I’m on the mailing list for a Catholic retreat center in Houston; their summer newsletter just arrived–an equal number of pages and raffle tickets! This brings me to something I never understood about Catholicism: the idea that ministries are to be supported by gambling. It’s not just raffles, of course. BINGO supports many a Catholic school and Knights of Columbus council.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,
2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
Let’s suppose for a moment that this is correct (I’d like some Biblical evidence for this statement–it’s just asserted, with no evidence of any kind–not even reasoning). How do you get off supporting the work of Christ by this means?
Christ has said how his church is to obtain funds–through tithes and offerings. And these are to be given not in the hope of gaining something more, but freely and cheerfully. It’s a matter of stewardship, not of gaming.