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Op-Ed

NLTP Act – Heathen Act or Christian Act?

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By EMN Updated: Aug 18, 2014 10:27 pm
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Tepu Khieya

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e Nagas- or at least quite a few of us- are very thankful that the Gospel has reached us, which has changed many of our past pagan ways. This is not an article to itch your ears. Some have their conscience seared already. Hopefully others will sit up, read and change! And thereby save lives. Being pro or anti NLTP is not about a simple debate who is right or wrong. It is about saving the lives of people we believe are precious to Him. But are lives precious to us? Several traditions and cultural habits like head hunting, nature worshipping and the majority of superstitious beliefs are gone as the light and the truth of the Gospel of Christ flooded the land. I am also thankful that much of the rice beer joints are gone. Many had to hold up their noses passing by the ‘modhu’ shops as the stench of the rice beer can be nauseating. On our narrow roads as well as passing by the partakers of the local brew, the breaths of the drinkers were equally nauseating and appalling and distasteful to say the least. Some are now screaming and begging to have this scenario back in the streets of our towns and villages. Many Nagas- which includes heads of our Government and police- have said that drinking has been the traditions of our grandfathers and therefore we cannot stop people from drinking. Going by this reasoning cutting off heads might become our pastimes again, I fear. Even our Hornbill festivals emulate our heathen past in a greater degree every year. Should it be re-christened as the ‘heathen and drunken festival’ too?. Now let me reason with a biblical perspective which may not be the view of every believer. In Proverbs_20:1 it says, “ Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. “ Now that is quite a verse there or would you rather hear what the Lord, the Creator said to the people of Israel who had gone astray and were ready to be destroyed as a nation.Jeremiah_25:27 :” Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue,(vomit) and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you”-. Israel had forgotten God and turned to heathen gods. God usually sends a warning before the destruction and I write as a prophet (one who speaks forth the word of God) and there are many prophets in our land. The Word of God has this to say, Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” As a people we have known God and His ways as Christianity touched almost every home in the bygone years. Now we are just about to turn our back to God. There is lukewarmness in our churches. Is this the stand we want to be in?. Revelation warns us! Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.May I say this to all of our legislators and bureaucrats? Proverbs 31:4 and 5 : ‘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.’
Woe is to the false shepherds that would speak on lifting the prohibition even Reverends and Pastors. I would caution the Catholics to remember that it was the Protestants or the Baptists with the support from other protestant denominations and not to forget the Naga Mothers Association- that literally fought men and beast to bring on the prohibition in our Nagaland. Let me add that the liberal theology of Catholicism have taken a few into their folds just because they are allowed to drink in the Catholic church. Remember what Christ said; Mat 12:36,37: “ But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Just because Paul wrote to Timothy to ‘drink a little wine (not rum, whisky, vodka, etc) for your stomach’s sake’ does not mean Timothy got drunk or became a drunkard. If you have ever been on a mission field the first thing effected is your stomach and yes I can see missionaries’ heads nodding in agreement. Timothy was sent by Paul to different places and a little wine to help him kill the germs in the water he drank. The only time that Jesus made wine at Cana doesn’t mention the alcohol content. It could have been fermented. It could also have been an incredible health drink. He is the Creator and I am sure he knew what He was doing. Everybody was happy with the drink. He was accused of being a drunkard by the religious leaders but it doesn’t mean He was. In Nagaland we have had drunkards in our own families and homes bring misery and heartaches and Proverbs_23:21 rightly says so, “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”
Our Father and Creator has been patient with us. Mankind has been deceived very subtly by our arch enemy, Satan ,and continues to do so. In this game of Life the decisions we make today, echo into eternity. Satan knows he can easily maneuver a drunkard into sin and into denying Christ. That is why Paul cautions the believers,- not unbelievers- in 1Corinthians_6:10 :”Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God”-. I do hope you saw the word drunkards. So this fight, this debate on prohibition is not just a temporal debate or issue. The ramifications are much greater. It is a fight for life. It is a fight for salvation. It is a fight for the next and the young generation. It is a fight to bring sense to a nation and its’ people. Many are in hell or on their way to hell. The torments that alcohol brings on to your body will cruelly pull you into the torments of hell. Have you never heard these verses?- ” 1Corinthians_3: 16 and17”’ 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”-. Brothers, can it be any simpler than that? Most murders, rapes, arguments, immoral sex and road accidents occur under the influence of alcohol. How about serious medical consequences, such as liver disease, hypertension, and gastrointestinal cancers and besides that alcohol wreaks havoc on the brain which increases risk of dementia, stroke and psychosocial disorders. Example in the U.K., alcohol consumption causes at least 13,000 cancer cases each year – about 9,000 cases in men and 4,000 in women. In the U.S. 200,000 die every year due to ‘killer alcohol’. In Nagaland we have no official figures but there have been quite a few funerals of young people every year who have been claimed by killer alcohol. Quite a few children have been born deformed due to consumption of alcohol. Wouldn’t that qualify for defiling and destroying the temple of God? It is toxic and to put it more bluntly it is slow suicide. By the way I absolutely do not agree as one Catholic priest from the Cathedral church wrote that it is a golden rule not to mix politics and religion. Then why ask pastors to come to political functions for invocations and blessings? May I ask where did you study your theology.? Maybe the powerful popes that led the world into the dark ages is not a good reference for the church. Maybe the present pope should not meet with world leaders anymore to try to promote peace in war torn countries? Look at the Old Testament and the nation of Israel. They-the rulers of those countries in that day- were blessed if they listened and obeyed the words of their prophet and doomed if they did not heed them( the prophet). I believe there are a few folks in the church -even in Nagaland- that are in touch with God and if we would be wise, we would pay attention to their voices. If it is according to the Word of God we as a nation must give regard to the Word of God. If we do not want to listen to God’s word, there is then a fearful and dreadful day of the Lord coming. How dreadful for those who will face the wrath of God! If you are caught in your sin and happen not to get raptured at the coming of Christ, the next option is to face a wrathful God (Revelation 8-16).You like to pay roulette and take a chance He will be merciful on you because you once upon a time said a salvation prayer which you thought would give you eternal security no matter what you did? No matter how people got killed because of your behavior? Rulers of the land pay attention to hear the Word of God and DO the Word of God. Don’t be as other nations that have partaken of the wine of her fornication and are drunk. One wrong decision will lead many to their eternal death and bring misery to scores of people, who could be your friend, son, daughter or parent.
Habakuk_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!”
Isaiah_28:7 :” But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”
Think over this:
Ø Alcohol contributes to over 200 various diseases
Ø In Nagaland there are thousands of Naga teenagers -aged 14 to 17- already effected by alcohol. Students are taking liquor to school in coke bottles.
Ø The spread of HIV/AIDS in Nagaland is also attributed to drug and alcohol use since most people do not have the sense to practice safe sex under their influence. We heard an appalling story of an AIDS patient who was so bitter she had AIDS that her goal became to infect 100 people with AIDS before her death- thankfully a wise mother took care of her and helped her make a better decision- How many more have the same aim as this girl had? How many of us will have the love and patience to help people turn around and stop the spread of HIV and AIDS?
By the way it is not the fault of the church that the prohibition has not been effective. It is the government that has failed to enforce the Act as well as factors from the side of the underground groups. Stop blaming the church. Probably the church can do a good job if given the arms and the salary to do it. It can rule with a rod of iron ( Rev. 20:4 ) given the chance and it may not be too far in the distance as we hear the rumbles of the signs of the times of the coming of the King of kings.
Rev_19:15 And out of His ( Jesus) mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Repent and be saved and help to save others instead of putting them or helping them to their grave.
The writer is a pastor and teacher in the body of Christ, admirer of The Watchman.

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By EMN Updated: Aug 18, 2014 10:27:01 pm