Sunday, February 26, 2012

Albert Mohler on Gambling

Dr. Albert Mohler is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has a blog at Mostly, his posts are interesting to read, but I do disagree with some of what he writes. I grew up a Southern Baptist and at one time probably felt the same way about most biblical topics as he does; but over the years, as I’ve tried to studying the Bible with an open mind attuned to the Words of God instead of some denominational body of men, I’ve changed some of my beliefs.

I still agree with him, and orthodox Christianity, concerning salvation through Christ alone and the other major topics that one must believe to even be called a Christian. But I do differ in secondary areas such as human free will, eschatology and others.

And now I must add gambling to the list. First off, I take exception to the title of the blog entitled, “When the Accounts Are Called: A Christian Understanding of Gambling”. ( Dr. Mohler presumes to speak for all Christians by saying “A Christian Understanding”, not “A Christian’s Understanding”. Who died and made him spokesman for millions of people? He does not speak for me and I certainly am a Christian.

In the article, he says, “The Bible is clear on this issue. The entire enterprise of gambling is opposed to the moral worldview revealed in God’s Word.” Really? Funny how he didn’t quote Bible book, chapter and verse next to this statement. I wonder why? Maybe because the Bible ISN’T clear on this issue!

He goes on to say, “The basic impulse behind gambling is greed…”; while I agree that this is true in a majority of individuals, it’s not a big enough blanket to cover everyone. There are multiple reasons to gamble, and sure, an easy way to lots of money is at the top of the list. But there are other reasons to be sure.

Let me ask Dr. Mohler this: what is the difference if I save my money for a vacation every year; I’m not taking money from my family, church, bills, etc. to do this, I’ve saved for the specific purpose of vacation time (I’m willing to bet (ha ha) that Dr. Mohler goes on vacations without injuring his other financial obligations). Now, with this money I go to Aspen, Colorado and spend every penny of my vacation money on a ski lodge, ski equipment rentals, food and other enjoyable entertainment.

Or, but now, instead of Aspen, I go to Las Vegas. I don’t spend one cent more there than I would have in Aspen. All my bills are still paid, I’m still providing for my family and church. I’m not looking to get rich quick, I’m just looking to unwind and relax and have fun with a little head-to-head competition with a casino. (Oh, by the way Dr. Mohler, the mob owns both the ski lodge as well as the casino.)

Yes, some Christians have a problem with gambling and it hurts their witness; but Christians have problems in a lot of other non-immoral activities—has anyone ever seen a fat Christian? When’s the last time Dr.Mohler has written a blog condemning eating? Or even overeating? I have never heard one sermon (that I can remember) about gluttony and all the fat Christians filling the pews. I wonder way that is?

The Southern Baptists have a history of adding pharisaical rule on top of what the Bible says (movies, dancing, and alcohol). Gambling is just another area where they think they know better than God does, so they add a “no gambling” rule to help God out.

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