John Piper on Whether or Not Christians Should Participate in Fantasy Sports Gambling

Fantasy sports gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States — but should Christians participate? Theologian John Piper recently shared seven reasons why he believes the answer is “no.”

Piper, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary, weighed in on the issue in response to a reader, who revealed he spends $20–$50 a week gambling on fantasy football.

“Is modest online sports gambling sinful?” the reader asked.

Online gambling in general, little or big, is sinful — whether you call it modest or exorbitant, Piper began.

“I’ve got seven reasons, at least, that I would encourage this young man to consider in order to rethink the way he spends his time and his money as a Christian,” he said.

First, Piper reminded the reader that he has one single life to live on this earth. Every day, he said, should be lived for the glory of God and is either “invested well” or “lost forever.”

“Our friend calls himself a big sports fan. He says he absolutely loves fantasy football. He speaks of multiple avenues of playing. He talks about putting money on the line. I would say all this time, all this intensity, all this money shows things are out of proportion in his life. This to me looks like a tragic waste of a precious, God-given life,” he argued.

Second, the former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church highlighted the dangers of being “absorbed in an unreal world,” adding: “I think our friend should reflect on the fact that the Bible refers to the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). That should send off alarms in his mind because deceit is essentially creating a sense that what is unreal is more to be desired than what is real.”

Third, Piper pointed out that $20–$50 a week isn’t “modest,” especially when one half the world’s population lives on $2.50 a day.

“So there’s good evidence he has lost touch with reality, and I would plead with him, ‘Wake up, friend. Wake up,'” the pastor said.

The Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist author went on to point out that the Bible warns against get-rich-quick schemes and reminded the reader that none of his money belongs to him — it all belongs to God.

“I would say quite bluntly, forthrightly, and confidently that you have no right to risk God’s money this way,” he said.

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Source: Christian Post