Overblog Follow this blog
Administration Create my blog
January 2 2013 4 02 /01 /January /2013 11:56

BibleStudy

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Ostervald révisée édition de 1996.


Verset clé


« Ne savez-vous pas que votre corps est le temple du Saint-Esprit, qui est en vous, et qui vous a été donné de Dieu, et que vous n'êtes point à vous-mêmes? » (1 Corinthiens 6:19).


L'alcool et le tabac


En ce qui concerne l’alcool et le tabac, l’Église de Dieu croit que l’usage de spiritueux, de boissons stimulantes alcoolisées, de stupéfiants, de tabac et de toutes drogues provoquant une quelconque accoutumance est contraire à la nature de l'être humain. Bien que croire une telle chose ne soit pas surprenant de la part d’une église, voyons ce qu’ont à nous dire sur ce sujet les Écritures afin de comprendre pourquoi une telle croyance est profondément scripturale.


À la lecture du livre des Proverbes, nous apprenons une raison pour laquelle les boissons enivrantes devraient être évitées.


« Ce n'est point aux rois, Lémuel, ce n'est point aux rois de boire le vin, ni aux princes de boire la boisson forte; De peur qu'ayant bu, ils n'oublient ce qui est ordonné, et qu'ils ne méconnaissent le droit de tous les pauvres affligés » (Proverbes 31:4-5).


« A qui cette plainte: Malheur sur moi? A qui: Hélas? A qui les débats? A qui le bruit? A qui les blessures sans cause? A qui la rougeur des yeux? A ceux qui s'arrêtent auprès du vin, et qui vont chercher le vin mixtionné » (Proverbes 23:29-30).


Salomon nous apprend ici qu’il est déjà suffisamment difficile de résister à Satan dans nos vies de chaque jour et de garder les commandements de Dieu sans être sous l’influence de substances intoxicantes. Les drogues et l’alcool rendent le travail de Satan bien plus facile puisqu’ils nous font perdre nos facultés de jugement.


L'évangéliste Luc nous donne un avertissement similaire :


« Prenez donc garde à vous-mêmes, de peur que vos cœurs ne soient appesantis par la débauche, par l'ivrognerie et par les inquiétudes de cette vie; et que ce jour-là ne vous surprenne subitement » (Luc 21:34).


Outre les avantages évidents qu’il y a pour la santé à s’abstenir de tabac, de boissons alcoolisés et de drogues, la Bible nous avertit à plusieurs reprises que ceux qui consomment de telles substances n’hériteront pas du royaume de Dieu.


« Les envies, les meurtres, les ivrogneries, les débauches, et les choses semblables. Je vous dis d'avance, comme je vous l'ai déjà dit, que ceux qui commettent de telles choses, n'hériteront point le royaume de Dieu » (Galates 5:21).


« Ne savez-vous pas que les injustes n'hériteront point le royaume de Dieu? Ne vous abusez point; ni les impurs, ni les idolâtres, ni les adultères, ni les efféminés, ni les infâmes, ni les larrons, ni les avares, ni les ivrognes, ni les médisants, ni les ravisseurs n'hériteront le royaume de Dieu » (1 Corinthiens 6:9-10).


La Bible affirme que tout ce que nous mangeons et tout ce que nous buvons doit être sanctifié par la Parole de Dieu et par la prière. Nous devons également en user avec modération. Nous sommes le temple de Dieu dans lequel réside l’Esprit Saint, et c’est ainsi que nous devrions traiter nos corps.


« Ne savez-vous pas que vous êtes le temple de Dieu, et que l'Esprit de Dieu habite en vous? Si quelqu'un détruit le temple de Dieu, Dieu le détruira; car le temple de Dieu est saint, et vous êtes ce temple » (1 Corinthiens 3:16-17).


Prenons donc les dispositions nécessaires afin de nous purifier de toute souillure de la chair et afin que nous puissions nous présenter sans tache ni ride devant Jésus lorsqu’il reviendra dans toute sa gloire. Il est déjà suffisamment difficile de surmonter ce monde méchant lorsque nous vivons en accord avec la Parole de Dieu. Résister à la tentation est bien plus difficile quand nos corps et notre système sanguin sont emplis de poison. Afin de surmonter la tentation et servir notre Dieu de manière appropriée, nous avons besoin de corps fort, vigoureux et en santé.


Certains affirment pourtant que le Nouveau Testament autorise un usage modéré de l’alcool. Ils aiment pour cela faire mention de Luc 7:33-34. Dans ce passage, nous lisons : « Car Jean-Baptiste est venu, ne mangeant point de pain, et ne buvant point de vin; et vous dites: Il a un démon. Le Fils de l'homme est venu, mangeant et buvant; et vous dites: Voilà un mangeur et un buveur, un ami des péagers et des gens de mauvaise vie. »


Cela signifie-t-il que Jésus Christ se livrait à la consommation de boissons enivrantes comme beaucoup voudraient nous le faire croire ? Si vraiment il buvait du vin, de quel genre de vin s’agissait-il alors? S’agissait-il de boissons fermentées ou non fermentées ? Voici quelques questions qui seront abordées dans l’essai suivant. Tout d'abord, concernant Luc 7:33-34, gardons à l’esprit qu’il s’agit avant tout d’accusations que portaient les détracteurs de Jésus contre celui-ci afin de saper son autorité et son ministère comme ils l’avaient fait de Jean le Baptiste avant lui.


« Oinos », fermenté et non fermenté


Il nous faut revenir au grec afin de mieux comprendre l’usage du mot « vin » en Luc 7:33, ainsi que dans d’autres passages du Nouveau Testament. En effet, le mot grec « oinos », traduit par « vin » peut désigner 1) le jus de raisin non fermenté et/ou 2) un vin fermenté de nature alcoolisé.


La définition ci-dessus de « vin » [oinos] peut être vérifiée en se référant à un certain nombre de sources qui mentionnant le terme grec « oinos ». De fait, de nombreux auteurs profanes et religieux de l'ère pré-apostolique ont utilisé le mot grec « oinos » afin de désigner du jus de raisin fraîchement pressé. Par exemple, Anacréon, poète lyrique grec (582 avant JC - 485 avant JC) écrit [traduction] : « Presser le raisin, laisser couler le vin [oinos] » (Ode 5). Nicandre de Colophon (2ème siècle avant JC), un autre poète grec, également médecin et grammairien, écrit au sujet de la presse des grappes de raisin et réfère au jus qui en sort comme étant du « oinos » (Les Géorgiques, fragment 86). Selon Papias d’Hiérapolis, l’un des premiers soi-disant père de l’église (premier tiers du 2ème siècle), lorsque les raisins étaient écrasées, ils donnaient alors [traduction] « des jarres de vin [oinos] » (cité par Irénée, Contre les Hérésies, 5.33.3-4). Athénée de Naucratis, un érudit et un grammairien grec (fin du 2ème et commencement du 3ème siècle) nous écrit au sujet [traduction] d’un « vin doux [oinos] » qui « ne rend pas la tête lourde » (Les Deipnosophistes, 1,54). Dans le même ouvrage, il fait allusion à un homme qui s’en va collecter des raisins. Il écrit de cet homme [traduction] qu’il « passa, et pris du vin [onios] dans le champ ». Comme nous le voyons donc, dans bien des cas, le terme grec « oinos » est utilisé pour faire mention à du jus de raisin frais qui n’eut donc pas le temps de fermenter. Ceci prouve que le vin « oinos » peut tout autant désigner une boisson alcoolique ou enivrante qu’un jus de raisin non fermenté.


Les érudits juifs qui traduisirent les Écritures hébraïques et qui nous offrirent la traduction grecque dite de la Septante (au alentour du 3ème siècle avant JC) était au courant de ces différentes manières d’utiliser le mot grec « oinos ». De fait, ils décidèrent de traduire plusieurs mots hébreux pour vin par le terme « oinos » dans la Septante. Puisque que Paul et d’autres écrivains du Nouveau Testament citèrent cette traduction grecque des Écritures hébraïques, il est évident qu’ils avaient connaissance des différentes définitions du mot « oinos ». Ils étaient conscients que ce terme pouvait référer soit à du jus de raisin fermenté, soit à du jus de raisin non fermenté. Ils firent en effet usage des diverses significations du mot grec pour le terme vin. Par exemple, en Ephésiens 5:18, il nous est conseillé : « Ne vous enivrez point de vin [oinos] ». Il s’agit d’une référence évidente à un vin alcoolisé. Cependant, et d’autre part, en Apocalypse 19:15, il est dit du Christ qu’il « foulera la cuve du vin [oinos]de la colère et de l'indignation du Dieu Tout-Puissant ». Puisque ce verset fait allusion à du vin nouvellement foulé, nous savons qu’il ne peut s’agir de vin fermenté, mais qu’il s’agit plutôt de jus de raisin.


D’ailleurs, une méthode utilisée pour préserver le jus de  raisin de toute fermentation était de le faire bouillir afin d’en obtenir un sirop. Les historiens antiques y réfèrent comme s’agissant également d’« oinos » ou de vin. Le Smith’s Bible Dictionary affirme [traduction] que  « Les vins qui étaient en toute simplicité produits durant l’antiquité étaient bien moins meurtriers que les boissons abrutissantes et violemment alcoolisées que l’on retrouve dans le monde occidentale. Les vins de l’antiquité avaient plutôt l’allure de sirops. Un certain nombre en était non alcoolisé, quand d’autres n’étaient que faiblement alcoolisés. Tous ces vins, en général, n’étaient bus que dilués dans un montant important d’eau. Même non dilué, ils ne contenaient pas plus de 4 à 5% d’alcool » (article sur le vin, p.747).


Il est bien évident que, dans la Bible, le vin peut être enivrant comme nous le lisons en Genèse 9:20-27 et en Genèse 19:30-36. Ces deux cas sont de bons exemples bibliques des effets néfastes de l’alcool sur le corps humain. Néanmoins, comme nous l’avons vu dans les paragraphes ci-dessus, le vin [« oinos »] n'est pas toujours une boisson enivrante dans les Écritures, mais peut aussi simplement désigner du jus de raisin.


Les noces de Cana


En Jean chapitre 2, nous apprenons de Jésus qu’il fit du « vin » à partir d’eau lors d'un mariage à Cana. Ce vin était-il ou non fermenté ?


Dans le contexte de ce passage des Écritures, l’objectif principal de Jésus est de « manifest[er] sa gloire » par un miracle (Jean 2:11). Il s’agit du premier miracle du Christ et du début de son ministère. Il se présente lui-même au monde comme étant le Fils sanctifié et juste de Dieu, venu pour sauver l’humanité du péché. Devons-nous croire que Jésus aurait agi afin que « ses disciples crurent en lui » (Jean 2:11) en se présentant comme un barman miraculeux, créant par miracles des litres de vin alcoolisé pour une fête bien arrosée ? Bien sûr que non. Par ce miracle, Jésus a montré qu’il lui avait été donné le pouvoir surnaturel de créer ce même jus de raisin que Dieu crée chaque année au travers du processus naturelle de la création. Jésus a montré ainsi qu’il était bien l’envoyé du « Père saint » (Jean 17:11), qu’il était bien le « Fils unique venu du Père » empli « de grâce et de vérité » (Jean 1:14).


Étant le Fils de Dieu, Jésus Christ avait connaissance de la Parole de Dieu. Il devait certainement avoir lu ou entendu Proverbes 23:31 et il avait conscience des dangers inhérents aux boissons alcoolisées : « Ne regarde point le vin quand il est rouge, quand il brille dans la coupe, et qu'il coule aisément ». Il a certainement également entendu les paroles de Habacuc 2:15, « Malheur à celui qui fait boire son prochain, à toi qui lui verses ta fureur et qui l'enivres, afin de voir sa nudité! » Dans un tel contexte, il aurait été tout à fait inapproprié pour Jésus, le Messie et le Fils de Dieu, d’offrir un vin alcoolisé lors d’une fête de mariage. Il existe de fait des preuves médicales attestant que même une petite quantité d’alcool peut causer des malformations physiques et mentales chez un embryon nouvellement formé. Pourquoi Jésus aurait-il donc servi et encouragé la consommation de boissons alcoolisées lors d’un mariage, sachant que s’y trouvait, entre autres, une jeune mariée et une mère potentiellement en devenir ? De toute évidence, l’eau que Jésus changea en vin, le fut en fruit de la vigne non fermenté. Il s’agit, par ailleurs, du même fruit de la vigne non fermenté qu’il utilisera lors de la Cène, ce que nous appelons le Repas du Seigneur.

 

Le Repas du Seigneur


Il est à noter que ni Luc ni aucun autre écrivain biblique n’utilise le mot vin (oinos) s’agissant du jus de raisin qui fut servi lors du dernier repas. Matthieu, Marc et Luc, tous les trois emploient l’expression « fruit de la vigne » pour décrire la boisson qui y fut utilisée.


Les règles concernant la Pâque en Exode 12:14-20 interdisent, durant cette fête, que l’on fasse usage de « se’or », c’est-à-dire de levain, de levure, ou de tout autre agent de  fermentation. La raison pour laquelle Dieu a imposé ces règles, c’est parce que la fermentation symbolise la corruption et le péché (voir Matthieu 16:6, 12 et 1 Corinthiens 5:7-8). Ainsi, Jésus a suivi le commandement de Dieu concernant la Pâque et n’utilisa pas de vin fermenté en instituant ce que nous appelons le Repas du Seigneur. De la même manière, que les pains sans levain représentent le corps pur et incorruptible du Christ, le fruit de la vigne représente le sang précieux et incorruptible du Messie (lire 1 Pierre 1:18-19). Par conséquent, le vin ou le « fruit de la vigne » devait être non fermenté. Ce devrait toujours être ce même « fruit de la vigne » non fermenté qui devrait être utilisé aujourd'hui. Paul instruisit d’ailleurs les corinthiens, leur conseillant de mettre de côté la levure spirituelle tel que le « levain de malice et de méchanceté ». Ceci afin d’honorer le Christ, notre Pâque (1 Corinthiens 5:6-8). Dans un tel contexte, le vin alcoolisé ou fermenté ne peut certainement pas être utilisé.


Paul et Timothée


En 1 Timothée 5:23, nous apprenons d’ailleurs, en accord avec ce que nous avons vu précédemment, que Timothée refusait d'ingérer des boissons alcoolisées. Paul lui conseille alors : « Ne continue pas à boire que de l’eau ; mais use d’un peu de vin, à cause de ton estomac et de tes fréquentes indispositions. » Les problèmes gastriques de Timothée peuvent avoir été causé par de l’eau contaminée ou par toutes autres agents infectieux. Les Écritures ne le précisent pas. Ce que nous savons de ce passage, c’est que Paul ne permettait à Timothée d’user d’un « peu de vin » qu’à des fins médicinales. Le texte ne nous dit pas si Paul recommandait que ce soit du vin alcoolisé ou non, mais nous savons que l’alcool est reconnu comme étant légèrement antiseptique. Aujourd’hui même, certains médicaments, tels que les médicaments contre la toux, contiennent une petite quantité d’alcool. Paul ne donnait certainement à Timothée, ou à tout autre disciple du Christ d’ailleurs, l’autorisation de se livrer à l’usage récréatif de l’alcool ou de toutes autres drogues.


Conclusion

Notre corps est le temple du Saint Esprit et l’Eglise de Dieu se doit d’être un sacerdoce royal (voir 1 Pierre 2:5-12). Jésus le Christ, « nous a faits rois et sacrificateurs de Dieu son Père » (Apocalypse 1:6) et nous devons « offrir [n]os corps en sacrifice vivant, saint, agréable à Dieu » (Romains 12:1).


En Lévitique 10:9, nous lisons certaines informations concernant le sacerdoce lévitique. Les prêtres ne pouvaient pas entrer dans le Tabernacle, où résidait alors le Saint Esprit de Dieu, sous l’influence de l’alcool.

 

« Tu ne boiras ni vin ni boisson enivrante, toi et tes fils avec toi, quand vous entrerez dans le tabernacle d'assignation, de peur que vous ne mouriez; c'est une ordonnance perpétuelle dans vos générations »


De la même manière, Jésus Christ est notre Grand Prêtre et l’Eglise de Dieu est un sacerdoce saint. Notre corps est le temple de Dieu et les disciples du Christ ne doivent pas boire d’alcool ou se livrer à l’usage du tabac, des stupéfiants et de toutes autres drogues susceptible de provoquer une accoutumance, qu’elle soit psychologique ou physique. « Il y a telle voie qui semble droite à l'homme, mais dont l'issue est la voie de la mort » (Proverbes 14:12). Amen!

 

 

The Church of God - Publishing House- Salem, West Virginia

 

Repost 0
Published by Sabbath Keeper - in Family-Famille
write a comment
December 31 2012 2 31 /12 /December /2012 17:27

alcohol.jpg

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.


Key Verses

 

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"  (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Alcohol and tobacco

 

The Church's belief on alcohol and tobacco is that partaking of and use of intoxicating liquors, alcoholic stimulants, narcotics, tobacco, and any habit forming drug is contrary to the nature of man. While this is not a surprising belief for a church to hold, let us look in the Bible to see why this belief is deeply founded in the scriptures.

 

In the book of Proverbs we are told one reason why intoxicating drink should be avoided.

 

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:  Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted"  (Proverbs 31:4-5).

 

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine"  (Proverbs 23:29-30).


Solomon tells us that it is already difficult enough in life to resist Satan and keep God's commandments without intoxicating substances. Drugs/alcohol makes Satan's job much more easy when we lack our sense of judgment.

 

The Apostle Luke gives a similar warning:

 

"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares"  (Luke 21:34)


Besides the obvious health benefits of abstaining from tobacco, strong drink, and drugs, we are given several warnings in the Bible that we cannot inherit the kingdom of God if we partake of these things.

 

"Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God"  (Galatians 5:21).

 

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).


The Bible tells us that everything we eat and drink must be sanctified with the Word of God and with prayer, and that it be partaken of in moderation. We are the temple of God in which his Holy Spirit dwells, and we should treat it as such. 

 

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are"  (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).


Let us take steps to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh, that we may present ourselves without spot or wrinkle before Jesus when he soon comes in glory. It is hard enough to overcome this wicked world when we live properly according to God’s Word. Resisting temptation is much harder when our bodies and blood streams are filled with poison. In order to overcome temptation and properly serve our God, we require healthy, vigorous, and strong bodies.

 

Still, some argue that the New Testament condones the moderate use of alcohol. They like to make mention of  Luke 7:33-34. In this passage, we read: "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, he hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." 

 

Does that really imply that Jesus Christ was indulging in intoxicating beverages as many would like us to believe? If he really was drinking wine, what kind of wine was he drinking then? Was it fermented or unfermented wine? These are a few questions that will be addressed. First, one must keep in mind that Luke 7:33-34 is after all, merely accusations that Jesus' critics were holding against him in order to undermine his ministry as they did with John the Baptist.

 

Fermented and unfermented "oinos"

 

One needs to go back to the Greek to better understand the word for "wine" in Luke 7:33, as well as in other passages in the New Testament. Indeed, the Greek word for wine is "oinos" which can be either translated as 1) unfermented juice, and/or 2) fermented or intoxicating wine.

 

The above definition of “wine” may be verified by referencing a number of sources that mention "oinos". In fact, both secular and religious authors in the pre-apostolic era indeed used the Greek word “oinos” to refer to fresh grape juice. For instance, Anacreon, a Greek lyric poet (582 BC – 485 BC) writes, "Squeeze the grape, let out the wine [oinos]" (Ode 5). Nicander of Colophon (2nd century BC), another Greek poet, physician and grammarian writes of squeezing grapes and refers to the produced juice as "oinos" (Georgica, fragment 86). According to Papias  of Hieraplis, an early church father (first third of the 2nd century), when grapes were crushed they were yielding "jars of wine [oinos]" (cited by Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.33.3-4). Athenaeus of Naucratis, a Greek rhetorician and grammarian (end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd century) speaks of a "sweet wine [oinos]" that "does not make the head heavy" (Athanaeus, Banquet,1.54). In the same writing,  he makes mention of a man gathering grapes who "went about, and took wine [onios] from the field".  As we see, in many of these cases, mention of this fresh grape juice had no time to become fermented. Thus proving that wine, "oinos", could either mean alcoholic/intoxicating wine or unfermented grape juice.

 

The Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrews Scriptures and offered us the Greek translation known as the Septuagint (around the 3rd century BC) knew of these several uses of the Greek word "oinos". In fact, they decided to translate several Hebrew words for wine by "oinos" in the Septuagint. Since Paul and other New Testament writers were quoting from this Greek translation of the Scriptures, it is obvious they also knew of the plural meaning of the word "oinos". They were aware that it could either refer to fermented or unfermented juice from the grape. Indeed, they made use of these plural meanings of the Greek word for wine. For instance, in Ephesians 5:18 commands "be not drunk with wine [oinos]," is an obvious reference to alcoholic wine. But on the other hand, in Revelation 19:15, says of Christ that "he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God". The original Greek manuscript actually reads that "he treadeth the winepress with wine [oinos] of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty" (the term "oinos", wine, is found in all manuscripts. Since the word "winepress" implies the presence of wine, some translations choose to not include wine in their rendering of that verse. Using any Strong Concordance, this fact may be verified). Since this verse is making mention of newly pressed wine, it cannot  be in this case fermented wine but it will rather be grape juice.

 

In fact, a method used to keep grapes from fermenting was to boil them into a syrup, which is also referred to by ancient historians as "oinos" or wine. The Smith's Bible Dictionary states that "The simple wines of antiquity were incomparably less deadly than the stupefying and ardent beverages of our western nations. The wines of antiquity were more like sirups; many of them were not intoxicant; many more intoxicant in a small degree; and all of them, as a rule, taken only when largely diluted with water. They contained, even undiluted, but 4 or 5 percent of alcohol" (article on Wine, p.747).

 

It is very obvious that wine in the Bible can be intoxicating as we read in Genesis 9:20-27 and Genesis 19:30-36. These two cases are good biblical examples of the bad effects alcohol can have on human bodies. Nonetheless, as we have seen in the above paragraphs, wine [“oinos”] is not always an intoxicating beverage in the Scriptures, but can also simply be grape juice.

 

The wedding at Cana

 

In John chapter 2, we learn of  Jesus making "wine" out of water during a wedding at Cana. But was it fermented or unfermented wine?

 

In the context of that passage of the Scriptures, Jesus primary object was to "manifest forth His glory" by this miracle (John 2:11). It was Jesus' first miracle and the start of his ministry, and he was showing himself  as the holy and righteous Son of God, came forth to save mankind from sin. Are we to believe that Jesus would have shown who he was so that "his disciples believed on him" (John 2:11) by being a miraculous bartender, creating miraculously gallons of intoxicating wine for a drunken party? Of course not. Through this miracle, Jesus was showing that he had be given supernatural power to create the same grape juice of the wine that God makes annually through the process of His natural created order. He was showing that he was sent of the "Holy Father" (John 17:11), that he was "the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

 

Being the Son of God, Jesus Christ had full knowledge of the word of God. He certainly must have known of Proverbs 23:31 and of the danger inherent to alcoholic beverages, "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright". He certainly understood the words of Habakkuk 2:15, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!" In such a context, he would have been highly inappropriate for Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of God, to provide alcoholic wine to a wedding party. In fact, there is medical evidence that even a small amount of alcohol can cause mental and physical defects in new formed embryo. Why then would have Jesus served and encouraged the use of alcoholic beverages at a wedding including a young bride and potentially soon mother to be? Obviously, the water Jesus changed into wine, was unfermented fruit of the vine. This is, by the way, the same unfermented fruit of the vine he would use latter during the last supper and when instituted what we call the Lord's Supper.

 

The Lord's Supper

 

It is noteworthy, that neither Luke nor any other Biblical writer uses the word wine (oinos) concerning the grape juice served during the last supper. Matthew, Mark and Luke, all used the expression "fruit of the vine" to describe it.

 

The Passover regulations in Exodus 12:14-20 prohibited, during this festival, the use of "seor", that is leaven, yeast, or any agent of fermentation. The reason why God had given these regulations, it is because fermentation symbolized corruption and sin (see Matthew 16:6, 12 and 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). Thus, Jesus followed God's commandment concerning the Passover and did not use fermented wine when instituting the Lord's Supper. In the same way, unleavened bread represented the pure and uncorrupted body of Christ, the fruit of the vine represents Christs’ precious and uncorrupted blood (read 1 Peter 1:18-19). Therefore, the wine or "fruit of the vine" had to be unfermented. It still has to be unfermented today. In fact, Paul instructed the Corinthians to put away spiritual yeast such "malice and wickedness", in order to honor Christ our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). In such a context, alcoholic or fermented wine certainly cannot be used.


Paul and Timothy

 

In 1 Timothy 5:23, we learn in fact that Timothy was refusing to ingest alcoholic beverages. Paul goes and instructs him to "[d]rink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities". Timothy's stomach problems may have been caused by polluted water or by any other ailments, however, the Scriptures do not say. What we know from this passage is that Paul was simply allowing Timothy to drink "a little wine" for medicinal purposes. The text does not say if it was alcoholic wine or not, but  alcohol is known to be a mild antiseptic. Even today, some medications, such as cough medicine, contain a small amount of alcohol. Paul was certainly not giving Timothy, or any other followers of Christ, for that matter, license to indulge in the recreational use of alcohol or any other drugs.

 

Conclusion

 

Our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and the Church of God ought to be a royal priesthood (see 1 Peter 2:5-12). Jesus Christ "hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father" (Revelation 1:6) and we ought to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God" (Romans 12:1).

 

In Leviticus 10:9, we learn of the levitical priesthood. Priests could not enter the Tabernacle, where the Holy Spirit dwelt at the time, under the influence of alcohol.

 

"Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations"

In the same manner, Jesus Christ is our High Priest and the Church of God is a holy priesthood. Our bodies are the temple of God and the disciples of Christ should not drink alcohol or indulge in tobacco, narcotics and any habit forming drug. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Amen!

 

Repost 0
Published by Sabbath Keeper - in Family-Famille
write a comment
December 1 2012 7 01 /12 /December /2012 21:38

parents and children

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the New King James Version.

 

     Often what one can find on Christian forums, websites and the like is this absolute need for Christians to have community. Some Christians tell of the  depression they went through not having community in cities to which they moved. There is no denying that the early Christians obtained great strength through their community. They ate together, (Act 20:7) they sang and prayed together. They also admonished each other and comforted each other (Romans 15:14; 2 Cor 1:3-4; 1The 4:18; 5:11; 2The 3:11-15; Titus 1:9; 2:4,15). Paul also admonished the church to not neglect getting together as a community:

    And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

It is obvious that God expects His servants to assemble together. All one needs to do is to type “assembly” in Bible Gateway Online (or any other Bible Lexicon) to find many examples of God’s people assembling together either to hear God’s word, pass judgement or even to submit to God’s wrath. We are meant to have community. To deny community is like denying our human need. God recognized the fact that it was not good for Adam to be “alone” when God created Eve (Genesis 3:18). When God created Adam and Eve, God expected families and communities to be created as a result.


     However, is community in the very sense of the word, an absolute must. I must say I have been confronted with this dilemma: is the need for Christian community necessary for one’s salvation? Some Christians seem to suggest this, however, I hope they do not believe that community is equal to salvation because there is only one name upon heaven and earth that one can be saved:  

 

"by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead... for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12)


"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)


     Nonetheless, there are many Christian groups who do place much emphasis on the need for community. I happen to work in a private christian school where we often have conferences describing the need for the school and church to be a community. Many of my colleagues believe that their children are protected from the world and its lusts just by placing their children in Christian schools and communities. There is no denying that "Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). I need not remind my colleagues that even in so-called Christian communities terrible evil can happen. Sadly, acts of evil within so-called Christian communities scores another point for the devil. Anyhow, I do enjoy where I work because at least, the people I work with believe that their is a God and a Creator and I believe that often, in public school environments "some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34). Nonetheless, here I am among Christians at work who belong to a church community and yet, I do not belong to one in my city. Sometimes I wonder, am I mistaken?

 
      We need not go into the various doctrinal problems that the majority of these Christians groups and churches have; which are many. And yet, those called by a love for the truth, are often called to leave their communities because of their love for the truth of God’s word. For God loves those who seek to worship Him in spirit and truth: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) We have many examples of men and women who left their communities or families to follow the God of the Bible. Some of us are born into the truth and some of us come out of atheism, other gods or christianized paganism. Nonetheless, one great Biblical example for all of us is the example of Abraham.


     Abraham left his community and his family. He came from a community that served other gods other than the one God of the Bible. It says: “And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods” (Joshua 24:2). Therefore, we know that Abraham served other gods because the Bible describes this past history of Abraham. The story continues: "Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.” (Joshua 24:3). So it is obvious that God brought Abraham out of false religions. However, imagine how difficult this might have been for Abraham at first to move to the other side of the River leaving behind the gods that he had once known for the living God. The Bible continues to describe Abraham’s journey: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8). Abraham was definitely a man of tremendous faith. The Bible does not describe any difficulty on Abraham’s part with regard to leaving his home and religion. And yet, to leave one’s home is difficult let alone going to a place that one knows nothing about. Nonetheless, the moral of the story is that Abraham left his community and family to follow God. We have a biblical example to remember because we do not need community in order to follow God’s truth. Abraham’s community followed other gods, therefore, Abraham could never get the right support for choosing to follow the one God in truth. Just like those of us who leave church communities and families for a tiny community called the Church of God. The communities from where we come are often acting contrary to what God’s word says. When we are faced with the question as to whether we can spiritually survive without the community, we must remember Abraham.


    Anyhow, we have Abraham’s example where he obvious went out on his own with confidence that God would provide. There are other biblical examples were groups of God’s so-called people or “community” allowed for many people to sin. The Israelites in the desert after waiting for Moses to come down from Mount Sinai “gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Exodus 32:1). Now, this is an example of a community who are supposed to be the people of God. They asked Aaron to make other gods to worship. And not only that, the people do not even recognize that it was God or YHWH who brought them out of Egypt. The people declared that was a man who brought them out: in the people’s eyes, God has completely left the picture. Whether Aaron put up some resistance to the crowd or not, the Bible does not describe anything of the sort. Aaron immediately asked the people for gold and he “fashioned and molded” a golden calf to worship. Once he had finished his calf, he even said: “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). Aaron does not seem to show any form of abhorrence to his grand proclamation. It is quite shocking to see someone who was at Moses’ side from the very beginning and who saw God’s wonders performed in Egypt, to be so quick to fabricate a god to worship. When Moses grilled Aaron about his participation in the entire affair, Aaron said he asked the people for gold and threw the gold in the fire and a golden calf had just so happened to jump out of the fire (Exodus 32:24). Aaron did not admit to his own sin. There are a couple of morals to be learned from this Biblical example. Aaron was a leader in the community and he openly submitted himself to the community’s desire to go after other gods. Aaron even made the idol himself. In the guise of community, Aaron sinned and probably allowed for many others to sin along with him who may not have sinned if Aaron had not. God’s people must be wise. We must respect our leaders but as in this example, a powerful leader openly committed a grave sin towards God. God calls on everyone one of us, not just our leaders to declare sin outrightly and to not follow after it. God’s people are all chosen to be a royal priesthood in the kingdom of God (1 Peter 2:9). As God’s chosen, we are to follow Jesus our High Priest and Mediator on behalf of God the Father (Hebrews 8:1-2).


     As we can see from the examples, community can cause others to sin and can also place enormous amounts of pressure on our leaders to sin along with the whole group. Aaron is a good example of this. Community often leads others within the community to sin who would not have otherwise sinned. It is very wrong to believe that community is what protects the people of God. If this was true, Israel would not have sinned. So for those of us who have chosen to leave church communities or do not have a neighborhood community to belong to, we must also remember Elijah who said: “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men” (1 Kings 18:22). Elijah must have felt quite alone at times. How often do we feel alone when we see everyone around us celebrating Christmas or Easter and yet we say: But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Can we do this without community support? Yes, we can with God’s help and with prayer of course.


     Another example is Lot, who  “was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked  (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:8-9). Ruth also recognized the one true God and did not return to her gods when her husband died. (Ruth 1:15) Other examples from the Bible are Noah, Naaman, and Daniel who either left their community or lived within communities who practiced everything abominable to God. Did they overcome? Yes, they did. And we also have the same calling: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). We must place our trust in God with all our heart. God will not forsake us if we are right with God. “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Let us allow for God to go before us, because God’s truth will triumph. His Holy Spirit can guide us through terrible wickedness if we allow it.

Repost 0
Published by Sabbath Keeper - in Family-Famille
write a comment
September 2 2012 1 02 /09 /September /2012 13:30

parents and children

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

In Romans 12:2, we read: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” What is the “acceptable, and perfect, will of God” when it comes to one’s outward appearance, such as clothing for instance?

 

It is a question that every Christian should consider. And it is even truer for younger Christians who may at times feel peer pressure or the desire to assert one’s own identity in regard to one’s appearance.

 

God’s Word gives us much insight on humble dress; however, it is not a fashion book. It does not expressly say how many inches long one’s skirt should be or whether a man should wear a muscle shirt or not. There are times and places certain clothes are more appropriate that others. For example, if a man shows up at the beach in a suit and tie, he would look rather inappropriate and out of place; likewise if a woman showed up at a job interview in a swimsuit. The Bible does not condemn anyone to be well dressed. Esther before appearing to the king “put on her royal apparel” (Esther 5:1-2). There is a time and a place for all forms of dress and fashion and yet God looks to the intentions of the heart such as when God chose David. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

 

It is our heart and minds that we must be watchful of. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). How important are appearances to us and where do we place them on our ladder of importance with regard to God? Do we dress for God, man or ourselves? Why am I interested in a particular way of dressing/fashion? The hidden agendas of our hearts must be considered in all things for:  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). … [T]hat we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9). As followers of Christ, we are called out of the world and set apart. We are called to be set apart and holy, without blemish (Ephesians 5:27). We must reflect on our inner man (2 Corinthians 4:16) in order to test the desires of our heart for the carnal mind is an enemy of God (Romans 8:7).

 

Sometimes we want to conform to the world, because it is the easiest and has the appearance of a good time. Nonetheless, Jesus himself stated that we should not worry about what we wear, for that is what the Gentiles seek (or the world) (Matthew 6:31-32). As followers of Christ, we are not of the world, just as Jesus also says in his prayer to the Father: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:14-16). We must set our sights on following Christ’s example in the world, where Christ showed us the ultimate example of humility at the cross. The world is never satisfied, is always thirsty for more and more. But when we are truly filled up with the Spirit, we will no longer thirst (as much) for the things of this world. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

So, do revealing clothing and tattoos show humility? Are these fashions acceptable in the eyes of God? We often see lots of revealing clothes and tattooed bodies in our society, often promoted amongst the younger generation although not only exclusive to young people. Today tattoos and other body modifications are big fashion statements, but what does the Bible have to say about it? In ancient Israel, tattooing was clearly a forbidden practice as tattoos were connected to pagan practices abhorrent in God’s eyes (Leviticus 19:28). Is this any different today? Who are people trying to exalt when they are showing off tattoos? Surely, God’s mind hasn’t changed with time. Our bodies do belong to God, they are not our own. “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” wrote the psalmist (Psalm 100:3). A similar saying found in the apostolic scriptures under Paul’ hand is the following:  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). In the same manner, society’s accepts certain ways of dress that not too long ago would have been very provocative. Likewise, outfits that were in the past only found among criminals appear to have become acceptable among all classes of society and among all ages.


This should also be kept in mind in regard to the way one chooses to dress. When addressing Timothy, Paul wrote: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (I Timothy 2:9). Of course, women are not the only one who should remain modest and sober. In Titus 2:2-6, aged men and women, young women and men alike are asked to remain sober. Paul exhort Timothy to flee “youthful lusts” (II Timothy 2:22) and encouraged the Philippians to pursue what is true, pure and of good report” (Philippians 14:8-9). What messages are we sending when we dress in a provocative way and what testimony to God are we bearing then? It is even truer in church gatherings/meetings. Church should be a place exempt of worldly preoccupations.

 

In church meetings, our preoccupations should not be trying to figure out who has the best outfit or competing with each other as a result. As we saw with Esther, there is nothing wrong in being well-dressed but we should also “be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble surely” (1 Peter 5:5). Furthermore, enticing clothes may be a stumbling block for those not strong enough in the faith. Jesus reminds us to think about our behaviors and how that could negatively affect some among the brethren. “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). 

 

Let it be a reassurance that in the last days… 

 

perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).


But let the Church of God remain “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).

Repost 0
Published by Sabbath Keeper - in Family-Famille
write a comment
November 12 2011 7 12 /11 /November /2011 12:17

WomenStudies

 

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalms 127:3).

 

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

 

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

 

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them … and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31).

 

My Birth Story: A Testimony of God’s Hand at Work

 

            Who would have thought that a woman would choose to have an un-medicated homebirth? Is that not just craziness? Why live in the dark ages when one can have a “pain-free” birth, as some would say? At first glance, some women without faith in their amazing bodies would say it is too dangerous, why put oneself and the baby in danger? Just get the ordeal done and over with. Is it that simple? Would one believe birth as portrayed on television? Is birth not utter madness, with excruciating and endless pain that results in getting rushed to the hospital from the restaurant? Why would anyone get pregnant in the first place? Whether one likes it or not, hospitals portray birth as a sickness. Is birth a sickness?

 

              Some cultures see birth as a rite of passage where a woman during birth places her two feet in two different worlds. In ancient pagan cultures, birth was also something very magical where a woman could completely open up to bring forth a new life. What happened to this magical moment for women in Western society? Why has it been tarnished as a dark passage of pain? Can a women still completely open up like some of those ancient statues of our ancestors past? The truth is that women’s bodies have not changed over the thousands of years nor has the mechanisms of birth. The only thing that has most likely changed over the years is a woman’s health and nutrition: two very important aspects to a healthy pregnancy and birth. I now wholeheartedly believe that almost all pregnancy health related conditions such as morning sickness, gestational diabetes, toxemia, and eclampsia can be prevented through proper diet and nutrition. Of course, if you already have one of these conditions, it may be too late to prevent. Therefore, we can thankfully thank conventional medicine to rectify the situation. Hopefully, for future pregnancies we can be ready to counteract these preventable complications.

 

              Nonetheless, women can trust the Word of God for guidance in a woman’s pregnancy and birth. God cares for His creation, especially human begins. And why would He not? The Bible says that God made humans a little lower than His angels (Psalm 8:5) and He made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). God’s creation is good (Genesis 1:31)!  As Christians, how much/often do we stand in awe of God’s Creation? Do we make/spend the time to marvel at God’s Creation? Thankfully, we have the Sabbath written by the finger of God in the Ten Commandments to not work or worry about the things we have to do during the week. The Sabbath is wonderful for pregnant women because women can just put up their feet and relax, unconcerned about life’s worries or what to do or where to go. Sabbath is truly a blessing offered to everyone. God made the Sabbath for man because He knows how much everyone needs it (Mark 2:27). We need to turn to the truth of God’s Word in our lives. When the Bible says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) do we thoroughly do that? Often the bible tells us that we cannot trust man nor even in ourselves. “…that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).

 

              King Asa was severely ill in his last days as king of Israel. The Bible retells how King Asa sought out his physicians and not Yahweh (2 Chronicles 16:12). We can assume that King Asa listened to men and not God first. There is obviously nothing wrong with listening to your doctor, but even doctors can be wrong. Some doctors in the early 20th century said there was nothing wrong with smoking. Does that mean we must follow their advice anyway just because they are doctors? That is why everything needs to go to God first in prayer and to seek out what God’s Word says because that is how God speaks to us through His holy spirit. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”” (Psalms 14:1). Now when I first began following Christ who is the only “way” to the one true God the Father Yahweh, I did not first seek healing from God and His creation. I had not been raised to do so. I did not even believe that God cared for our physical well-being through what we eat. I took many medications for every type of ach, pain, sore throat with often serious side-effects. One medication in particular almost killed me when I was 13 years old and any derivative of that medication will today cause me to faint and have heart palpitations. Anything that is not naturally derived must be taken with caution even if the person taking that medication does not show any side-effects. How do we know if long-term pill-popping does not have serious repercussions on our bodies? We do not have enough conclusive evidence to say yes or no, but what is sure is that only God is wise and through His wisdom, God made the heavens and the earth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

 

              When I discovered that God’s dietary laws have not been abolished with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and that Noah knew about the clean and unclean animals (Genesis 7:2; 9:20), a whole new dimension to trusting creation for healing and physical well-being literally hit me. I sought to “glorify God in [my] body” by not defiling it with chemicals (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). We are truthfully “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14). We are still unable to understand how bone are made inside the womb so perfectly because we “do not know the works of God who makes everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5). The God of love created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7) and God hopes for our well-being:  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). In the beginning, in the garden, God gave Adam and Eve only herbs (plants) to eat which gave them life (Genesis 1:29). When God restores all things through Jesus Christ His son, we will have “the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse, (death)…” (Revelations 22:2-3). If God originally gave His creation only plants to eat wouldn’t it make sense that we will once again only eat plants (Isaiah 65:25). How can we ignore the amazing beauty of God’s wonderful creation now for healing? Hippocrates the founder of modern medicine said: “Do no harm; Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (460-370BC). Hippocrates also believed that the human body had an innate capacity for self-healing. Can you believe that the human body has indeed this capacity? Nonetheless, attitudes have changed over the years and much of conventional medicine does more harm than good. Man refuses to accept his need for God although God in the beginning “…made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). We need to trust God’s wisdom in Leviticus 11 where we are not to eat certain foods. Most of the animals God says not to eat, like pork and shellfish make sense because these animals naturally clean up our earth. These animals naturally hold more toxins. Another natural cleansing and healing substance that we take for granted on this earth is water. Water in its un-polluted and pure form can cleanse and heal the body of most disease. God’s creation is truly amazing. “Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14). “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, And He has set the world upon them” (1 Samuel 2: 8).

 

              When we trust God’s creation for healing and trust first natural methods of healing, we glorify God in our bodies. I have been blessed through following God’s dietary laws and through God’s spirit, He also led me to homeopathy and other alternative medicines. With this in mind, my pregnancy was wonderful and I attribute much of it to a healthy and godly diet. I throughly believe now that any pregnancy complication can be solved through good food. The book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth needs to be read in order to understand all the various complications that can arise in pregnancy. And much, as her book describes, can be alleviated through proper eating and diet right from the beginning. In my first trimester, I had a lot of gas and constipation which was immediately relieved through homeopathic remedies and proper nutrition.

 

              When I first discovered that I was pregnant, I wanted to have a mid-wife at my birth. At first, finding a mid-wife looked very bleak because there were all apparently booked.  I did not completely lose hope; however, I said to myself that whatever God wants, He’ll make a way. Anyhow, in the meantime, I went to my family doctor, who told me that I was Rhesus negative. At first, I did not think anything of it until I was later told that I would need to take injections starting at 28 weeks gestation and possibly another two more before and after birth. I did not like the idea. Paul said to glorify our bodies and to not defile them. The shot was also made of blood and since the life force is in the blood, I wanted to be very careful (Leviticus 17:10-15). Do not get me wrong, I was prepared to take the shot after birth but not before because I did not want anything to harm my unborn baby, even though many people will proclaim the injection’s safety. After having such a good experience with homeopathic remedies, I was willing to take a chance on the fact that I would not need any shots during pregnancy. I also had faith knowing that something special occurred at all of the births of my grandmother. My grandmother was supposedly Rhesus negative and had seven children without any problems (All of her children by the way are Rhesus positive). My grandmother’s birth history was far too suspicious to just let go and not research more fully. So, I began to research and study the mechanics of childbirth in our modern hospitals. I soon realized to my horror, that many hospital practices were far from natural and certainly did not glorify women’s bodies nor trust the God who created them. There were far too many stories of women feeling brutalized and even raped through their birth experiences. Too many instances were women even in my own family did not want to retell their experiences other than that I should be prepared to get cut (which is an episiotomy). Why so many stories of hurt, secrecy and betrayal?

 

              Many women accept their birth experiences by defending how we are not made like animals to birth naturally. Many women do not trust their God-given ability to deliver a baby without interference because their bodies are somehow deformed. As I researched, I discovered that there was a huge push in the early 20th century for women to have their babies in hospitals. A true fact that many in the healthcare field wish to ignore is that the risk of infection and death was actually higher in the hospitals in the early 20th century than in the comfort of women’s homes. It appeared through my research that Rhesus negative disease became a serious problem in the early 20th century up until the late 1960s when they discovered how to make a preventative injection to Rh+ blood sensitization called RhoGAM (WinRho in Canada). Rhesus disease does not affect the first child only subsequent children if there has been the mixing of maternal blood with the infant blood. The mixing of the two bloods does not normally occur during gestation; only potentially at childbirth. Once the mother’s blood creates antigens against Rh+ blood from her first pregnancy, any subsequent Rh+ child could die or be in need of a blood transfusion at birth.

 

              When the shot was first created in the late 1960s, Rh- women took the shot immediately after the birth of their baby, not before. And in all truth, the injection is needed immediately after potential blood mixing, (within 72 hours) which is why the shot is technically useless at 28 weeks. One of the reasons why I believe Rhesus disease in infants became quite serious in the early to middle 20th century is because medical professionals were cutting the umbilical cord before the blood had finished pumping, pulling out the placenta forcefully and using forceps and other contraptions to force the birthing process. They also obligated women to lie on their backs which are probably one of the worst birthing positions in which to be (More discomfort for the woman, more bleeding and the baby will take longer to deliver). According to the book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, 90% of birthing Rh- woman do not need the postnatal RhoGAM shot. Nonetheless, 10% of these women will become sensitized which is why Ina May Gaskin strongly advices her Rh- women to take the shot after childbirth because one never knows if you will be one of the 10% of Rh- women who will become sensitized to Rh+ blood. (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, p. 201). The truth is, as Ina May Gaskin states that if a woman has medical interventions, the more likely a Rh- woman will become sensitized to Rh+ antigens.

 

             Anyhow, what I had read by one of the greatest American midwives inspired me and that was when I decided to find someone who would be my advocate during my birth. That was when I remembered my homeopath mentioning something about doulas. I soon looked online for a website advertising doulas in my city. I contacted them and I soon found myself in front of a wonderful Christian woman who would be my doula during labor. It was through this godly woman who put me in contact with a Christian mid-wife who prefers homebirth that God answered my prayer. Amazing! God is good! We were so thankful that God answered our prayers and made a way for our daughter’s gentle and beautiful birth into the world. Patience for God’s guidance is a virtue: “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). God asks us to pursue patience and patience will help us (1 Timothy 6:11). Also, soon after finding a mid-wife, I found out that I was not actually Rh- but Rh+. Such relief had been lifted from my shoulders because my family was not very supportive of my decision to not take the RhoGAM shot during pregnancy. God sent the right people for the right time when I needed them. “The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (Psalm 33:5).Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalms 34:8). God will surely provide for His people as Jesus rightly said (Matthew 6:25-34). We just need to have faith of the mustard seed that anything is possible with God.

 

              Nonetheless, once we had a mid-wife and doula, we were ready to really prepare for birth. The doula collective in my city also offered many interesting courses, one of them being Hynobirthing. In the book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Gaskin says that women can have orgasmic births, which seemed rather crazy at the time. However, what interested me the most was that it was possible and that birth did not have to be a long and terribly painful event. Ina May Gaskin explains how fear and tension can have a drastic effect on the birth experience. After reading Gaskin’s book, I decided to learn more about how to bring myself into a super relaxed state of hypnosis during birth. Marie F. Mongan, the author of Hynobirthing says that the amount of endorphins found in our body has an effect of 200 times that of morphine (Hynobirthing, p. 5). She also claims, that the more fear a woman feels during birth, the more pain the woman will feel. What I again found to be the most interesting assertion with Hynobirthing is that labor does not have to be painful unless we allow it to be.

 

              In Mongon’s book, Hynobirthing, Mongon states that the Western world has been greatly influenced by what is called the “Curse of Eve.” Many Christian women wrongly assume that no pain during birth is contrary to the word of God. The truth is that there is no so-called “curse” on all women of all cultures because women with the same physiology as Western women and no contact with western civilization have had births with minimum discomfort. According to Helen Wesel, the Bible extols the blessing of motherhood, the procreation of life and the affection between husband, wife and children (Hynobirthing, p. 36). Apparently, historical records just prior to the time of Jesus indicate that births were often accomplished in less than three hours. These records also suggest that Jewish women at the time of Moses, had their babies quite easily and within a relatively short period of time, often without assistance. What this indicates is that Jewish birthing women show no record of being influenced by the “Curse of Eve”. Mongon also says in her book that neither Hippocrates nor Aristole wrote of pain in their notes on normal, uncomplicated birth. Hippocrates and Aristotle believed, however, that the needs and the feelings of women in childbirth needed to be accommodated. They both strongly agreed that supportive persons during labor were necessary. Hippocrates was the first to organize and present formal instruction to women midwives. Aristotle wrote of the mind-body connection and emphasized the importance of deep relaxation during childbirth. Soranus who put the writings of Aristotle and Hippocrates in book form. Soranus stressed the importance of listening to the needs and feelings of labouring women. He also advocated using the powers of the mind to achieve relaxation to bring about easy birthing. Again, Soranus does not mention pain, except when he wrote of abnormal or complicated birth. Women were to be treated kindly, gently and joyfully during birth. Birth was a “celebration of life” and a rite of passage in Western civilization which drastically changed during the 2nd century AD where the Catholic Church became the state. With the influence of the Church Fathers on the interpretation of the Bible, Christianity’s Jewish roots “of piety, fear of God, love of humanity, love of earthly pleasures, joy in the present and hope for the future disappeared” (The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Infliected Wound. p. 304). The Bible’s interpretations and translations came from men with very misogynist attitudes towards women. These men were also dismissive of the body potential and humanity’s capacity to do good.

 

              Quotes from Church Fathers and leaders:

St Augustine of Hippo – (354 – 430 AD)

What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother; it is still Eve the temptress that we must be aware of in any woman…I fail to see what use women can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.

 

Jerome – 4th Century Monk

As long as woman is for birth and children, she is different from man as body is from soul. But if she wishes to serve Christ more than the world, then she will cease to be a woman and will be called man.

 

Origen – (185-254 AD)

Men should not sit and listen to a woman…even if she says admirable things, or even saintly things, that is of little consequence, since they came from the mouth of a woman.

 

Thomas Aquinas – 13th Century

…Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex, while production of woman comes from defect in the active force.

 

The woman is subject to the man, on account of the weakness of her nature, both of mind and of body. Man is the beginning of woman and her end, just as God is the beginning and end of every creature. Woman is in subjection according to the law of nature, but a slave is not. Children ought to love their father more than their mother.

 

              What does the Bible in fact say about childbirth? The word curse used in the Bible is the curse upon the ground, that mankind would now have to work hard in order to survive. “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it” (Genesis 3:17). God never uses the word “curse” for Eve; God states a fact: that from now on Eve will have to work hard during childbirth. Now, with regard to the phrase “In pain [Hebrew word etzev] you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). It is known that the Hebrew word etzev means “pain, sorrow, anguish or pangs.” However, this same word etzev is translated sixteen times in the King James Version of the Bible to mean “labor, toil and work” ( Hynobirthing,  p. 38).  What does this all mean? It means that the translators of the Bible are human and capable of interpreting language with their own cultural assumptions and as a result capable of choosing one word over another in such a way that the original meaning may be distorted. This does not make the Bible wrong, but it does shed light on how much we are in need of God. Our God is a God of love (1 John 4:7-10), the one God of truth and a loving Father who states the truth and consequence of disobedience. When Adam and Eve decided to disobey God, through one man, “sin entered the world and death through sin and thus death spread to all men because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12). When we now come to passages in the Old Testament with labor, pangs, sorrow, etc with regard to childbirth, we must remember that we are talking about how labor is hard and tough, but it can be done with minimum discomfort. I do not want to give women a false impression of painless births. The truth is that labor is really hard work, just as the Bible says. Whatever feelings we may have, if we are to interpret these feelings as pain, we must remember that it is a type of pain that will not stay with us forever and we will recover quickly from it if we birth as God originally intended.

 

              Anyhow, I did not give myself false hopes as I went into labor, but I knew that the potential to have birth painlessly was possible if you allow your mind to be renewed through God’s truth: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). Christ’s sacrifice shows also how much faith God has in human beings. That we are capable of overcoming anything as long as we follow God’s Word, God’s laws and follow Christ’s example, having complete trust in God’s goodness and God’s wonderful creation. Christ redeemed us all in order to have the relationship with the Father that Yahweh always intended for mankind. Through Christ’s sacrifice, the bond that was lost between God and man had been rekindled. Now through belief in Christ’s redemptive power, all believers can have access to the Father through the holy spirit. So that we can: “be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24.) God made it possible for us through Christ’s example to “do all things” (Philippians 4:13). Anything is possible with God just as Jesus said (Matthew 19:26).

 

              Imagine what we will truly be capable of when Christ returns and we live on a new earth in new bodies? It is our minds and hearts that we must prepare and be careful of. I can understand more than ever before, how the coming of Jesus Christ is like childbirth. We know it will come, but we cannot say exactly when.For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). We must prepare ourselves and meditate on God’s word daily just as preparation for childbirth is equally important. First time mothers do not know what childbirth is like, but as women we can prepare. The Bible nicely describes the worry for first time mothers in labor: “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, The anguish as of her who brings forth her first child” (Jeremiah 4:31) (Remember, anguish/sorrow regarding childbirth does not mean something negative; it relates to how we just do not know what childbirth will be like.). There is great joy in bringing a human being into this world: “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21) (Notice that there is no definite reference to excruciating pain during childbirth). Life is beautiful no matter what the secular world tries to portray of childbirth. As human beings, we owe the world nothing but thanks to God: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there” (Job 1:21). We all have: “A time to be born, And a time to die; He has made everything beautiful in its time… Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:2,11).

 

              To conclude, “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). God’s word needs to be followed in its entirety, not just what sounds best to us because it will not have the same effect on our daily lives. All of God’s commandments are a blessing and need to be lived out like Jesus our High Priest did, which will give us great rewards now and in the future world to come. Essentially, after everything that is said and done in this world, all that God’s people can do is: “Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). As a result, we will be blessed just as I have been blessed with a wonderful birth and great people around me for support. All we need to do is believe in God’s power that He showed us through Jesus Christ His son. We need to believe in God’s ability to save and how He has given us the power through His holy spirit to give us the strength we never thought was in us. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross shows believers today how much Christ loved his God and how much God has faith in His creation to make the right choices. And more than anything else, faith in the goodness of God’s creation shows the awesome power of the female body to produce and bring forth new life that women were meant to do.

 

              I pray that my experience has touched my readers and I pray that I will continue to place my full trust in God to overcome life’s storms.

Repost 0
Published by Sabbath Keeper - in Family-Famille
write a comment