Do you believe it is right or wrong for Christians to play the lottery?

With an over $1 billion dollar jackpot in Indiana, people are buying more lottery tickets than ever.

What do you think about the ethics of this?  

I think many of us would argue that it is money wasted and not wise, but there is a difference between our opinion as to what is wise and what is right or wrong.  After all, people waste money on all sorts of things.

Would you disqualify one from church leadership for buying a lottery ticket?

So where do you stand?

As always, some of you will not find a perfect fit answer.  Choose the right fit.  You can approximate truth in a poll like this -- it is understood as such.


Gambling in general is not bad if self-controlled, including lottery tickets.
0% (0 votes)
Buying lottery tickets on occasion or in moderation is perfectly fine.
4% (1 vote)
I am not comfortable buying one myself, but do not think it is wrong for others to do so.
13% (3 votes)
I am unsure about the ethics of moderate gambling, but it is not big deal.
4% (1 vote)
I am neutral or do not even want to give it thought.
8% (2 votes)
I am against it and think it is wrong, but no big deal.
21% (5 votes)
I am firmly against it and think it is wrong and is a big deal.
46% (11 votes)
4% (1 vote)
Total votes: 24
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There are 6 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture


At least 4 reasons it's wrong...

  1. Biblically we're supposed to work for our income, not try to get lucky for it. (Gen. 2:15, 1 Thess. 4:11, 2 Thess. 3:10-12)
  2. It's poor stewardship. (Matt. 25:21)
  3. The practice encourages young people in the "luck" mindset... the thinking that whether they thrive or fail financially is the result of random factors beyond their control. (Eph. 6:4)
  4. There is often a greed factor we should not indulge. (1 Tim. 6:9)


Jim's picture

Nationwide, people who make less than $10,000 spend on average $597 on lottery tickets — about 6 percent of their income.

Think of the lottery this way: A lot of people voluntarily put money into a pot, and it is redistributed, at random, to just a few people. But if you're already desperate and unable to afford even the most basic needs, then that tiny probability of digging yourself out of a hole is better than nothing.

Dan Miller's picture

Yes, I have a friend who calls it a "tax on stupidity."

As far as ethics, I think the important principles are:

- What we hope in. A lot of people buy hoping to get rich to have a better life.

- The God-serving goodness that is working and providing for a family. 

- The sovereignty of God in trials, including poverty. 

Jim's picture

The first prize winner will be flown to Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 11th April to attend the Church In Hard Places pre-conference and T4G conference on 12th–14th April. They’ll stay at a nearby hotel for the 4 nights of their trip. The hotel even provides a convenient shuttle service to the conference centre. Then they’ll fly home on the 15th April.

Aaron Blumer's picture


The difference is that "winners" are drawn from a pool of people who are going to get value for their spend (they buy the book, and drawn winners also get something more).

So, imagine a lottery where you buy a $3 gallon of milk (or whatever milk goes for these days.. never drink anymore) and your name goes into the PowerBall.    ... it would sell more milk to be sure, but I can't say there's anything wrong w/buying milk that way.   (In the long run, the thing would have to be funded somehow though, so I supposed it would result in more expensive milk?)