Vol.IX No.I Pg.6
March 1972

Even Winners Lose

Gene Frost

There are three legitimate means of transferring money: (1) the law of labor, where money is earned and paid for either physical or mental efforts expended: (2) the law of exchange, where a commodity is traded for its value in money: and (3) the Law of love, where money is given without any expectation or desire of return. Gambling does not qualify in any of these.

Gambling defined is "to stake money or any other thing of value upon an uncertain event; to hazard, to wager". It differs from risk, as is involved in farming, investing (stock market buying and selling), etc., in that one person stands to gain at the loss of others; the deciding factor (as to who wins and who loses) being an event arbitrarily selected.

The element of chance involved is contrived and is essential to gambling, whereas in farming, etc. those engaged would be pleased if no chance were involved. It produces nothing, and adds nothing to our economy.

Though not mentioned specifically in the bible, gambling is a violation of God's will as determine by divine principles. God appointed man to work for his sustenance (GEN.3:19; EPH.4:28; 2TH.3:10-13). Gambling makes man unfit to fulfill this role in life. The gambler is a parasite, Who seeks gain at the expense of the labors of others.

It is essentially covetousness, the excessive desire to have especial1y what belongs to another. The attraction of gambling is this desire to gain without labor or fair exchange, that which belongs to someone else. This disposition of mind is condemned (COL.3:5; ITI.6:10 and 1TH.4:11-12). Jesus said, a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them" (MAT.7:18,20). The fruits of gambling expose it as an evil practice and industry. It attracts the criminal element, and produces broken homes, theft, drinking, suicide and murder. Fine citizens and family men have become paupers, embezzlers, and suicides because of the enticement of the gambling table. Figures from the Kefauver Committee reveal that the state of Nevada, where gambling is legalized, has the highest suicide late in the nation; twice the national average.

Gambling is wrong for all. God has not made a double standard, one for teachers of the Word and another for others. Neither is there a distinction in the amount of the stake. It is not wrong only for those who can not "afford" to lose; the practice is inherently wrong. Whether for large amounts or for the price of a cup of coffee, gambling is wrong.

The Christian is to abstain from every appearance of evil and show in his conduct a pattern of good works (ITH.5:22; TIT.2:7). He is careful of his influence. (MAT.5:16) His will is lost in Christ; he is no longer of the world (1CO.6:19-20; JAM.4:4; 2CO.6:17-18).