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Drugs and God – How Can a Christian Help an Addict?

Drug abuse and the problem of mind-altering practices have been a problem since Biblical times. The practice of witchcraft – against which the Bible is most emphatically opposed – frequently involved the use of altered states of consciousness (often obtained through drug use). Drug abuse is not merely a physical problem, but a spiritual one as well. As such, Christians should feel a certain duty to help those afflicted. Not only this, but the Bible also condemns the kind of behavior which often results from substance abuse. For example, believers are exhorted to obey the laws of the land, to live a life ‘beyond reproach’, to live selflessly, and treat their neighbors with kindness and forgiveness no matter the sin. They are also taught to respect their lives and earthly bodies, and the Pauline letters condemn excessive drunkenness and alcoholism. Taken all together and viewed through the lens of drug use, these strictures indicate that we should not only try to avoid the pitfall of drug abuse ourselves, but should also treat those who have stumbled in this manner with the kindness and love which runs as a constant thread throughout the teachings of Christ. But how?

‘Rescuing’ someone with a drug problem is nearly impossible. True change has to come from within, it cannot be instilled from without. When turning to Jesus, one must do more than simply attend church and recite Scripture by rote. One must willingly open one’s heart and love Jesus from within. The same principle applies to those with substance abuse problems. They must want to be healed in order to be healed. It is thus frustrating for many who wish to help substance abusers, as those who are on a self-destruct cycle will continually thwart efforts to improve their situation. So what can you do?

Firstly, get rid of the idea that you can proactively ‘rescue’ a drug abuser. For more on why this will not work, try reading this article. Instead, let the sufferer know that they are valued, that they will be forgiven, and that a loving support network is waiting for them should they decide to get clean. Simply being there, offering unconditional forgiveness and believing in their power to improve their lives can encourage many a suffering substance abuser to take steps to address their issues. Prayer can be a major help in this case – not only to help the afflicted individual, but to give you the strength to cope in what can often be a trying situation. Finally, have faith!

By Laura Chapman

Drug Addiction and Long Term Rehab Statistics

Drug addiction is a social menace that affects millions of Americans. The effects of drug abuse can be felt on the individual, family and friends, and the society, but the constant need for a drug often overcomes any logical thinking. Recognizing that they have a problem is the first step to recovery.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

“Glee” Actor Cory Monteith’s Death Recalls the Lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix

The Joker in The Dark Knight is portrayed by H...

Wikipedia – Heath Ledger as the Joker

Cory Monteith’s passing recalls the lives of Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and River Phoenix — actors who battled substance abuse and died in their 20s and 30s. Monteith talked bluntly about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, calling it a serious problem and telling Parade magazine in 2011 he was “lucky to be alive.”

(Source: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/celebrities/215474861.html)

Cory Monteith died from a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol … this according to Canadian authorities.

The British Columbia Coroners Service says an autopsy and toxicological analysis show that the 31-year-old “Glee” star died on from a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol.”

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/07/16/cory-monteith-cause-of-death-heroin-and-alcohol/#ixzz2ZFQz5MIG

The list of celebrities who have died from prescription drug related deaths includes:

  • Whitney Houston at the age of 48, although she died from drowning, her blood contained a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol.
  • Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and a 1950s & 1960s sex symbol died from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.
  • Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles died on August 27, 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol at the age of 32.
  • Judy Garland who was a triple threat – actress, singer and dancer, and is remembered for her role as “Dorothy” In “The Wizard of Oz” died from an overdose of sleeping pills while on tour in London, England at the age of 47.
  • Guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix choked on own vomit after taking too many barbiturates at the age of 27.
  • Superstar and showbiz legend, Elvis Presley, died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by large prescription drug intake at the age of 42.
  • While completing his role as the darkly disturbed Joker in the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” Heath Ledger complained about his inability to sleep, so he was given several prescriptions. The much beloved, 28-year-old actor and father was found naked and dead on the floor of his apartment. The official cause of death in his accidental overdose was “acute intoxication” by the combined effects of six drugs he was supposed to be taking. For whatever reason, he simply took too much of them all at once.
  • Michael Jackson died with multiple pharmaceutical drugs in his blood stream. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined the cause of Michael Jackson’s death was “acute propofol intoxication.” Lorazepam, another sedative sold under the brand name Ativan, contributed to the death. Additional drugs detected in Jackson’s system were the sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine.

    Medication

    Medication (Photo credit: Drowning Sky)

Over the past 50 years the devastation of alcoholism and other drug abuse has only escalated. It is not only the rich and famous that are drinking and drugging themselves to death. Everyone is susceptible regardless of age or station in life.

BREAKING THE BONDAGE

Drug addiction is not just a biological and chemical dysfunction, it is a spiritual bondage. Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds that need to be fought with spiritual weapons. We need to pray for the addicted!

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

DRUG ADDICTION IN AMERICA: Facts and Figures

MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF AMERICANS USE AND ABUSE LIFE-CONTROLLING SUBSTANCES

In the United States of America, the statistics concerning the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, illicit drugs and pharmaceutical drugs (medications) are overwhelming.  The following “Infographic” provides facts and figures concerning drug types and classification including the annual costs:

Drug Addiction and Statistics

This Infographic is Shared by Self Help Online and Designed by Graphs

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

The Abuse of Prescription Drugs Can Lead to Death by Overdose

Whether a fatality is caused by accidental overdose of illegal drugs or abusing pharmaceuticals, the impact is much more than a matter of statistics!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100 people in the United States die from drug overdose every day. Drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990. (Source – http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/)

The horrible irony is that more and more people seeking relief from pain are becoming addicted to prescription painkillers.  Whether overdose is caused by OxyContin ®, Vicodin ®, Percocet ®or any other opiate – too often the person seeking relief from their pain – is killed by their painkiller.

The tragic loss of a close friend or family member to a narcotic overdose is not just another statistic, but can be devastating emotionally and mentally to those grieving the loss.

Dealing with the loss of an addicted friend or family member from drug overdose may be additionally difficult because of unnecessary guilt or shame carried by the mourner. They may feel guilty that they did not recognize, or were in denial, of the signs of addiction such as: mood swings, deterioration of personal grooming habits, a drop in performance at school or work, suspicious behavior, money missing, etc.  They may blame themselves and anguish over what they could have done or shouldn’t have done that could have prevented the loss of their loved one. Grief stricken family members often require individual professional counseling and/or a bereavement support group in order to find help and healing.

Often a person who is suffering the loss of their friend or family member can find some comfort and even joy by focusing on the “good times” they had together. These memories can help them to carry on with their daily lives as they make it through day by day.

“Carry On” is a beautiful and sweet song written by Heath Lanzillotti and sung by Vonabell Sherman that pays tribute to the one we may have lost and enables us to carry on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X0E_bi-m5Y&feature=plcp

For those of you seeking comfort and a peace that surpasses understanding, you need a relationship with the God of All Comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:2-4

Establish a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, and find forgiveness and freedom by praying the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

Forgive and Be Set Free from Addiction by Renewing Your Mind

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a

Addictive and Compulsive Behavior are the Result of Addictive Controlling Thoughts.

Past hurts and emotional wounds often are at the root of addictive behavior as the abuser uses drugs and alcohol to temporarily medicate away the pain of rejection. An important key to freedom and healing is found in forgiveness. To be set free from addiction, there needs to be a release from addictive thoughts. That release is found through forgiveness and renewed thinking.

In Romans 12:2 we are urged not to be conformed to this world. Instead we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word translated as “renewing” is, ajnakaivnwsiß (anakainosis). Anakainosis means a renewal, renovation or complete change for the better. What needs to undergo a renovation, so that it can be changed for the better, is our “mind.” Our mind is the faculty that enables us to think, understand and perceive. When a person is born-again, he/she is delivered out of the dominion of darkness and has been brought into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We no longer are to follow the behavior and customs of this sin-stained world. Our behavior is the reflection of our thinking. As a new creature in Christ our spirits have been regenerated and are perfect, but our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) need to be sanctified (set apart for the holy purposes of God).

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, we need to put off the old worldly ways of thinking and no longer submit to carnal desires. We need to be made new in the attitude of our minds.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

We are exhorted to renew our minds and be free of hatred and strife but how is this accomplished?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,Ephesians 5:25-26

The church or universal body of believers is cleansed (sanctified/made holy) by replacing worldly and fleshly thoughts with the Word of God. If we are to be true followers of Christ, then we must think and act like our Master. To think and act like our Lord, we must learn about His life and character. By studying the four Gospels, we will learn about the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

By regular and faithful reading of the divinely inspired Scriptures and applying the Word of God to our lives, we will transform our minds. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we will progressively be freed from worldly thinking and carnal desires.

A second essential key to renewing our minds and enabling us to put away our bitter, malicious and wicked thoughts is our willingness to forgive those who have caused us bitter suffering.

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

Jesus, who was innocent of any wrongdoings, was falsely accused, illegally arrested and unfairly tried, mocked, beaten, scourged and crucified. Yet He cried out from the cross, “Father, forgive them …” According to the Lord’s Prayer we will be forgiven to the extent that we are willing to forgive others. The world teaches us to harbor unforgiveness and hatred, but a Christian who has the mind of Christ will be known by his love.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

 How can you love your neighbor as yourself, if you do not love yourself?  Not only forgive those who have mistreated you, but also be sure to forgive yourself.
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

New Drug Highs for Teens: Spice, Bath Salts and Hand Sanitizers!

Teenagers looking to get high no longer need to go to the streets to buy drugs like marijuana or cocaine. They just have to sneak some pills out of their parent’s medicine cabinet where they can score prescription painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet or anti-anxiety medications such as Valium or Xanax. Teens can raid the family medicine cabinet or simply go the local drugstore and get over-the-counter cold pills containing DXM. This active ingredient is found in cough suppressants which are labeled DM, cough suppressant, or containing “tuss” in the title.

Various pills

Various pills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They can take these pills on their own or get together with friends at a “pharm party.”All those invited each bring some pills, which will be combined in a bowl to make “trail mix.” Teenagers are either ignorant of the potential danger of taking pills to get high, are in denial, want acceptance by their friends, are rebellious, or simply don’t care about the risks they are taking.

The immediate potential side effects of using anyone else’s prescription, abusing a medication, and especially mixing medications includes: impaired judgment, nausea, loss of coordination, headache, vomiting, loss of consciousness, numbness of fingers and toes, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, aches, seizures, panic attacks, psychosis, euphoria, cold flashes, dizziness, and diarrhea. Of course, there is always a possibility of over dosing which can lead to becoming comatose or a drug related death.

A young person looking to get high can avoid going out to the streets by purchasing marijuana alternatives on the Internet. The following is an ad from an online herbal smoke shop:

Description: WITHOUT A DOUBT ONE OF THE HOTTEST MOST SOUGHT AFTER EXTREME MARIJUANA ALTERNATIVE HERBAL SMOKES IN THE WORLD!                                                        Fusion Herbal Smoke is right up there with Spice Gold Herbal Smoke and is positively without a doubt among the strongest most potent USA legal herbal smoking blends currently being offered by any U.S. herbal smoke website.

Marijuana Plants (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

An additional marijuana alternative is the use of nutmeg which has some mild hallucinogenic effects. Teenagers sprinkle nutmeg on rolling papers and then smoke it in a way similar to marijuana.

Another alarming trend is the use of the new synthetic and highly addictive drugs called “bath salts” which are intended to be snorted, smoked or injected. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the U.S. Department of Justice, bath salts” were being sold on the Internet and at gas stations, smoke shops and convenience stores under such street names as “Blizzard,” “Cloud Nine” and “Ocean Snow.” These products contain psychoactive chemicals known as mephedrone and/or MDPV. Side effects include tachycardia, hypertension, euphoria, hallucinations, psychosis, paranoid delusions, agitation and diminished requirement for food and sleep. The psychosis can cause extreme violent, combative and self-injurious behavior. The most profound side effects from large overdoses include seizure, rhabdomyolysis and renal failure.

Besides the abuse of prescription medications, smoking herbal marijuana alternatives and nutmeg, and the synthetic bath salts drugs, teenagers are getting drunk by using hand sanitizers.

Hand sanitizers use a formula up to 62 percent ethyl alcohol to kill germs, but some students desperate for kicks are using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, and making a potent 120-proof liquid equal in strength to a shot of hard liquor. Health effects from the drink reportedly include diarrhea, memory loss and even blindness and irreversible organ damage.

In America, we have taken the Bible, prayer and the Ten Commandments out of our schools and the public arena. The vast majority of our young people no longer have a moral compass. Broken homes, single parenting, the corruption of our culture and the secularization of society have led to  an entire generation of young people feeling lonely and hopeless. As teens tattoo and pierce their bodies for attention and peer acceptance, we find that sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide rates for young people are on the rise.

What can we do to turn the tide? How can any individual make a difference?

First of all, we must recognize who or what we are fighting:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

Drug abuse is not just a physical addiction or a biological or chemical problem – it is a spiritual stronghold.  Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Secondly, we must know how the battle is fought:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

To break the bondage and tear down the strongholds of addiction, we need to pray for the addicted so that they will come to the end of themselves and seek God.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom,  pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

PRAY NO to Drugs, Pornography, Gambling, Obesity and Smoking

The weekend of April 6 – April 7, 2013 has been designated as the 23rd Annual “Just Pray NO!” to drugs Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting. We are not only praying for the release of those bound by substance abuse but also for people to be delivered from pornography, gambling, obesity and smoking.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” has united millions of Christians from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. Not only is substance abuse America’s number one health problem, the devastation of alcoholism and other drug addiction has impacted families and communities worldwide.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Make a formal commitment to join with believers in Christ from around the globe this coming April. Put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth. We are seeking to enlist millions of prayer warriors from around the world to join us in battle!

Is it your heart’s desire to see people delivered, healed and set free to serve the Lord Jesus Christ?

 Then click on the following link to learn how you, your church group or ministry can participate in our international prayer event:

Beverage Alcohol is One of the World’s Most Widely Used Drugs

Alcohol is one of the most widely used drug substances in the world. Alcohol use & binge drinking among America’s youth is a key public health problem.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • Alcohol is used by more young people in the United States than tobacco or illicit drugs.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with approximately 75,000 deaths per year.
  • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 41% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Among youth, the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior.
  • Long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder.
  • Drug use contributes directly and indirectly to the HIV epidemic, and alcohol and drug use contribute markedly to infant morbidity and mortality.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things.

You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

Is it so surprising that the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries?

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Ephesians 5:18a

Debauchery is defined as, extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures; dissipation. Debauchery earliest usage meant seduction from duty, allegiance, or virtue.

Is it also very surprising that drunkenness leads to academic and occupational problems, illegal behavior and gross immorality?

Who would seduce us away from our duty or virtue? Synonyms for seduce are beguile, allure, lure, deceive or tempt.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, “What is this that thou hast done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:13

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3

Who beguiled Eve? Who is the tempter? Who is the great deceiver? Satan is the profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity. Drunkenness is neither a bad habit nor is alcoholism merely a disease that needs to be treated; they are snares of the devil that lead to sickness and death. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses.

Does it now make sense that since the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy that long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder?

But what about controlled social drinking? Shouldn’t a Christian be able to have an occasional beer or two or some wine with dinner?

Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, Leviticus 10:8-9

Israel’s high priesthood was forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages when ministering before the LORD.

It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Proverbs 31:4-5  

It is not good for kings to drink wine or rulers to crave beer.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Born-again believers are not only adopted into the family of God but are the children of the King of kings. We are a royal priesthood and are to rule and reign with Jesus. Although the moderate intake of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden for believers, refraining from fermented drink is the better choice for those who which to honor God with their bodies.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But didn’t Jesus drink wine?

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Matthew 11:19

Jesus was falsely accused of being a drunkard.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Drinking is not prohibited in the Bible. It is uncontrolled drinking to drunkenness. The acts of the flesh include drunkenness and those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus in order to emphasize with our weaknesses drank wine, but resisted the temptation of becoming drunk with wine.

Public intoxication, also known as drunk and disorderly conduct, is a summary offense in many countries. In other words it is prosecutable without an indictment or full trial. “Driving While Intoxicated” and “Driving Under the Influence” also carry their penalties under the law.

It is obvious that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs have had a devastating impact on individuals, their families and their communities not only here in America but throughout the world.

Annually in the United States the alcohol beverage industry is grosses nearly $500 billion dollars in the sales of wine and beer as well as distilled spirits such as vodka, rum and whiskey.

The English word, “Intoxication” is from taken from the Latin words which mean to smear with poison. The medical definition of intoxication is poisoning by a drug or toxic substance. Intoxication is the condition of being drunk as the result of drinking alcoholic beverages and/or use of narcotics. Intoxication is mental and emotional stupefaction or excitement by the action of a chemical substance. To stupefy is to befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate or bedevil.

When you drink alcoholic beverages to the point of drunkenness you are bedeviled. You have not only poisoned your body, which leads to physical death, but have poisoned your mind and have been ensnared by the devil.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Those who are addicted have been taken captive by the devil. They must be gently encouraged to earnestly repent so that they can come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Alcoholism like any other drug addiction is a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons. We are not to be intoxicated with alcohol but filled with the Holy Spirit.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In order to become victorious over alcoholism and other drug addictions, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do we renew our minds? How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.

The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

AMERICAN IDOLS: The Land of the Free or Home of the Enslaved?

Idolatry can take many forms.
Alcoholism and drug abuse are forms of idol worship.
They lead to spiritual bondage. Abusers are addicted and enslaved.

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20: 1-6

More than 1/3 of all high school seniors in America have admitted to using marijuana in the past year. These self-reports of drug use among high school seniors may under represent drug use among youth of that age because high school dropouts and truants are not included, and these groups may have more involvement with drugs than those who stay in school. Although overall drug abuse has declined since the late 1970s, the use of inhalants has increased among teenagers. Inhalants encompass a range of substances as diverse as glues, aerosols, butane, paint thinner, and nail polish remover. Use of inhalants has consistently been highest among 8th graders, likely because these products are inexpensive, legal, and easy to obtain, making them more attractive to younger adolescents who have less access to illicit drugs.

More than 70% of high school seniors in America have admitted to using alcohol in the past year, while nearly 50% have reported that they have had a drink in the past month. Most high school seniors are between the ages of 16 – 18 years old. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age. Therefore 7 out of 10 high school seniors have admitted to breaking the law by underage consumption of alcoholic beverages in the past year and half have admitted to having a drink recently.

Worldwide, more than 2/3 of all countries have a cocaine problem. By conservative estimates, there are over 2 million cocaine addicts in the United States alone.

Seven of the 20 countries designated by the President as major drug transit or major illicit drug-producing nations are located in Latin America-Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. The strategic deployment of approximately 38 percent of DEA’s foreign workforce to Latin America is testament to the important role the region plays in feeding America’s appetite for drugs.

Latin America is the source of all cocaine, most of the heroin, and significant amounts of marijuana consumed in the United States. Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru remain the primary centers of cocaine production, although DEA remains concerned about the production potential of other countries in the region. Cocaine continues to be produced in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru in vast quantities to supply the United States’ and world’s demand. Non-existent 10 years ago, heroin produced in Colombia now supplies over 50 percent of the United States’ heroin market.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, over 22 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem!

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.1 billion people smoke, about one-third of the global population aged 15 and older. In the United States, over 25 million men and over 21 million women smoke tobacco products.

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in adult obesity in the United States. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. There has also been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity in the last decade. Childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last twenty five years. Diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related chronic diseases that are prevalent among adults have now become more common in youngsters.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are impacting families and communities around the world. Here in affluent America, we are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating ourselves to death.

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…

People turn to idols because they are seeking pleasure or comfort apart from God. When trials and troubles come, when you experience emotional or physical pain, when you are lonely or bored, where do you find your comfort? Do you smoke cigarettes or eat junk food when you are nervous? Do you have a few beers or watch pornography when you are lonely or feel rejected?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Those who have placed their trust in the finished work of Messiah Jesus are not only promised a full and abundant life but will experience an eternity of pleasures.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our God is the God of all comfort and the Father of all compassion. When we stand in faith, we will experience an abundant life and we will experience an eternity of joy in God’s presence.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

If we stand in faith in the midst of our circumstances and hardships, we will be pleasing to God and will reap rewards. But the LORD our God is a jealous God who punishes those who are guilty of idolatry to the third and fourth generation. Have you sought pleasure or comfort by drinking, gambling, drugging, smoking cigarettes, by overeating or indulging in pornography? Are you a workaholic or a shopaholic? Who are you serving?

Why is idolatry such an abomination before the LORD? The Apostle Paul exhorts us to flee from idolatry. In speaking about the communion table Paul wrote:

Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21

Addictions and compulsive behaviors are not only physical bondages but demonic strongholds.

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Here in America and around the world, people are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating themselves to death. They are in bondage to their addictions and compulsive behaviors and are enslaved by sin which leads to death. Many are unknowingly offering up their bodies as sacrifices to demons. Not only are they slaves to their addictions and guilty of idolatry, they have placed a curse on their families which extends to the third and fourth generation.

The prophet Hosea warns us that the people of God are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

We who have put our trust in the finished work of redemption that Christ accomplished on the cross are not in darkness. We are no longer ignorant as God’s elect. We must walk in the light as He is in the light. We and our children, and our children’s children do not have to be destroyed for lack of knowledge. We must no longer conform to evil desires. We need not be enslaved. We must not serve other gods. We need to be obedient children and be holy as our heavenly Father is holy.

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Are we willing to commit to living a life worth of our calling and seek purity as did King David who proclaimed:

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me?
I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.
Psalm 101:1-4

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