July 1, 1997 Issue
by Ronny F. Wade

Question: Is it wrong to invest money in the stock exchange? Is this gambling? 

Answer: In an article in the July 1992 issue of the Old Paths Advocate brother Johnny Elmore gave the following definition of gambling taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica:  "the betting or staking of something of value with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or which may have an unexpected result by reason of the bettor’s miscalculation. All elements of the definition are essential." Gambling creates an artificial risk in which the many take from the few. No goods, labor or services result. Gambling is immoral, destructive of character, and born of greed. Some, in an attempt to justify gambling argue that all of life is a risk. Such things as walking across the street, or driving down the highway etc. all involve risk. In financial matters they point out that buying a piece of real estate, believing that its value will appreciate, is a gamble. Some have even declared that farming is a gamble since one doesn’t know if the crop will make. Hence, they conclude it is all right to buy a lottery ticket or play cards betting on the outcome. All such reasoning is fallacious and false for the following reasons: It is true that farmers assume a risk when they plant a crop. However, there is effort on their part to produce tangible results through their labors. In gambling no such effort exists. There is no doubt that there is risk involved in buying and selling stocks. Just as there is risk involved in buying a house for re-sale hoping the price will appreciate and turn a good profit. When one invests in the stock of a company, that person has a stake in the company. If the company is successful and profitable, the stock will appreciate. If business turns bad for whatever reason, the company’s value will decrease creating a loss for the investor. There is no artificial risk created in such situations. If the business goes bad all lose. If business is good all profit. In some situations, the individual may even receive a dividend, which is paid to him because he is part owner in the company. As part owner the individual assumes all the risks associated with such a business venture. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc. all fall under the umbrella of legitimate investment vehicles and are not comparable to betting at the card table, ball game or lottery store.


Question: Do you contend that it would be alright to prepare juice for the communion from grapes with tomatoes added for enrichness? 

Answer: No, I do not. The juice we prepare and use for the communion should be what the Lord used. The cup taken by Jesus in Mt 26:27 was not empty. It contained the fruit of the vine. (Mt 26:28) The word "fruit" is from a Greek word meaning "offspring, progeny, fruit, produce." (Robinson p. 141) The liquid in the cup used by Jesus was grape juice, produced by the grapevine. There is no grapevine on earth that produces a mixture of grape juice and tomato juice. Enrichness or liquid consistency is not the question. What the Lord used and authorizes, however, is. The pure blood of the grape cannot remain the pure blood of the grape if it is mixed with tomatoes or tomato juice. That is not what the Lord took, and we should not take it either. Neither did the Lord use fermented wine. There isn’t a vine that produces alcoholic wine. Such wine is the product of fermentation, and is nowhere authorized for use in the Lord’s Supper.

Other OPA Article Links:

Querist Column
Lord's Supper

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