Tuesday, August 5, 2008

At what point do we cave in?

If the Power Ball Lottery were $20 million, would you buy a ticket?

What about $70 million?

What if it was $200 million?

At what point are we tempted by material desires and fantasies of living in the lap of luxury that we turn our back on our Biblical principles?

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. 1 Timothy 6, NRSV

Did you know that in the US, 42 states have a state lottery? It seems everywhere you turn; you’re faced with the temptation of gambling. On my 70-mile commute to work in the morning, I pass five billboards advertising casinos and alerting me to which one is closest and who are the upcoming performers.

So, why shouldn’t I go? I have some extra money lying around – maybe I could turn a quick profit!

The United Methodist Church does not support gambling as a church activity or recreational activity. As part of the connectional giving system, there is a World Service Special Gift called the National Anti-Gambling Project.

Gambling is a terrible example of stewardship of the resources God gives us; it creates social costs that are hidden and often do not become apparent until long after lotteries, casinos, betting parlors and game rooms have become entrenched in communities. If we fail to defend our communities now, we will witness a wave of addiction, bankruptcy, crime and corruption.

Our children deserve a better future than one filled with preventable addiction, crime and unrest.

You can help stop gambling. You can contribute to the National Anti-Gambling Fund through your local church. Write World Service Special Gift #05-05-99 on your check.

~ Tracy Wood, Web Coordinator, Connectional Giving Team, United Methodist Communications

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