ADDICTIONS AND SINFUL HABITS

  Glory to God.This is a continuation of the previous blog posts on the root and fruit of sins.

  Def: Addiction is a medical condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, tobacco) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex,) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health.

Note these key words in the definition:
Pleasurable substance/activity
Compulsion
Behaviour causing problems for both the addicted and others!
  With this definition I want to start a series on some addictions:Today I begin with alcoholism:
                            ALCOHOLISM
  Alcoholism is a disease that causes the following:
1)A strong need to drink.
2)Not being able to stop drinking once you have started.
3)Having withdrawal symptoms: These are symptoms that occur when a heavy drinker suddenly stops or significantly reduces their alcohol intake e.g tremors,anxiety,vomiting,insomnia,nightmares,sweating etc.
4)The need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effects.
  Note that there is a difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse.In the latter,there is no physical dependence on alcohol.
  How do you know you have problems with alcohol consumption?
  How do you know you need help when you consume alcohol?
  How do you know when you cross from ‘I am an occasional drinker’ to ‘moderate drinker’ and eventually to ‘an addicted drinker’?
   CAGE questionnaire can be of help.
            
                      THE CAGE QUESTIONNAIRE
CAGE is an acronym for the four questions below:
1)Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
2)Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
3)Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
4)Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing Early in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

One ‘Yes’ response could mean alcohol abuse.
Two ‘Yes’ responses indicate possibility of alcoholism.

                  ALCOHOL AND CHRISTIANITY
IS IT A SIN FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK ALCOHOL?
IS IT WISE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK ALCOHOL?
IS IT BIBLICAL TO TAKE ALCOHOL OCCASIONALLY?
These have been questions that have generated a lot of controversies among christians over years.It has polarised the church into three groups:
Teetotallers-Non -drinkers
Alcohol drinkers
Undecided folks -Occasional drinkers,abstinence sometimes.
WARNING: I MIGHT ‘HURT’ THE FEELINGS OF THE THREE GROUPS!
The teetotallers believe alcohol consumption is a sin.They back up their points with many scriptures in the bible.I have the following points to make about this group:
The bible is not a catalogue of sins: You err by thinking every sin must be written in the Bible to be qualified as sin and if it is not even clearly written you pick the verses that go with your points and consciously overlook the ones that dont.
There are many sins people commit today that are sins but are not written  in the Bible.
It is a sin because God convicts you :
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.I will be their God,and they will be my people.No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD’ because they will all know me,from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD-Jer 31:33-34
  Do you know we are in the generation fulfilling the prophecy above?
  Do you know all alcoholics know what they are doing is wrong deep inside their mind hence the CAGE questionnaire? But once you pick an isolated scripture to kick against the consumption of alcohol,they have other verses to back up their actions.
  I know you have scriptures that forbid drinking alcohol.I wont bore you with them again.But let me quote some scriptures that overtly support it:
Isaiah 62:8–9 :“The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies, and foreigners shall not drink your wine for which you have labored; but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”
Wait for another one:
Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
And lastly this one:
Psalm 104:14–15 “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.”
I know what you are thinking : ‘The wine mentioned above is non-alcoholic drink’.
I beg to disagree!
What is wine? Wine (from Latin vinum) is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes, generally Vitis vinifera or its hybrids with Vitis labrusca or Vitis rupestris#wikipedia#

image

Above picture is the wine press used to make wine in the 16th century.Pic credit:Wikipedia.

Who wrote one of the verses I quoted above? Solomon? Google his name and profile him then you will know he was a drunkard!
Listen to him: Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise-Prov 20:1
How did he arrive at the conclusion above if not by practice?
Are their not polygamists,wicked kings, adulterers in the Bible? Does it mean you should copy them since they are recorded in the Bible? Some believers could be so rigid about the Bible to a ridiculous level!
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. -2Cor 3:6
So, am I suggesting you should drink alcohol? No of course.I only want to tell this group that their argument against alcohol is usually laid on weak and faulty foundation.
This is my argument against the consumption of alcohol:

ALCOHOLISM/ALCOHOL ABUSE IS A FRUIT SIN!
IT HAS A ROOT SIN!
If you dont understand the difference between root and fruit sin,I want you to go back and read my previous post on ‘Root and fruit sins-Part 1’- http://wp.me/P3jA7o-G
The real roots of alcoholism are lust of the flesh,lust of the eyes and pride of life.
It has all the three roots hence the tendency for you to become addicted to it and find it difficult to stop.
The problem of an alcoholic is not alcohol!
Alcoholism is the fruit of a hidden source/root sin
If I am asked, ‘Is it a sin for a Christian to drink alcohol? I will say IT IS A SIN TO LUST!
The veil covering an alcoholic is that he/she doesnt see alcoholism as lust.
  When you have problems with lust you will not only drink alcohol,you  will be a fornicator,an adulterer,a serial liar etc
  How many wives and concubines did Solomon have?The answer to that question will tell you it is not about just drinking alcohol alone.The major problem is the root sin!
  Alcohol and many addictions I will talk about in my blog might not be clearly forbidden in the Bible but that doesnt mean they are right.
  We live in a generation that majority of people you meet are veiled!- 2 Cor 4:4:
” The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. “
  Hence it is not in the amount of verses you quote to support your points that will make an alcoholic to stop nor scaring them with the medical implications of alcohol consumption(many know the serious side effects more than you and yet still drink themselves to stupor).
You can be educated but not informed!
Instead of concentrating on all that,why dont we address the root cause?: Lust and pride of life.
Take home points:
1)If you answer ‘yes’ to  the CAGE questionnaire above ,then you have a problem and you need help.
2)Whether alcohol consumption is clearly forbidden in the Bible or not is not the problem.The problem is that if you indulge in alcohol,you have problem with lust of the flesh,eyes and pride of life.And without mincing words,these three are not of God.
3)If you are an alcoholic,rather than looking for scriptures to further support your action(I have even helped you with some), tell God to cut off the root of lust of the flesh,lust of the eyes and pride of life in your life.
I will address the other groups and say some other things about alcohol in the next post.
Till then stay blessed and rapturable.

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