Is Gambling a Sin?

by Max Andrews

This morning I came across one of Stand to Reason’s tweets with Greg Koukl answering the question “Is Gambling a Sin?”  I don’t want to repeat anything he said (so watch the video) but I completely agree with him, gambling is not a sin.  I’ve never heard a good argument for why gambling is considered a sin.  I was taking an undergraduate sociology course online and I got into a debate with another student on the issue.

One must be very careful in condemning gambling lest that assertion backfire on them.  What about investing in the stock market?  One may buy and invest in lottery tickets just as one may buy and invest in shares.  The market could crash, or value decrease, and lose money just as you can never win in a lottery or other chance game and lose money.  It is a fine line for one to discern.  Koukl points out that if your skill is a factor involved in whether or not money is made then what’s the question?

In Matthew 6.19-20 Jesus teaches everyone to store his or her riches in heaven rather than in this world on earth.  Christians should beware of the love of money and be content with what they have (Heb. 13.5). “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.  For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens” (Prov. 23.4-5 NASB).  As long as the Christian understands that money is not evil and that it can be used for good and is a blessing from God, this should not be a problem.  Without this understanding we will always want more and never be satisfied (cf. Ecc. 5.10). The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, not mere money (1 Tim. 6.10).  Gambling can be a catalyst to sinful behavior like the excess spending of money you don’t have or if it becomes an addiction but I have yet to find a convincing argument for why gambling is a sin.


One Comment to “Is Gambling a Sin?”

  1. Good post Max. Gambling is not a sin. There are many different ‘forms” of gambling, many that you pointed out. Of course there is the Las Vegas gambling (some skill and luck), horse or dog racing (entertainment), the stock market…..even the insurance industry. The insurance industry is “gambling” when they insure your car. They are taking some money from you betting that you won’t get in a car accident, if you do, they lose.
    I like your thinking! Keep it up.

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