Md. Lottery Officials: Winning Ticket Unclaimed

Lottery ticket sales are big business, and proceeds from the Maryland Lottery support services and programs such as education, public health and public safety.  What could possibly be wrong with this?

Scripture does not explicitly oppose gambling, but are there biblical principles that could apply here? Consider the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:16) for an example of biblical stewardship.  Another question to consider: Is gambling a personal matter, or are we responsible for its social effects?  Studies have linked gambling to addiction, poverty and crime, but does that make purchasing a lottery ticket a bad thing?  Lottery tickets are a path to quick riches (for the one-in-176 million), but where else might this path lead? (1 Timothy 6:7–10)

About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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