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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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June 1993

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 On July 13, 1993, the citizens of Port Huron will be called upon to cast their vote as to whether or not to support the idea of bringing casino gambling into the city. Many arguments have been presented on both sides of the issue. Pro-gambling forces note the increases in jobs and tourism that the casino would bring. Anti-gambling forces show that casinos do not create wealth, but rather produce an environment which creates increased poverty, crime, and tax-guzzling social services. Back and forth the debate rages, with each side producing it's own set of figures, and interpreting them to their own advantage. The average citizen is left confused, and winds up casting a vote not based on facts, but rather on feelings, and the Bible clearly tells us that feelings are deceptive (Jer. 17:9, I John 4:1).

 How then can one decide how to vote? There is only one constant upon which any decision can be based, and that is the truth of the Bible. The Bible, while not mentioning "casino gambling", does address the principles around which a casino operates. At the heart of gambling is a love of money, and a desire to have that which you do not have already. Covetousness is forbidden in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:17). In Psalm 119:36, David writes, "Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness." Proverbs 21:25-26 gives this warning: "The desire of the slothful killeth him, for his hands refuse to labor. He coveteth greedily all the day long." Col. 3:5 commends the believer to "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness ... and covetousness, which is idolatry." Idolatry is the worship of-some other "god" besides the Heavenly Father. Thus Paul is saying that to covet is to put material possessions ahead of God in importance. This is a terrible sin to commit. Paul echoes this thought in Ephesians 5:5 when he states, "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Thus, since casino gambling is based upon a man's covetous desire, it must be an inherently sinful activity. No one can dispute that people gamble because they love money. The Bible teaches that "

the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Tim. 6:10).
In the preceeding verse Paul warns that "they that (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare." Again, the Bible principle shows the sinfulness of casino gambling.

See, whether or not the casino will increase employment really doesn't matter. Whether or not crime increases is not the issue. The only issue is; what does the Bible say? The Bible teaches that covetousness and the love of money are sinful and idolatrous. Thus, even if a casino would provide tremendous economic benefit to Port Huron (which I do not believe it will), we as Christians must vote Biblically, and vote "NO".

Your Pastor

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