Video: Church Gets 3 Million Dollar Anonymous Gift From Lottery Winnings

One member says, “It’s so cool.” The pastor thinks it was an answered prayer. The associate pastors says, “I love when God does things only He can take credit for.”

What would you say if it was your church?

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18 Responses to Video: Church Gets 3 Million Dollar Anonymous Gift From Lottery Winnings

  1. Brother Hank says:

    Well, I guess gambling ain’t all that bad when it’s Jesus hitting the jackpot……not.

    Brother Hanks last blog post..Donald Miller, Democrats, and the Death of Christ (against injustice*)

  2. Matt Svoboda says:

    Who here would refuse the money because it was gained through gambling? It is easy to scold, mock, and joke because they got the money through gambling, which is obviously wrong, but would you refuse it?

    Matt Svobodas last blog post..John Piper’s Small Group Series

  3. Jerry says:

    Right, let’s finance the work of the church by taking milk out of the mouths of children and shoes from off of their feet. Something about “selling the poor for the price of a comb” resonates here.

    Jerrys last blog post..Win an ESV Study Bible

  4. Jerry says:


    Yes, I would refuse it. God’s work must be financed by God’s ways.

    Jerrys last blog post..Win an ESV Study Bible

  5. Tony Kummer says:

    @Matt Svoboda: I think the whole “giving it to the pastor” is something that would never fly in a normal church. Most ministers have learned to stay as far away from the money as possible.

    Then it would truly be an anonymous gift.

    Follow-up question: Do you think a church with real membership discipline would confront the person?

  6. Matt Svoboda says:

    I am glad to see that us here at Southern are men who only want to do the Lord’s work , the Lords way!

    Does the church even know who the person is?

    Matt Svobodas last blog post..John Piper’s Small Group Series

  7. Tony Kummer says:

    @Matt Svoboda: According to the video clip, the only the pastor knows and the person asked to remain anonymous.

  8. The way I understood it, not even the pastor knows who turned it in. What I find funny is that they are thanking God for what He has done while the reporter attributes it all to luck!

    Terry Delaneys last blog post..My Oldest is 4!

  9. I wonder why, in these instances, no one ever stops to consider a perspective used quite often by “Christian” financial advisers (like Dave Ramsey, the Crown Ministries guys, etc.) when asked about “non-sinful vs. sinful” sources of money in their investments (and this is roughly recalled):

    I have no problem taking “the Devil’s money” and using it for God’s work. These “sinful” companies are out to make a buck, just like the “pure” ones. Why shouldn’t I take money intended for evil and use it to glorify God?

    Now, before you start, let me go get my helmet and pads ready for the avalanche of comments I sense might ensue.

    Stephen Newells last blog post..NCAA Football 2008

  10. Todd Benkert says:

    How about taking the money and spending it all on anti-lottery ballot initiatives. 🙂

  11. Tony Kummer says:

    @ALL: Please send all lottery winning “tithes” to Stephan Newell Association For Sith Evangelism.

    Maybe it’s one of those food sacrificed to idols issues.

  12. Jonathan says:

    What would I say? “No, thanks.” If the assistant pastor wants to see what it really looks like when God does what only God can do to provide for a worship space, he ought to read Exodus, umm, the one in the Bible.

  13. Brother Hank says:

    Instead of putting the money in the treasury, they should have taken it and bought a field…

    Brother Hanks last blog post..Donald Miller, Democrats, and the Death of Christ (against injustice*)

  14. Beth says:

    I completely agree with Stephen.

  15. All “tithes” may be sent to the Imperial Taxation Center, courtesy of the resident tax collector administrator Tony Kummer Zacchaeus Bel Iblis the Hutt. Refusal will result in the sending of “the secret apprentice” to your door.

    Darth Newelluss last blog post..NCAA Football 2008

  16. tim says:

    I think its beautiful. Someone left a comment saying not to take the money and to count on God to provide. But who has the mind of God to know that He didn’t do this. I know the pastor personally and he is a great guy and I couldnt be happier for him. And I trustthat God will guide them in exactly how to use the money

  17. Tim,

    The only problem with “counting on God to provide” is this: the difference between receiving lottery winnings from someone as a tithe (which is the case in point) and actively playing the lottery.

    I personally think it’s incredibly legalistic for a church/pastor/etc. to dogmatically say no. How do we know that people in our churches aren’t already tithing their gambling winnings? We don’t. Unless we’re going to start handing out “Jesus 1040s” to our members so they can report every penny of their earnings from which they are tithing, it’s silly to throw out a blanket “no.”

    Perhaps some are conflating the playing of the lottery with receiving winnings from said lottery as a tithe?

    Stephen Newells last blog post..NCAA Football 2008

  18. This is definitely a meat offered to idols issue.

    Do we do background checks on all funds received? What of the dollar that was paid to a church member who slipped up and slacked off for an hour at work? How do we ensure that all our church members are giving the proper amount of effort at work when we’ve had such trouble keeping up with our church members? And what do we do about all the little anonymous donations of a few hundred or thousand dollars here and there for budgets, buildings and missions? If a church member wins the lottery, do we do church discipline until he gives it all away? To whom will he give it? Should they take it? Should he take it back to the lottery commission so it stays in the “evil” pot and never pollutes the “good” pot? What if we find out that two church members have bet on a sporting event and the loser has to give $1000 to missions?

    To be sure, I’m not a gambler and I don’t believe we should gamble. I believe Christians should be instructed not to gamble. However, we are all sinners and as such all our gains are tainted. Taking money so explicitly ill-gotten is enough for many to question if a church is beyond reproach and they church should not be in that situation. If the money cannot be refused or returned, perhaps it is best to keep it out of the general fund and create an endowment or something that gives it the appearance of the redemption of purpose. In matters of the spirit, intent is everything. In matters of relationship, appearance is everything in order to properly communicate intent.

    Jim Pembertons last blog post..The Prayer at the DNC vs. the Prayer of a Real Christian

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