sports for kids, cancer research, art foundations, etc.?
Knowing that the proceeds from gambling go to support many worthwhile institutions that otherwise would not receive funding and in knowledge that an individuals chances of winning a lottery is infinitesimally small, is not playing the lottery then in reality just a voluntary tax?
Should we be thankful for those who do play the lottery because by doing so they support the many institutions within the community that otherwise would receive less funding?