Matthew R. Perry

Known as a “Lottery Church”? (From PreachingNow, 2.6.07)

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2007 at 6:34 am

An AgapePress story by Mark Creech details a new challenge for churches: members who win lotteries and then want to donate a portion of their winnings, despite the church’s outspoken opposition to gambling. Creech relates: “Pastor Scott Thomas understands this principle well. According to Family News In Focus, he faced a very difficult situation several years ago when a deacon in his church offered a portion of lottery winnings for a building fund. Thomas refused the gift and stood on the principle of Christian separation. ‘I’ve just always believed that God doesn’t need to use chance to build his Church,’ said Thomas. Furthermore, he added that impoverished people largely play lotteries and the church shouldn’t profit on the backs of the poor.

“Despite Thomas’ opposition, however, the church wanted the money and fired him. They accepted the gift and built the building. As a result, attendance has dropped from 165 to fewer than 50 people a week. Thomas says: ‘Several of the members have called me and said, ‘The albatross around our necks is that we are now known as the lottery church.'”

Pastor John Piper wrote, “Don’t play the lottery for me. We are followers of Jesus. He had no place to lay His head and did not accept the demonic temptation to jump off the temple for the jackpot of instant recognition. The Calvary road is not paved with Powerball tickets, but with blood. Don’t play the lottery for Bethlehem Baptist Church. We will not, I pray, salve your conscience by taking one dime of your plunder, or supporting even the thought of your spiritual suicide. Let the widow give her penny and the laborer his wage. And keep your life free from the love of money.” (Click here to read the full story.)


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