On this “the word of God is clear”- He loves those that will vote YES on Amendment 1!!

Seagull Mussings Column for August 4, 2004

Recently, as the Ole Seagull entered a local church he was handed a church bulletin for the service. One of the items stuffed in the bulletin was a “muck sheet” announcing, in bold type, that “The word of God is clear about gambling violating many scriptural themes.” As the Ole Seagull read the “muck sheet” he thought to himself, “The people that wrote this are either intentionally trying to deceive people or are reading a different ‘word of God’ than he was reading.”

In the Ole Seagull’s research regarding the scriptures and gambling he didn’t find anything specifically declaring gambling a sin, prohibiting it or warning against it. Not so with adultery (Matt: 5:27), lusting (Matt: 5:28), immorality, impurity, and sensuality (1Gala: 5:19), enmities, jealousy, anger, disputes, dissentions, and factions (1Gala: 5:20) envyings and drunkenness (1Gala: 5:21), sodomy (Gene:19:1-26), greed (Luke 12:15), judging others (Matt: 7:1), and, hypocrisy (Matt: 23:25).

“Hey Seagull, did you list hypocrisy last because you wanted to save the best for last?” “No because it is consistent with 1 Corinthians 13:13 and I wanted to save the ‘greatest’ for last.” “But Seagull, doesn’t 1 Corinthians 13:13 read ‘But now abide faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love?'” “Sure it does.” “Well what does that have to do with ‘hypocrisy’?” “Oh, about as much as the scriptures cited in the “muck sheet” have to do with casino entertainment ‘violating many scriptural themes.'”

The “muck sheet” asks three “like duh” questions about “your neighbors.” Questions designed so that 99.99 percent of a sane population would have to answer “No.” Each was followed by a baseless conclusionary statement allegedly supported the scriptural reference that immediately followed. Not one of them, in the Ole Seagulls opinion, “clearly,” logically, or honestly supported the baseless conclusionary statement it followed.

As an example, the first of the three questions on the “muck sheet” asked, “Do you want your neighbors to destroy their families?” What other answer is there except “No.” That was immediately followed by the statement “Gambling breaks marriages and homes of many families due to deceit, addiction, alcoholism, and violence.” Coherency aside, exponentially what has broken up more marriages, homes, and families “adultery,” or “casino entertainment?

How much would one bet on the proposition that “alcoholism” is caused by “gambling” rather than the abuse of alcohol? That “deceit” is caused by casino entertainment rather than lack of character and dishonesty or that “addiction” or “violence” is caused by casino entertainment rather than by the lack of self control?

The scripture listed as supporting the statement is “And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together let man not separate. (Mark: 8:9)” Can any responsible person, Christian or otherwise, honestly look anyone in the face, let alone those whom they go to church with or those who have come to their church seeking the love, comfort, and salvation of Jesus, and say that the passage “is clear about gambling violating its scriptural theme?”

The “muck sheet” further states that scripture “guides us to not walk with the wicked nor stand with sinners.” Unless Romans: 3:23 is wrong when it says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” wouldn’t our churches be “mired” in loneliness without us sinners? Did Jesus come to call the righteous or the sinners?

Sadly, although the “muck sheet” quotes Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” it is devoid of any attempt to show that love and ignores the admonition contained in Matthew 7:5 which says, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” It appears hypocritically “mired” in the muck of ignoring the “logs” of adultery, greed, drunkenness, hypocrisy etc. and the havoc they reap while, comparatively speaking, condemning the “speck” of casino entertainment.

How is the love of Christ shown in the “muck sheet?” How does it further the work of God’s kingdom? “For Pete sake Seagull, get real, do you think that the people who wrote the “muck sheet” cared one iota about anything except not having the people who read it vote ‘YES’ for Amendment 1 on August 3?” “Well, if they did they hid it well, very well indeed.”

“But Seagull, your headline says that ‘the word of God is clear- He loves those that will vote YES on Amendment 1.’ Won’t He also love those that don’t vote YES on Amendment 1?” “Of course He will, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ (John: 3:16) It’s an unconditional gift that applies to all who will accept it, those that vote YES on Amendment 1 as well as those that don’t vote YES.” “But now abide faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love.”

Gary Groman, a.k.a. “The Ole Seagull,” is an independent columnist and the editor of the Branson Courier. He may be reached by clicking here or by calling 417-339-4000.

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
This entry was posted in Editorials. Bookmark the permalink.