“. . . gambling is like the devil’s hunting spear and those who play the dice are wounded with an irresistable allurement.
“It is at the gambling table, I tell you, where the devil slyly watches for the moment when he shall surprise the players and immediately rejoice in his triumph over his victims. It is at the gambling table where one finds disloyalty and decption. I tell you, it is at the gambling table where insane frenzy and dishonest transactions transpire, and where language is as poisonous as a serpent’s venom. At the gambling table, friends become bitter enemies, and one finds the ultimate excess of the most frightful crimes, and brotherly love is changed into discord. At the gambling table, one finds only outrage, a most cruel boldness, a mad fury, and a wild impatience. I tell you, it is at the gambling table where one loses his possessions and enormous sums of money. . . .
“Gambling’s temptation is obvious to everyone, but its punishment is hidden. The gambling board is the devil’s snare and the enemy’s trap that entices greed but [in actuality brings] utter ruin. By gambling, men become poor, squandering their own riches. Then, after all their own fortunes have been wasted, they overwhelm themselves with borrowed money . . .
“Stop being a dice player and start being a Christian. Before Christ, beneath the gaze of angels, and in the presence of the martyrs, cast your money upon the altar of the Lord. Distribute your money to the poor before you allow it to be squandered by your unruly passions. Entrust your stakes to Christ, who is always victorious! Servant, find your recreation in the Lords and obey his divine impluse.” (Pseudo-Cyprian, 3rd century AD)
(Source: Inheriting Wisdom: Reading for Today from Ancient Christian Writers, Hendrickson, 204, p.88)
But, if you’d like to read something so fresh on gambling that ink hasn’t dried yet, check out Ben Witherington’s post yesterday – “God and Gambling: The Latest Scourge.” Amen and Amen!