Today is opening day for Major League Baseball, and as I was setting my fantasy lineup this morning I was reminded of this post I wrote for Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like blog. I went through and updated it for your reading enjoyment. Here you go…
The topic of gambling is a HUGE can of worms among Christians, and I’d be lying if I said part of me doesn’t want to leave that can unopened on the shelf next to the bottled water and the rest of the Y3K preparedness kit.
The truth is, some of you reading this are completely against gambling in all forms, and are already giving me dirty looks through your screens (I can feel them). Others of you passionately love gambling and have already placed prop bets in Vegas on how many comments this post will get (Vegas currently has the under/over set at 13.5).
There are Christians on all sides of this issue, and while many of them know exactly where they stand on gambling, not everyone is sure where they should draw the line when it comes to risking their hard-earned money (which technically belongs to God anyway, right?). Can I buy a $5 powerball ticket and still go to heaven? Can I take communion on Sunday if I wagered twenty bucks on my golf round yesterday? Is it true that NCAA Bracket Pools were created by demons who had grown tired of waiting around for Armageddon?
I can’t answer those questions for you. But what I can do is give you a list of guidelines to help you figure out whether or not you should play fantasy sports for money. Bet you $5 it helps you out …
SHOULD I PLAY FANTASY SPORTS FOR MONEY?
If you’ve always wanted to be a part of a pro sports team and this brings you closer to the game, then go for it.
If you currently play, coach, or referee in the game, then maybe not.
If your league’s $20 entry fee means skipping a movie or dinner out for a month, then go for it.
If your league’s $2,000 entry fee means skipping a mortgage payment and tithe check for a month, then maybe not.
If no one else in your league has ever watched the sport before, then go for it.
If you’ve never watched the sport before, then maybe not.
If you found $50 in your Bible on the way to the draft, then go for it.
If you stole that Bible from someone at church to sell on eBay, then maybe not.
If you’re excited about the fellowship you’ll get from interacting with other owners during the season, go for it.
If you’re excited about colluding with other owners to cheat your way to a tainted championship, then maybe not.
If you’re favorite Bible passage is “the love of money is the root of all evil”, then go for it.
If you’re favorite Bible passage is “then they cast lots for Jesus’ garments”, then maybe not.
If the thought of it reminds you of when you used to make friendly wagers on games with your dad or your kids, then go for it.
If the thought of it reminds you of when you used to steal from the offering plate to pay your bookie, then maybe not.
If you plan on donating all your winnings to the Church’s prison ministry, then go for it.
If you are currently a part of the Church’s prison ministry because you’re incarcerated in a maximum security prison for money laundering and tax evasion, then maybe not.
If you heard an audible voice from heaven say, “Hey! This is God. Don’t gamble.” then maybe not…but…
If you heard an audible voice from heaven say, “Hey! This is God. Let it Ride!”, then hey…Let it Ride!