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What does the Bible say about fantasy football?
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No Caption - photo by Herb Scribner
Its almost football season. For more than 30 million Americans, that means its almost fantasy football season, too.

Even though fantasy football is popular, believers have often wrestled with whether to participate in the online sports game because some view fantasy football as a form of gambling, a sometimes addictive activity that believers dont always embrace.

The Bible doesnt explicitly state that believers shouldnt gamble, but it alludes to avoiding addiction or activities that would take a believer away from honoring God, according to Bible.org.

This can be seen in Corinthians 10:23, which reads, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Similarly, Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries wrote in 2014 that gambling relies on chance and allows people to make something out of nothing, even though the Bible encourages people to follow Gods will and to work for the benefit of other people. This can affect one's work ethic because gambling makes people hope for success with a roll of the dice, rather than actual hard labor, Anderson wrote.

These core values of the work ethic are all part of the free enterprise system and are part of the Christian life, Anderson wrote. Gambling corrupts these values, and replaces them with greed and selfishness. Rather than depending on hard work, gamblers depend on luck and chance.

Gambling can also hurt families, which goes against some of the Bibles teachings, Anderson wrote. For example, Bible verse Timothy 5:8 notes that the worst kind of believer is one who neglects family.

When gambling is legalized, it causes people to neglect their God-mandated responsibility to care for their families, and many of those families then often end up on welfare, Anderson wrote.

Whether the Bible says gambling is wrong, the act has been known to be an addictive activity that may go against God's will, according to Bible.org.

Gambling, like many things in life, can become addictive, according to Bible.org. Further, it becomes a means of getting rich quick or of seeking fortune apart from constructive labor or work that is truly beneficial to society. God has given us each abilities and with training we can become productive members of society and of the body of Christ. Gambling seeks to bypass this process.

But Eddie Kaufholz, a counselor and director of church mobilization for International Justice Mission, wrote for Relevant thats theres a bigger takeaway from this debate: Believers shouldnt condemn themselves for embracing a harmless game such as fantasy football, or gambling for that matter, as long as they dont lose sight of God or their families when they do it.

Id run gambling (and a lot of other things) though the filter of the Holy Spirit, Kaufholz wrote. Because while were all prone to wander (Lord, I feel it), we have a God who is for us and wants to help us answer questions like yoursquestions that arent about the law or commandments, but questions that are about the heart and motivations.

For more on gambling:

Casino gambling deepens inequality, study finds

Gray gambling: How gaming impacts seniors

Betting on faith: How church membership helps gambling addicts
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