The Affair Between Religion and Gambling: Christianity


Posted: August 26, 2015

Updated: December 18, 2023

If you want to brush up on the specifics of whether Christianity permits gambling, go no further, we’ve got you covered.

Religion is a delicate subject for most people. Things that are banned and permitted vary in each belief system, and it doesn’t hurt to know what’s what. So, if you’d like to keep sporting those

• The Methodists strongly reject gambling
• Jehovah’s Witnesses preach evils of money
• Compromise is possible

memberships on mobile casinos without any guilt, brush up on Christianity’s stance on gambling. It is not at all as easy and straightforward as one would think…then again, things rarely are black and white. As you, too, will see, it mostly depends on perception. So, no need to hide those poker chips just yet!

Views on gambling in Christianity differ on many levels. Most groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Methodist Church, strongly convict everything to do with gambling. According to William Norman Thompson’s Gambling in America: an Encyclopedia of History, Issues and Society, the organization that completely bans gambling is the United Methodist Church. In their Book of Discipline, we read: “Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic and spiritual life, and destructive of good government. Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice.” Furthermore, they also renounce the fact that most lotteries gather funds for charities.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a milder viewpoint

So, probably you’re not a part of the United Methodist Church, or you would’ve thrown out your mobile betting at the start of the second paragraph. Good news, Jehovah’s Witnesses have a less strict stance on the issue, although they still seem to condemn the whole making-money-fast-thing. As William Norman Thompson says, their book of beliefs describes the deed of gambling as “greedy” and states that it makes people selfish, without a drop of concern for other around them. Still no too positive, but way better than the what Methodist Church preaches.

The Southern Baptist Convention rejects all forms of gambling, too. Their director, Harry Hollis said the following about gaming for money: “In all its resolutions, the Southern Baptist Convention has rejected gambling. […] The use of gambling for profits for worthy activities has not lead the Southern Baptists to endorse gambling…” And then there are the Mormons. They, too, despise the concept of trying one’s luck for a bit of pay-off. Spencer Kimball, the 12th president of the church, said that getting “something for nothing, something without effort, something without paying the full price,” deteriorates a person’s will and morals.

Religion and gambling can see eye-to-eye, though!

On many Christian websites, we can see that gambling is often dragged through the dirt. They state that the very core of gambling, the fact that it is based mostly on chance and luck, denies the existence of God: “[gambling] is the fabric of a human imagination that wants to deny the existence of a sovereign God.” These sites also say that the Biblical work ethic, that we should sweat for every penny, is also kicked to the curb by gambling: we expect quick results on our mobile casino gambling sites and easy money. We sit in luxury casinos waiting for the big jackpot to drop in our laps, and we waste the money we make for such immoral pastimes.

According to William Norman Thompson, however, there is hope! The relationship between religion and gambling, Christianity and playing the wheel of fortune, is not completely a train wreck. Thompson says that those Christians who don’t condemn gambling say that God has created people to have their own free will. As The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, “A person is entitled to dispose of his own property as he wills.” So, once something is yours (and only yours, no partnerships, mind!) you can spend it, barter it or just throw it out the window. Whatever you do, it is your choice (as long as you do no harm to others.) Furthermore, if we look at the faith, God created everything, right? So, casinos must be a part of His plan, too.

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