Last week, I had the privilege of being interviewed on the Leland Conway Show on WHAS 840 AM and on WLAP. You can listen to the full segment here:
Several callers after my interview posed interesting questions about Kentucky Baptists’ opposition to gambling expansion. These questions included some fairly common objections. Since I was off the line and unable to answer thopse questions on the air, I thought I’d address them here:
Objection: Churches have no standing to comment on corruption within the government and/or the gambling industry, because they are full of corruption, too.
Answer: Every institution and human being is subject to the corruption of the Fall. Yet, to ignore the gross level of corruption pervasive in the gambling industry and in governments that embrace the gambling industry is to ignore reality.
Objection: Kentucky has always had a ‘three-legged stool’ holding up its economy: bourbon, cigarettes and gambling. Not to mention all the other pressing social issues out there. Why pick on casino gambling now?
Answer: Kentucky Baptists have not failed to express their concerns about a host of social ills, including the abuse of alcohol, exorbitant interest rates for payday lending, gay marriage, etc. To suggest we have shied away from any debate but the casino debate illustrates a lack of familiarity with Kentucky Baptist history.
Objection: What about free will? Shouldn’t people have the right to make their own decisions?
Answer: Taken to its logical conclusion, we should legalize everything, e.g., prostitution, narcotics, remove any controls from the sale or availability of alcohol, etc. That argument welcomes moral, social, and cultural chaos.
The Bible teaches us that God ordained government for the purpose of order. The Constitution teaches us that citizens have the right and responsibility to have a voice in shaping how our government establishes and maintains order.
Objection: Churches should stick to ministering to individuals and not try shaping public policy.
Answer: Kentucky Baptists spend the overwhelming majority of our time and resources ministering to lost and hurting individuals. Should we sit quietly by while a small group of politicians and casino operators push to bring an industry filled with corruption into our state, knowing the consequences for every Kentuckian?
Objections: The church is just worried about losing money in the collection plates every Sunday morning.
Answer: The church is not worried about losing the money coming into collection plates on Sunday morning. We are worried about food coming onto children’s plates at suppertime in a state where 1 in 5 Kentuckians are on food stamps.