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FOLLOW THE WORD, NOT DOGMA!

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

I Timothy 5:23 – Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. 

Since 1896, the Southern Baptist Convention has held abstinence from alcohol as its official position. This is the doctrine of many other Nicolaitane (or legalistic) churches. Denominations, churches, pastors, preachers, officials, and members also impose upon others and themselves many other rules and regulations concerning worship and personal behavior. Some of them are based on scripture, including the catch – all “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). But most clearly contradict the context and intent of the scriptures, and some, including prohibitions against drinking, marriage, and dancing, directly contradict the scriptures. For instance, only the Nazarites (i.e. Samson) were supposed to abstain from alcohol. In Timothy (here and here) and in Titus, it specifically states that church officials be the husbands of one wife and have well – behaved children (and this comes from Paul, the marriage skeptic). And dancing, well what exactly does Psalm 149 and 150 mean? And what was David doing?
The mention of David is instructive here, as David’s unrighteous wife Michal (the daughter of Saul) sought to make David ashamed from dancing and was punished by God for it. Her punishment will be nothing compared to that of the Nicolaitanes, however, unless they repent, for their fate will be the lake of fire! These people and their pronouncements only burden and oppress desiring Believers. They dissuade many from the faith entirely, driving off converts and creating backsliders. Those that remain are weakened because they focus on the outward appearance of righteousness through works, not salvation and power through grace and faith. Time that could be spent in prayer, the Word of God, ministering, healing, spiritual warfare, prophesy, etc. is wasted on making and keeping rules. Instead of liberating people through grace and forgiveness, they bound people with guilt and shame. Such people who do this to God’s people claim that they are motivated by hatred of sin, when in truth they simply want to control people. Further, they are offended for their own sakes by behavior that they personally find distasteful, rather than being offended for God’s sake by behavior that God hates! The result of this will of course be that God will love the sinner but hate the false doctrine, and will harshly judge not the sinner but rather the purveyor of false doctrine; the person who had access to the truth but chose to spurn it for his own word! Does not Revelation 22:18 condemn people who add things to the Word of God? Being a Believer is not supposed to be a burden! To the contrary, Jesus Christ said that His yoke was easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:29-31)! Our God is not a God who oppresses through the flesh, but liberates through the spirit!
 

Now it may seem like I am being harsh on the Southern Baptists. After all, their justification for being teetotalers is “if you never take your first drink you will never have to take your last drink!” In other words, the best way to avoid being an alcoholic is never drinking to begin with. Wow, that is EXACTLY the type of loving, supportive, charitable image that you wish to send to people that you wish to help break their alcohol addictions and get saved, isn’t it! Come on people, it would be one thing if the Bible explicitly forbad all drinking, as it does with idolatry, fornication, adultery, and profaning the Sabbath, but it does not! So, it would appear that these legalists are more concerned with minding the activities of the saved rather than reaching the lost. Now, is that not the OPPOSITE of what Jesus Christ did (Matthew 9:11-13)?  

And that is precisely the point. These people do not care about God’s Word. They do not care about God’s righteousness. They only care about appearing righteousness in their own eyes. Why else would they be trying to EXCEED the righteousness of the Word of God? Why else would they be trying to curse what God has blessed; to call defiled what God has made clean? How else would it make sense to read the Bible, see what the Bible says do, and to then CONTRADICT IT based on what you personally say is righteous based on your own opinions and feelings? The reality is that these people have no choice. If you deny God’s grace and spirit and decide to try to attain salvation in the flesh through works, nothing will ever be enough. So, no wonder these people feel that they need to exceed the righteousness of Jesus Christ (who lest we forget drank wine!). If you deny God’s grace, how else can you be righteous and be saved unless you are more righteous than God Himself? Without God’s grace, your word needs to be better than God’s Word; your power needs to exceed God’s Power.  

So go right ahead, people. Keep on worshipping at the church of “I don’t need God because I am BETTER than God.” Keep on doing it right up until judgment day. On judgment day, go right up to God and tell Him that He is wrong, that His Word is not good enough, that His Mercy and Grace creates weak worldly corrupt Believers who go through their whole lives one step away from eternal damnation. See how far that gets you! Even this “if you never take your first drink you won’t have to take your last” business reveals the truth: since these people put their trust in the fleshly appearance of righteousness by works, they do not have faith. And why should they? For what do they have faith in? Themselves and their own actions, rather than the power and grace of a loving infallible omnipotent omniscient God. So, they are filled with FEAR. They FEAR that sin is some communicable disease spread by air and contact, and if they catch it they will DIE. They lack faith that they are already saved by grace, that their spirits are already clean and will stay that way; that God will protect His Anointed no matter what happens! And even if sin were some super AIDS bird flu ebola type of thing, could not God heal them just as He healed the lepers? Oh, that’s right, if you are more righteous than God’s Word, then God’s Word is meaningless to you, totally inapplicable to your everyday life! If you are trying to be more righteous than God by your own actions rather than allowing God to make you righteous through grace, then God’s Word has no power for you. It will never occur to you that you can be healed and redeemed from sin the same way that the people in the Bible were because you do not believe that salvation will come to you the same way that salvation came to Noah, Peter, Mary Madgalene, and everyone else who loved God in the Old Covenant and believed in Jesus under the New!  

You legalists are nothing but idolators, worshipping your own image through your own actions by your own notions of righteousness. You reject God for yourselves. You know what? You legalists are the original humanists! Man is the measure of all things? Yep, that is what you obviously believe, for you say that you are the judge of righteousness and not God. Or that your standard of righteousness is higher and better than God’s! So why not just take down the cross and the statue of Jesus from your church and put up a statue of yourself? Why not end the lie? Why not be open with your idolatry? Go ahead, let the wine flow freely. Burn incense. Have orgies! Human sacrifices? Why not? Because whether you admit it or not, by rejecting God’s Word for your own sense of righteousness, you sit in the place of God and say that you are gods! You know what that makes you? ANTICHRISTS! No wonder Jesus mentioned you in the Revelation to John just before He began talking about the beast and the false prophet, the man of sin and his helper! He was talking about you! When Jesus was talking about how the beast and the false prophet are going to have everyone worship them and their image, Jesus was talking about you, you idolators and anti – Christs! When Daniel said that the beast was going to come out of the people of God but not worship the God that his fathers knew (Daniel 11:38), Daniel was talking about YOU! YOU are the ones who reject God’s Word and reject salvation through faith alone in favor of self – righteousness, YOU are anti – Christs! And unless you repent, you are going to get what is coming to you; forever burning in the lake of fire!  

But that does not happen to you! You can turn. You can change. Please, I entreat and implore you. Stop rejecting the Bible. Stop rejecting God’s sovereign righteousness. Stop rejecting His Grace. Stop rejecting His Love for your fear, self – righteousness, and control. Admit that God is more righteous than you. Admit that you cannot judge or save yourself and that you need God to redeem you. Admit that you are a sinner! That despite all of your legalism, you still fall short! You are still corrupt, and you cannot be redeemed unless God pardons what you are guilty of! Admit that you need God to forgive and redeem you just as much as that drug – addicted homosexual prostitute with innocent man’s blood on his hands! Please, say the Salvation Prayer today, and then start living GOD’S righteousness, and not man’s sin.  

Prayer:

Father God in the name of Christ Jesus, please open the eyes of the people who are oppressing with and being oppressed by legalism. May they reject legalism, accept your grace, and then go help others be redeemed by preaching it. In the Name of Jesus Christ, amen! 

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are control, legalism, false doctrine, arrogance, self-righteousness, fear, and anti – Christ. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

http://www.healtheland.bravehost.com/Archives/Devos/WordNotDogma_56.htm

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