Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Opus 2018-017: Why Don’t I Win the Lottery?

The easy answer is “I never buy a ticket”.  You can’t win if you don’t play, but how many borderline believers go out and buy a lottery ticket in hopes that God will let them win and bail them out of a crisis?  How often do people promise God that if they win they will tithe on the winnings?  Why does God not play this game?  Economics.

Picture what would happen to the economy of the United States if every time a believer had a financial difficulty, God said, “Buy a lottery ticket” or “Horse number seven to place in the third race”.  He could do it but He doesn’t.  If He did the local community would be flooded with all kinds of unearned, extra cash.  For a day or two there would be parties and celebration.  After a short time all the good stuff would be gone and the stuff that wasn’t so good would cost a fortune and by that time you have blown all the largess and need another word from the Lord.  It would have the same effect that we have when governments start printing money instead of balancing their budgets.  Inflation would kick in and the economy would become a mess.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Which brings us to the second problem.  Think of the effect on the character of the believer.  It would undermine such things as thrift and moderation.  It would discourage hard work.  We see what happens when welfare is too easy to get.  Many people stop looking for work or don’t try very hard to keep the job they have.  After all, if they don’t have a job there is always the EBT card.  Getting a job after a long time off is hard to do.  I know how hard it was as a teacher to go back to work after a summer off.  If I had enough money in the bank I would have retired at 50 instead of 70.  God would become my social worker.

And think of the effect on the church.  It would lose the opportunity to share and express love.  Maybe you have been unfortunate enough that you have never been in such a desperate state that the family of God needed to step in to help.  Yes, you read that right.  You were unfortunate because you were never up against the wall.  I remember when my first child was born.  I was a young pastor and had been caught between churches so that I had no insurance.  The hospital wanted $500 cash up front or they would not release the baby to go home.  We had no money.  We laugh about it now, “What were they going to do, keep the baby?”  At the time is was terrifying.  Suddenly we got an unsolicited phone call telling us our district had found a special fund that awarded $500.  I don’t remember what cover story they came up with.  What had happened was a wealthy retired man who volunteered a lot in the district office had dug down and written a check for this struggling pastor.  The church needs to be the church.  The church needs to give and support.  If God started using the lottery or the government steps in with welfare checks then God’s people are being robbed of the opportunity to serve and relieved of the responsibility to give.

So buy a ticket if you must but don’t expect God to award the win.  If you do win you might ask yourself just who it was that made it happen.

homo unius libri


  1. Well, I think you may have over-played your hand slightly, but I won't disagree with you, either. As you know, there is no flat-out prohibition of gambling in the scriptures. However, "professional" gambling is more than covered by "earning your bread by the sweat of your brow." Habitual gamblers are covered by various verses, from those dealing with responsibility to "having other gods before me." That said, I honestly doubt if the Lord cares if we spend a dollar or two a week on tickets, though I very rarely buy one myself. The problem is when it becomes an obsession, like drugs or alcohol abuse. Then the becomes a matter of "if thy hand offends thee, cut it off."

    1. The path of moderation is always hard to stay on. I can see a place where I might buy a ticket on occasion, but I have never done so. In reality you would be better off buying lightning insurance. The only problem with that is you never get to spend the reward.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.