Over the years, the conservative churches in general have taken a stand against various forms of substance abuse. Section 4 in Article VI, Christian and Self Denial, in our Decrees for to Keep is titled "Tobacco, Alcohol, & Substance Abuse." It opens with 1 Corinthians 6.19: "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost " and continues on to prohibit the use of tobacco and alcohol due to their harmful effects on the body.
What does God communicate though the Bible? Two major themes woven intrinsically throughout the Bible give a plausible answer.
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is a canceled note, a paid debt, a bridge burned. Forgiveness is the deliberate decision to take a debt and chalk it up as not owing to the account. Forgiveness is an open acceptance of the wrong done without requiring justice. Forgiveness is also an unlocking of the soul, a freedom from having to exact revenge, a winging of the spirit heavenward. Mark Twain once said, "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."
Tonight, I am missing the evening service. There are sick children at our house. My wife could have stayed home with them and I could have gone; but she stayed home this morning while I went to church.
Sick children are not fun. The flu bugs make their presence known in different ways and none of them really enjoyable. The care given to sick children is usually far less pleasant than the care given to "well" children. Sick children do fewer cute and endearing things. In fact, most times they don't do any at all. Sick children cry more and laugh less.
One can hardly think that one little gray fox (red, yellow, and stripped ones too), could hold such incredible potential for righteousness and at the same moment such violent dreadful vice. What was less than twenty short years past an awkward, expensive, communication tool within means of only the elite is now reasonably attainable to both peasant and pope. Its size has diminished to credit card dimensions while capability potentials have exploded into exponential proportions that is the cellular phone.
The freedom to operate our own schools is but one of the tremendous blessings we experience. As a result of God’s blessing on the hard work of faithful personnel, our schools produce results that the public school system can only dream of, at a cost that they can not believe possible. Complacency, however, has ruined many a successful venture; so, at the beginning of another school term, I would like you to consider what your contribution should be to the work of the school.
As Bacchus cast the die, he watched with hope and anticipation. Will he win the eight denarii wagered or will he lose? As the die begins to fall, he remembers the day of his first win. His heart sinks as he realizes the dice have not favored him lately lost, lost, a week's wages slowly he wanders home shivering in the cold more than a little hungry. "I will make up the loss, one way or another!" he convinces himself. So it has been with mankind. The temptation always exists to live by chance and one's wits.
Christians seem increasingly worried these days. Quarreling and bickering in the churches appear on the increase. Doctoring for depression and emotional health are rising significantly. Peace and joy seem obviously absent in the lives of far too many professing followers of Christ. Few people are deficit of needs or even wants, yet contentment is lacking. Is the situation without hope? Is the availability of Holy Spirit power depleted? Does the current environment of which Christians find themselves part render them unable to live and think different then their ungodly counterparts?
Since the creation of man, the desire of God has always been to have a relationship with man. He placed the desire for relationship and fellowship within man. When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, He walked and talked with them in the cool of the day. He had fellowship with them. They had an intimate relationship with God.
Webster's defines intimacy as: belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature; marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity; marked by a warm friendship developing through long association (intimate friends).
The English language is constantly changing. New words are being added; many are for new inventions or processes. Modem, email, ecotourism, and zipper have entered our language in the recent past as words are formulated to keep pace with the changing world. Some words, such as the word flux, which means continuous movement or continual change, fall from common usage. Other words undergo change in their meanings. The King James Version of the Holy Scriptures uses many words that are examples of this flux.