Thursday, August 14, 2008

Church rejects donation from lottery winner

After Robert Powell hit the Florida Lottery jackpot last month and took home more than $6 million, he thought of his church.

And he offered to drop his tithe, around $600,000, in the collection plate of First Baptist Orange Park.

But the church and Pastor David Tarkington politely declined and told Powell they will not accept the lottery winnings.

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1 comment: said...

I wonder how much money goes into offerings all over the country that are actually either scratch off or other lottery winnings? Does the Church bear the burden of making sure that all money that comes in is (so-called) clean money? The other question is whether it's $5.00 or $1,000,000 does it really make a difference? I personally know people in the Church (not myself included by the way) who play scratch offs all the time but the "offering police" aren't there to make sure that they are not putting that $5.00 scratch off money in the offering because a small offering doesn't raise any flags. Another good question is what about the stock market? It's just like gambling because you take your money and invest in something with very little surety. Mutual funds take many different types of investments and over time show a return historically but there are ups and downs all the time. Essentially a form of gambling because for example you say I'm going to take $1000 and "invest" it in a certain stock. Do you have any control over what happens to that stock or mutual fund? You have none except to invest it or not invest it. You may keep your money and gain some more or you could possibly lose all your money just like the lottery. Back in the 80s Dell made some teenagers millionaires with only a $5000-$10,000 investment. Those teens never worked for all those millions and yet they got all the benefits of them. Was it a gamble? Definitely. There are people who invest that much money on a regular basis and lose it. They took a chance which is what gambling is. Savings bonds double in time with no loss. A fairly sure thing. Buying land, working it, and producing a crop or cattle or some other type of animal is not a perfectly sure thing but fairly close. My point is that the Bible teaches this: Haggai 2:7,8 'I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations (Where did all that money come from? Surely some of it was used for gambling, prostitution, drugs and murder), and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD of hosts.
(and the most important part): 8'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,' declares the LORD of hosts.
Here's another scripture: Psalm 24:1 "THE EARTH is the Lord's, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it." Of course last but not least, Acts 10:15 And the voice came to him again a second time, What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding and calling common and unhallowed or unclean. Of course this was talking about food that was considered unclean but does God really differentiate which money will bring him glory and which won't? All of it will give him glory. It may not be a good testimony for the man who gambled but the hungry mouths, the unclothed, the widows and the fatherless definitely could have benefited from that money. I don't condone any type of gambling whatsoever. I just personally think that we should look at everything we do whether it's gambling or investing and truly evaluate ourselves. Everything is God's and sooner or later it's all coming back to him whether it's in the offering as a $600,000 check or money earned over a lifetime.