Sat, Nov 21st - 3:37PM
Brothers and sisters, let us continually refresh ourselves
with the eternal truth as we are looking at the issue of addictions against the
all-encompassing gospel message of Lord Jesus Christ for the whole world not to
us only, but to all who believe on Him, regardless of race or ethnicity, and do
His word. Let us boldly exalt the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and continually
give Him honor and glory. To Jesus Christ be all the praises, dominion, power, might and strength
forever and ever: Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S:
and he is the governor among the nations.
Christ’s message of the gospel is unchanging and remains for
His people as to how they should live amongst one another and in the world,
never failing to take the gospel message to the world as Lord Jesus commands:
Mat 28:19 Go
ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world. Amen.
Dearly beloveds, let us continue to understand that there is
nothing promoting antigovernment here nor blindly following government without
discernment. The scriptures are clear: Tit 3:1 Put
them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates,
to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle,
shewing all meekness unto all men.
Man run government world-
wide, dearly beloveds, we know, has some corruption within it, where it willfully
does not serve all the people impartially. This does not mean that Christians
should not address such issues or not be a part of government or not try to
make corrections where we can.
The IRS definition of a
The term church is found, but not
specifically defined, in the Internal Revenue Code. With the exception of the
special rules for church audits, the use of the term church also
includes conventions and associations of churches as well as integrated auxiliaries of
are generally attributed to churches. These attributes of a church have
been developed by the IRS and by court decisions. They include:
creed and form of worship
and distinct ecclesiastical government
code of doctrine and discipline
not associated with any other church or denomination
of ordained ministers
ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
of its own
places of worship
schools for the religious instruction of the young
for the preparation of its members
The IRS generally uses a
combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and
circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for
federal tax purposes.
Source: Publication 1828, Tax
Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations PDF
Brothers and sisters, we
know that the church of Jesus Christ can never be defined by human government,
although the church of Jesus Christ obeys
government as appropriate. The church of
Jesus Christ is not a building but the universal body of Christ of which He is
the Head, and composed of all believers on earth and in heaven. We understand
the IRS definition of a church is of a hodgepodge of various types groups doing
religious or charitable stuff. Churches register with the IRS, although they do
not have to if they meet certain criteria, but it assures those who donate that
their contributions will be tax deductible.
The government offers
grants to organizations and charities including those claiming to be churches to
provide social services. However, the church is forbidden to preach anything
about God, or to convert anyone they serve to their particular faith. So, brethren, go figure, the same government sending
addicts to church run organizations because faith-based treatment is more
effective, bans them from receiving the source of faith, and in error makes
faith void resting solely in an entity called faith, and not the source of
faith which rests in the faithfulness and truth of God alone. It is crystal
clear therefore, that this treatment is no different than that offered in the
recovery movement and other secular treatment agencies.
The earlier question: dearly
beloved is what do we, what does the church have to offer persons addicted to
drugs and alcohol that is any better or different from that offered in the
world? We know some in the church are addicted too. We must look at how the
true church of Jesus Christ answers these questions.
Tue, Nov 17th - 10:40AM
Brothers and sisters, again,
over many decades, when it was minorities and poor whites having problems with
drugs and alcohol, unlike the Christians who went out seeking the lost, sought
them out to help them, regardless of race, thereby showing them they still had
value and treated them in a wholistic humane way while giving them the gospel
message and still do today, our government instead via its war on drugs
formalized the stigma on addicts as an evil, and a moral failing of minorities
and lower class whites, deserving of punishment/incarceration.
Treating addictions as a
disease, dearly beloveds, became a model of treatment when the opioid epidemic hit
middle- class white people. Nevertheless, non- whites and poor whites are still
treated in a punitive way. Ironically, the stigma that the government helped to
formalize/perpetuate in its so-called war on drugs, is the main hindrance today
for why most people will not accept addictions as a disease, and reject the idea
that the addict has no free will.
This stigma is the same
reason that most middle-class white people will not seek treatment, they do not
want to be identified with these groups.
For these reasons the government who greatly stigmatized the addicts are
now doing major back peddling to change the language and the norm to
de-stigmatize drug and alcohol addictions, to mitigate its impact on middle
class addicts, not to mention advocating treatment instead of incarceration and
the disease model instead of the choice, moral failure model: Addressing the Stigma that Surrounds Addiction | National ...
Stigma on the part of
healthcare providers who tacitly see a patient’s drug or alcohol problem
as their own fault leads to substandard care or even to rejecting individuals
seeking treatment. People showing signs of acute intoxication or withdrawal
symptoms are sometimes expelled from emergency rooms by staff fearful of their
behavior or assuming they are only seeking drugs.
Brothers and sisters, notwithstanding
regardless of the first amendment: U.S. Constitution - First Amendment | Resources ...
First Amendment. Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or
the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.
The government, brethren, has been
in the church through the tax laws codified in 1913. No unregistered church, no
church that does not meet most of the IRS definitions of a church receives any
tax exemption status. They are exempt from property taxes, federal, state
taxes. But this is very convoluted because the government via the IRS reserves
to itself to define what is a church and
what is a business apart from worship in the church. Love offerings are taxed,
money made from weddings and funerals are taxed, salaries are taxed. Any business
the church makes money from that the IRS determines is outside of worship can
be taxed. Churches can be fined for not paying taxes if they do not meet the IRS
definition of a church. The IRS allows no church to endorse or oppose any
political candidate, to do so can result in the loss of their tax- exempt
status. Tithes/offerings are not taxed, but donations over a certain amount requires the church to keep a detailed record concerning it. There is more about this and feel free to study this further on your own.
Dearly beloveds, this is
not about whether a church should pay taxes or not although we know what Lord Jesus
commanded: Rom 13:6-7. This
is a glimpse of what it can mean when man run government enters the church by
claiming the right to define what a church is or is not.
Brethren, despite the
fact that rulings from across the nation since 1996 have established that requiring a parolee to attend court ordered religion-based treatment
programs violates the First Amendment, drug courts for the most part ignore
this and continue to refer addicts to these organizations. Why does the
government continue to violate its own laws? This is why: Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith Is Indispensable ...
Belief, Behavior, and
Belonging: How Faith Is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering
From Substance Abuse - PubMed. This study reviews the voluminous
empirical evidence on faith's contribution to preventing people from falling
victim to substance abuse and helping them recover from it. We find that
73% of addiction treatment programs in the USA include a spirituality-based
element, as embodied in the 12-step prog ….
Brothers and sisters, the government likely sees religion,
and specifically Bible believing churches as resources to more economically and
quickly break the norm of addictions being stigmatized and more readily
accepted as an illness by the population in general. Next,
dearly beloveds, let us examine what it means when the government funds
addictions treatment services from Bible believing churches. More governmental
convolution coming up.
Mon, Nov 9th - 10:14AM
Dearly beloveds, for well
over 100 years Lord Jesus Christ through His people, have gone into skid rows,
searched the streets to bring out people lost in the depths of poverty, and/or
drugs. They did not shrink back from showing love and embracing even lice,
flea, scab covered people they found there. For the Lord’s sake they took them
in as they found them and helped them spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially,
never ceasing to give them the gospel message so that all who would believe
would be saved. Through their ministry
to the lost many received salvation and changed (NEW) lives.
Even today, brothers and
sisters, these ministries continue all across America. Some of the biggest, supported by donations
only, still minister comprehensively in providing permanent housing, education,
biblical counseling, feeding, and employment to many thousands, while never
ceasing to preach and teach the gospel message.
According to the Christian
post over 60% of Feeding America’s 200-member food banks are faith- based
organizations. The mayor of one large city said that if Christian food pantries
closed down, the city would not be able to meet the demand to feed the needy.
Brothers and sisters,
while the brethren, were ministering to all that they could, including addicts,
regardless of race, the government was filling up drunk tanks and jails with poor
whites and minorities. This focus on these groups continue because it was and
is felt that only these people were degenerates, and not deserving of any other
treatment. I may have inadvertently given the impression that the government is
“friendly” towards religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Again, dearly
beloveds, we need government on this present earth, it is ordained by God, and
we are subject to its laws that do not infringe on our faith to worship our
Lord freely without hindrance. Nevertheless, it is important to look at areas
where man run government has not served all the people impartially, and why and
what it means when the government enters the church. STAY TUNED.
Tue, Nov 3rd - 8:26AM
Brothers and sisters, it concerns many
people that drugs and alcohol addictions are considered disabilities, under the
Americans with Disabilities Act. A lot of the act is being defined and refined
by the courts and we don’t know what this act will end up looking like. Congress
stripped illegal drug users from protection by the act, although users addicted
to illegal drugs under some circumstances are still considered disabled-go
figure. Here is some information that
might shed a bit more light on the act as to what it is and is not: The ADA, Addiction and Recovery | ADA National Network
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as
everyone else. This includes people with addiction to alcohol and people
in recovery from opioid and substance use disorders. This is a very complex
subject due to developing court cases. Structure of the ADA
There are treatment programs that do not
use the disease model, but one where the person who is addicted must take
responsibility and accept that addictions can be overcome. Some of the addicted
are taking steps in their own recovery by setting up their own help lines. On one
website addicts show before and after pictures of themselves before and after
drug/alcohol addiction to discourage others from seeing addiction as acceptable,
fashionable, and harmless.
Still many are afraid to come for
treatment as it can mean the loss of jobs and possibly take away their security
clearance for performing certain jobs involving weapons, or highly sensitive
jobs, and those involved in treating patients.
Research shows, brethren, as stated
earlier, that most addicts quit on their own. Some have joined with opponents against
seeing addictions as a disease. But most believe the important thing is to
overcome the addictions with or without help, and being open to choosing to be
responsible for being fully engaged in believing in change whether in self help
or a treatment program. Others who oppose the disease model of addiction see it
as a slippery slope on a course of wrongly medicalizing deviance in modern society.
Some addicts have gained recovery from
refusing to accept their identity as that of an addict. They felt without this change
of identity, neither treatment or self -help efforts would be successful. But then,
holy people, I met the gentleman who had come to the place where he fully realized,
faced, and accepted the truth and
responsibility that he had destroyed his own life and now desperately wanted to
get his life back. He did not know how, just that it would be somehow. Now he
had moved beyond substance use and wanted a real life. He was desperate and he
was hopeful that he would, I felt hope for him as well. Brothers and sisters,
people like this are in the church, coming to the church, and we are meeting
them in everyday life.
The question, dearly beloved is what do
we, what does the church have to offer persons addicted to drugs and alcohol
that is any better or different from that offered in the world?
JESUS IS STANDING BY
Mon, Nov 2nd - 2:39AM
Brothers and sisters,
nothing in this study is about being against the government. However, we have
the right to discern, understand and follow the laws of our land that do not
intrude upon our right to freely worship, obey, and believe in our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.
Life prison sentences for repeat DWI offenders raise ...
Donald Middleton, 56,
of Houston was sentenced by a Montgomery County judge
on June 6, 2016, to life in prison for a DWI conviction stemming from
an incident on Memorial Day 2015. It was the man's...
prosecutors agree with seeking treatment for first, second and even third
offenses. The county has a special felony DWI court that works with repeat
offenders who can avoid prison by accepting "intensive" probation,
which includes an interlock device and counseling. That's appropriate, says
James, the assistant DA, but
We must conclude,
brothers and sisters, that the casual way in which the disease model and the
recovery movements minimizes and accepts
chronic relapses are problematic, as contrariwise, the law will not tolerate
endlessly the harm done by those who have relapsed, and has, when deemed warranted,
resorted to incarceration for the protection of the public. This truth is not
fully revealed to those seeking help in the secular recovery moments and those
so -called recovery movements that have come into the church.
No one, dearly beloveds, who
is addicted or binges should be lulled into thinking that relapses are benign
or that chronicity is harmless. Time is of the essence to prevent permanent
brain/body damage. Brain injury occurs
in both those who binge and the addicted. New learning is impaired due to the brain
damaged by either binging or addictions. The brain damage can be temporary or
permanent. The life span of addicts for men and women is significantly shorter
than the average life span.
SOUND THE ALARM BRETHREN
Holy people, the word to
the wise again, and again, time is of the essence for any binger or addict to
get clean and stay clean. This is the only way to avoid or lessen the damages
done to the body by alcohol/drugs, legal or illegal. If the binger or addict
waits too long permanent damage can be done to the brain, heart, kidneys, liver
and lungs, muscular and immune systems.
In short, brethren, the
person due to substance induced damage which would not remit if the person were
to stop drug/alcohol use and for which no medical treatment would amend and as
a result is unable to carry out the daily activities of life and/perform work
would be considered disabled.
Look at some of the
permanent substance induced medical disorders: Substance-induced
persisting dementia; Substance-induced persisting amnestic disorder; Alcohol-induced
neurocognitive disorder; Inhalant-induced neurocognitive disorder; Sedative-hypnotic,
or anxiolytic-induced disorder; and Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.
This list is not complete, there is so
much more including gangrene of the stomach within a few hours of cocaine use. According to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, the effects of cocaine on the human body
range from mild to severe to life threatening, even with a single use.
Dearly beloveds, these
are true end stage medical disorders that have arisen solely induced by alcohol
or drugs. Still, people want them to have help, but from some funding source
other than social security which is currently underfunded and predicted to run
out by 2035. Social Security cannot deficit spend and is projecting a shortfall
in 2035 if Congress doesn’t act, that only leaves benefit cuts.
JESUS IS STANDING BY