Friends and neighbors in my state,
Our Governor, who promised early in his campaigning to not support a lottery and has until recently opposed gambling in our state, has turned coat on his constituency. He wants to establish an advisory council to study gambling and specifically the efficacy of a lottery in Alabama. This change make him appear to be acquiescing to pressures from lobbyists and special interest groups.
Thankfully, he still wants to hear the voice of the people. So I am writing to you, Christian to Christian. I am asking those of us who are followers of Jesus as Christ to consider what I have to say. Please, consider my thoughts and what we can do about gambling in our state.
God’s Word has something to say:
Isaiah 65:11-12, But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter, because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes and chose what I did not delight in.”
Fortune and Destiny were gods, idols of nations in Isaiah’s day. Fortune was “gad” or good luck and Destiny was “meni” or bad luck. We need to understand that faith in luck is not faith in God. Luck or chance seems to be the basis of atheistic evolution that teaches is so many words that we are fortunate to be here because a primordial soup. According to this popular theory, our existence is by chance everything just happened to work out. “Egad!”
The gods of fortune and destiny are the idols of lotteries or gambling in all its forms. In this way, gambling shows a discontent that opposes joy in Christ. Gambling says, God is not enough and I must play the odds to get rich quick. Gambling communicates that I do not trust God to fill my needs, when He promises over and over again that He can supply all our needs (Phi 4:11-19).
Gambling at its core is wanting what belongs to others. We do not gamble to give; we gamble to get. No matter how a lottery or bingo is sold, they are not profitable because they give. They have a profit because those that play lotteries and frequent casinos want to get what they do not earn. Gambling, even when some of the proceeds go to charity, profits off other’s losses. Legalized gambling becomes legalized theft. Scripture uses a word to convey the idea of wanting what others have – covetousness. A sin God warned about in both the Old and New Covenants. The apostle Paul puts covetousness in the same bag as sexual immorality, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Col 3:5).
Notice that we come back to where we started. Gambling is covetousness, covetousness is idolatry. Gambling is a plea to the idols of gad and meni – fortune and destiny – good and bad luck.
Christians, we must stand against any form of gambling in our states and nation. If we lose the fight against it, I plead with you not to fall prey to the temptation to gamble. It is not worth the risk of your eternal soul.