Episode 542

ERLC releases new guide on understanding the public policy arena; Sports gambling’s impact on the big game; Gambling preys on the longings of the heart

Feb 9, 2024

The ERLC releases a Q&A guide from Andrew Walker to answer basic political questions from a biblical perspective; pastors and church leaders push back against the billion dollar sports betting industry; Barrett Duke says gambling preys on the desires of the human heart

Transcript

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) has launched “The Nations Belong To God: A Christian Guide For Political Engagement,” a guide aimed at helping Christians navigate the complexities of political involvement in light of the upcoming presidential election.

Authored by Andrew Walker of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, this resource answers 40 critical questions on topics such as the Christian’s role in government, the church’s relationship with the state, and principles of voting and justice.

ERLC President Brent Leatherwood emphasizes the guide as a starting point for thoughtful engagement, urging believers to consider their faith’s teachings in the public square.

The question-and-answer formatted guide is designed to be accessible and addresses both the importance of political engagement and the need to prioritize faith principles in such endeavors.

As the Super Bowl draws near, a spotlight shines on the escalating issue of sports gambling, now legal in nearly 40 states, yet resisted by Alabama and Texas, where faith leaders tirelessly work to uphold a moral stance against it.

With Americans betting a staggering $1.3 billion on the game, concerns deepen over the addictive nature of sports betting and its societal impacts.

Many believers, recognizing the moral and societal dangers, stand firm in their opposition, amidst the fast-growing acceptance of sports gambling nationwide.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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In a world where 71% of Americans view gambling as morally acceptable, it’s clear that this activity has woven itself into the fabric of our society. Yet, the allure of quick gain conflicts with the teachings of Scripture, which offers us guidance and wisdom for living lives that honor God.

In a Baptist Press Toolbox piece, Barrett Duke, writes that gambling often preys on our deepest longings—for financial security, entertainment, a sense of importance, or even an escape from our troubles. He says at its core, it distracts us from relying on God as our provider, our source of hope, and the one who gives our lives meaning and purpose. The Bible teaches us that God will supply all our needs when we trust in Him (Philippians 4:19), Duke says, and that our true worth comes from being loved by Him, not from the fleeting thrill of a gamble.

Duke says believers are called to steward our resources wisely, support others, and find our joy and satisfaction in Jesus, who offers lasting joy and fulfillment. Gambling, with its false promises, stands in stark contrast to the abundant life that Jesus promises to those who follow Him (John 10:10).

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