Methodism and Gambling

While traditional Methodists may have trouble reconciling gambling with their religion, there are many facets of modern life that don’t really tie in with traditional values. So many aspects of old religions just aren’t in line with modern life, and many people are able to accept that they live contemporary lives without betraying the ideals of their religion. All kinds of Christians have accepted that they can have liberal values and still be loyal to their faith and this is equally possible with Methodists.

Methodism_in_Battle_CreekA lot of Christians now completely accept homosexuality despite teachings to the contrary, as they also accept divorce, and practice more tolerance than in the past. Back in the 1800s when Methodism originated, one of the main concerns of the church was the effect of alcohol and gambling on the poor. These issues were of great social concern to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

Back when Methodism was founded, there was a much greater gap in terms of wealth, class, and opportunities. Gambling and alcohol were frequently used as means to entertain the poorer classes, but also to strip them of their disposable income, and restrict their social mobility. These days, this is much less of a concern.

Because of the social mobility society now enjoys, it’s possible to conclude that traditional teachings don’t apply quite as much. Whereas in John Wesley’s time gambling could end up with a poor man starving or winding up in the work house, and being drunk could ruin someone’s employment, things are very different. There’s no reason why having a little drink or taking a little time to play blackjack online would be considered contrary to Methodist beliefs today. Gambling was previously seen as making a profit at the expense of someone else, however this was when people would be playing against other individuals, not with large online companies who profit. Gambling now doesn’t involve stealing from another person, and so should be in line with most religious beliefs.

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