Playing The Stock Market
Is Playing The Stock Market The Same As Gambling? I have a 401K plan from my job. My pastor is saying investing in the stock market is gambling. I think it is a risk that one takes not a chance!
Is there a God-given reasonable chance that you'll lose everything? If so, then it would be a risk that harms yourself and your family and therefore would be sinful.
I don't believe your investment is at a risk of losing everything.
"Look on the bright side, if this is the best they've got around here, in six months we'll be running this planet." (Planet of the Apes)
Maybe how your pastor does it might be gambling. But while investing in the stock market may have risks, I do not think of it as a gamble. The only thing to watch is not spend money that you cannot afford to lose, just in case.
I own stocks in the company I work, perhaps I am gambling that my company will do better, but I prefer to consider it as investing in a business that I am involved with. I believe that the company will do well and in return, my money will grow. But even if it does not, it is still an investment. We can also put money in banks, buy insurance, a home, a vehicle, etc. these are all forms of investments, not gambling.
In Matthew 25, the parable of the servants with the talents showed that trading to make more money is not a bad thing - granted money was not the point of the parable, but I doubt that Jesus would use a metaphore that was sinful to demonstrate something positive.
Pax et Bonum,
"There are some in the Church, who not only do not do what is good, but even persecute it, and hate in others what they neglect to do themselves. The sin of these men is not that of infirmity or ignorance, but deliberate willful sin." — Pope St. Gregory the Great (AD 540-604)
Gambling is a game of pure chance. Investment is providing capital to people who provide goods and services.
The challenge with the market right now is that emotion is guiding it in the short-term. If you don't need to "use" your money for a few years, it is the place with the best return on investment (compared with savings, commodities, etc.).
If you diversify effectively, it's even less a case of "gambling." That said, from a SHORT-TERM perspective, don't put money in you can't afford to lose.
"You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." St. Augustine of Hippo