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Should Christians Play With Cards

Since playing cards are used in gambling, should true Christians play such games as Bridge, Sheepshead, etc.? I was never allowed to play cards as a child and still do not for that reason.

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 ---Naoma on 3/16/09
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There is nothing about cards that is evil. Oh, there used to be tales that the figures originally represented wicked kings and the devil, during the Middle Ages. But they certainly don't represent that any more.

In the days before TV, when families spent time together in the evenings, a card game was considered entertainment. Children learned some basic math and to follow rules by playing card games They learned to be good losers and graceful winners. (I wish more of them, today, had a chance to learn this and to interact with their parents having fun.) It did not inevitably lead to gambling.

There are many ways to can easily be done without a deck of cards.
---Donna66 on 6/22/10

As Rhett Butler said, "Far be it from me to question the teachings of childhood," even if St. Paul said, "When I became a man, I put away childish things."

Since money is used in gambling and prostitution, and Christ commanded His apostles not to carry money with them on their missionary journeys, you can just as well argue against true Christians having money.

Card games, in themselves, are not evil, though they might be an occasion of wasting time better spent on other things.

FWIW, my grandmother had ladies from her Baptist Sunday School class come over to play cards at least once a week.

Too often, people confuse cultural taboos with Christianity.
---Cluny on 6/21/10

If playing cards is evil in itself, so is being on the computer. Both can be used for good or ill and seen as evil.
1Cor 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Cor 10:23b ...all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Jam 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.
Phi 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed...but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Rom 14:21 [It is] good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [any thing] whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
---micha9344 on 6/21/10

My grandmother raised me and she was a black arts witch.I know the occult is a big no-no.She used regular playing cards to read peoples fortunes.That is evil and sinful.I play rummy and other card games with no gambling involved or fortune telling.I do not consider that to be sinful.I think it all boils down to what you really like to do.Some may think it is sinful to watch soap operas?Hmmmm...big quiet in here now!LOL!I have found that people will not give something up unless they really want to!LOL!Sinful or not.Uhhh..I think I shall let the Holy Spirit do his job and not interfere.
---Ione on 6/21/10

I haven't played with cards in a long time. I think that we should just go on based how the Holy Spirit leads us in such matters.
---amand6348 on 5/18/09

Even tho I attended the First Primitive Baptist church in Atlanta as a child and we had no musical instruments. We played cards as a family on Friday and Sat nights. Still do not like them as it was all we had to do, like the smell of coffee was always there. Let us see if you can be angry and sin not? I think you can play cards and sin not. Unless you cuss when you lose a hand
---don5398 on 5/13/09


Yes, the Bible says to avoid the appearance of evil. But just what "evil" are cards are the appearance OF? Unless you can find some specific verse on point, it seems like YOU are defining cards as evil based on your own opinions and taste, not Biblical commandments.

Some people say that skirts whose hemlines reveal the ankles are evil. Some say that all alcoholic beverages are evil, or that any kind of eroticism is evil (the Bible's commandments to drink wine for an upset stomach, or the Song of Songs notwithstanding - such people would rather change the Bible to suit thier tastes, than accept what it says). Yet these are all personal opinions and tastes, NOT objective biblical definitions of "evil".
---StrongAxe on 3/30/09

My dad loved to play Rummy. 3 to 5 hours Rummy. He passed out 23 cards each / 2 players. We all were force to take turns playing as children.

All it did was make all of us excellent in math. Nothing else.
---Natalie2 on 3/28/09

Very nicely put Jody
---DavidA on 3/27/09

strongaxe & alan- Take it or leave it. The Bible says to avoid the very appearance of evil. 1Thes. 5:22. Children who play cards may grow up thinking it is alright to play any kind of card game. Find out from the Holy Spirit if He likes it.
---bettyw on 3/27/09

I agree with you 100 percent!!. I was going to point that out myself on my last post but had run out of room.
If someone is convicted of doing something and does it anyway then it is rebellion and they are sinning. This includes eating or drinking things like certain meats, caffine etc.
If I have a friend who believes it is sinful to play cards I would not pull out a deck of cards. If I had a friend who did not eat pork I would not invite them for a ham dinner.
If after my friends left and I wanted to play a game of solitaire and eat my ham dinner and it isn't against my faith and belief then I have not sinned nor tempted my friend to stumble and sin.
---stephanie on 3/27/09

To the pure, all things are pure and to the defiled, nothing is pure. We are free. If your faith does not allow you to play cards, than to you it is sin. If you have faith to play cards, then to you it is not sin. Our freedom must not cause the weaker faith Christians stumble. So, I would not ask someone who has no faith for card playing, to play cards with me:).
---jody on 3/26/09


I'm curious just which "evil" is "appearing" when someone plays Old Maid. (scripture verses, rather than mere opinions, please.)
---StrongAxe on 3/26/09

Are we all aware that 1 Thessalonians 5:22 uses a Greek word 'eidous' that has 2 distinct meanings depending on context?

Earlier translations like KJV used the most common meaning of the word which is "appearance" resulting in abstaining from "appearance of evil" however many later translations look at the context of that passage and choose to use the 2nd meaning of the word "form" or "kind" resulting translations like this "from every form of evil" or NIV "avoid every kind of evil".

Yes lets take care not to lead our brothers into temptation but lets also take care not to beat each other up or load each other down with shallow/superficial precepts.

(cont please)
---DavidA on 3/25/09

... Our God brings many freedoms. Use these to produce good works in keeping with the Spirit of the living God. Didn't Jesus commune with disreputable tax collectors? Rethink your ideas about that. He was perfectly free to hang in a place where superficial folks would think him a sinner. This is part of the reason why some called him a drunk and a glutton.

Don't miss your opportunity to be a part in the good news because of the spirit that wants to limit you to worrying about appearances. His *primary* focus was on healing the sick not just sustaining the well!!
You may well find your self at a card game for the sake of the kingdom. Always inspect your heart and its motives.
---DavidA on 3/25/09

Oh Betty !!!

You are obsessed with this "appearance of evil"

The appearance of evil is given by the way in which you are doing something.

In other words, to drink excessively, to eat excessively, or using cards to gamble.

Using your argument, one should not eat, in case you give someone the impression you are a glutton, or to drive a car, lest someone thinks you must be one of those who drives recklessly.
---alan8566_of_UK on 3/23/09

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stephanie- I was one of those who said playing cards is a sin. I used to think if you only played certain card games & didn't gamble or do anything evil with them, that it wasn't sin. Also I felt certain that Go Fish and Old Maid were fun kid's games to keep kids occupied. But one day the Holy Spirit convinced me that playing cards is a sin because it is the appearance of evil that can cause others to stumble.
---BettyW on 3/23/09

Where do you draw the line at? Just cards? How about a game of Scrabble or UpWords? Would those be considered sin? I personally love a good game of UpWords with my girlfriend :)
---Mary on 3/23/09

Naoma, unless the cards were sacrificed to idols or have a symbolic relationship for you with Satanic rituals, I find no scripture for denying them. It is, of course, your choice with God as how you see a deck of cards or the games played. I'm not sure "gambling" is forbidden that I can find any more than betting we can make a car payment or betting on life insurance. As others say, get serious with your praying to God about it. He will convict or release you from the convictions you have by others.
---mikefl on 3/22/09

Playing cards are used in gambling.

Money is used in a thing or two.

There may be much more worthwhile things to do. People may do card things just to relax. But Jesus gives us "rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29) And His rest does not depend on physical activities that just
*distract* your mind for a while. But then what happens when you have to deal again with "things"? Do you have relaxation then? Jesus can keep us in peace, all the time. My own character and pursuits are the ONLY reason I am elsewhere. There is no gamble about this (o:
---Bill_bila5659 on 3/20/09

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No one should play with cards if they're not playing with a full deck. :)
---Leon on 3/20/09

Could you please explain to me why you think playing cards is a sin or evil?. I think that is down right silly. what it comes down to is what church a person attends and the docterine of that church. I am not convicted for playing card games or slap jack with my grandkids. If i was having my 8 yr. old granddaughter placing a bet on when the next jack will be turned over then i would be sinning. The person who believes playing any card game is sinning are the same people who refuse to let their kids play with stuffed animals because they think it is idol worship.we can all make anything sinful if it takes the place of God and our time away with him and that includes even eating. some people take their beliefs to far, this is a perfect example.
---stephanie on 3/20/09

Like you pointed out, card were once associted with smoke filled rooms, shady characters and gambling. But, this is not true at this time, even though this matter of gambling does exsist. In 1961 I attended a Bible College where card were forbidden - but not rook. I told the dean of students that cards are cards, I can gamble with a Rook deck if I wanted too. Each morning before going to work, my wife and I play Uno with our Down Syndrom child and while the Uno deck is not dived into suits, a person can still gamble with them. So, my conclusion is this, it's more how you use them that makes it right or wrong. (This is not a relative sin issue.) For example: I can use a gun to commit murder or go hunting.
---wivv on 3/19/09

Playing cards is a sin. Avoid the very appearance of evil.
---BettyW on 3/18/09

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Well, God can be a strict disciplinarian! Better ask God. I play solitaire, rummy, go-fish, flap-jack, and war. Certainly there are worse things that you could be doing. So, I would say go ahead and play your bridge. Ask God. You need to stay in prayer with your Saviour, anyways. Have a good day.
---catherine on 3/17/09

I remember once my Scout troop ran a side-show at our host church (Baptist)
We chose a game of skill ... throwing darts.
But we were stopped from doing this, because the target used was cards!!
Even though we were seeking to pierce and mutilate the cards, the use of cards was enough to throw the churchy people inot hysterics.
---alan8566_of_UK on 3/17/09

Go ahead and play with Cards, just don't let it become a bad habit that you can't control. Cards are a harmless way of cheap entertainment for all to enjoy. Do you watch TV? That's 100 times worse that playing cards if it is not monitored correctly by your heart and Spirit. Self control is the key to all things we do to pass time off in this world. The Holy Spirit will tell you loud and clear what's right and wrong for you. Just listen.
---Brenda on 3/16/09

When you are a child you do childish things. Now you are an adult. Act like one,for God's sake! Where does all of this ridiculous stuff come from? It is no sin to play cards. Ok. It is what you do with them that matters. Gambling is a sin. I believe. But to sit down and play a game of cards with no betting and so forth,is ok.Cards are a fun and entertaining way to spend time alone or with someone.A cheap way to have a lot of fun. By the way. I was not allowed to play cards when I was a child either but I grew up and became an adult. Guess what? I can think for myself,now.Praise God for that.
---Robyn on 3/16/09

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I don't see anything wrong with playing cards. I play Solitaire, Gin rummy, games such as that. Playing cards is no different than playing a game on the computer. You are now a grown woman, you can think for yourself. What your parents thought was wrong, doesn't mean you have to believe the same way. If you believe playing cards is wrong, then don't play them. If you're unsure about it, then play a game of cards and see how you feel afterwords.
---Rebecca_D on 3/16/09

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