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MOW
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I want to explore peoples attitute toward the issue of gambling (or gaming as it is sometimes called). Attitudes toward gambling vary between various Christian denominations. Methodists have a negative attitude about lotteries, horse racing and casinos etc. However the Catholic church up the road from where I work has a "casino night" on Fridays.

 

Many feel that gambling exploits the poor and is morally wrong. Others (even some Christians) feel that it is harmless fun and "creates jobs".

 

So what do you think about the issue of gambling ?

 

MOW

Edited by MOW
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I want to explore peoples attitute toward the issue of gambling (or gaming as it is sometimes called). Attitudes toward gambling vary between various Christian denominations. Methodists have a negative attitude about lotteries, horse racing and casinos etc. However the Catholic church up the road from where I work has a "casino night" on Fridays.

 

Many feel that gambling exploits the poor and is morally wrong. Others (even some Christians) feel that it is harmless fun and "creates jobs".

 

So what do you think about the issue of gambling ?

 

MOW

 

It seems to me it is an issue you might want take a poll on since it is a societal issue. Personally, I am for free choice and have no strong belief on what others should or shouldn't do concerning gambling, yet prefer to align myself with a societal group and area that abstains from this practice. Gambling may be made lawful but it is not always expedient to the defined purpose and goals of an individual group or society.

 

Joseph

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Hi,

 

I'm a pretty involved United Methodist in Colorado and I didn't know we were still opposed to gambling, so I looked up our social principles: "Gambling is a menace to society; deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic and spiritual life, and destructive of good government." That is in a 1972?? document that recommends abstinence from tobacco, supports universal health care, and encourages rights for homosexuals. However, you would find members in my church who think differently on each of these issues. The thing that unites us is following Jesus, trying to make a difference in the world through love.

 

I don't know what the church would say about bingo night. My guess is some members would object so we wouldn't do it. I had a "casino night" in my home for my 14 year old son's birthday, and the kids got chocolate prizes and didn't have to risk anything, so I guess it wasn't really gambling...

 

I think the poll is a good idea, if you want to get a lot of perspectives. Personally, I think there can be harmless, fun, community-building gambling (like bingo or $10 poker night evenings for guys) but I think gaming can be very addictive for some people. I feel like it is a waste of time and money. The casinos would be out of business if they had to count on income from me!

 

My response to the prostitution and drugs thing would be that prostitution is not loving in that it abases women and that an altered mind probably would not assist in actively loving others...

 

If I'm wrong, convince me otherwise...

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  • 1 month later...

Addictions often become tragic. Sometimes we blame the victim, other times we blame the victimizer. The comments/questions I want to put to Progressive message board members here are:

 

1. Christian ethics requires the knowledge of a persons intentions prior to their behavior. Many addicts know the "hell" they live in, yet cannot pull themselves out without the understanding and support of family and community. "Knowing hell does not get one to heaven."

 

1a. Family and community, often represented by the church, are integral elements in providing "addicts" a path back to society. We are social animals.

 

2. Addictions can only be treated with compassion and never blame. Shame and guilt are worthless after the fact.

 

3. This is the model provided by Jesus.

 

Comments??

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Addictions often become tragic. Sometimes we blame the victim, other times we blame the victimizer. The comments/questions I want to put to Progressive message board members here are:

 

1. Christian ethics requires the knowledge of a persons intentions prior to their behavior. Many addicts know the "hell" they live in, yet cannot pull themselves out without the understanding and support of family and community. "Knowing hell does not get one to heaven."

 

1a. Family and community, often represented by the church, are integral elements in providing "addicts" a path back to society. We are social animals.

 

2. Addictions can only be treated with compassion and never blame. Shame and guilt are worthless after the fact.

 

3. This is the model provided by Jesus.

 

Comments??

 

1. No comment

 

2. Yes, Shame and Guilt only serve to keep one in the destructive pattern.

 

3. Yes, It seems to support the model that is recorded of Jesus.

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Minsocal and Joseph very good advice. I know and love people who work in the Casinos and I know and love some people who are gambling addicts. The same with people in the Brothel industry. The individuals involved in one way or another need love and support to change their lives. I taught meditation classes at the prison once a week and from that started a half way house for prisoners when they were released. All of these individuals are good people in a situation. They seem to react to preaching and condemnation by increasing the behavior they want to change. The individuals that did change their life patterns did not give anything up, they traded for something else. As a community it is in our best interest to offer alternatives to the situations we deem destructive. When individuals complete a life experience they have more to bring to the table to help others. Everybody contributes to the whole.

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Minsocal and Joseph very good advice. I know and love people who work in the Casinos and I know and love some people who are gambling addicts. The same with people in the Brothel industry. The individuals involved in one way or another need love and support to change their lives. I taught meditation classes at the prison once a week and from that started a half way house for prisoners when they were released. All of these individuals are good people in a situation. They seem to react to preaching and condemnation by increasing the behavior they want to change. The individuals that did change their life patterns did not give anything up, they traded for something else. As a community it is in our best interest to offer alternatives to the situations we deem destructive. When individuals complete a life experience they have more to bring to the table to help others. Everybody contributes to the whole.

 

Thank You Soma. Now that I see more about who you are and what you do, it is much easier to understand your comments. A few years ago, a former heroin addict made a comment to me that really hit home. After 30 years abusing alchohol and heroin and spending 20 some years in jail he told me that one day he figured out that his chances of survival were less than 5 in 100. I asked him if that fact caused him to give up heroin. He said "... not exactly, I realized it's all about fear, man. Not facing fear was the way in and facing fear was the way out." He now works with addicts helping them find their way back into society.

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Our society is pretty harsh. I lived overseas for around 20 years. I had a good life, but needed to return because my children were ready to go to school and I didn't want them to experience the prejudice of being different while at such a young age. There was fear and trepidation when I thought of returning to such a harsh environment in the good old USA, but thanks to meditation one learns to go into the cave and face the demons. Now, I would like our nation to embrace our Christian values and live the life of Christ and embrace our brothers and sisters who are disadvantaged without put downs.

-

The inmates where I taught the voluntary class needed a halfway house because they were experiencing the same thing returning to an unforgiving society. They left the physical prison, but were in a mental prison and needed support to be successful. Any addict of anything has to face the fear first to return to society then the addict and society prosper from the strength found within.

 

In the same way the people who are anchored in society need not fear individual addicts or other behaviors, but need to understand and reach out to them so unity and love can replace fear. These individuals end up teaching us about our spirituality because we have to question ourselves, our society and our love and spirituality. Hopefully. everyone grows and become stronger from the experience.

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Our society is pretty harsh. I lived overseas for around 20 years. I had a good life, but needed to return because my children were ready to go to school and I didn't want them to experience the prejudice of being different while at such a young age. There was fear and trepidation when I thought of returning to such a harsh environment in the good old USA, but thanks to meditation one learns to go into the cave and face the demons. Now, I would like our nation to embrace our Christian values and live the life of Christ and embrace our brothers and sisters who are disadvantaged without put downs.

-

The inmates where I taught the voluntary class needed a halfway house because they were experiencing the same thing returning to an unforgiving society. They left the physical prison, but were in a mental prison and needed support to be successful. Any addict of anything has to face the fear first to return to society then the addict and society prosper from the strength found within.

 

In the same way the people who are anchored in society need not fear individual addicts or other behaviors, but need to understand and reach out to them so unity and love can replace fear. These individuals end up teaching us about our spirituality because we have to question ourselves, our society and our love and spirituality. Hopefully. everyone grows and become stronger from the experience.

 

As I think back to the time of Jesus, times were also very harsh then. I am thinking that we grow out of adversity, and that concept is what Jesus "brings to the table". I place my comments in different time frames for a reason. Jesus, for me, has moved out of the past and into the present.

Edited by minsocal
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  • 2 weeks later...

I personally don't gamble (although I joke about winning the lottery some day, even though I don't play). I don't have a problem with the lottery as I see it like a donation made to a good cause -- states often use the revenue for schools or the elderly or other similar social programs.

 

I know some people who very much enjoy gambling -- they take a certain amount of money with them to gamble at a casino or other place where it is legal and once that money is gone they stop. It is part of a vacation (apparently there is lots to do besides gamble in Vegas and other similar spots).

 

I didn't really "get it" until one person explained that it is a form of entertainment like going to a broadway show or concert. I don't even like to pay for a movie ticket because I know I can wait and rent it on DVD for a lot less, so I'm not about to go out and "blow" $400 to be entertained for a few hours or even a day!

 

I think it is fine for some people and for other people it can destroy their lives.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Here's a true story about prophesy bearing and gambling. I grew up in a basically non-religious home environment although hints of evangelical Christianity lurked strongly behind my father's family what with two aunts as missionaries, a cousin head of the Lutheran church in SF, and a whole family dedicated to Christian values. My mother was an atheist and after her death we children discovered she was also Jewish by heredity through her mother's side of her family. None of us knew she was Jewish at the time although my daughter has a memory of talking with my mother before she died wherein she kinda claimed to be Jewish. Only hint of Jewishness when I was growing up was my mother's fondness for kosher Manischevitz sweet wines. Anyway, back to gambling. Both my father and mother gambled. My father even trying it professionally and failing but never addicted. My mother just played for fun but seriously liked to gamble. I wasn't much into gambling one way or another most of my life. Ok, in 1989 I get one of my visions, a major one, one that if I followed it would take me on a pilgrimage to Israel and Jerusalem but the rub is I am a poor person barely eking out a living in a community of homesteaders most of whom are financially much better off than I, the failed commercial grower of pot in a land where there are few if any ways to make a living besides growing marijuana. So there is no way for me to fulfill the vision of going to Israel unless God provides the means. God said in the vision It would do so but God didn't that year or the next or the next and I tried coming up with the travel money on my own several times, a couple of minor inheritances and even a trip to Reno to make money to go to Israel. But I quickly went bust in Reno with my small gambling stash and each time I got the inheritances the extra money was gobbled up by circumstances, I lost my apt. and had to buy a trailer to live on time, and demolished my truck and had to use the extra money for a new used vehicle. Years went by, 14 years to be exact, then God did something: I found Internet gambling and started playing blackjack. I set aside $75 to gamble with and in three days of intense playing I ran it up in tiny increments to $1300 and immediately bought a round-trip ticket to Israel. It was a miracle to me because I've played bj since then and for the life of me cannot see how I did it. I've never been able to duplicate such a feat of concentration or wins and actually have quit gambling altogether except for my economic development work helping a local Native American tribe set up a statewide lottery to raise funds to recover thousands of acres of the tribe's ancestral lands.

 

Now those who see gambling as a sin and social evil will wonder about my claim of God providing the way to Israel through such means but I have solid proof that whatever way God got me to Israel was divinely inspired because of what happened there, a whole 'nuther story of prophesy bearing which I will get into sometime soon.

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Here's a true story about prophesy bearing and gambling. I grew up in a basically non-religious home environment although hints of evangelical Christianity lurked strongly behind my father's family what with two aunts as missionaries, a cousin head of the Lutheran church in SF, and a whole family dedicated to Christian values. My mother was an atheist and after her death we children discovered she was also Jewish by heredity through her mother's side of her family. None of us knew she was Jewish at the time although my daughter has a memory of talking with my mother before she died wherein she kinda claimed to be Jewish. Only hint of Jewishness when I was growing up was my mother's fondness for kosher Manischevitz sweet wines. Anyway, back to gambling. Both my father and mother gambled. My father even trying it professionally and failing but never addicted. My mother just played for fun but seriously liked to gamble. I wasn't much into gambling one way or another most of my life. Ok, in 1989 I get one of my visions, a major one, one that if I followed it would take me on a pilgrimage to Israel and Jerusalem but the rub is I am a poor person barely eking out a living in a community of homesteaders most of whom are financially much better off than I, the failed commercial grower of pot in a land where there are few if any ways to make a living besides growing marijuana. So there is no way for me to fulfill the vision of going to Israel unless God provides the means. God said in the vision It would do so but God didn't that year or the next or the next and I tried coming up with the travel money on my own several times, a couple of minor inheritances and even a trip to Reno to make money to go to Israel. But I quickly went bust in Reno with my small gambling stash and each time I got the inheritances the extra money was gobbled up by circumstances, I lost my apt. and had to buy a trailer to live on time, and demolished my truck and had to use the extra money for a new used vehicle. Years went by, 14 years to be exact, then God did something: I found Internet gambling and started playing blackjack. I set aside $75 to gamble with and in three days of intense playing I ran it up in tiny increments to $1300 and immediately bought a round-trip ticket to Israel. It was a miracle to me because I've played bj since then and for the life of me cannot see how I did it. I've never been able to duplicate such a feat of concentration or wins and actually have quit gambling altogether except for my economic development work helping a local Native American tribe set up a statewide lottery to raise funds to recover thousands of acres of the tribe's ancestral lands.

 

Now those who see gambling as a sin and social evil will wonder about my claim of God providing the way to Israel through such means but I have solid proof that whatever way God got me to Israel was divinely inspired because of what happened there, a whole 'nuther story of prophesy bearing which I will get into sometime soon.

 

One of the things one soon learns on these boards is that there is usually a counter-story. I lost a dear friend to suicide due to a gambling addiction. You seem to have experienced a simple "run" and nothing else. These were examined by Jung in his studies of synchronicity. Bishop Spong puts it bluntly when he talks about his wife's death from cancer. His story is heart rending and honest. He asks how could he worship a God that would save one and not the other? Note that he never lost his faith, but did find his own answer.

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One of the things one soon learns on these boards is that there is usually a counter-story. I lost a dear friend to suicide due to a gambling addiction. You seem to have experienced a simple "run" and nothing else. These were examined by Jung in his studies of synchronicity. Bishop Spong puts it bluntly when he talks about his wife's death from cancer. His story is heart rending and honest. He asks how could he worship a God that would save one and not the other? Note that he never lost his faith, but did find his own answer.

 

I have to question your assumption that I experienced "a simple 'run' and nothing else." I am 65 years old and have played poker off and on for some 57-58 years of those 65 years and I've seen "runs", streaks of good luck but this wasn't any lucky streak that I've seen or experienced myself before--I had to creep up in small increments all the way through for three days. I've tried many times afterward to match this feat of concentration but I couldn't even begin to. I want to say it was skill that won but actually it was God who wanted me and the Gift I bore from God as a Sign of the return of the Spirit of Christ to reach the people intended which it did.

Edited by sonoman
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I want to explore peoples attitute toward the issue of gambling (or gaming as it is sometimes called). Attitudes toward gambling vary between various Christian denominations. Methodists have a negative attitude about lotteries, horse racing and casinos etc. However the Catholic church up the road from where I work has a "casino night" on Fridays.

 

Many feel that gambling exploits the poor and is morally wrong. Others (even some Christians) feel that it is harmless fun and "creates jobs".

 

So what do you think about the issue of gambling ?

 

MOW

 

I assume you're asking about gambling as a business or as high-stakes games rather than playing a poker game with a $5 buy-in with a few friends (with which I have no issue.

 

My opinion is that it should be legal, but I don't much like it. I think in the end it does more harm than good for society. Still, I believe in personal liberty, and I think it would be nuts for the government to forbid such practices. For what it's worth, I have similar views - I find it immoral personally but don't believe it should be outlawed - when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and first-trimester abortions.

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