Playing Mahjong

Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness,
but as the servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16

This is a game commonly played among the Chinese where money is usually involved. It is not unusual to classify this game with gambling though the game is socially acceptable especially among the lost. As a Christian, it is strange, especially for a Chinese Christian, not to abstain from such game. He cannot plead ignorance that he does not know that the game is associated with gambling.

Some may justify that they are just having some sort of recreation and no money is involved among the players. They seem to associate Mahjong as family board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo that are commonly played among family members and friends where children are also often included to justify their position. If that be the case, then why stop at playing Mahjong? What not play Blackjack, Poker and Bridge? Why not go another step further and play Russian roulette? This can surely be justified when no bullet is placed in the pistol? After all it is only a game!

My dad, who is not saved, has been playing Mahjong for the past forty years. He is still playing the game regularly every Saturday and Sunday. Dear friend, like any gambling instruments, Mahjong is addictive. I can say that he has been selfish in that he has neglected his family so that he might enjoy his hobby. God knows, how many families are torn apart when large sum of money can be lost in gambling.

You see, when an ungodly Christian wants to rationalize and justify his waywardness, no amount of Scripture is going to convince him. It is so blatantly clear that a Christian should abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). A Christian who does not love the Lord will not care much about his Christian testimony. He does not love the body of Christ enough to avoid being a stumbling block to others by doing the things that are lawful which may not be expedient. He does not value his Christian birthright and one day before the Judgment seat of Christ, he will find that he has much to lose by his poor testimony.

So how shall we deal with such Christians? We should avoid joining them in such activities. We should not directly or indirectly show our approval by agreeing with them that Mahjong is just a recreational game. We may pray for them and show them that there are many other recreational activities where association of gambling is not involved. However, we must not show ourselves to be superior just because we are not involved in playing Mahjong otherwise, our own motives of abstinence would become suspect, as we may not voluntarily give up something that is questionable out of love for our Savior Jesus Christ.

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