QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SESSION WITH PASTOR CHRIS OYAKHILOME.
THE CHRISTIAN AND LOTTERY
Quick Vote Question of the Week: We gave you several options:
• The Christian and Politics: Is it scriptural for a Christian to engage in politics, especially in nations where politics is corrupt?
• The Christian Polygamist: What does someone do if he was married to two or three women before he got saved? Does he keep the first wife and divorce the other two, or does he continue with all three of them. [You can discuss this on the blog]
• The Christian and Healing: As Christians, we’re not meant to be sick, but what does a Christian do if he/she has been prayed for healing and receives it, but the situation remains the same in the physical?
• Now, what you chose was “The Christian and Lottery”: Is it right for a Christian to play the lottery?
Wonderful! Now, how come a lot of you were interested in a lottery? It shows you’re interested in getting more money. I’d like to explain the lottery to you because I realize that a lot of times many equate the lottery with gambling. I’d read to you some of the differences in the operation of a lottery, so you can understand it. Lottery:
1. Is a contest in which tokens are distributed or sold, the winning token(s) being secretly pre-determined or ultimately selected in a random drawing.
2. A selection made by lot from a number of applicants or competitors.
3. An activity or event regarded as having an outcome depending on fate.
So, these are the three methods that lotteries are drawn. Now, the difference between this and gambling is the inclusion of a ‘wager’. In gambling, there’s a wager. There’s a pledge; you make a pledge of something and then with a hope to win it, which if you don’t win, whatever it is you pledged is gone. Now, that’s where people get into trouble; some pledge their homes, some pledge their car, some pledge their fortune, and win or lose until they’re addicted to doing it, and then frustration sets in. And, that’s why a lot of times, people are told to stay out of gambling.
But, Lottery is not gambling and it doesn’t a wager. Now, am I recommending Lottery? Not really, but I just want to you what it’s about and the fact that, in the bible, lottery comes from the word ‘lot,’ so you remember that. In Proverbs chapter 16 and verse 33: “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD”. [Proverbs 16:33] That’s one. And then, Chapter 18, same book, and verse 18: “The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.” [Proverbs 18:18] And then, in the Book of Acts, over in the New Testament, Acts Chapter 1 verse 26, talking about the disciples, when they came together after the ascension of Jesus Christ, Peter [being the leader] addressed them talking about the demise of Judas Iscariot and the need for him to be replaced by someone else. And then, he asked them to cast their lots. And, in verse 26, he says “And they gave forth their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” [Acts 1:26] Now, this is the only place in the New Testament where they cast lots. After this time (the next chapter) they received the Holy Spirit and they could walk by the Spirit without having to cast lots to find out ‘what was the mind of God.’ The idea here is casting of lots is not necessarily wrong; in fact, it’s a game. So, the lottery is a game. If something is wrong with it, it’s just like a Christian not playing a game; so, it’s a game. You win or lose, but you’re not making a pledge to it; so, that’s what it’s about.
So, is it right for a Christian to play a lottery? It is okay, depending on the terms. So, remember that; if the terms are not acceptable to you, don’t play it.