If you think that gambling is a potential way to wealth and prosperity, think again. The Creator has shown us a much better way, and everyone wins.

Do you feel lucky, punk?” is a classic Hollywood line. It also sums up the philosophy behind state-sponsored lotteries and other legalized gambling.

Luck and chance drive the wheel of fortune. The perverse idea is that people become wealthy by being lucky enough to grab a portion of the limited pile of wealth in the world. Wealth is realized through a fortuitous roll of the dice or by the luck of the draw.

That notion flows from a godless, evolutionary mindset. The evolutionary view of life is driven by and dependent on chance processes. Becoming wealthy through gambling is also driven by and dependent on chance. People are wealthy simply because they are lucky.

On the other hand, a creationist mindset believes wealth should come from creativity and effort. All people, Christian and non-Christian, reflect the nature of the Creator when they produce useful products from raw materials.

For the Christian, the word creationist encompasses more than believing in a six-day creation. Creationism means applying biblical principles, such as being fruitful and multiplying, to the arts, sports, philosophy, government, auto mechanics— indeed, to all human endeavors. In economics, then, wealth should be a creation of human endeavor for the purpose of glorifying the Creator.

Mixing creativity with labor results in skyscrapers, computers, cell phones, combines, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, light bulbs—all of which can feed, clothe, house, protect, and benefit humans. Gambling produces nothing. Gambling is a parasite on the creativity and resources of a nation. So it is an evil, not a blessing.

The purpose of government according to Romans 13 is to further good and avenge (punish) evil. Government should not encourage citizens to be wasteful, and gambling is a wasteful enterprise. You have about as much chance of releasing a $100 bill in a windstorm and getting back a $1,000 bill as you do of winning the state lottery. Gambling encourages useless risk based on greed.

Society generally recognizes greed as a character flaw yet often encourages gambling, which fosters greed and envy of the rich. Since a gambler believes riches are merely a result of luck, he seeks to beat the luck out of the other guy at the roulette wheel. No wealth is created; it is simply transferred from one person’s pocket to another’s.

Although no Bible verse states, “Thou shalt not gamble,” we are encouraged to be generous to those in need (James 1:27) and avoid chasing after riches (Proverbs 28:20).

Christians should apply the Creator’s principles of hard work, generosity, and wealth to every area of life. Gambling turns vice, greed, and lust into virtues, making the gambler little more than a “punk.”

Bill Jack is faculty advisor for Worldview Academy (www.worldview.org), a Christian leadership training program designed to train Christians to think and live in accord with a biblical worldview.

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