While some may see business opportunity, others see ruin

By Debra Whittington

Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NLT)

When God created man, he gave him free will to make choices. Moses received laws to help man to do what was right, but in Judges 17:5-7 it says “but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Today, people still do what is right in their minds, but is it indeed the right thing? Is what is right for one person right for someone elseeven if it causes them to fall?
The Apostle Paul talked about this very thing in Romans 14. He didn’t have a problem, but he was concerned about young Christians who did and refused to be a stumbling block to them.

There are those in our community who see nothing wrong with a proposed race track and casino. They see it as an opportunity to bring more money into the community. I am concerned this could be a stumbling block that could lead to addiction to gambling or much worse.

First, I’d like to clear this up: I was shocked when I read Wednesday’s edition of the Sun to find the Whittington name listed among those who gave an option on land for the proposed project. For the record, neither Mark nor I am associated with that arrangement.

I prayed and searched the Scriptures before I even attempted to write this column. I don’t want it to be just my own view and opinion, but will
back it up with what I read in the Bible to support my belief.

The No. 1 reason is the Bible tells us that we shall not put anything above the Lord. (Exodus 20:3) For those who are addicted to gambling, that becomes their god at the expense of all else. Already there are 15 million people addicted to gambling in this country. We don’t need to add residents of our area to that statistic.

Next, I am against gambling because it promotes greed. Paul had something to say about this. In 1 Timothy 6:8-10 he says, “And having food
and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

I have a big problem with those who are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. Those who gamble are striving to get rich quick, which is greed.

While the Bible doesn’t say anything specific about gambling, it says plenty about greed. Jesus said in Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”. There are other verses to consider as well such as Ephesians 4:18-20, Hebrews 13:5, Proverbs 15:27,and Proverbs 21:25-26 which I think the New Living Translation conveys so well: “Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly loveto give”!

I am limited in space to expand on how much gambling hurts the poor. God will judge those who exploit the poor. Learn more about this by reading Zechariah 7:9-11, Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 14:30-32    Proverbs 22:16-17, 21-23, Proverbs 28:5-7, 22, Proverbs 29:7, and Ecclesiastes 5:8-13.

  It is important to look out for those who might fall into the trap ofgambling, which I feel is not to have gambling at all. Paul says it so well in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15: “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patienttoward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men”. 

Whether or not it is legal, gambling goes against my beliefs and I will continue to stand against it.

One last bit of interesting information concerning the proposed site is the huge steel crosses on the land adjacent on East Route 66. These crosses were erected through a community effort a couple of years ago and can be seen from a distance. If at some point the land is sold and the racino expands around the crosses, what will happen then? My final question is this: Will you look to the racino or to the crosses and what they represent?