Skip to comments.The Lord Disfavors Dishonorable Work
Posted on 09/02/2013 12:48:07 PM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
On a trip to Las Vegas a few years ago, I met Phil Ivey. It wasnt in a casino, but on the driving range at a golf resort where the poker champion was working on his game in advance of a big-money golf match he had the next day.
We chatted for a short while. And I came away with the impression that he truly was a genuinely nice guy.
Yet, I do not condone what Ivey does for a living. While hes had a successful career at the poker table he has earned nearly $14 million in tournament poker, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal its not honorable work.
Now, honorable work is not the same as legal work. For there are many jobs that are perfectly legal in the eyes of the law perfectly acceptable to those who see through a glass darkly that do not honor God.
And professional gambling is such an occupation.
Now I imagine some will quarrel with the assertion that gambling is an unGodly profession but the Scripture suggests otherwise. Whatever you do, it advises, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. We serve the Lord Christ, the passage continues. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs.
Well, Im pretty certain the Lord wouldnt operate a casino. So no one who makes his or her living from gambling can claim to be working as to the Lord. What they are doing is wrong. And they need to come to repentance.
The same goes for any number of occupations.
For instance, abortion doctors kill more than one million pre-born babies each and every year. Such infanticide is perfectly lawful in this country. But it is an abomination in the eyes of God. Similarly, its perfectly legal to work in adult films; to sell ones body for lucre. But the offense is rank, in the words of the Bard. It smells to heaven.
Then there are those professions, those occupations, that most of us have, that are not inherently sinful like abortion or adult entertainment that can afford us the opportunity to work as to the Lord, but that also can seduce us into using our skills for purposes that hardly glorify God.
Indeed, banks are not evil. But I would never take a bank job that required that I foreclose peoples homes. Tow-truck services are not bad. But I could not work for one that assigned me to repossess peoples vehicles.
I dont think the law is a ass an idiot, in the words of Dickens. But I would never seek acquittal for a criminal I knew to be guilty. I respect the Fourth Estate. But I could never work for an opinion page hostile to my Christian faith and conservative values.
So what should a person do whos employed in a job that doesnt honor the Lord? Follow the example of Matthew, who left his well-compensated job as a tax collector to answer Christs call to discipleship.
Thats not to suggest that anyone who earns a less-than-Godly living should resign abruptly especially not in the current economy. No, let them seek first another job where they can work as to the Lord. Then let them quit their unredeeming job.
Wrong premise here.
Foreclosures occur when people do not pay back the loans they took out. The people don't own those objects, the company holding the loan does. It's THEIR money which bought the item, not the person who signed for it.
So if people default on their loans and don't pay back the bank or loaning institution, then that institution has the right to take THEIR property back from the person who is essentially stealing it.
When it comes to many people, even “conservatives”, if it is legal, then it is OK.
Just about anyone here can describe the most horrible rip-offs and cons, and schemes, and sometimes breaking of the law from Phone companies, Cable companies, Credit Cards, Banks, yet people work there answering the phones to deal with your complaints, or in management, or as CEO, content with the idea that God doesn’t see what we do at work, only in our off hours.
Are you saying that all those whose homes were foreclosed upon were thieves?
I train midgets for circus jobs in Mexico.
Many folks thing this is abusive and sinful.
They have never been to a good midget circus.
Is it their property?
Are they using it without paying for it?
After reading this, I read a few other pieces on your blog. You don’t mince words or hide your beliefs about this or that.
I like that you end up at hope in Christ. That all Christians can agree on!
If they refuse to turn over a house that they no longer own, wouldn't it make them just that?
If, on a golf course, I were to come across a world acclaimed abortionist, I would not spend the time to find out if he was a 'nice guy' or not. I would do as the Bible says and shun him.
Not so for Mr. Ivey.
When a borrower gets a home loan they make a promise to repay the entire amount of the loan plus interest in a timely manner according to the mutually agreed upon terms between borrower and lender. Once the borrow fails to uphold their part of the deal it’s perfectly legitimate for the lender to call the loan due and/or begin foreclosure proceedings. Nothing ungodly about moving forward with one of the “if/then” terms of an agreed-upon contract. If the borrower defaults, then the beneficiary (or a trustee working on their behalf) has every right to initiate foreclosure proceedings. If the borrower brings the loan back in good standing they can stay. If not, they lose the home. It’s all part of the deal everyone agreed to.
Thank you, friend. To God be the glory!
However, it remains a fact that the borrower agreed to certain terms. If he cannot renegotiate those terms, it is time to surrender the property because under the terms of the contract it does not belong to him.
There is nothing wrong with working for a bank that legally and properly recovers property that belongs to it by right.
If the borrower through aggressive litigation, 'community organizing', fraud, or whatever, is able to avoid foreclosure without paying what he owes, then at that point, YES, he is a thief. He is stealing the money of the bank's shareholders and depositors.
I'll also add, just to confuse matters further, that high-stakes poker playing has nothing whatsoever to do with gambling (that is, a game of chance) and everything to do with serious skill. There's no chance about it other than the fall of the cards, which is less and less important the higher up the food chain you go.
Now, the guy who hangs around hotels and resorts trying to persuade the greenhorn into a "friendly game" with the goal of taking his money because he (like you) thinks that games of skill are games of chance, he's a crook and earning his living by a sinful method (i.e. fraud and theft). Ditto the fellow who gambles away the rent or housekeeping money and deprives his family via his uncontrollable lust to gamble.
But Phil Ivey ain't it.
“Are you saying that all those whose homes were foreclosed upon were thieves?”
Not “all”. However, all of them are idiots who cannot live within their means. Many of them become moochers expecting the government to get them out of their own stupidity. Foreclosed people do not deserve sympathy — they need tough love, which is education on financial responsibility.
Sure there are some deadbeats and boneheads who lived beyond their means.
But, especially these days, unexpectedly losing a job and being unable to find another is not uncommon or due to any particular fault on the part of the borrower.
“But, especially these days, unexpectedly losing a job and being unable to find another is not uncommon or due to any particular fault on the part of the borrower.”
Sorry, but you are contradicting yourself. If you are in a (potential) situation to not afford a home, perhaps you should NOT be getting into the mortgage situation in the first place. That is entirely up to the borrower. It is always an IDIOT borrower who gets into the foreclosure situation, because he did not plan ahead of his own finances. The IDIOT becomes a moocher when he expects the government to give him other peoples’ money. These people do not deserve sympathy.
If you get down to the nitty-gritty, every economic activity is a gamble, heavily dependent on chance and luck. Only human whim demarcates what’s gambling and what’s not.
There are twists to this, however. On the surface, gambling seems to be all about statistics and probabilities, with perhaps a little skill. However, underneath, there is a peculiar psychological phenomenon.
Gamblers get far more brain stimulation from *losing* than they do from winning. And this throws a curve ball into looking at gambling from a moral sense.
Much of the moral condemnation of gambling comes from the idea of luck. The idea of both good luck and bad luck tend to grate on the religious, because it smacks of a bad attitude that people of faith can develop: that God uses petty rewards and punishments for those who do good or sin. Yeah! My team made a touchdown! That means that God is on our side!
I flip a coin. If it is heads, God approves. If it is tails, God does not approve. Ick. That’s not right.
But gamblers get positive stimulation if they lose? That is like a person of faith wanting God to disapprove of their actions. To keep sinning until God does something.
There is no doubt that gambling can negatively impact the lives of a gambler and their family. Perhaps that is where the real sin lies.
My adult son works in the billing department of a large cable TV company's phone center. He says the majority of calls he deals with are from cable customers who have not paid their bill in months, were warned repeatedly that their service would be terminated and when they still had not paid or attempted to pay (set up a payment plan) the company cut off their cable TV service. Part of my son's job is to explain why their cable service was cut off. He receives a lot of swearing and threats from cable customers who can't understand why they cannot get the service virtually free. Because cable TV is hardly a necessity and the complaints are from people who were given many opportunities to pay for the service they received under a contract they agreed to, he is polite but not terribly sympathetic to these people.
Like his parents, my son is a Christian and in no way considers his work 'dishonorable', no more than a bank official that has to foreclose on a mortgagee who has not paid his mortgage payment for months and by not paying, violated the terms of his agreed-to loan. A broad brush should not be used to find 'dishonor' in other people's jobs. Better to take the plank out of one's own eye before worrying about the speck in your brothers eye.
Just stay away from the cat juggling!
If someone refuses to pay their mortgage or car note or, yes, their cable bill, and dont even make an attempt to work out payment arrangements with their creditor, they deserve to lose their home or car or cable service.
But there are some who are casualties of the most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression who seek not to blow off their debts, but forbearance from their creditors. The same kind of forbearance, same kind of grace, the Lord has freely gifted us, though none of us deserve it.
Finally, just so you know, I listed my own job among those included in this essay.