comparing Poker to Christian faith

It surprises me where people go after graduating from DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary.) Many stay the conventional route. Some take a colorful detour. Though, in this case, he lives out a vibrant faith, just a little differently.

Lee Yih (Layman’s Foundation) is someone I’ve gotten to know in recent years, and he shared a part of his testimony at a Christian poker tournament, of all places. I had gotten permission to post an excerpt, and then I found the full testimony online in the open. Here’s the excerpt:

How Christian faith is like gambling

Throughout these years, however, I have never lost my interest in gambling. Maybe it’s in my Chinese Blood, but I have always had it. Now that I am a Christian, I see gambling from the perspective of God. You would be surprised to learn that one cannot find a prohibition against gambling in the Bible. Now the Bible says that the love of money is the “Root of all Evil” (I Tim 6) but money itself is not evil, it is neutral. The Book of Proverbs seems to condone craps when it says: “Man throws the dice but God makes the spots come up!” (Prov 16:33).

Furthermore, stories from the Bible seem to show that God loves risk takers. In fact, all of life is constructed so that we must continuously make decisions in the face of uncertainty. …

Tonight, at this first annual Phoenix Invitational Christian poker tournament, I would like to talk to you about the relationship between being a Christian and playing “Texas Hold ‘em” poker. Some might frown over my attempt to bring the seediness of my background into a message about the value of becoming a Christian, but to me, my story is an example of how God is in the business of taking “rags” & “garbage” and turning it into a hand full of “Hope” and “Purpose”.

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  1. Alan Ng says:

    This is a very daring sermon by your friend. I’m sure he stirred up quite a bit of controversy over it. I wrote an article a few years ago about Christian poker as well.