There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent. As your Bishop, an Elder in the faith, I have long said, do not mistake my silence as my approval. While One hopes for conviction and prayer to settle many matters without intervention…. Yet so that I am not complicit in error, I rise to render Biblical doctrine and call us back to a scriptural foundation. We must contend for the faith once delivered among us. I was handed a sacred trust, and cannot deviate from the boundaries of the book. I answer to it’s author and will give an account for all those In the flock I serve.
The command to be sober, and temperate concerning specifically the abstention from alcohol, is solid doctrine from the early church forward and is required for entrance into heaven. (1Cor 6:10, amongst many, many others) Sipping wine with your spouse over dinner, social drinking, alcohol at weddings and gatherings among us opens a door of deception and depravity one may not be able to shut. My dear brethren this should not be!
Sin is a slippery slope, Don’t ever assume you have it conquered…. it will conquer you except for a preacher that will stand flat footed in the pulpit and cry out against it. At a time when you should be teachers you have need that one teach you. (Heb 5:12)
Eph. 5:18 tells us… “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”.
To think we have evolved to a maturity level where we can “handle it” is naive and without biblical support. I can take you to the grave or the prison cell of thousands of men and women who were sure they could hold their own.
We understand this world has its watering holes, which they visit daily to try and stop the pain in their lives. We, more than they, understand why alcohol calls them back, robs them of their money, their honor and their morals. Unknowingly pulled in, they pay their tithes to their bartenders, and walk in their ungodly counsel. That is their church, their belief system, their doctrine….Blind leaders of the blind! Yet such were some of us before the delivering power of the Holy Ghost came.
When Pastors say it needs to be wine in the communion cup, what they really mean is can I drink wine at home by the fireplace with my wife? The founder of Hillsong, just fell to adultery, by allowing alcohol, which turned to drugs, into his life. He resigned in shame from one of the largest non-denominational churches in the world! Was it worth it sir?(1Tim.5:20)
God is no respecter of persons, nor is he mocked… whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap. The Bible College I graduated from had one of its faculty arrested for drunk driving, causing a stain on its impeccable reputation and upheaval in its administration. The damage to the body of Christ there and the resulting mark on both the man and the ministry is lasting and devastating. I promise you neither of these men would ever have touched a drop of alcohol if they could have seen the carnage that decision would leave in its wake
Let me tell you what the spirit of alcoholism says to the first generation as it sneaks in the back door….. “Have a little wine, Bible says it’s ok, Jesus drank wine, even supplied it to a wedding. You work hard , you deserve a beer! Just don’t get drunk! Its fine, it won’t hurt you” …. lies right off the devils lips, He’s still a liar and there is no truth in him. Sin is always deceptive, seeking to gain a foothold in the church and the lives of Gods people.
If a little alcohol is ok then what’s wrong with a seed bearing herb called marijuana, it’s really not addicting you know?…. or the croppings of the coco plant which years ago, they used to make coca-cola with, surely a little cocaine is fine?
How can one preach against drunkenness with alcohol in the fridge, in the cabinet, in your hand or in your heart? At best it is inconsistent and at worst it is the licensing of sin. Your body is still the temple of the Holy Ghost!
Christians don’t serve alcohol at their communion tables or their weddings, they don’t consume it at family gatherings and special occasions, they don’t even cook with it, it’s nowhere in their home or life. God saved us from all that! They give no space to that devil, nor the appearance of evil to their witness.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Prvb. 20:1 ….One must ask, Have we become stupid?
In His living room years ago, Elder Daniel Mena shared with me, “Bro Hemstock, what you do in moderation your children will do in excess!” He was correct then and it’s still true today.
I cannot stand idly by and watch that door opened in our assembly, our fellowship or our family. I will again rise to decry it; for that is my duty as a watchmen on the wall.
Early on in Scripture we see the tragedy that alcohol ushers in. Noah in a drunken stooper is molested by his own son and a generational curse is levied upon his grandson Canaan. His nephew Lot , drunk out of his mind, allows his own daughters to have sex with him.
In Leviticus, because of their anointing, and their calling, the priests were forbidden to partake of alcohol when ministering for two specific reasons: to set a difference between Holy and unholy, clean and unclean, and to teach their Children the precepts of God.
In 1Pet. 2:9 the Gentiles are called a royal priesthood, an holy nation. The temple of God today is the body of believers. There is never a time when we are not ministers of the New Covenant. Never a time when we are not in the midst of that temple. Never a time this world is not watching us. We must offer a consistent witness.
In 1Tim 3, Bishops, Deacons, and their wives are commanded to be sober, not given to wine. Paul teaches this to be an example to the flock on how to live as Christians, which they should follow. (2Thes. 3:6-9). The importance of your example and your witness cannot be over stressed. Alcohol chips away at that, eventually destroying it.
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. It’s wrong to use heroin, cocaine, cannabis, and alcohol or any other mood and mind altering substance.
Separation from the world is a basic tenet of the faith. Holiness is a requirement God has of his church. There’s no mixture of Christ and Devils, Christianity and Culture, Light and Darkness, Truth and Deception that is acceptable in His presence.
Good deal Joe ! Close those doors and leave them shut. Better yet I wish I never had opened them in the first place. I still have my ups and downs with alcohol but try to hold my ground. My wife and I have been trying to abstain all the time but not lying fall now and then. Please pray for our permanent abstinence as we do. Oscar
You knew me when there was lots of wine in the cup. I became just like my Dad…. until our Heavenly Father made me in his image. 35 years sober now, by the grace of God!
Great to hear from you my friend, give me a call when you can. Would love to catch up it’s been to long!