An article was recently brought to my attention in regards to the HUGE lottery that the news has been talking about. Many of the media outlets have stayed that the state that gets the taxes from the money will be in good shape due to many budget cuts in recent years.
The particular blog brought to my attention covers a similar subject. “What if a church goer was to tithe off the money? That means a full 10% of the money goes toward the church budget.
With many denominations against gambling this raises a few interesting questions that I will attempt to answer in short form below. Now as a disclaimer let me state a one thing, I don’t support the idea of throwing away your money gambling but I also don’t support the idea of throwing your money away of useless things either (to me doing either is dumb).
1. Is Gambling A Sin? – In the Bible there is not that one verse that says “Gambling is a sin”. However the Bible does say a lot about money just in Proverbs let alone other places where Jesus speaks of it. Its clear that the Bible says that when it comes to money two things are true. First it shouldn’t control you and secondly it shouldn’t be the source of your hope. The answer to the question then is “yes”. Gambling is a sin because it encourages you to put your hope in something other than Jesus and in the end can take over your life. However as Christians we must be careful not to yell “Gambling is a sin!!” while we throw away our money on our own comforts while others go without. It may not look the same as gambling but we are still putting our hope in things other than Jesus while we watch those we are commanded to help go without.
2. Does The Church Care Where The Tithe Comes From? – When you ask the question of whether or not a church should/would take the tithe off of the winnings of a lottery ticket many would say “no” very quickly. However you can’t just look at one isolated time. Do churches take the time and see where all their tithe comes from? How do they know they don’t get tithe money on a regular basis from people that play the lottery but only win little bits at a time. You can’t say “we would never take it because its wrong” unless you investigate where all your money comes from.
3. Is The Church Mature Enough To Handle That Much Money? – Lastly we have all heard of stories where churches have split over really dumb things. Carpet color, music styles, pastors and more. So it would take a very kingdom minded church to be able to sit down and really use the money well. In reality I think the tithe off that much money would unfortunately show us just how immature as followers we really are. For example you would have one person that would want to use it for the parking lot, another for the outreach ministry and yet another for the new building. To much money put into a church that doesn’t trust the leadership to decided the outcome of where it should go is a dangerous thing. However all it really does is show just how immature the congregation was to start with so the sin isn’t in the money its in the people.
In short would I take a tithe on that much money? It depends. I would have to know the believer. Are they mature, are they doing this for self glorification and do they there hope placed in Jesus or in money?
Of course if I’m going to ask that question of them shouldn’t I ask that question of everyone that tithes…..
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