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Church Gambling A Bad Thing

I struggle with churches holding fun nights and quiz nights changing hands and Father xmas at christmas time inside the Church worship building. I wonder what God would think of it all?

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 ---Jan on 4/21/05
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He disapprooves of all unholy conduct, especially in his house of prayer.
---Eloy on 3/20/08

The word of God teaches us to love our neighbours ... the despised and the foreigners.

Also to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick & those in prison.

Food for the hungry ... why not in a church hall? Food & clothes for the helpless in foreign lands? ... why not raise the funds in a church hall?

That is a good way to teach not only the churcy people, but also that outside that we are following God's command to love.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 5/3/05

oh, ok. Games for young people if they have Bible themes would be good. I think they are figuring that they are keeping kids off the steets, but the church's mission is to lead to people to Christ and teach the Word of God. I don't like the word Christ left out of Christmas.
---Ulrika on 5/2/05


The original question was not about gambling at all, if you read it!!!
---Alan_of_U.K. on 5/2/05

Are you talking about gambling in church?Gambling anywhere is sin, much less in church. Buying and selling in church is sin.
Mark 11:15--17.
---Ulrika on 5/1/05

Eloy ... it would be helpful if you could explain what is evil about eating a meal or having adult education or gym classes.

I see elsewhere you are a preacher without a church. Where do you preach? Would you preach in a school hall which the next day was going to be used for classes? Or in a market place which is also usaed for secular purposes? Or on the radio?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/26/05

Alan, "Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and unholy, neither have they showed between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Isaiah 5:20; Ezekiel 22:26.
---Eloy on 4/26/05

I have been to a church service in a school gym. So no more gym for the kids? And in someone's home ... no more secular activities there?

WE are the Church ... the body of believers, not the building. We are holy, whatever we do is holy & wherever we do it is holy.

To venerate a building sounds rather like "religion" (which I know you abhor) and a bit like the RCC
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/25/05

Alan, A building used for church is consecrated. Consecration means to set apart for God's service and make sacred. Also, according to scripture anything together with it is made sacred too. Just as the unbelieving spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse. The burning bush noted on the mountain that Moses climbed, that was not the only place holy, but even the perimeter of the mountain was holy, and the common people were not to touch it or instantly they would die.
---Eloy on 4/25/05

Eloy ... No, we are not at odds over that issue. I agree that holy in unholy is wrong

Where we disagree is that you say the building is holy. You say the car park area is holy. I say that the building itself is not holy.

We also have a disagreement about what is unholy. I cannot see that raising funds for feeding the starving, or sending them Bibles, is unholy.

We ourselves are holy ... and we do those things, which if they are God's will, make them holy.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/25/05

Eloy ... I wish you would answer my questions ... then you might show me where I am wrong.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/25/05

My church we don't pass an offering plate around we use to until the Pastor said that he felf condemned by passing it around, to him he felt like he was begging for money. So now the offering plate is toward the front, and we bring our money to it. We don't have funrasiers or bake sales, whatever it is. We feel we are begging for money. God supplies our need, we trust in God for the money. I don't know how God has done it but we have helped so many people.
---Rebecca_D on 4/24/05

Alan, we are at odds. i say holy is holy, but you say unholy inside the holy is ok.
---Eloy on 4/24/05

Eloy ... another point, regarding witness.

There is a limit to the time that the church's peremises can be used for worship, etc. This means it lies empty for much of the time.

Is it not worthy that it be used for community activities such as adult education,discussion groups etc? That shows the church gets involved as it should in secular affairs.

And of feeding the hungry (as we are exhorted to do) involved raising the money to do so, needs fund raising, what is unholy about this?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/24/05

Eloy ... the discussion extended beyond enjoying oneself, and the questioner never asked about gambling. You have said we should not eat in the church ... or even in the car park, as you now indicate.

Many schurches meet in secular halls ... which become holy because the people of God are worshipping there. At other times those same people may meet there for secular things.

Why not the same for a building that the congregation has paid for & built themselves?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/24/05

Alan, the post refers to entertaining the world inside the church, and not about feeding the poor. Anyhow, some people see no difference between the holy and the unholy, yet there is a big difference between just a building, and God's House. The church is consecrated to God, but common buildings are not. i count all the property of the church consecrated, from the altar to the bema to the pews to the parking lot.
---Eloy on 4/23/05

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But Candice, it IS Biblical to love our neighbour, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked.

How then can it be wrong to hold say a cake sale, or plant stall to raise money for the starving? Those who donate the plants can afford to do that, but cannot afford to give more cash in the plate ... or are probably doing both.

What would you say about using the church premises for sheltering thos made homeless after a flood or tonado?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/23/05

Eloy ... what is so holy about a building.

In any case our church has a "sactuary, a chancel and a nave, where the congregation sit. If any part is holy, it would be just the sanctuary, which is not used for anything except the altar.

I do not see that the part where the congregation sit is holy unless they are there worshipping. And is not eating food which the Lord has given us, a holy activity.

But I was really talking about raising money to feed the hungry and is that not a holy activity?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/23/05

Alan, your curve balls are coming to me a little crooked. Ecclesiates tells us that their is a right time and a right place for everything under the sun. So yes it would be unholy to eat lunch in the holy sanctuary instead of worshipping.
---Eloy on 4/22/05

PART TWO:that why my church has offering boxes in the back, (very new to our church) that way visitors don't feel offended & we don't pass the plate around, you choose where your donation goes too. We donot hold religious activities dealing with money because the Lords house is sacred, but to get technacal your body is his temple, therefore thease "buildings" are just grounds of worship...but no, there shouldn't be anything non-biblical in the building.
---Candice on 4/22/05

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PART ONE:That is why I donot participate in churches that are with worldly things.As far as fundraising, that's what tithing should go to, toward the churches needs.
---candice on 4/22/05

Eloy, that is exactly how I feel about it...We sing about standing on Holy it Holy when the ground is also used for other such things?? I appreciate all the feedback..thank you.
---Jan on 4/22/05

Eloy ... is it not holy to feed the hungry, be it spritually or physically?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/22/05

We have had many fund raisers at our church, mostly for missions or mission trips for the young adults. We don't use the sanctuary for any of these activities, we have a gym where they have had yard sales, and a big parking lot for car washes. I don't see anything wrong with that. We have dinners in the gym where the teens cook and serve dinners for donations. We never have had any Bingo or 'game nights'.
---NV_Barbara on 4/22/05

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Alan, Unholy as in anything not having to do with the Holy Spirit inside the church. The church of today is still the sanctuary, it has not diminished it's sacred function before or during or after Jesus' life on earth. It is the assembly place for prayer, intercession, worship, preaching, Bible reading, singing, prophesying, annointing and laying on of hands, healings, cleansings, and God's works. It is not God's playground, fund-raising ground, bingo parlor, etc. i have already taken out my light from these kind of churches.
---Eloy on 4/22/05

HI Jan, I too have wondered about this, and I do not think that I'm at ease with it. That is just where my faith is. I'm just not so sure that it is right to do. The reasons sounds good. I guess it is hard to come up with ways to raise money to help the church. Can you think of any?
---Linda on 4/21/05

The church does many things for people. They feed the hungry, they clothe the people without clothes, they keep the air conditioner and the heater going so their congregations can have a comfortable place to worship, they pay the pastor, they have to keep up the building, the grounds, etc. and they have to find creative ways to get the money. We'll leave the money changers off.
---gregg on 4/21/05

Bruce ... you are so right ... God is everywher, wherever we are, He goes with us, indeed in us.

Once in a Buddhist temple, I was able to pray to MY God.

I think though that chuches have been specially built as fellowshipping places for Christians and should be treated and occupied with due respect ... the degree of respect will arouse disagreement.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/21/05

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The Bible does not directly speak about gambling, whether in church or casino but it does adress the principles involved:
COVETING: One of the reasons people gamble is that they covet more quick and easy money. The Lord says we should not covet!
FRUITS OF GAMBLING: poverty,crime, corruption, demoralization, lower living std, increased drug and alcohol consumtion. Any activity that produces this kind of fruits better not take up our time!
---Pierre on 4/21/05


In a similar discussion previously I raised the question; Why should the church building of today be used any differently than any other place where Christians congregate INCLUDING one's private home?

The expressions of "a house of prayer" etc referred to the temple which was THE dwelling place of God! WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit today.( I Cor 3:16) Not ANY building or place. (John 4) I challenge anyone to demonstrate differently from the NT following the sacrifice of Christ.
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05


The only reference to "a house of prayer" is from Isaiah 56:7 and Jesus reference to that passage in the Gospels. When Jesus spoke those words, the temple was the sacred, holy place. When He died on the Calvary, the Holy Spirit destroyed that barrier between God and man (Matt 27:51) and the temple became just another building.
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05


The church (building) today is brick and mortar. It is just a building. If we are to restrict activities in the "church" because it is the "house of God" what does that say about our daily lives since we are THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. We would have to say if you cannot do it in "church" you cannot do it at all.
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05

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The commentators Burton Coffman and John Lighfoot (both go into much detail on the subject and Lightfoot quotes from the Talmud, and Maimonides in the treatise Shekalim:-- to support his claim.), Albert Barns, John Gill, David Guzik, Matthew Henry all agree that the following is what was going on in the temple that upset Jesus:

Those who came from a distance had no choice but to purchase an animal for a sacrifice when they got to the temple.
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05


In order to accommodate these people, there were those who would do currency exchange and those that would sell a dove etc for their sacrifice. This practice was not condemned. What was condemned was the exorbitant profiteering on these people who were a captive market. They were being cheated and taken advantage of. THIS is what Jesus reacted to. That is why he said: Matthew 21:13, "And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a DEN OF THIEVES."
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05


If this were not true, if they were conducting legitimate business, then what we have here is Jesus condemning commercial (profit making) enterprise or even worse, non-profit enterprises by calling the entrepreneurs "thieves".
---Bruce5656 on 4/21/05

Eloy #2 Because I wonder what God's reaction is to "neutral" things happening on church premises. And would you say the Church hall was a sacred as the actual church part of the presmises?

I ask because my church has community activities in the church hall, like eductional things, gym classes, and so on, Yearly is a bazaar, raising money (which otherwise would not come in) for mission & charity, & this overflows into the back part of the church.

Soon the National Opera Group is coming and helping the school put on an opera, in the Church.

What think you?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/21/05

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Eloy ... #1 your reference to unholy has got me thinking ... do you mean anything which is not holy?

To me, there is conduct which is positively holy .. prayer, Praise etc spring to mind, and there is unholy conduct ... such things as gambling, drunkeness etc. But in between there are neutral things? Such as shopping, playing football etc, sharing enjoyment. I would say they are not holy, but I would not call them unholy.

What do you think to that?
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/21/05

The money changers were trading for their own personal profit.

Church bazaars, quizzes and so on are not for the personal benefit of anyone. You may object to it, but do not use the money changers incident as justification.
---Alan_of_U.K. on 4/21/05

It's not what God would think, it's what you think. Jesus the Christ went in the synagogue and overturned all the money tables and chased all the animals out and said, 'You have made my Father's house a den of thieves.' Apparently, they don't think He is right. You see, a day with the Lord is as a thousand years and that was just a couple of days ago that that happened.
---gregg on 4/21/05

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