Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Bible and the Casino

On 18 April 2005, the Singapore government will make a decision on whether Singapore will proceed with the creation of a casino, a first in Singapore. However, there are probably some Christians who would oppose the casino proposal based upon religious grounds. Here are some of my thoughts:
  1. If you read the Bible carefully, all Biblical prohibitions to moral vices are only applicable to the people of God, i.e. spiritual / physical Israel and the Christians. The Mosaic Covenant is meant for the chosen people of Israel, not for the Egyptians, Assyrians or Babylonians. The apostles have never enouraged the Christians to oppose the moral vices of the non-Christians in the Roman empire. The divine commission is the evangelism of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not humanistic moral change in the general society.

    However, I must clarify that everyone, i.e. Christians and non-Christians, has "the requirements of the law are written on their hearts" (Romans 2:15 NIV). Even though the non-elect are not under the Mosaic Covenant or the New Covenant, they will still be judged on their sins.

  2. According to the Bible, "all [men] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23 NIV). It is also written: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NIV)

    This means that only through the transformational work of the Holy Spirit can a sinful man be freed from his sins. You must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, or "born again" so to speak (John 3:3). Therefore, there is no point having Christians impose Christian moral values on unregenerated non-Christians. This is an impossible task, which is best left to the Holy Spirit.

  3. By attacking pet moral issues such as gambling (and homosexuality), the culturally moralistic Christians are being selective at the sins they wish to vilify. They forget that every type of sins, whether major or minor, render the sinner unrighteous before God. Even one sin, be it pride, greed or lust, can cause a person to be denied Heaven, unless he has the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

    Anyway, if these Christians wish to vilify a sin, why not look at the worst sin in the world? And what might that be, you may ask? What is the greatest commandment? "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind" (Luke 10:27 NIV). Therefore, the worst sin in the world is to break the greatest commandment. However, we do not see many Christians being very agitated over this sin, unlike the issue of the casino or homosexuality.

  4. Cultural moralism makes morality the path to salvation, and that is Biblically wrong. Cultural moralism reverses the divine order. This kind of Christianity belittles the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and sends a message to the non-Christians that godly moralism can be achieved without receiving the gospel. Instead, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is the path to godly morality.

    In a way, Christian cultural moralism makes good works the means to salvation, instead of repentance and faith alone in Jesus Christ. However, salvation is actually the means to morality, not the ends. As the Bible clearly states: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).

  5. Even though I state that salvation is the means to morality, it does not mean that morality is the end goal in the overall divine plan. As the Westminster Larger Catechism very eloquently puts it: "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever." Salvation is also a way to show the grace of God on His elect, and never to promote overall morality in a totally depraved world.
In conclusion, I entirely disagree with anyone who use the Bible or the name of Christianity to support their arguments against the creation of the casino.

5 Comments:

Blogger jiffie said...

I don't wish to be rude, and I don't care particularly on this matter, for someone who is not particularly religious - but like you just said - you are a branch of Protestantism.

Doesn't Protestantism grow from the 'tree', the root if you like of God's (first) church - which is in the case of Protestantism (and its many forms) the CATHOLIC church. And isn't the catholic church built upon Peter/"pierre" (also meaning rock): the first bishop/pope. And might one not surmise that the rock upon which god himself bequethed his holy church be considered a true servant - The CHOSEN servant: and therefore by way of tradition, would that not also include the most recent of popes? which would, by my reasoning, validate bush's comments?

The catholic church, being the "first" church (as far as protestism is concerned) is a biblical truth isn't it? the catholic church is the one church that was started by Him? is that not fact? Isn't that, beyond interpretation of what he "meant," straight out of the horses mouth?

And is it necessary to be absolutely au fait with the machinations of the scriptures and readings in order to be a true, authentic servant of god?

And if that is the case, then WHO is the true servant? I'm sure the pope, or indeed any "holy man" who dedicates his life to such an enterprise is more than acquainted with the 'scriptures,' and the "ways" of his and many other religions - and your point falls upon one of interpretation.

To which neither you or him is infallible in deciding who and what truly is the RIGHT way. otherwise protestantism, and its more than one form, wouldn't exist.

AND if it HAD to be the RIGHT way, to which no one truly knows - even if they say they do - then NO ONE is a true servant of God.

And I thought you just had to be a nice person to be christian?

6/4/05 10:06 AM  
Blogger saltyN said...

hi jiffie. came across ur comment while surfing this blog.. i'm nat and am currently worshiping God in a protestant assembly of christians. hmmm.. i'm curious to ur usage of 'pierre' for peter's name. i wld like to refer to matt 16 v 18. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." actually, if u refer to e greek fr e name peter as used in scripture, it is 'petros'- which means little rock. not the 'pierrei which u mention in ur post. n e verse literally says," thou art Peter[petros -lit 'little rock'] and upon this rock[petra][large stone] I will build my church"..n also lookin at e greek tenses, e Lord Jesus is not saying that He will build His church upon peter, as you have implied in your post.., but upon Himself. hmmm.., peter also does mention something in relations to this.., about christians being little stones which build up the house of God and Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. n it is Christ tat allows our spiritual sacrifices to be acceptable unto God. "4ΒΆ To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, {precious: or, an honour}
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" 1 peter 2: 4-9
so sorry, but i do not mean any offense, but i'm curious about why you talk about peter being the foundation of the church..
i agree abt the catholic church being the first church.( the word catholic, 'universal' i believe, refered to the church which was formed as described in the book of acts, during those times.) but in history, the roman catholic church actually begain later, when emperor constantine legalised christianity, a prev outlawed religion, n made it the state religion of rome. n took e title of pope.. but u mentioned tat peter was e first pope? i noticed tat u used an interesting word. which is bishop.. it might interest u tat e word arised out of a translation failing? actually e greek word for elders and bishop are the same, n refers to one among others ,called out by God to shepard or rule e flock. ie 'overseers' in spiritual matters.
i believe in protestent christianity, there's a difference in what makes a person a christian. and that is not by being a good person, but as one who has accepted the Lord Jesus as having died for one's sin as we are not able to justify our sins before God n the Lord Jesus is the only one who can take the punishment for our sin. but on our part, we must repent of our sin, accept the Lord Jesus as having paid the penalty of our sin, and accept Him as Lord and savior.
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ro 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.John3:16-18
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Roms 10:9-10

i guess that i just found some of the things you mentioned being very different from what i know. also do not agree with some of the other things you said.
but i truly hope that i havent offended in any way..please reply and clarify if you see this. i can be reached at trail_strider@yahoo.com also. i hope our discussion will allow us to know more about God. let us seek to please God in all things. may He bless.

9/7/05 3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your old hossana music collection!! or knowledge of it my email is deltadom@hotmail.com

31/7/05 8:36 AM  
Blogger ciscoblog said...

The prevention of underage gambling and identifying and helping problem gamblers is a core objective in running an integrity driven online gambling operation. Gambling at blackjack, or any other online casinos game for that matter is a great form of leisure and entertainment, but for some it can potentially be dangerous.

15/12/05 2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with this Blog. Faith through grace alone is what saves us, not works, and certainly not a moralistic viewpoint or lifestyle. While we all need to live a morally pure lifestyle as Christians, telling others to do this, do that, don't do this, and don't do that will not encourage anyone to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Instead, it will only set impossible standards and cause us nothing but frustration and grief. It will also strip us of our own free will and right to personal responsibility. As a Christian myself, I struggle all the time with my faith, and sometimes I contemplate leaving it altogether, because I often feel as though if I don't strive towards being like somebody or other from the Bible, or if I don't agree with this and disagree with that, I won't go to Heaven, and my personal salvation will be utterly destroyed. I and the rest of the church congregation are simply accused of being lukewarm, or completely without faith. In fact, during church this morning, as we studied 1 Peter, our pastor kind of left me with the impression that, if I don't rejoice in my own personal suffering just as Peter did, I won't receive my Heavenly reward when I die. But the thing is, we are all different, and we all have our own way of coping with things, so just because Peter didn't let his suffering bother him any, even while he was in pain, it doesn't mean that God will punish the rest of us for not being more like Peter. And anyway, I thought we were supposed follow Jesus and His ways, not an imperfect, mortal human being like Peter or any of our other favorite biblical characters. I think their stories of triumph and tribulation can inspire us to examine our own lives and think about how faithful to Christ we really want to be. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But we can't all be just like one another, or be just like the characters in the Bible. That's too much pressure, and it will only set us up to fail. And when we fail, we lose our hope for salvation, which can cause some Christians to give up on their faith completely and for good.

8/12/08 6:04 AM  

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