Friday, June 7, 2013

Can a Christian Gamble?

Continuing the discussion of disputed topics, I will address gambling today.  Before you read this, make sure to check out my post on disputed matters and alcohol, because it gives a framework for how to deal with this issue as well.

Understanding the principles of both having freedom in certain areas and being aware of the implications on ourselves and others, let's answer the questions:  What does the Bible say about gambling?  Can a Christian gamble?

The Bible does not specifically mention gambling.  It does, however, have a lot to say about how we are to handle money.  Let's look at some biblical principles about how to handle money, shedding some light on the gambling question.

Love of money is very destructive.  The Apostle Paul tells Timothy,  "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:10) Money, in and of itself, is not bad, but the misuse of money is the problem.  The love of money is what gets us into trouble.  Sometimes we overlook this principle and charge ahead reaching for as much money as we can possibly acquire so that we can accommodate a more comfortable lifestyle. 

People sometimes gamble as the result of a love of money.  This is especially true in compulsive gambling.  The thought, "I can win my way back!  I can overcome my losses if I just play a little longer."  This can easily lead someone to "pierce themselves with many griefs."  A person can end up in a lot of trouble if the love of money motivates them to gamble for more.

All money is God's money; Christians are stewards.  Everything we have is God's.  Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”  If you are a follower of Christ your money is not your own.  You have been given your money by God to manage for God's Kingdom. 

The Bible has a lot to say about what is expected of us who manage God's money. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Can a Christian Get a Tattoo?

Of all of the topics that we are discussing in this series the one question that everyone asks me about is, "What does the Bible say about tattoos?"  I had no idea tattoos were such a big deal, but to a lot of folks they are.  And most who have an opinion on it have a STRONG opinion.  

People have explained to me how they feel about this issue in a few ways.  Some will say, "The Bible says 'don't put tattoo marks on your body'!  Seems clear to me!"  Others will say, "My son has a tattoo and he's a good boy."  Still, others will say, "Christians need to stop judging people who have tattoos!"

So, what are Christians supposed to think about tattoos?  Is the Bible clear on this subject?  The best answer to this question I've seen was given by Craig Groeschel, the Senior Pastor at LifeChurch.tv.  He answers the question in a very clear, concise 3 minute video where he addresses all the major issues with tattoos and the one verse most often cited against them (Leviticus 19:28).  His assessment is fair and gives a good, balanced approach to the question so rather than repackaging his content I've decided to show you the video:


  

Since You Asked... Alcohol & Disputed Matters

We are wrapping up our series at Centreville Baptist Church called Since You Asked where we have been answering questions that have been submitted by our church. 

This Sunday I answered the question, "What does the Bible say about alcohol?"  In that sermon I focused primarily on alcohol and how we are to think about it as Christians.  Then, I broadened the application to other issues when we looked at what Paul teaches about disputed matters in Romans 14. 

This week I will be blogging about three other specific questions that I was not able to cover in the sermon because of time-constraints.  These questions are applicable to the topic of disputed matters in general and were submitted by several of our people...

Can a Christian get a tattoo? 
What does the Bible say about gambling?
Why has dancing been a huge controversy in the church?

Before you read the blogs on those questions I would suggest viewing this Sunday's sermon on Alcohol & Disputed Matters first because it lays a foundation for how to view all of these issues: