Atlantic Caribbean Union

ACUM's President Addresses Toastmasters on Gambling In the Bahamas

By: Communication Department

With much national discussion on gambling in the Bahamas and a proposed referendum on its legalization, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission, was invited to speak on “Gambling in the Bahamas” at a meeting of the Toastmasters Advanced Club on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at Luciano’s on East Bay Street in the Bahamas.
In his definition of gambling, Pastor Johnson pointed out that gambling was a game of chance, espoused the concept of winning at the expense of others, violated the Christian principle of love for neighbor, created false hope, and was addictive. In the face of these negative characteristics of gambling, Pastor Johnson extolled the spiritual values of hard work, honesty, integrity, self-discipline, industry, and trust in God.

He further noted that the Seventh-day Adventist World Church does not support or engage in raffles or lotteries to raise funds.

During the question and answer session with members of the local media, Pastor Johnson noted that the “Seventh-day Adventist church in the Bahamas does not plan to “outspend ‘We Care’, a coalition of web shop owners.” He stated further that it is not his intention to dictate to the government or Bahamians, but to continue to educate them through forums like the Toastmasters Club. He also mentioned that Adventist Television 53 (ATV53) was another avenue used to highlight the Adventist church’s view on gambling. ATV 53 is shown on the local cable channel 53.

Commenting on the session, Keith Major, an advanced toastmaster and moderator of the event said, “Pastor Johnson acquitted himself extremely well, especially under the burden of heavy questioning from the press as well as toastmasters. The central theme of his answers was his belief about gambling which tied in with that of the Bible and the church. People appeared satisfied with his answers. It was a proud moment for the Seventh-day Adventist church."