Thursday, June 18, 2009

"What's the difference"

I've been doing some thinking again and just want to throw out something and hopefully get a nice discussion going.

As believers we are taught to trust God for pretty much everything in our lives; from the schools to attend, the jobs to take or not to take, and how could I forget the big one...who to marry. We also are being taught at the same time by our parents, relatives, friends, teachers, etc. on how to live and be successful.

Here is the set up: We are taught in the church; that gambling is a sin and that we shouldn't do it i.e. poker, roulette, dice and even the lottery. We are told we don't trust God if we do these types of things in order to capitalize on our money.

Here's the question: If the above things are wrong and sinful; then what's the difference with those things and playing the stock market?

Let's talk about it all.


Z said...

I never thought about WHY gambling's touted as a sin in church. hmm.
I guess it's not trusting God, as you said..that could be it... I think I thought it was because it's so vacuous, a mind numbing pastime...a waste of time, 'idle hands, the devil's workshop'; that's why I thought people encouraged others not to gamble, etc. Like little boys spending too much time in the pool parlor in days of old!?

The stock market is at least something we support the economy companies we want to benefit from when they benefit? It's a kind of gambling but not quite as frivolous!?

I.H.S. said...

Always good to see you, let me throw this in to kind of mess with your point a little if you don't mind.

You stated the stock market is something we support the economy with...well, so does gambling in Vegas and Atlantic City...the lotteries in most states help support education.

And, I would add that the stock market takes more of a risk as well as more of your money to get in, but the lottery is a dollar a play, and similarly with poker and dice, etc.

I don't see the difference...Oh, by the way if you all don't mind; I'm playing the part of the devil's advocate on this, so either win me over or join me with you don't see the difference.


Z said...

I don't know; sitting around a gambling table with a cig in your mouth and scotch and water at your fingertips for hours on a weeknight and skipping work the next day because you're hungover and strung out seems worse to me than being at work and getting a call from your broker asking if you want to 'buy low'?! That's oversimplifying, I KNOW, but a thought?

By the way, so far I'm not so sure lottery money's gone into much of the education as they'd planned.

And I know of a lot of high rollers who spend more than a 'dollar a play'....heck, you can't find a $2 Blackjack table anymore for years, from what I hear!! Heh

I think the stock market's betting on our country and there is VERy little positive coming from gambling...

I just can't even get a whiff of God condemning stock market investing as 'gambling'...but keep going, convince me!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

It's hard to analyze capitalism because it's only an economic theory - not God's word. And it wasn't in place when Jesus was around. Capitalism (and the stock market) have the potential to create much more wealth than previous economies, but it is subject to greater swings. So we should still be trusting God, because we never know when the bottom will fall out.

Lots of things can be considered gambling. I have lots of different kinds of insurance. I'm gambling that I will hurt myself. The insurance company is gambling that I won't.

When I do some graphic design work, I charge a flat rate. I'm gambling that I can get a job done really quickly for the money. If I fail, I've lost the gamble and haven't made as much money per hour.


Bryan said...

One area to consider is proverbs 31 and the virtuous woman. All the qualities that make her excel have nothing to do with gambling, as we know it; taking from one who has lost, and hoping that they do. A few revealing scriptures are verses 16 and 24:

"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard...She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."

"God is good," and someone said, "all the time!"

Papa Frank said...

Happy Father's Day to you, my friend!!!

Z said...

Very happy Father's Day to you, I.H.S. xxx

Ducky's here said...

They key is the phrase "playing the market". If you are "playing" the market then it is indeed gambling. And the house will win just as it would if you start playing the slots at Atlantic City.

I believe sober investing for long term goals like retirement is a different matter. It is becoming difficult to do it in a socially responsible manner but the touchstone here is intent.

If you are throwing your money around thinking the market is a get rich quick vehicle or if you are not heeding the obvious signals of a bubble such as the 90's Nasdaq or housing then you are gambling. Thing is that Kapital has to make it look legitimate or it scares off the suckers.

shoprat said...

I can only see the most superficial similarities between the two. Investing in stocks is purchasing something of real value that you expect to increase in value. It's when monetary value on the big board exceeds reality that you have a problem.

I.H.S. said...

Shoppie, isn't buying a lottery ticket investing in something real as well? A dollar investment in hopes of the numbers falling your way...isn't that what one does in the stock market, invest money in hopes of the numbers falling their way?


Z said...

But, buying stock you're supporting a're betting they'll succeed so you succeed.
Gambling slot machines or poker is just "fun"..superfluous waste of time, no?
Lotteries have not, traditionally, paid our schools like we had been told they would, from what I hear. That's just buying a ticket and seeing someone else get stinking rich!!

mkeys said...

Hmm, God question Eld. I personally prefer the forex market, which deals
with the world's currency. When Jesus spoke of investing he spoke of the
master that gave his servants talents. They were to take their money to the exchangers to reap a profit. Here's the catch, was the master not certain that his servants, if they obeyed would reap a profit?

If he was certain, there was no gambling involved. He sowed and then he reaped and even reaped where he didn't sow.

We all know God's law of sowing and reaping.
Maybe, we need to ask God when and where to sow.