Legality Does Not Equal Morality #5

Gambling is almost universally accepted. Many groups have raffles, most states have lotteries, and more and more are legalizing casinos. For many years this was not the case as most people recognized gambling as immoral. Now, however, few people see anything wrong with it.

The Bible shows us three ways to legitimately acquire possessions. First, we can work for them (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). Second, we may receive, or give, a gift (Ephesians 4:28). An inheritance would be included in this. Third, we may barter (Genesis 47:17). These are all honorable ways to gain wealth. Gambling is not.

Gambling appeals to covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). It also involves taking something from your neighbor that he does not want to give up. This violates the law of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). It is not enough to say that both people enter into it willingly, so do two men who duel–does this make murder acceptable? It may be legal to gamble, but it is not moral.

Steven F. Deaton