Gambling in Jesus’ Name

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.

5 thoughts on “Gambling in Jesus’ Name

  1. “Christ has said how his church is to obtain funds–through tithes and offerings”
    Not to pick nits, but I’m not aware of anything in the NT where Christ says that his church is to obtain funds by tithes. If I’m wrong, please correct me. I don’t disagree about financing church activities through raffles, bingo, etc. I’m RC and I don’t like it either.

      • Thanks. Of course, as you know; Malachi is in the Old Testament, therefore Christ didn’t say it. As for Matthew 23:23, Jesus was addressing “teachers of the law and Pharisees”, not “His Church”.

      • Christians worship a Triune God. He has always been Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It was through the Word (that became flesh) that the Father created through the Spirit. Israel “drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4). So, yes, Christ spoke the Old Testament. He is LORD.

        Israel was his people. He told them that tithing was something that were to do. He said while they needed to do justice, they were not to omit the tithing. He didn’t say, “I’m saying this only to you–no other Israelites need to pay attention–no Christians reading this later need to pay attention.”

        The basic issue here is the unity of God and the unity of his word.

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