WHAT THE CHURCH AND THE GENERAL OVERSEERS SAID THAT THE BIBLE NEVER SAID
My attention was drawn to a post by Femi Aribisala, where he said that we could drink alcohol in church and that Jesus drank alcohol. In my church, I recently taught on some controversial issues in church for about five weeks, the teachings were quite detailed because I knew that it was important for the brethren to truly understand the subjects. The purpose was to teach truth and bring them to maturity. One of the topics had to do with taking alcoholic drinks. I always knew that taking alcohol isn’t a sin, but what got my attention as I prepared my notes was that Jesus, by Himself, referred to Himself as a winebibber! When I read that, the Holy Spirit led me to check the meaning of the word: I did, and I couldn’t stop laughing for the rest of the day!
Why was I laughing? Jesus took alcohol? Wow! It was funny and amazing because “our holiness” wouldn’t let us think of such a thing! Our Lord and Saviour took alcohol? Here’s the verse. Note that it was Jesus speaking: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.” Matthew 11:18-19 NKJV. A winebibber, for your information, is a drinker of strong drink.
I realized that if Jesus were here today, many of us churchgoers and Christians wouldn’t accept Him. He wouldn’t be the ideal “holy man” we expected Him to be. But it’s our idea of holiness that is wrong! The Church established its own standards of holiness, and righteousness too!
Over the years, we’ve come to believe certain things which neither God, Jesus Christ, or the apostles of the Bible said or believed. Not even the prophets of the Old Testament said them. I remember when I was in the university, a certain preacher was preaching that it was a sin not to pray up to two hours a day. The logic behind it was that we had to give God a tithe of the day. And people believed him! I was amazed! Where in the Bible is that? Nowhere!
I did teachings on tithing some months ago, and I lost a few friends. Well, we just have to keep teaching truth and exposing lies and falsehood.
Today, we believe that poverty is a curse and that you are not blessed if you are not rich. Someone actually said that you can’t be holy and poor. What a lie! Arrant nonsense! Peter, the apostles and Paul must have been faithless, cursed and sinners, because they were poor! Peter said, “Silver and gold have I not…”, and Paul stated categorically, “We are poor…” 2 Corinthians 6:10. Sometimes I wonder if we are in a different dispensation and if we know better. Poverty is not a curse and many have been misled by this erroneous doctrine, often wondering if God doesn’t love them. It has also made believers steal and become corrupt. So much love for money these days. I believe in prosperity, but the truth is that God will not prosper everyone! The blessing of Abraham is not all about prosperity: truth is that if we are sincere, it’s easy to tell that God is not so interested in making us billionaires in the New Testament. The focus is completely different. But yes, prosperity is not a sin.
I believe in healing and health. And I have enjoyed good health for fifteen years. But in the university, I realized as I studied the Bible, that Apostle Paul and people who worked closely with him were sick, even to the point of death. It got my attention. How could such highly anointed men be sick? They even seemed to beg God for healing! It doesn’t sound like what word of faith preachers teach. Right? Apostle Paul wrote: “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” Philippians 2:25-30 NKJV. As I meditated on this, I realized that there are different causes of sickness. Falling sick is not always about being faithless.
What’s the whole point of this? There are quite a number of erroneous teachings in the Body of Christ. It’s time for us, Catholics, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Orthodox, etc, to get back to the Bible. Everyone of us must get to read the Bible and know what it says. The Church is so divided because we have given the Scriptures our own private interpretations. We’ve established our own standards and doctrines; we’ve left people in the dark on several issues, and we’ve condemned the innocent.
Let me conclude with the words of Apostle Paul. “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” Romans 14:17-18 NKJV
Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim
Able Ministers Chapel
November 14, 2017