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Man Wins Lottery — and His Church Shuns Huge Donation

The chances of winning the lottery rely on a lot of prayer and the immutable laws of statistics, but one such lucky soul bagged a jackpot, and couldn't even give the winnings away. A Florida Lottery jackpot winner took home more than 6 million in cash and was hoping to follow his religion’s tithe commandment — offering 10 percent of his winnings to his church. Unfortunately, his church wanted no part of this money and refused to say exactly why they turned down the $600,000 donation, though many churches don't approve of the lottery or gambling in general.

Other churches, who caught wind of the story were amazed. “I’m against the lottery, but if one of my members won. . . . I wish and hope he would give 10 percent to the church,” said Pastor Dr. Lorenzo Hall of the El-Beth Divine Holiness Church. “We are in the process now of building a youth center, and you would be surprised at the people that can be helped with $600,000.” Hall adds he wouldn't ask where a donation came from and would welcome the lucky-lotto-man's donation anytime.

When it comes to giving back, does it matter where the dough comes from?

Join The Conversation
jesuslovesyou28 jesuslovesyou28 8 years
I am an evangelist from Rochester NY. I give out New Testaments packaged with a little booklet about salvation and a little bracelet and DVD's (Fact or Fiction Jesus, Jesus Film and others) I would use the money to travel the World giving the gospel out!!!!!!!! The church could have used this money to buy bibles and other evangelizing material and travel giving them out!!!!! If they would have used the money for God than I don't understand why not? OBVIOUSLY this man won because he is an evangelist and God KNEW he would use the money for his Glory. God is in control. This man is a Christian and the Lord wouldn't have let him win if he didn't want him to! Corinne
why-ask-why why-ask-why 8 years
Why ask why many would not understand this man response to receiving this money first the chose was not given to us but to him.You see money is good only if it does not corrupt you and if you can use it for the benefit of others so if you were in his shoes you would probable ask yourself is this a test or is it a blessing.My personal response is gambling is not the best chose of investment but who are we to judge .I speak as a pastor who nor defends this mans actions nor states it was a wise choose he should have prayed before he spoke!!!!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Hey, i like puppies...
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I don't have kids. But I have a puppy! I don't love him enough to get rid of my gun, though.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Or owning a gun, because unlike us, she likes her kid. :oy:
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
I wonder if Barack's church frowned on any of his that came from his dealings with Tony Rezco, or his work as a lawyer. Surely that's all good clean money. I think the non-leftist psuedo-intellectual answer to the ethical question posed here is that all churches get money from sinners because we are all sinners. In the end, Stephley's money is no better or worse than an employee of Blackwater.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Barack Obama would be a good guess. Anything green. Socialized medicine. Heck, just go read "stuff white people like".
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
I can't believe this story has received 67,403 views with only 42 comments (so far). Could that be right? I have never seen a story....well, so far "I" haven't, that has had more than 4,000 views ~ especially such a short story.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
My plans when I win the lottery are to donate anonymously so that they won't come asking for more.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
He can donate to the bank of RockandRepublic any day.:D
stephley stephley 8 years
At what point would the church accept money that originally came from gambling? If the guy invested the money and offered a donation two years after the fact is it now laundered well enough to be acceptable to do God's work?
joneso joneso 8 years
Way to go, they stood up for their beliefs. How stupid would it be for the Pastor to stand up on Sunday and say 'you should not do this', and then the next day say 'but since you did I'll gladly accept your winnings'. It's about teaching an individual. THe pastor said 'you should not do this', and now by not accepting the money the pastor is still saying 'you should not have done that'. If the lottery winner is a faithful member perhaps that will make him feel a little bad for not doing what he was taught. I think a lot of the commenters are missing the boat on the moral implications by the logical stretch of 'but it's not so bad!'. The sins are not of the same severity, but morally speaking, accepting money earned through any 'dishonest' means, whether it be gambling, stealing, drug dealing, etc is the same in principal.
alphanoir alphanoir 8 years
Hey Great Sommelier, You do have a point. My friends and relatives have also had many a conversation about the Bible's position on gambling. Gambling is defined as "risking money in an attempt to multiply the money on something that is against the odds." At most, the Bible warns us about the love of money, but think about this. You can only really love money if it has done something for you. Well, if you are poor and don't have money, you can't really have a love for it. The love of money is more of a warning for those who come into large amounts of it, and the pitfalls resulting from it. Now the Bible does warn us of "get rich quick" methods and for quite a few people this would apply. There's where the folks who consider themselves poor need to watch out. Wishing for the fast path. The problem is not the money, but the decisions man makes when handling the money. If you were bad at finance when you won the money, you will still be bad a t finance and loose the money and church folk often interpret that as "the evils of money". If you were not a giving person before the money, they you will not give when you do have it. And no, you are not funding God's Mission when you give money that you've won to the Church. Read what I wrote about Why we tithe and offer.
alphanoir alphanoir 8 years
I think that particular church is missing the meaning, the why of tithes and offering. Think about it. God owns all of it. Every atom on this planet, whether we use it for good or evil, he owns it. So he really doesn't NEED it. It's for our own good, to understand the concept of give and it will be given to you. To help others who can't seem to get it together, this way of living is a testament to God's true power. Look at it this way. This is this man's testimony to the goodness of God. How do you not know that God allowed this man to win, because he knew that this man would give from his heart. "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7) Failure to tithe means we are robbing God, end of story. Why would you prevent this guy from repaying God? "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me." (Malachi 3:8-9) People are often so blinded by Man's Law, that they often assume that his law is God's law as well.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Drrxz23, I see you are a fan of Bad Religion. :wink:
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
this weekend = last weekend! :oops:
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
My husband and I were discussing a similar topic this weekend. We both brainstormed but couldn't think of an actual bible verse that said gambling was bad.
Oh-my Oh-my 8 years
What a lot of people posting comments here are failing to remember is that God blesses those that are faithful to him. While the reason for rejecting the money is not identified, it is of no consequence to the churches decision. Most people posting have assumed that it's because it's considered tainted. So going with that assumption, they are simply practicing what they preach. They do not need the winnings of someone who goes against their teaching to bless others. What churches need to do most more than anything to bless their people is seek God's face, seek to please him. For if one seeks the kingdom of God FIRST, everything else will be added unto him. In Matthew 6:33 we have that promise from God. That church, going with the posted assumptions, is seeking God first. For that demonstration of faithfulness and integrity, God will surely provide above and beyond the winnings of a lottery. God doesn't need tainted money to bless his people. He has all the riches of the world. God knows what his people need and He will provide it to those that are faithful to him. Also, to the "new evangelist". The riches that God talks about in the bible that He will give to the righteous are not the riches bought by money. And those riches are certainly not implied lottery winnings. Come on now. God bless the church that walks the talk, for unfortunately not enough do. Hall obviously is in need of money. It may be because he doesn't put his trust in God and would be anxious to get tainted money. Youth centers filled with teens that have not been taught the word of God are of no benefit to that church.
Ricky-Z Ricky-Z 8 years
For drrxz23: What planet did you come from??
momo815 momo815 8 years
my thought. If you believe that gambling is wrong because it is a game of chance and you are putting your earned money at risk then how do you feel about money made in the stock market? When 'playing' the stock market aren't you taking a chance with your money in hopes to grow it into a larger sum?? Is someone says, well yes but there you are investing in companies, you're helping the economy. Well then, did you know that most lotteries are used a a source of state funding? The money that comes from purchased tickets often goes to education and other community resources. In fact most were started simply as a way to help support the local governments. Does that make it evil or wrong?? Maybe the churches would like the teach the government a better way to raise that money? I know that everyone will just job at the chance to donate to their local governments. Churches are lucky that people feel obligated to donate to them. Where as most people work as hard as they can to keep as much of their money from going to the government as possible. Simply put lotteries are a way of fund raising. What's so evil about that? Oh, and lastly, in my opinion a church has no business turning down an act of good will from someone on behalf of God. If you really believe that the money came from something wrong why not take it and use it in the service of good? Is anything that is given with the best of intentions and purity of heart evil? Especially something that clothe, feed and shelter those in need. I do recall some instances in the Bible where men who had lead 'wicked' lives had given away their possessions and gone off to serve God. Who do you think they gave everything too?? The needy! And isn't the church supposed to be the ones who take care of the needy!
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