SURVEY: Did I or didn’t I gamble?

Voice on public address system two Tuesdays ago: “Ladies and gentlemen, flight 322 to Chicago/O’Hare has been delayed due to bad weather in Chicago. The flight has been rescheduled to leave at 1:30 p.m.”

http://www.hipart.com/wilkerson/slot_machine_queen.jpgToo bad it was scheduled for 11:30 a.m. I was in the LasVegas airport, on my way to Chicago, and found myself with an unexpected two hours to kill.

What to do? what to do? hmmmmm…

Did I or didn’t I gamble? What do you think? Take the survey, and next week I’ll answer the question. Leave a comment if you want to–maybe you could explain why you think I did or I didn’t gamble. What do you think about gambling, anyway?

Facts to consider

  • I’m a committed follower of Jesus…
  • Who’s also a pastor…
  • But I really believe in grace…
  • and in Christian liberty (that Jesus gives us HUGE latitude in our choices and lifestyle)

Check back for my answer on next Tuesday.

When you click an answer below, your vote will be recorded. You’ll also be redirected to luckypolls.com. Please come on back here and leave a comment if you want to, to explain why you voted the way you did. Thank you so much for being a maxgrace.com visitor!

Did Bill gamble while stranded at the LasVegas Airport?
1) Not at all.
2) Just a little.
3) Yes, quite a bit.View ResultsMake your own poll
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12 thoughts on “SURVEY: Did I or didn’t I gamble?

  1. Yes, Bill I believe you did gamble. The wheel of fortune slot is sure hard to pass up. I throw in a few dollars each sit I have. I believe you feel it is a form of entertainment. That you set a limit and enjoy, then walk away. 5 or 10 bucks goes fast but then to people watch is so much more fun 🙂
    Sherri

  2. I don’t think you truly enjoy putting your hard-earned money in the toilet and then flushing it! Grace is the privilege to chose; the Holy Spirit is the “brains” to choose wisely, your choice would have to glorify God. Did you?

  3. I sure hope you didn’t because you just told your congregation to do with two less lattes a week to increase their giving. I have to be honest; that would bother me.
    Now, do you think I gamble? After all, I LIVE in Vegas. Although, just driving here is a gamble.

  4. Ouch, Matt! The legalist in me says no. The thoughtful me says no big deal. Then I think, what if my friend, a member of Bill’s congregation who had a problem with gambling is reading this? It changes my response to NO! Gambling’s addictive.

  5. Matt–I think you gambled once in a while, but now you don’t.

    Jean–some people view gambling as pure recreation. Is it flushing your money to go to a movie? or buy tickets to a football game? If I budgeted $10 for gambling, and then stopped when I lost it, is that a sin?

  6. You say “Ouch,” Janet. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. In fact, I voted that Bill didn’t gamble. It is, at bottom, no big deal. But we don’t always get to the bottom. Bill, I don’t believe it would have been a sin if you hadn’t budgeted it. It would just have been inconsistent with the latte challenge, lattes that may have been budgeted by people. This may sound like sucking up, but this is part of the pressure that we laypeople don’t experience. We all waste money, on movies, sports, cable tv, whatever. But we don’t all stand up in front of people and challenge them to waste less and risk the behind the back comments that will come when we’re “found out.” Transparency is not always fun.
    Sorry, Bill, you’re wrong, at least so far. I haven’t gambled, yet, but not for any moral reasons. First of all, I’m too cheap. Second, it really doesn’t hold an appeal to me.

  7. I don’t think Bill would gamble because he “gets” how powerful the flesh is. Yes, we all do waste money…but we’ve got to be careful on wasting money on activities that can be addictive to the flesh (“make no provision for the flesh”).

    It seems to me gambling is like drinking alcohol. Having wine with dinner is not necessarily a sin, but too many of us know first hand how sinful and destructive and life-altering alcoholism is. So, yes, I need to be careful with it, not casual with it.

    I have the same attitude about gambling.

  8. Well, Dr. G: I think some might think “pot” is recreational too. Or what about other drugs? I know that’s a whole kettle of worms…And, yes, sometimes going to some movies IS flushing your money down a toilet! I would speak for the football tickets, but that would let you in on my total dislike for football. As for grambling being recreational, I think that’s an excuse for way too many people. When is there ever a happy loser?? Besides, I find the whole atmosphere of Vegas to be extremely seductive to areas that certainly do lead to sin! I’ll gladly take on the label “legalist” in this area.

  9. I agree that Vegas is seductive to sin, if you come here for recreation. You can come here for shows, many of which are innocent, but that’s not the main reason you would vacation here. But if you come here to live and work outside of the tourist industry, it’s easy to avoid, because it is so expensive.
    I went through stages of my view of sin when I moved here. At first, I was afraid because of the atmosphere. Then I was so involved in working and settling in that it was no problem (better to say that God surrounded me with necessary distractions). Then I felt that I elevated these activities—gambling, strip shows, etc.—to super sin status. I told myself that if I kept myself clear of these, I’d be alright. Finally, or at least for now, I realized that the danger isn’t in elevating sins, it’s in diminishing the effect of all sin. It is all deadly. It all separates us from God. It all demands the need for grace. I mean, who is worse, some strip club owner who is open about what he is offering and the patron knows what he is getting, or an Enron executive who purports to look out for his people but is really destroying them? If it’s my choice of who gets to burn in hell, the executive goes to the head of the line. But it’s not my choice. They—we—all deserve wrath, but don’t get it, because of an unspeakable Gift. You know, every city, every place can seduce to sin: Chicago with political corruption and racial attitudes, Washington, D.C. with phoniness, Boston, with intellectual superiority, etc. We can’t escape sin, but fortunately, it can’t separate us from the love of God.

  10. So did he or didn’t he?
    I keep checking back to find out.
    My husband would think I gambled on the $49.95 infomercial miracle anti-aging cream that didn’t do anything but make me go out and purchase the $9.95 anti-blemish miracle cream I now needed for my tomato red face with nice little bumps that my daughter said “no seriously mom, they are connected to make like the BIG dipper!” (the fact it was mothers day right around the corner cut me no slack) but I would argue he gambles with our lives everytime he takes us to (I’m not naming any names) a certain establishment to eat that looks like they pay the food & health inspector under the table (not kidding). So I guess my husband and I are both gamblers and I am vain and he is a glutton. Thanks be to Jesus it is not up to me and my good works! However I do not think Pastor Bill gambled but if he were to have then he should be afforded the same grace we all are given. Plus the whole you know “don’t point out the speck…….Log in your eye”. Is gambling once in a great while like say you are in vegas for a friends wedding and you play $20 in a slot machine really any worse than paying forty bucks to take the family to see “Jaws 7” in 3D. We all have our favorite movie of all time that is total mindless entertainment we would pay again and again to see no matter how much it was shot like a bad B movie. Or that favorite rock group you had your hair fashioned after as a teen for some the mullet, the mop top, or mega hair that kept Super Hold hairspray on your shopping list everytime you went to the store. Oh I don’t know isn’t this legalism the stuff that is supposed to deride us from realizing the true meaning of the gift of Grace? However I just pictured myself getting answered back on the whole concept of what’s the harm of gambling by smoking a little bit of pot? Or? Looking at a little bit of porn just once in awhile so I guess thats why I never respond to these blogs because I always end up answering a question by asking myself another question. All I know is I am not perfect but I am loved by a perfect God. Thank Goodness!

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