Question:

Good evening,

I have a concern. As far as I know, I am completely sure that games like lottery, bingo, casinos, etc. are incorrect as are all kinds of raffles or sales sponsored by the church, since it is not authorized by the New Testament for the church to raise funds, in addition to other things.

My question is whether raffles outside the church are incorrect. A cousin recently asked me if I could participate in a raffle since she sells shampoos and related products. Would it be wrong for me to enter that raffle, buying a ticket to see if I would win a shampoo? More than anything, I would like to do it for her to help her. I would not do it to win. I know there are more direct ways to help, but I would like to know if doing that would be a sin or not.

Please help. I have many doubts regarding the subject.

Answer:

Gambling is when a person puts a possession or money at risk of loss in exchange for a chance to win a prize but nothing is purchased with the money placed at risk. In essence, the gambler is taking a risk to gain possession of money other gamblers have placed at risk.

In this case, let's assume the bottle of shampoo is worth $5. The salesperson offers a chance to get a bottle for $1 and sells that chance to 20 people. The salesperson gets $15 and gives one person the $5 product. The other 19 people got nothing in exchange for their money. The person who got the bottle of shampoo actually had four people help to pay for the product. This is gambling.

"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10). But in a raffle, one person is taking from others to pay for what he receives.

A raffle succeeds because it appeals to people's greed. Jesus said, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions" (Luke 12:15). Instead, Christians should focus on working for the things they need. "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you" (I Thessalonians 4:11).

If you want to help your cousin and you think she is selling a good product, then buy a bottle.

Response:

Thank you very much for the information.

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