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mrveggieman
06-12-2012, 10:44 AM
Here's something that I wondered. A lot of non christian religions explicitly prohibit gambling and intoxicants. For example in Islam the Koran says "O believers! Intoxicants and gambling, worshipping stones and divination by arrows are impure, of shaytan's handiwork: refrain from such." Other religions are against them as well and speak out against them. My question is why is it so many different opinions on them in Christianity. Such as some churches holding bingo and raffles or saying that you can drink in moderation or even eat and drink whatever you like as long as you pray over it. Now I know not all branches of christanity encourage alcohol, the seven day adventists are against it but I have even heard some christians say that the SDA church are not real christians. Really?? Also this thread was not started to be a christian bashing thread but I have always wondered about this and wanted to get different viewpoints. Everyone regardless of their religion or lack of one is welcome and encouraged to reply. Thanks.

Star_Cards
06-12-2012, 11:03 AM
I'll just say this... I find it very interesting that throughout the different sects of christianity there are so many different views about both gambling and alcohol. Makes one think that a lot of people like to pick and choose what to follow from a religion based on what they like doing and what they don't.

I spoke to christianity as I don't really know it there are varying views within other religions as my exposure to them is limited. I'd assume that there probably are some differing views though.

duane1969
06-12-2012, 03:09 PM
First, I was raised Baptist and married a Pentecostal/Church of God preacher's daughter. In both religions it is taught that gambling and drinking alcohol are wrong. In fact, in the Baptist church it was even taught that buying lottery tickets is gambling and a sin.

- To clarify. In the Bible, drinking alcohol is not a sin. It is the excessive consumption (drunkardness) that is a sin. In the entire Bible there is only one verse that addresses abstinence from alcohol as opposed to 17 warnings against abusing it. In contrast, there are 84 references of it being acceptable to drink strong drink with dinner and in ceremonies.

- Gambling is not a sin. In fact, it isn't even mentioned in the Bible.

Some use certain verses as examples of why gambling is wrong such as 2nd Peter 2:19 which says "…for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.", however this would not only apply to someone who is addicted to gambling and could just as easily apply to any other addiction.

I have also heard 1st Timothy 6:10 used to argue against gambling "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.", but again, I see this as referring to obsession over money and not specific to gambling. It could just as easily apply to people who overwork themselves trying to earn more and more money.

My personal opinion (no actual proof) is that both fallacies are rooted in the Catholic church of the Middle/Dark Ages. During that time the church outlawed everything that didn't benefit the church or that was slightly associated with sin. Prostitution and adultery were sins and commonly occured where alcohol was served (alcohol becomes a tool of the devil...e.g. a sin). While at pubs drinking people often played cards, darts, arm wrestled, etc. and people often gambled on these games (gambling is happening where alcohol is served, therefore gambling must be a sin too).

shrewsbury
06-12-2012, 03:53 PM
timothy is speaking of those who desire to get riches, in other words those who covet money and goods.

obviously people have died, lost everything, killed and worse for both gambling and alcohol.

but i just did a $1 scratch off and my wife drank a glass of wine, does that make us evil in the eyes of jesus? No

now if i spent every penny i earn on scratch offs, then i am an idiot, and jesus will know, which makes me a bigger idiot

if my wife drank a bottle of wine a day, lost her job because of it, got a dui, and thrown in jail, well she would be an idiot as well

mrveggieman
06-12-2012, 04:23 PM
So with that being said wouldn't it be ideal to avoid gambling and intoxicants all together because they bring much more harm than good? If so why dosen't mainstream christanity encourage it's members to avoid such?

shrewsbury
06-12-2012, 04:41 PM
driving can result in death by you getting into an accident, someone else hitting you, or even road rage, so should i avoid driving?

it is much like food, cane sugar is good stuff, but consume too much of it every day and there is an issue.

self control is the key to all these types of things, if you have none, well, you are in for a hard ride

mrveggieman
06-12-2012, 05:15 PM
driving can result in death by you getting into an accident, someone else hitting you, or even road rage, so should i avoid driving?

it is much like food, cane sugar is good stuff, but consume too much of it every day and there is an issue.

self control is the key to all these types of things, if you have none, well, you are in for a hard ride


Driving is a neccessary part of life to get to and from work/school/church/mosque/synagouge/etc. Drinking liquor is not.

shrewsbury
06-12-2012, 06:25 PM
veggie, i don't drink, no real reason, i just don't like how it tastes. but that doesn't mean i don't have a drink maybe 2-3 times a year.

i also don't gamble, well except maybe 3-4 times a year i might buy 3 or 4 $1 scratch offs, just for fun.

so how would you classify pack or box breaking, you are gambling in those situations, and some people go into bad debt because of it.

i also know plenty of people who don't own a car, they bike. grant it, we live in a very small college town.

duane1969
06-12-2012, 06:36 PM
So with that being said wouldn't it be ideal to avoid gambling and intoxicants all together because they bring much more harm than good? If so why dosen't mainstream christanity encourage it's members to avoid such?

Avoiding alcohol or bingo because it can lead to worse would be a weak arguement, in my opinion. My mom has made this same statement to me because I drink socially. My counter to this statement is simple. Eating can lead to overeating, should I avoid eating?

The answer is simple. Doing anything in excess and without control that leads to negative results is wrong. Gambling is not wrong, but gambling away your house, car and paycheck and causing your family to be homeless is. Drinking is not wrong, but drinking and driving, getting drunk and abusing your family or drinking until you end up in the hospital is. Eating is not wrong, but eating until you are obese and unhealthy is.

cardmasters
06-12-2012, 07:37 PM
Drinking a glass of wine is healthy. Also why would Jesus turn water until wine if god dosen't want anybody to drink in moderation.

OnePimpTiger
06-12-2012, 08:45 PM
First, let me just say thank you for a rational, respectful discussion of a religious topic so far...hope it stays that way.

We actually just discussed alcohol in a recent service and my personal belief is spot on with my pastor's. As duane said, drinking alcohol is not a sin. Jesus turned water into wine...he would perform a miracle to assist people in committing a sin. Drinking in moderation is not a sin, but drunkenness is. Many people can't drink in moderation, however. If you can drink in moderation and be responsible about it, there's nothing wrong with it. If you can't, my personal belief is it's best not to drink at all. Don't tempt yourself, don't invite a stumbling block into your life.

Along the lines of stumbling blocks, Christians are also not supposed to be stumbling blocks for others. In light of that, if I were hanging out with someone who has an alcohol problem or is prone to drunkenness, I would not want to be a stumbling block for that person, so I would refrain from drinking.

mrveggieman
06-14-2012, 12:25 PM
Here an interesting website on faith and food:

http://www.faithandfood.com/index.php