Source: Trapped But Laughing
Where bloggers come together to give each other feedback and advice.
It is obvious in Kenya; that we are far from getting ready to face the truth in terms of ideal politics. we are not ready yet to uphold a way of life that shuns tribal oriented politics and ethnocentrism. We every day follow our kinsmen wherever they go, whether they are corrupt or morally unfit…we still pursue. The magnet of tribalism and ethnic boundaries has found us, and so just like yesterday, we helplessly pursue them, those people that carry the magnet of our paths and like zombies, we followed today. Will we follow when tomorrow comes?
Is it right for a Christian to Bet/ Gamble?
One of the current trends that need be discussed in our Christian circles with urgency is the gambling trends of our times. A lot of money is being spend in gambling more than in retail in a day. The statistics of people signing up for bets and gambles are increasingly scary by the day and the love of money is an attitude screaming through every corner of this country and beyond.
We have a lot to be worried about when it comes to current trends including; addiction to media, new blood thirsty online games, hosts of secret societies and the presence of the evil among a lot of many money making trends that will eventually ditch us into the hell of reality. We will however dwell on the topic of gambling in these article in-terms of defining the term, pointing on effects that are being referred herein as internal and external effects and as well a philosophical view of gambling herein limited to betting.
Here is the crust of the matter, is gambling a sin? Giving an adequate answer to the dilemma first requires a biblical review of money in general, after which gambling itself can be examined.
Where money is concerned, the Bible certainly is not silent. To begin with, Scripture makes it clear that everything belongs to God. Paul simply asks his readers, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Even though individuals work and earn money, the Bible says that it is God who is the ultimate source of their income: “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). Gambling on the other hand excites the heart towards less work and gaining from the loss of others. In other words, easy money excites every heart and so the world is already totally up to defend the said means of wealth as a way that God chooses to use as a means of His providence. Some of the questions that come up in such a discussion is that; is God interested in getting donations from among them, the poor, broken families, people addicted to this kind of games to supply to your needs? The unfortunate underlying concept here is that you lose so that I gain and vice versa.
A simple definition for Gambling: – Gambling refers to a wager or bet in which each player agrees to risk losing some material possession to other players in exchange for the chance to win the possessions of other players without compensation to the loser, the winner(s) and loser(s) being determined by the outcome of a game.” (Dr. James Dobson)
Note this are at the very foundation of Gambling.
• Always defined as any event where the outcome is uncertain
• All players, no one is assured with any compensation whatsoever except the winner
• Each player chooses to willingly to loose material possession for chance
• The winner takes it all, the looser stands small
The ultimate reality is that the church has remained silent on things that it should speak about. We have remained equivocal about important matters which are affecting our community greatly.
Gambling has been around for quite a long time. Some men prudent men rose up against gambling and believed that gambling is a sinful act because it betrays several inward attitudes.
• Reliance on chance vs. reliance on Gods provision
• Laziness vs working for wealth
• Thwarting of charity
• Seeking to gain from the loss of others
The men of philosophy submit that the nature of the goodness of a thing will be judged by examining the kind effects it produces. Martin Luther at one point accused the devil of inventing Gambling. He goes ahead and shares that, money won in gambling is never won without sin and self-seeking sin. At one point, the theologian John Calvin outlawed gambling in the city of Geneva because of its effect on the society. Externally, gambling shows itself as no good at all producing these Kinds of what would be called external effects as follows.
• Family strife and divorce
• Chances of Escapism into enough vices
• Exploitation of the poor
In a nutshell, though gambling has a very good and strong appeal to a lot of us in this current world, we must be sure that it is not right for me to gain because others have lost. It is more true stating that there is enough evidence that gambling demonstrates a great sense of spiritual bankruptcy.
God seeing the corruption of gambling warned the children of Israel of the spirit behind gambling in Isaiah 65: 11 – 12. Israel the beloved children of God were accused of worshiping the gods of luck. We are to be warned that soon, it will not only be the fact that gambling has pushed us into this hard internal and external effects but will as well go ahead towards the destruction of the society we leave in. We will always have people who try to vindicate what is not right and reconstruct that which is the dependence of God towards worship of the gods of chance and luck. God’s ways do not change; what He called sin, He is still calling it sin and He will call it sin tomorrow.
Adera, in His article on gambling asserts, “Gambling/Betting is demonic, devilish and evil. It is addictive and enslaving. Practicing Christians should avoid it at all costs. And that is said without apologies or fear of contradiction. You cannot go to bed with the devil and walk with God at the same time.” He goes ahead to give a biblical perspective that points at scripture that by principle warn men against this kind of earning.
Some of the scriptures quoted include:
1. 1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.
2. 2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”
3. 1st Timothy 6: 9-10 those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s.
4. Romans 12:2 do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.
5. Proverbs 15:27 the greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.
Quotes on gambling
• “Gambling is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.”
– George Washington
• Gambling is a sickness, a disease, an addiction, an insanity, and is always a loser in the long run.
• Gambling can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol. Teens and their parents need to know that they’re not just gambling with money, they’re gambling with their lives.
• Gambling is the sure way of getting nothing for something.
• Gambling is of the world, it is very addicting, and it will cause you harm.
Gambling is, loving something that is part of the cruel world, not only is it dangerous especially back in the days where many were being plotted on and murdered for their money. Gambling is very addictive, you can go into a casino one day thinking I’m going to spend this much then leave without your car. For some people it’s that bad and it can become even worse.
You have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Most gambling is not made for you to win. It’s made for you to dream about what if I did win. Gambling fails in its attempt to give people hope because most people spend thousands of dollars for nothing. It takes away your trust in the Lord and leads you to pierce yourself with lots and lots of grieves loosing for alternative sources of money which is not even yours. Just take a thousand shillings/ dollars and throw it in the garbage; that is exactly what gamblers do over the course of time. When you have greed you will always lose more than you gain. Gambling is bad for your health and it violates many Scriptures as seen above. Seek hard work and trust in the Lord with your income/s
(Dr. James Dobson, who served on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, 1999 Report revised 2008)
Excerts from the article, Gambling and the Bible; Adera, Rev. Simeon. 2017
Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
But be not burdened with times of sorrow,
For I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full. I’ve savored much,
Good friends, good times and loved ones’ touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your ears and share with me.
God wanted me now. He set me free!
The defeated are those who never fail.
Defeat means that we lose a particular battle or war. Failure does not allow us to go
Defeat comes when we fail to get something we very much want. Failure does not
allow us to dream. Its motto is: “Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.”
Defeat ends when we launch into another battle. Failure has no end; it is a lifetime
Defeat is for those who, despite their fears, live with enthusiasm and faith.
Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honor of losing and the joy of
I am not here to tell you that defeat is part of life; we all know that. Only the
defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of Love that we fight our first battles—
and generally lose.
I am here to tell you that there are people who have never been defeated.
They are the ones who never fought.
They managed to avoid scars, humiliations, and feelings of helplessness, as well as
those moments when even warriors doubt the existence of God…they close their eyes to injustices, a rugged world, unkind relations, back-stabbing….they betray the truth. In the silence of the night, they fight their imaginary battles: their unrealized dreams,
the injustices to which they turned a blind eye, the moments of cowardice they managed to conceal from other people—but not from themselves—and the love that crossed their
path with a sparkle in its eyes, the love God had intended for them, but which they
lacked the courage to embrace.
And they promise themselves: “Tomorrow will be different.”
But tomorrow comes and the paralyzing question surfaces in their mind: “What if it
doesn’t work out?”
And so they do nothing.
Woe to those who were never beaten! They will never be winners in this life.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
The face of a soul; a chaplain’s dairy!
I believe that the soul has a face, a face that knows no tribe neither culture, a face that is neither white nor chocolate neither black nor red; A face that is beautiful; a beauty beyond all expressions.
The face of every soul carries a smile along; the events of this life can carry a lot of pain and bring the heart into times of great grief and despair. At times the heart forgets love and the soul forgets peace, we are faced with challenges and then treated into a universal philosophical cliché, “Life is unfair.” Yet we forget that every soul has a face! A face that is able to radiate a lot of love and peace to its beholder.
I have just met my rest at the end of the day; tired I walk into the house. At last, I will get to have a great chat with my friend rest. I have waited for this time since morning; I wonder what this time with rest will be for me. The last time I remember taking a meal was… was it the ten o’clock tea that they brought when I was meeting these relatives of the patient who has been at the ICU for the last two weeks? The doctor called his condition, a cerebrovascular disease… (hope I did not miss on the spellings let alone the fact that I could not understand what this scary vocabulary meant)
At least I remember the look on the cadaver’s wife. I remember how she wept; I felt the pain with her as she screamed her pain out. The son to the departed man held the sister in his hands; he could not hold the tears anymore. He and the sisters sank into a harmony of pain; I now remember, this is what I took for ten o’clock tea. It wasn’t anything sumptuous, but all along, I had a great appetite for it, to share in their song of pain, to sink with them into the depths of this calamity and just hoping that at the end of the day, they can find their smiling souls back. I did my best; I only listened and held them; I shared in their pain and did my best to understand. And they accepted this mysterious gift of pain. Just at this time, reality walked into the room; and I left.
I left, in a smile; I met rest outside the conference room. And here he was ready to deliver a great message from my folks. I really wanted to hear how mum was doing, if my father had come back from the clan meeting held at Mbui Nzau. I wanted to hear if my brother had found his missing goats and one bull. I wanted to have lunch with rest and so I made an order for his choicest delicacy… then a knock at the door interrupted my moment of chat with rest! A man with a keenly focused eye on mine walked in and asked, “Pastor, can I have a moment with you.”? Sure, I answered, take a seat next to my friend, rest. “I need your full attention,” he replied, “Could your friend step outside for a while? It’s just for a short while.”
This man narrated to me how his daughter has travelled to many hospitals without success. He shared with me that he is a Christian, but life has been so unfair to him. Though he is a clinician himself, he understands that his daughter has wiry chances of making it through but he is all alone. He feels as if God has left them to struggle alone. His wife left him since the daughter was eight years of age. “It’s been nineteen lonely years Pastor,” He said, “and I have raised this child alone. I have been her father and mother. She is all I have left. And soon, she will be no more. I am fed up with God.” I wanted to help him to weep; I was almost breaking down with him! This old man has gone through a lot in this short life. I looked into his eyes and so how wrinkled the face of his soul looked… I wondered how I would make him more radiant again. I wondered what would bring back the smile on this face of his soul. For almost two hours, I spend listening to him empty his disappointments in life. Then we walked into the ward a made a prayer for the daughter together. This was the most rejuvenating experience for the day; she gave her life to Christ. This man had never imagined that his child would at any time give her life to God. He said that he always kept threatening her about hell and how it would be if she is not saved; but this time, in the sight of God’s love for her, she gave her heart to Him. It is at this that this man changes his perspective about God. And I looked again into his eyes, I saw the once wrinkled face of the soul now smiling and full of anticipation… it was time to leave; He had found his smiling soul so I left.
As I went past the theatre, I found a lad so troubled. In my estimation, he was in his early twenty’s. I moved close and requested to bother his troubled moments. I requested him to share his grief with me; He told me that His mother was in the theatre; she was going through a surgery. He said the name of the surgery was too hard for him to remember but he wrote it somewhere. I wanted so much to share God’s love for both Him and the mother and so I requested that we share a bench at the waiting area. He was ripe for harvest, in less than five minutes; he crossed over from death into life. I prayed with him and gave him my contacts. I realized that his pastor was a classmate with me in seminary; he was going to be a man that I would follow up easily, I thought to myself. I left the waiting area after a tête-à-tête with this lad and was convinced that God had put together a beautiful day for me through all this mysterious events.
As I walked out of the waiting bay, I realized that darkness was walking in and was running late for a bible study happening at the basement. I really wanted to hear God’s word, I needed to be refreshed. I went down to the basement and there were colleagues with great refreshing testimonies over how God has dealt with them through the week. I looked at them and all of them were filled with great hope. Probably they all had their own issues weighing them down but Gods love still stood out for them. It stood out for them on greater heights than the pain they felt. They were determined to focus on God regardless of the pains of life. I knew this was a team that I needed so much; what a refreshing time this was for me.
It was around eight in the evening when I left for my house. I felt drained and tired, but encouraged and very satisfied. I had no debt left for the day; I called my good friend and soon enough, there he was, ready to walk me home. Ready to share with me about the too much I wanted to know. On the way we bought some sukuma wiki, and half a piece of onion and a piece of meat cut into small piece just to make sure that we cook really fast and get to eat as we share.
Within no time, dinner is ready, and so we get to seat, and we pray. I serve a generous portion thinking to myself, did I even get to eat though the day? Do I remember if I got time to eat? Then as I sat down to fetch my first helping, and Rest starts to deliver his message from my people, the phone rings again! The lady we prayed for wants to talk to a pastor. I am the one on call; I will go see her; I may be her last hope for her to hear that God loves and cares about her… I will get to meet my friend later; my night for rest just became a day to someone else; and yes, I love what I do; I seek for the face of the soul, and point it to the source of its radiance. I seek for the broken soul and point it to a God who is able to fix its shape. I believe that the soul has a face, a face that knows no tribe neither culture, a face that is neither white nor chocolate neither black nor red; A face that is beautiful; a beauty beyond all expressions; a sight so wonderful for me.