A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Friendly Wager This United Methodist Pastor Can Support

Anyone who knows anything about United Methodism is aware of the fact that we are divided on most issues. But historically we have been opposed to gambling and that seems to be one position most UMs broadly support. On gambling our Book of Discipline (paragraph 163G; 2008) states the following:
Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government. As an act of faith and concern, Christians should abstain from gambling and should strive to minister to those victimized by the practice.

 Where gambling has become addictive, the Church will encourage such individuals to receive therapeutic assistance so that the individual's energies may be redirected into positive and constructive ends. 
The Church should promote standards and personal lifestyles that would make unnecessary and undesirable the resort to commercial gambling—including public lotteries—as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of charities or government. 
The Church's prophetic call is to promote standards of justice and advocacy  that would make it unnecessary and undesirable to resort to commercial gambling—including public lotteries, casinos, raffles, Internet gambling, gambling with an emerging wireless technology and other games of chance—as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of charities or government. 
In practice, this means that United Methodist churches should not raise funds through methods such as raffles, lotteries, bingoor drawings for door prizes or through games of chance such as bingo.

Well, two Archbishops of the Catholic Church have made a friendly wager on the World Series. The Huffington Post reports:
The Archbishop of St. Louis, the Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, has challenged Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, to a friendly wager. 
As the St. Louis Cardinals go up to bat against the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 Major League Baseball World Series, the two Catholic leaders have put their wallets on the line for the sake of hometown pride and social justice. 
Each archbishop has personally put up $100, which will go to the Catholic Charities of the winning team's archdiocese.
This UM pastor finds it difficult to be opposed to this kind of game of chance action. It provides an interesting way to call attention to the needs of others.

1 comment:

heartontheleft said...

I would agree with you on this. This is a wager that benefits all.

Earlier this summer, a Lutheran colleague of mine in New Jersey who is from St. Louis had a similar "wager" with a member of his congregation as to whether the Mets would win more than 80 some games. The loser had to donate to a Lutheran based mission effort.

Of course, I cannot see how Cardinal O'Malley can root against the Cardinals, no matter what city they are from. :)

And the St. Louis Symphony has a wager with the Boston Symphony but I don't know what it is (it's on YouTube, I think.)

In the end, I trust that the Cardinals will prevail and that the sun will still come up in the east no matter the outcome.