Friday, October 21, 2005

prespective blessings

So I’m comfortable in my little world I have a nice roof over my head a beautiful wife and loving, healthy children and a good job. Suddenly I get a whim and buy a lottery ticket, out of the blue, the odds seem so out standing that taking the whole thing seriously is silly. A day later I get up and check the numbers to find that I’ve won 340 million in cold hard cash.

Could this not be providential in some way? God allowed Satan to test Job’s character and resolve. Who am I to question God allowed tests or blessings either way. For some the test could come in calamity, a hot intern, drinking, statue or wealth. For others blessings may come in health, family, well being, friends, or maybe even a measure of wealth.

I do keep that whole eye of the needle comment in mind while I’m writing this. I also keep in mind the perspective of financial wealth being based TOTALLY on one’s perspective and situation. To some, my paycheck is far more than what they make and they could envy that, while I look around at the execs in this building and realize their wealth is attractive to me.

There are some minor arguing point I’m leaving out to see if they find their way in later.


bigsip said...

Do you mean "prospective" or "perspective"? Sorry, my friend, but "prespective" isn't a word.

OK, to the matter at hand.

I think you have to consider whether the money is a blessing from God or a curse from Satan.

How do you tell? I have no idea. But, in general, money, things, whatever that are easy come are easy go and generally wind up making your world collapse.

Consider Job. Sometimes, we go through troubles. We think, God must be testing us. Sometimes, it isn't God whose wrath has been unleashed.

Sometimes, when "good" things come our way, it isn't God's doing either.

I'm not really saying either way, I guess, but I DO feel that using money that could be a real chance for a sick, hurt, bereaved, starving, or otherwise injured person on a chance to bring yourself money, is wrong.

Just think, if all the money people spent on the lottery, gambling, and other win/lose activities went to feeding the starving masses of the world, how many people could be saved?

How many people could be drawn to Christ by the extra $5 added to the collection plate that goes to benevolence?

OK, let me stop here. I'm just throwing this out there because it's something that's easy to make an argument for.

Again, if you're not spending money on gambling activities, where's it going? Your family, school, church, etc. In other words, it's going somewhere better than into some greedy basts pocket who's just gonna spend it on a Hummer and some hummers and a pool in the shape of Dolly Parton's upper regions.

So, when it comes down to it, I guess it depends on what kind of message you want to send God by your spending, not whether or not He's gonna send something to you.

Jamison said...

you could get really really rich robbing people too...

better yet, you could legally buy junk cars and sell them as though they had no problems with them, making a much higher profit.

I dont think those rich blessings are from God though

Brewster said...

I don't understand the difference. Why is it wrong simply because it grants the opportunity to get the money back, plus some?

Think of all the good that could be done if we all had smaller morgages/rents, drove cheaper cars, didn't go to the movies/theatre or bought music, paid for cable etc.

Frankly I've spent a whole lot more money on other entertainment than I have ever spent gambling. Yet no one says a word about that. But if I go to a casino and set aside 20 bucks for the slots suddenly its a problem

bigsip said...

so true. although, the lottery seems like more of a massive pyramid scheme to me, though.

i think those are wrong, too.

curse Amway!

bigsip said...

I think it's all in the intent, though.

The intent with gambling is to make something for yourself. It's selfishness in its rawest, most basic form.

Jamison said...

"Frankly I've spent a whole lot more money on other entertainment than I have ever spent gambling. Yet no one says a word about that."

Well, maybe the way we spend our money on ANYTHING is a sin... could be... none of us really know.

bigsip said...

I don't know about spending money being a sin. But, I think evaluating the hows and whys is important.

If you spend the money and it's cutting into what you give at church, it's a problem.

If it's for something that's going to provide good, clean, fun entertainment for you and your family, it's ok.

I mean, it just takes common sense to see where something is building you and those around you up, or tearing you all down.

When it comes down to it, tossing $20 out the window sitting in a casino instead of taking my wife and son to the zoon seems pretty freakin backwardss to me.

mullinz8 said...

Sipper I expect you to give all of your wife’s student loans back right now or at least have her do it…

A chunk of her educational expenses have been taken from the sinful nature of the lottery. She made a conscience decision to apply for that loan or grant, what ever it was, because she thought selfishly realized she could benefit from others stupidity, others who are putting a dream in front of their families need for food, clothing, medicine, shelter and comfort.

Seemingly taking your stance NO Christian should benefit in any shape form or fashion from a lottery because it is an avenue to sin.

Indirectly Rachael IS a winner thanks to the lottery.

More over my point is that as a Christian there are areas of textural black and white and you should know what to do. In other areas there are hazy shades of light and dark, in those situations you should be able to listen to your conscience and make a decision based on how it makes you feel.

If you question a situation you are being given a moment to take pause and reconsider what your doing.

Brewster said...

>The intent with gambling is to make >something for yourself. It's >selfishness in its rawest, most basic >form.

As is eating a fudge sunday, playing duke nukem etc. I just had a caramel apple milkshake. It is full of sugar and fat and is abosolutely not healthy for me. It does my body no good, it didn't help out another soul.

But man was it good. I enjoyed it for several minutes.

Was I selfish? Did I sin?

Jamison said...

I had this simple thought today...

by not playing the lottery, I know no sin is being commited... but playing the lottery, perhaps one is...

I am more comfortable with my soul KNOWING I am not sinning, rather than doing something that possibly could be a sin... aren't we all?

Brew, dont get a gut again man...

Brewster said...

Too late on the gut. I've gained everything back that I lost in France. Its the sit down office work. Add to that all the office folks are dessert fiends and bring in all kinds of sweet goodies to tempt me with.

I certainly understand what you are saying, Jamison. A lot of people think this way, and I've got nothing against it.

This is a thread we have been dealing with throughout a lot of these discussions. I think where a lot of people make a mistake is taking this personal decision and making it dogma.

Playing the lottery "might" be sin, so you don't partake. But if Mullins plays a little we don't have the right to condem him.

For me, with my studying, I believe it is not a sin. This isn't a wishy washy I want to gamble so I'm making excuses, but a solid study and thinking about the issue belief.

Could I be wrong? Sure. But I could be wrong about the whole God thing. I have to go with what I have studied and come to believe

And again, this is all mostly philosophical because I don't gamble.

Brewster said...

Here is a thought: Jamison mentioned selling items on Ebay and not reporting this as income. Pretty sure that is illegal and the Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land.

Speeding is illegal=sin
Soft stopping a stop sign=illegal=sin

Yet I would say all of us do this nearly every single day.

Yet what do we get into heated arguments about? Lottery tickets.

I'll stop arguing now, I'm busy trying to get this plank out of my eye.

Brewster said...

Here is a thought: Jamison mentioned selling items on Ebay and not reporting this as income. Pretty sure that is illegal and the Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land.

Speeding is illegal=sin
Soft stopping a stop sign=illegal=sin

Yet I would say all of us do this nearly every single day.

Yet what do we get into heated arguments about? Lottery tickets.

I'll stop arguing now, I'm busy trying to get this plank out of my eye.

bigsip said...

A double-dose of Brew!

What'd you do to deserve that, Jamison?

I haven't seen any solid scripture to support a solid idea that gambling isn't wrong, Brew.

While there aren't any scriptures I've seen that condemn gambling outright, I think the ones Jamison and I've mentioned do talk about philosophies that don't jive with the philosophy of gambling.

We are to be good stewards of what God gives us and honor God with what He gives us. None of it's ours anyway.

bigsip said...

Here's an interesting tidbit:

John 19:23-24 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. Then they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says, "They parted my garments among them. For my cloak they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things.

Seems they were gambling for Jesus' clothes as he suffered and died on the cross.

Not that this is a proof text against gambling. It just seemed mighty conspicuous. Sorry, if it's off-subject. Just thought it was interesting.

Brewster said...

And that's really what I'm saying. I get irriated when we call something a sin when there isn't really scipture to back it up.

Certainly things like alcohol and gambling and become terrible things and should be warned against. But to mark them as sin, and to condemn anyone from partaking in them in the tiniest amounnts isn't right.

bigsip said...

Something Mullins mentioned in another post was that being a stubling block is an issue in all of these things (drinking, gambling, etc.)

I think a combined philosophy points toward not doing these things in order to help the compulsive gambler, alcoholic, etc.

If we could wind up hurting anyone, it could wind up being a huge sin. Causing "little ones" to stumble and all.

I think that's why we always come back to the "be careful little hands what you do, little feet where you go, mouth what you say, etc." philosophy.

I think there should be a new coC board game called "Sin/Not a Sin?"

mullinz8 said...

I gotta tell ya Sipper I think you’re on to something. Can you imagine a board game that actually challenged people to express their thoughts and emotions and then back them up with scripture! Think of the dialog you would create. If you played it with people you really knew well then it could help cement deep bonds between the players.

I think that our interpersonal dynamics are outstandingly diverse yet they are laid in a fashion where we can all communicate openly. Jamison can rebuke me over a lottery ticket because I know he cares and isn’t trying to piss me off or be spiteful. I can question Sipper until I turn blue in the face in an effort to challenge him which hopefully not only strengthens both of our philosophies but hopefully the other participants as well.

Basically the game is set up as a debate between two teams. From a deck the topic is chosen, “Should someone terminally ill be allowed to die?” What are the Biblical and moral arguments for both? Each team has three minutes to give their pov. The drawer of the card is given a stance as to be for or opposed forcing them to take the mindset of the “sinner” and argue their pov.
Points are given on the subjective idea of an arguments soundness and doctrine referenced.

BACK TO TOPIC. If you’re hanging out with Joey and he has a fondness of dropping $20 on a lottery ticket every two days then just don’t give him the opportunity to indulge that weakness because it’s obviously controlling him more than he’s controlling it. If you’re on your own and don’t share the same compulsion one ain’t going to kill you, so long as you’ve not made a series of plans and situations leading up to that moment.

I’ll swing this back to something we’ve touched on earlier. Smoking. I love my wife but she smokes. She has cut back and I am far more proud of her that I’ve let her know. Public acknowledgement, honey I’m proud of you and thank you.

Smoking will eventually kill you, or any one else, according to almost any doctor whose names are not attached to some lobbyist groups.
It’s not the fact that it effects Caleb’s asthma or can really reek or that it costs what it does, again and again and again. It’s the fact that it is an addiction. If Jules, or anyone were to sit down and have to read the Bible for determined amount of time “X”, there would come a point where her mental clarity would become dysfunctional. Her mind would wander into needing a smoke because of the addictive nature of nicotine.

I know it’s an extreme example but that addiction is pulling her away from the word of God and doing as great a damage as other addictions be they mental or physical. Still no one says a thing about smoking.

Thought the idea is still that something has pulled you away from God, that is wrong.

bigsip said...

Smoking feels good...It's one of the worst addictions ever, man. I hope she can get through with the smokes. It's a tough thing to be bound to.

Jamison said...

who painted the pic in this post? I love it?
also just noticed a chick squrting some breast milk into a baby from about 2 feet...

bigsip said...

Looks like a painting Titian would paint. I don't know, though. Where'd you find it, Mullins?