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That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Fantasy Football And Gambling

Posted by Job on August 3, 2007

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(Psalm 118:8)

***MINNESOTA BRIDGE TRAGEDY!   Please join me in prayer for those families
who lost loved ones in the I-35 bridge collapse Wednesday in Minneapolis/St.
Paul.  We are also praying for those who were injured to fully recover.  Our
thoughts and prayers are with our friends in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area
as they recover from this horrible event.

***LIVEPRAYER CRIBS!!!   MTV has a program called “Cribs” where they take a
camera crew through some of the top musical artists lavish multi-million
dollar homes.  Well, I taped a segment for the TV program taking them
through the “lavish” Liveprayer executive offices.  As many of you know,
Liveprayer started in the back of a used car lot in St. Petersburg that is
owned by one of my Board members.  Even though we could have spent the money
to move into better offices, we have chosen to stay where God birthed this
ministry that has literally impacted tens of millions of lives worldwide
over nearly 8 years and use those funds to reach the lost and hurting.  It
is a short video that is really a testimony of God’s provision, grace, and
blessing.  I hope you enjoy it!
http://liveprayer.com/crib.cfm

(Personal note: Though I personally do not gamble, unlike Pastor Keller, I do not take the position that gambling is sin because I cannot find either direct or strong indirect scriptural justification for it.  However, I feel that my essay WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION spiritually agrees with the message that Pastor Keller makes in this devotional, and on the topics of gambling and drinking alcohol in general.)

Football and gambling.  The college and pro-football seasons are only weeks
away.  All across this nation, it will be football season.  It is a time for
fans of the game to root their favorite team on to victory (go Ohio State
Buckeyes!).  Sadly however, it is also a time for millions of people to
gamble on this great sport.  From now until the Super Bowl next February,
BILLIONS will be wagered legally and illegally on pro and college-football
games.  Over the next 5 months, lives will be destroyed by people who are in
bondage to gambling on football games.

Over the past 5 years, by far the fastest growing form of sports gambling,
especially on professional football, has been “fantasy football.”  In
fantasy football, a predetermined group of people get together, make up
fantasy teams from the existing pool of players, and are rewarded when the
players they select have productive statistics in the games they play.  It
sounds like fun and can be.  However, in most fantasy leagues there is an
“entry fee” and a financial reward for those who do well, which also means a
financial loss for those who do poorly.  You can call it whatever you want,
but if you are playing fantasy football and there is money to be won or
lost, YOU ARE GAMBLING!

The appalling thing to me is the hypocrisy of the National Football League
in regard to fantasy football.  While the league takes a zero tolerance
position regarding gambling on its games, they fully endorse and support
fantasy football.  They have taken this position for two reasons.  First,
they view it as an entertaining way for more people to watch and be involved
in their product.  They are 100% right since not many people would be
worrying about the number of yards a running back on a bad team gained in a
meaningless game late in the seasons, unless that player was on your fantasy
team.  Second, they claim to only endorse fantasy leagues where no money
changes hand, knowing full well that 99% of fantasy leagues have entry fees
anywhere from $10 to $100,000.

The reality is, the NFL as well as the NCAA that oversees the college game,
fully understands and tacitly accept the fact that billions are wagered
every season on their games.  Pick up ANY newspaper during the season and in
the back of the sports page are the Vegas lines.  My friend, there is only
ONE reason they are printed…for GAMBLING.  The explosion of interest in
college and pro football has been primarily driven by gambling.  People can
wager in Vegas, with the local bookie, with their friend, or at offshore
bookmakers online, and then sit back and watch the game they have bet on.

Football and television are a match made in gambling heaven.  The “line” is
broadcasted and openly talked about in regard to EVERY game without any
hesitation by the announcers.  Programs geared to people who gamble are all
over TV and radio during football season.  You can now sit at home and watch
virtually every college and pro game that is played.  I can assure you, the
ONLY reason someone is up at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning watching Hawaii play
TCU, other than those who went to Hawaii and TCU, are people betting on the
game.  The ONLY reason someone is watching two pro teams with 2-9 records on
a Sunday afternoon, other than the fans of those teams, is because they have
a bet on the game.  Gambling has driven the TV ratings, which in turn has
put millions in the pockets of the NFL and NCAA schools, which is why they
say they are against gambling with a wink and a nod.

I am often asked whether it is a sin to bet on a football game or to buy a
Lottery ticket.  I am going to tell you up front that there is no verse in
the Bible that says, “thou shalt not gamble.”  However, let me give you a
Biblical basis why gambling is a sin. Gambling involves an element of risk.
Ultimately, you are putting your faith in something other than God for the
outcome.  Therein lies the foundation of why gambling is a sin.  Instead of
trusting God, instead of putting your faith in God, you have chosen to put
your faith in luck.  You are hoping to beat the odds and it is putting your
hope and faith in something other than God that makes gambling a sin.  Let
me outline for you three additional reasons why gambling is a sin.

First, it can cause you to lose sight of your priorities.  Never forget,
anytime something is more important than the Lord in your life, it is a sin.
We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and He MUST be our
first priority at all times.  Second, it can be a poor use of God’s
resources that He has entrusted to you.  Many people I have counseled are in
financial difficulties, not because they have not been blessed by God, but
because they have misused and mishandled their blessing.  Lastly, it can be
a stumblingblock  to your brother or sister.  Many people have a compulsive
nature, could end up in total bondage to gambling.  So while it may not be a
problem in your life, your involvement may cause someone else to have a
problem with gambling.

Let me make an important point.  When I talk about gambling, I am referring
to the lottery, sports gambling, casino games, private card games, but I am
also talking about the financial markets.  Having been involved heavily in
the financial markets in the 80’s, I can tell you that many people use the
word investing, when in fact they are literally gambling.  When you are
taking a financial position in the outcome of something that is unknown,
that is gambling no matter what words you want to use.  You have as much
control over the stock price of a particular company as you do over the
performance of your favorite football team.

***This is NOT an indictment against having stocks and bonds.  Prudent,
reasoned, well strategized investment plans are encouraged in God’s Word.  I
am talking about those who are simply rolling the dice hoping to get lucky
in the stock market.

The Bible teaches us to be wise stewards with the resources God has
entrusted to us.  I am a strong advocate of investing a portion of our
resources in well researched, fundamentally sound opportunities that have
the real potential of giving us a reasonable return.  That is wise use of
God’s money.  God encourages this type of prudent investing.  The line is
crossed into gambling when you are just “hoping to be right,” or entering
into a situation with greed as your motive.  No prayer, no research, simply
taking a chance you might win.  For the above-outlined reasons, that is a
sin my friend.

I love you and care about you so much.  I will be praying for you today,
praying for those who have been caught up in the bondage of this addiction
to gambling, especially those caught up in gambling on football games.  If
you, or someone you know is addicted to gambling, know that I will be
praying today for those who are in this bondage.   God is a God of
deliverance and He can deliver someone from the bondage of gambling.  Never
forget that there is hope in Christ, and no matter how bad someone has
destroyed their life, God can help them put the pieces together if they are
ready to surrender to Him.

Gambling is a sin, since inherent in the nature of gambling there is a
reliance on chance instead of faith in God.  But never forget that Christ
died on the cross to wash our sins away and give us victory.  If you are in
bondage to gambling on football, it is no accident you are reading this
message today.  God is speaking to your heart about STOPPING.  Don’t spend
another season without sleep, worrying about an 18-year-old student at a
school you can’t even pronounce making a 53-yard field goal to cover the
spread or watching a meaningless Monday night game trying to get out of the
hole from your losses on Sunday.  There is FREEDOM in Christ, and He can set
you free from the bondage of gambling!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at:
bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY?  The fact is you will die one day.  At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator.  To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day.  Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-845-510-2722

(C) Copyright 2007, Bill Keller Ministries. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Fantasy Football And Gambling”

  1. Kyle said

    Though I would agree with the premise that fantasy football is gambling, I then have qualms with lots of other events people involve themselves in. For instance, I have a very good friend who ran a fantasy football league this year that included me and 10 other people. I had a discussion with him on this topic spiritually and had a few points that he could not respond to. I asked him why the league had no entry fee and he said that he felt it was gambling, and as a devote Baptist he would not have any gambling in his league. I challenged him respectively. His very own church hosts a basketball tournament once a year, that costs around $100 for each team to enter. The winning team gets front row seats to a local NBA game that is in part paid for by the entry fee (the rest of the funds go towards water, gatorade, snacks, etc for the teams in the tourney). Isn’t this a form of a gambling as well? I even suggested that we have an entry fee and the winner gets a prize instead of cash but he said no, its “gambling”, even though his own church, which condems gambling supports their basketball tourney. My friend also buys and sells a lot of things on eBay to get by. Some weeks he tells me are good and some are bad. I told him this was a form of gambling as well because you cast your lot at certain goods and try to resell them for profit, taking a calculated risk because you might not even make back the money you used to by the original item. To this he had no response, but I wonder what your response would be to these two areas of concern. Is bball tourney entry fees and the winning team given a prize gambling, and is ebay bartering gambling?

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