Discussing
Church Hits the Jackpot

Jerod Clark

Prophetictruth
August 20, 2009

I believe that it is up to the sheapard of that particular flock to best handle this issue, afterall he or she would have the best insight on whether or not the person donting had an addiction. God in His Sovereign will, chose to deliver the winnings to this person. he could have just as easily not done so. In the Bible, there are numerous accounts of how God used people and events to be a blessing to others. This is no different

Josh Reighley
August 20, 2009

I think that inventing noble ways to use the proceeds from Gambling is one of the behaviors that fuels the gambling epidemic in the first place. <br><br>It doesn't matter what her motives where in playing... It is still other people's money that wound up in her pocket. Adrian Rogers makes a good case for gambling being stealing. You want something that is not yours, and you don't want to give anything in exchange.. You are willing to risk something to get it. We adopt the heart of a thief, and we make it okay by playing with other like-hearted folks. The fact that there is mutual consent doesn't make it any more right than the dueling culture of the revolutionary war days. <br><br>At the heart, I think this is the dilemma for the church. It is other people's money, taken in exchange for nothing but false hope in a false gospel.

Lyla Lindquist
August 20, 2009

I wonder, had she redeemed the ticket and dropped the proceeds directly into the offering plate, would there still be a question? (Yes, the taxes would have come out first, but that's another issue altogether.)<br><br>

Shannon C.
August 20, 2009

I have yet to have seen any Scriptural support for the idea that gambling is always wrong. It's unwise and is generally poor stewardship, but in this case it sounds like good stewardship. Why not accept it?<br><br>Even for those who see gambling as a sin, to be consistent, they'd have to deny the church any money made from dishonest business practices or any money that wasn't used to support a needy family member first or even any money not given cheerfully. How would they ever do that?

Davidarnett
August 20, 2009

Do you ask the same question if the business who sold the ticket wants to make a contribution to your church? What about the grocer who sells alchohol and tobacco? What better use is there for money than giving to help a local church spread the gospel in the community. God uses sinners every day to work His plan, so I doubt that He will frown on a church accepting this gift.

dave2
August 20, 2009

I don't think you can have it both ways. The church needs to either proceed in faith (w/o doubt) that it is morally okay to accept a lotto ticket, or they need to take a firm stand against it. Using part of the gambling winnings to set up a gambling recovery program is too wishy-washy.<br><br>I do not agree with Adrian Rogers that gambling is stealing. I've only been to a casino once. I got to play games, hang out with family &amp; friends, and got bunch of soda -- for 2 hours -- all for a net loss of $8. I didn't 'win big' - which would have been nice - but I had a fun night. Tell me where Biblically did I go wrong? It was pretty GOOD stewardship to have a fun night for $8, right? Even if it cost me $50, that would be my choice to spend entertainment money. I would never *expect* to win big, but taking $100K from a casino is NOT stealing in my book.<br><br>Here's what I'd love to see happen. The church should first come to a firm conclusion that the woman is NOT a gambling addict. If so, the first amount of $$ should go toward HER recovery. If not, then the church should openly speak out against anything that is addictive. However, the congregation should have the freedom to use their discretionary funds however they choose. To me, someone spending $1K a year on gambling (w/o addiction) is no better/worse than someone spending $1K on movie tickets. If the woman was gambling her bill money, than she would have kept the $$, so obviously she wasn't counting on or expecting to win. To me this shows the heart of someone who is showing God-sized changes in her life, and her pocketbook is backing it up. The church should willing receive that and applaud her generosity.<br><br>Gambling out of addiction is serious -- Gambling for fun is not. <br><br>[By the way, I believe other forms of gambling include bungy jumping, white water rafting, and being a Cubs fan.]

Jerod
August 20, 2009

I thought I’d share some of the quick responses from Facebook (<a href="http://www.facebook.com/thinkchristian)" rel="nofollow">www.facebook.com/thinkchristia...</a> where we simply posed the question, “Should they keep it?”<br><br>Ruth says: “Yes they should they didn’t buy it .It was in a collection plate for the church it’s a gift I say use it for the lords use amen.”<br><br>David says: “I agree they should keep and spend it doing the LORD`s will. That person that dropped it in the collection bask was done so by the direction from GOD. That person did so as a way to obey the will of GOD. That person will be blesst well beyond their expectations.<br><br>Jacquie says: “No they should cash it in and use the money for the donation it was intended!”<br><br>Poonam says: “Yes and use it to help the poor and needy.”<br>

Rick
August 20, 2009

To me, this is a non-issue. Gambling may be stupid, even addictive, but the Bible does not condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. In fact, the Bible has many references to lotteries. Casting lots is used in Leviticus to choose between the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat. Joshua cast lots to determine the allotment of land to the various tribes. Nehemiah cast lots to determine who would live inside the walls of Jerusalem. The apostles cast lots to determine the replacement for Judas. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast in the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” <br><br>This prohibition against gambling is another example of adding man-made religious laws to God’s word to demonstrate our outward righteousness and goes in the same bag with the sin of drinking wine, and the sin of dancing.<br><br>However, if gambling becomes an addiction the Bible has a lot to say about addictions. Paul says "Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything”. And of course the Bible is clear about good stewardship and the love of money, although I understand compulsive gambling is less about the love of money and more about the adrenaline rush.

TD
August 21, 2009

I believe as long as the person does not fore go any life necessary expenses and only occassionally play the lottery then its OK. Many people can become lost in gambling and for get about reality - remember gambling is a form of entertaimment and is not to be considered as a source of income generation. The church should use the money and since it was given as a gift then it's all right. But the church should have lessons or counseling services for those who may be addicted (over excess is dangerous and should be taught) - God Bless

Mimiseven
August 21, 2009

I think the bottom line is not what we think but Jesus what would he do , do you think he would have took it or not .I guess we all go by what seems right in our own eyes but do we bother to search Gods word or just go by our feelings. I cant help but think of the scripture that there seems a way that seems right unto man but is the death there of.Im not condeming her but should we not search Gods heart on what he thinks and not what we think.I also go by my own feelings and what feel good or seems to be right. but it is dangerous thing to do, 'that;s is why we need to look to him for answers<br><br><br><br><br> might seem right in our own eyes. N

Nancywilson
August 21, 2009

God has always worked in mysterious ways who are we to say HE is not at the forefront of this winning ticket. Not that he condones the gambling but HE can make a miracle happen from a piece of paper with numbers on it.

Harvey Self
August 21, 2009

According to God's word we are directed to give in the way of not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. Therefore it should have not been made public as to who gave the gift or what the circumstandes were surrounding the gift. That way God would have been the one who would have gotten the praise for the gift. All the effort has been to decide if the church should have accepted the money or not, but in order to let God do with it as he sees fit. So all the discussion are mute now because it has been made public and the one getting the praise is not the Lord. Also the one who gave it had gotten all the reward she will receive. God's word plainly tells us that anything done to receive a reward here on earth, that is all to reward that will be given. So the pastor could have counceled her about the ticket when she went to him for guidance but he should have never made it public. Not only did he fail in his roll as the sheperd but he failed as her pastor. So many times we as pastors feel we have to let it be known that someone in the congregation has given a large gift or done something special for the church which in the long run it for the Lord and by telling the church he has taken the real blessing from the individual.<br>Which would you want to be done, your reward here on earth or wait until the LORD himself give you the crown in heaven and tells ALL what was done here on earth and why. That way the true meaning of the gift will be determined.

moongirl35
August 21, 2009

I think the church should take the money. They probably need it since the membership is so small. If the money will be used for the right things, missions and so forth... then that is right and good.<br>She always need to be taught that gambling is a sin and should not be indulged by committed Christians. This is a very touchy subject and has to be handled with care. Perhaps the pastor should counsel her in private to get a take on how she feels about gambling and then go from there. I think the congregation should be able to share in what this kind of donation mean and involves.Not to glorify gambling but to see it as a blessing. It only takes one bad spirit and misunderstanding to break a group, even Christian groups are not exempt. The devil strikes anywhere, at anytime. Beware! She would have done better to cash the ticket and put the money in the offering plate...anonymously!

Jim P.
August 21, 2009

I think that the wise thing to do would have been for the lady to turn the ticket in herself then put the money into the collection plate...as this would have avoided the entire thing altogether...but as that is not what happened, it's a gift from her to the church out of the kindness of her heart, and though it is biblical that it is foolishness to gamble and we ought not to, God can still use that money to further His kingdom and I think the church should accept it as a gift, but to make very clear that they do not condone gambling...and if it does come right down to it, to make sure no one questions their moral standard the church ought to give the ticket back to the woman in graciousness thanking her for the generous offer but to explain to her that it makes a questionable scenario that may cause others to stumble.

Barbarataylor
August 22, 2009

I am not a gambler, nor do I condone it. I think that since the lady did get the money that way and she wants to give it to the church, I encourage the church to use it for what it is intended. I ask myself, "if someone gave money to the church and had gotten it illegally with out your knowledge, would you refuse it just because you did not know the source?" We don't always How others have acquired money. The devil may be the instigator, but God is going to use it for His purpose, so go for it and use it for His Glory.

Davidtipton
August 23, 2009

Billy Sunday, the great evangelist of the early 1900's, was once given a gift from a tavern owner, this during the hieght of the Temperance movement in which he was involved. Many critized him for taking the money. His answer to His critics was, "The devils had this money and used it for his purposes long enough, it time to let God use it for his." If God will recieve any sinful or tainted person into his family by grace, transforming them into a new creation, then why couldn't he do the same with Filthy Lucer (money)

muzik316
August 23, 2009

If this woman truly had an addictive heart would she be giving the entire ticket away or any part of it for that matter? No. She would use it to buy more tickets. The fact that the ticket and not the cash is in the plate says she's giving it all to God.<br><br>How many of us sit there and wish we where loaded and dream about how we could use money (in secret so we don't boast and God gets the glory) to help others in need and ministries in need that God lays on our hearts? My wife and I would give anything to do that to bring God glory.<br><br>To this lady, congratulations for being able to live such a life for God by giving 100% of that money away with a grateful and worshipful heart. The rest of us MIGHT give 10% of it to our local church (if that church was lucky) or likely none at all, and if we did give it it may not be with such a humble heart as yours to not receive recognition and our name on a wall. Giving even a part of it to God would not be first on most of our "To Do List's" Thank you my dear sweet lady in the name of Jesus for your heart.

Nanamarymom
August 23, 2009

A year or two ago the woman who started the save the babies thing at fire departments (so mothers who don't want their babies can drop them off annonymously instead of murder them) won 50 million in some state lottery. I think she said it was the only ticket she ever bought. I was so happy for her!!! The Bible says the LORD saves up money from the ungodly and gives it right to his children. Let's take time with Him and ask Him to do more of that!!!

Bobmueller
August 25, 2009

What a silly question. The church constantly excepts money from the congregation with no idea how they acquired the money.<br> The church has a responsibility to manage "God's" resources,ie. money. It is not theirs do do with as they please. When we pray for God to supply for our needs we shouldn't reject the answer when it shows up.<br> This woman doesn't seem to have a gambling problem because I have never seen a person with a gambling problem give away the earnings, they hoard it and try to double it or triple it. The issue and problem of gambling with the problem child is that it is a never ending bottomless pit that can't be satisfied.<br> Should the Church buy into a lottery ticket? Definetly not, I think if that happens we have lost sight on who the "provider" is and where we put our trust.<br> I say praise God that this has happened, give Him the glory and thank the woman who was obedient to the Holy Spirit and passed on this resource. I can only hope and pray that if the Holy Spirit tells me to let go of something of this magnetude I will obey and do it.

Jaysonwhelpley
August 25, 2009

I'd put playing the lotto every week in the occasional category. It's a dollar per week.<br><br>Also, I think that it's fine for a church to take money from any source that isn't illegal or patently immoral. A friend's dad is a pastor in southern Cali and accepted 10 DeathRow Records gold necklaces from Suge Knight's posse (Suge is known to give stuff away to churches to distribute to children around Christmas). He sold the gold and used the money to buy gifts for children; either way the money probably was from illegal (or perhaps immoral depending on your musical taste) activity of some sort.

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