There are some people who have trouble with Christian beliefs toward betting. What does the Bible say about gambling? The answer to this question could change your thoughts on the subject. One thing is known for certain. There are plenty of people who attend church that like to gamble.
Mary Magdalene – Was She a Gambler?
One of the more popular television programs right now is The Chosen, a dramatic interpretation of the life of Jesus. Millions of people have streamed the show which also chronicles the lives of Jesus’ followers. One of these followers is Mary Magdalene.
Mary is portrayed as a prostitute. This is often assumed in the Christian faith, but the Bible itself never refers to Mary in this way. It only says that she was possessed with seven demons, and that Jesus cast them out. The Chosen takes things a step farther, crafting a scene in which Mary resumes her previous lifestyle with a night of drinking and dice.
There is no passage in the Bible which suggests that Mary played gambling games. Furthermore, it is hard to believe in the culture of her times that she would have drank and gambled with the rough men of the tavern as she is shown doing.
Did Jesus Speak of Gambling?
What does the Bible say about gambling? We should look first to the words of Jesus Christ himself. These teachings are the foundation of the Christian faith. The words of Jesus are primarily found in the Gospels of the New Testament. These are the first four books of the New Testament, titled Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Gambling in the bible? Not once in his recorded words did Jesus condemn or prohibit gambling. There is no record that he ever spoke on the subject. Could this have simply been an omission of the writers, or did Jesus feel that the issue was of little merit?
Perhaps there was not a lot of gambling at the time. Maybe Jesus thought other subjects were more important to discuss. In whatever case, you will find no prohibition of gambling in the words of Jesus.
The Roman Soldiers Gamble for Jesus’ Things
The reason why some Christians oppose gambling could be related to a scene which involves the crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew 27:35 states that Roman soldiers cast lots for the garments of the dying Jesus as he hung on the cross.
Casting lots was something similar to a lottery. It is uncertain why the soldiers would have been interested in the bloody garments of a homeless man. Some have theorized that the soldiers wanted the items as a trophy of sorts. Others have claimed the act was a mockery. Jesus was hailed as the King of the Jews by his followers.
What About Church Bingo Games?
What does the Bible say about gambling in church bingo games? These games have long been popular among many churches. They are held regularly in Catholic parishes, with the parish priest often calling out the bingo numbers!
These games can serve a useful purpose for many churches. They can raise money for various church programs. There is nothing in the Bible which would prohibit the playing of bingo, or of any other gambling game for that matter.
Gambling and Christian Beliefs
We have seen that the Bible does not prohibit gambling in any form. If this is true, why do some Christian people still have a problem with it? Maybe because the Bible does indeed warn about the dangers of money and the love of it.
I Timothy 6:10 states that the “love of money is the root of all evil.” It is certainly true that some gamblers have fallen victim to the love of money and greed. There is no doubt that greed can cause problems with one’s desire to follow Christian principles.
Maybe those who are Christian and like to gamble could interpret this another way. Perhaps it is okay to gamble, but do so in wisdom. Never do so in a spirit of greed. This causes you to want more money, and it will also cause you to make poor gambling decisions.
Some believers are concerned with what their friends and pastor may think if it is known that they gamble. You can easily tell them now that the Bible does not disallow gambling. You can also take measures to be discreet in your gambling by playing games online.
Historical Context of Gambling in Biblical Times
In biblical times, gambling was practiced in various forms, including casting lots. It’s important to understand the cultural and religious context of gambling during this period, as it may provide insight into the biblical mentions of casting lots or similar activities. This section could explore how ancient societies perceived gambling and its impact on individuals and communities from a religious perspective.
Parables and Lessons Related to Gambling
Though the Bible doesn’t explicitly address gambling, certain parables or teachings could be interpreted as indirect references to gambling behaviors or the moral implications surrounding material gain and loss. Analyzing these passages may offer a deeper understanding of the ethical considerations concerning gambling from a biblical viewpoint.
Modern Christian Perspectives on Gambling
Modern Christian denominations hold varied views on gambling. While some may see it as a form of harmless entertainment when conducted responsibly, others may condemn it due to its potential to foster greed or cause financial hardship. This section could delve into the theological underpinnings of these perspectives, exploring how different Christian groups interpret biblical teachings in the context of modern-day gambling, and how these interpretations guide their stance on gambling activities.
Gambling Online and the Bible
Just as it has been made clear that there is no Biblical restriction on gambling, the same goes for online betting. Playing casino games such as blackjack online for real money may be a better solution for the Christian person because it is more discreet.
You can gamble online right from home and no one will ever be the wiser. There is no reason to publicize your gambling activities. You have a right to maintain privacy in your actions if you so desire.
We would suggest that you give one of our recommended online casinos a try. You can open an account for a small amount of money, and some casinos will even give you a free money bonus. Maybe you could consider a nice donation for your church if you win big! You can read the Casino Max review, Miami Club review , High Country casino review, Cherry Jackpot casino review, or Roaring 21 review to name a few.
Top 10 FAQ
- Did any biblical figures engage in gambling?
- The Bible doesn’t provide clear examples of gambling by key figures, though it mentions Roman soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ garments (Matthew 27:35).
- What do modern Christian denominations say about gambling?
- Varies among denominations; some see it as a harmless activity when done in moderation, others discourage or condemn it due to its potential to foster greed and materialism.
- Is there a moral or ethical framework within Christianity for gambling responsibly?
- Some Christians believe gambling in moderation, without succumbing to greed, is permissible. Others argue it’s inherently unethical due to the risk of addiction and potential harm to the vulnerable.
- How do churches use gambling for fundraising, like bingo nights, align with biblical teachings?
- Many churches host bingo nights or raffles to raise funds. There isn’t a specific biblical prohibition against such practices, and they are often seen as acceptable if they support the church and community.
- What lessons can Christians learn from gambling-related stories or parables in the Bible?
- Through biblical stories, Christians might learn about the dangers of materialism, the importance of moral integrity, and the potential harm that gambling can cause to individuals and communities.
- How is casting lots different from modern-day gambling?
- Casting lots, as mentioned in the Bible, was a method used for decision-making, differing from modern gambling which often involves wagering money or valuables for potential material gain.
- What does the Bible say about the consequences of gambling addiction?
- While not addressing gambling addiction directly, the Bible warns against the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10) which could be interpreted as a caution against excessive gambling.
- Are there any Christian support groups for overcoming gambling addiction?
- Explore the existence and role of faith-based support groups in helping individuals overcome gambling addiction.
- How do different cultures within Christianity perceive gambling?
- Delve into the varying cultural perspectives within the global Christian community regarding gambling and its moral implications.
- What are some biblical passages often cited in discussions about gambling?
- Explore various biblical passages that are often brought up in discussions about gambling, like the casting of lots by Roman soldiers or the warning against the love of money.