Jesus Reigns Ministries’ Stand on Alcohol and the Ministry

The purpose of this post is to explain to the Ministry why staying away from alcohol is necessary for a Christian to render a committed service to God and His church.

Abstinence is our way of separating ourselves from worldly desires — it allows us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, love our brothers, and serve God without boundaries.

The current constitutional and bylaws  expectation for JRM members, especially church leaders, remains quite clear: everyone is expected to refrain from using “mood-altering substances,” including alcohol in any form.


Alcohol in the Bible

There is a bit of a conflict whether the Bible allows or warns us about alcohol consumption.

John 2:1-11 The fact that the Bible clearly describes how Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding at Cana, makes it difficult to conclude that Jesus was an abstainer, however, it is also unwise to point to these incidents to justify alcohol drinking.

On one hand, wine is considered a gift from God to make a man’s heart glad (Psalm 104:15). Israel was a land rich in corn and wine and when the time of worship comes, the people are to present first fruits of their harvest to God, or tithes, in the form of grain, wine and oil (Numbers 18:12).

On the other hand, the Scriptures repeatedly warn us against the dangers of alcohol in all forms. (Proverbs 23:29-35)

Alcohol does not only dull our moral restraints, but also causes our weaker brothers to stumble.

Take for example the story of Noah who planted a vineyard after the flood and became drunk one day. In his intoxicated state, he lay down on his tent naked. (Genesis 9:21) This is an example of a direct effect of alcohol to the drinker — dulling the moral restraints of man.

Then Ham, son of Noah, saw the nakedness of his father and told his brothers about it while laughing. This shows that the effects of alcohol can also be indirect. It does not only harm the person drinking, but also the people around him, especially those weak in spirit.


How Should We Then Live?

Moral indifference is becoming rampant in today’s culture. Judeo-Christian values are mostly ignored by the society and the church is neglected. Yet, we, the true followers of Christ, persevere to protect and preserve the very society that ignores us. In the midst of banality, violence, indifference, narcissism, and selfishness we carry a message of hope and reconciliation.

Hence, our stand on drinking alcohol is rooted deeply in the effects of its consumption and abuse to the society that we vow to protect.

JRM members must continue to be at the forefront of assisting people with substance addictions (i.e., alcoholics, drug addicts, etc) to find hope and deliverance through the gospel message and the loving care of the people of God.



The Law and Grace Tension

When the Bible talks of ‘Law’ it pertains to the set of standard God gave to Moses, beginning with the Ten Commandments. God’s Law basically incorporates His requirements to become a holy person and included three categories: civil, ceremonial and moral laws.

The offering of produce (wine from grapevine, for example) after a harvest and consumption of provisions God provided are just a few of these laws.

However, it should be noted that not all principles / laws carry equal weight. Some law of lower order may undermine principles of higher order. For example, it is easy to justify drinking by saying God has provided us with wine as a provision of life, but consumption of alcohol has also the potential to destroy one’s life and that of others.

If alcohol can put the life of many people at risk, then we should deeply consider whether drinking it is worth the risk. Also, God provided us with a lot of provisions, replacing wine with other harmless yet equally filling produce is the best way to go.

When Jesus was asked for His choice of the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-40; cf. Mark 12:30-31; See also the “law of Christ” in John 13:34; Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21)

Abstinence is a form of following God’s second most important Law: loving our neighbours as we love ourselves.

Grace has been offered to humanity; it is potentially available to any one who care to access it by obeying the gospel of God. Salvation is not guaranteed by just following laws and principles, rather it may potentially come after following the said laws through the grace of God.


Considering Our Societal Situation

Is there any reason why we should expect a different standard in our present times than in the life and times of Jesus?

Yes. Any laws, regulations, guidelines and principles implemented by the church must always be discerned and appropriated  to a particular time and place in history. This means that historical, cultural and social context must be always put into consideration.

Our times is different from Bible times. Today, not only is the abuse of alcohol a significant issue in our society, we also know much more about its negative effects that were not known in Bible times.

Millions of people get addicted to alcohol, ruining not only their lives, but also the lives of their families and the people around them. As followers of Christ, we must provide help to the addicted and make a stand against the consumption of alcohol.

It is now easier to abuse alcohol as it is readily available to everybody; saying no to alcohol is a way to break this pattern.


The Principle of Sacrificial Love: Love Limits Liberty

It’s already been noted previously in this paper that wine is a blessing of God as it is a produce of the grapevine which He provided as one of the provisions of life.

The question that we want to answer is whether it is right to drink alcohol when we now know its effects not only on the drinker, but also the impact it may have on others.

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. (Romans 14:21)

Alcohol is a substance that diminishes human cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities. It’s also a medical fact that alcohol has addictive qualities; many people succumb to its destructive tendencies.

Some people are more susceptible to the addictive nature of alcohol more than others. This is because genetic make up which make them more likely to  fall prey to the destructive power of alcohol.

The effects of alcohol can indeed be acceptable when it’s taken in moderation, but as children of God, this is where we choose to make the sacrifice, we follow the principle of “redemptive love”: we choose generosity over stinginess, choose to give our time to help others over selfishness and, in this case, the JRM church encourages us to choose abstinence over moderation.

We make such choice for the sake of those who’ve been addicted to alcohol, so we can help them; for the sake of the youth, so we can be their role model; and for those who take alcohol in moderation, so we can help them before their drinking progresses to addiction.

Our choice of abstinence is not because we want to be different in an alcohol-saturated society, rather because we want to follow Christ. We are filled with the Spirit of love, and we are motivated by our deep love for others.


Conclusion: For the sake of others, do not drink

Alcohol is a mind-altering drug. Even with just a minimal intake of alcohol can affect one’s cognitive capacity. This is why there’s almost zero tolerance when it comes to drinking and driving. A little amount of alcohol in the body can significantly reduce mental alertness and slow physical reactions. Our decision-making abilities is also compromised and our moral judgement is dulled.

It is apparent that alcohol can hinder us from performing our duty to God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.

One of the results of drinking, even in moderation, is influencing others to drink too, especially those people who look up to us as role models. And if the drinking leads them to a harmful path, then we are responsible for that. And this contradicts the second greatest commandment, which is to love our brothers as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).

JRM maintains its position that all church members, especially those who are in the leader’s position, are highly encouraged to abstain from alcohol. We have offered two primary reasons: first, because we live in a society where alcohol consumption destroys a lot lives and families. Abstinence is a way of protecting ourselves and others from the inherent dangers associated with the consumption of alcohol. Second, choosing abstinence over moderation is a way of limiting our liberty, a sacrifice for the greater good.

As leaders we are expected to sacrifice some of our liberties, for the good of others. We are called by God to make sacrifices for the sake of others, and abstinence is a sacrifice done out of love.

For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:33)














Living by Faith

The Bible portrays stories of men and women who had done great and wonderful things in the name of God. We read about the journey Israel and the prophets witnessing the providence of God in all their situations. 
We also see that these people are far from perfect. Elijah reached the point of despair, asking God to end his life. Jeremiah was a prophet who was seldom heard by his audience and was often mocked. 
Yet, there is a common theme in these stories; a constant force that moves whether seen or unseen. The hand of God favors those who have set their eyes to follow His will. No matter how difficult the situation is, God’s promises remain true. He is faithful; He will finish what He has started and He will keep His word. 
If you are going through tough times, we encourage you to lift up your eyes and look at things from the perspective of God. With faith, persevere in your journey and keep pushing forward. 


Rev. Mar Batiao joins our Wednesday Prayer Meetings

Hi JRM Fam! We are so happy to announce that Rev. Mar Batiao will be with us on August 29 and September 5, 2018 for our weekly prayer meeting! Don’t miss this. Looking forward to seeing you there! <3


God Made Us Alive with Christ

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is central to our beliefs. In fact, even Paul said in Corinthians that if Christ was not raised from the dead, then the preaching of the Gospel is pointless. 
Through the death of Jesus, we were all redeemed. We were saved from our sinful nature and all its consequences. We were lifted from the grave of hopelessness and despair. However, the story does not end here. On the third day, Chris was raised from the dead. Death was conquered as well. 
Through Jesus, we are offered to live to the fullest. We get to walk on this earth being recognized as sons and daughters of God. We received a special position where we can cry, “Abba!” We have access to His heart and hear his heart beat. We are now partners with Him in establishing His Kingdom on this planet. 
Our prayer for today is for you to walk on the path God has paved for all of us, Christians — a life flowing from the resurrection power that conquered death in all its forms. 


21 Days of Fasting and Prayer

For this month of August, we launched a 21-Day Prayer and Fasting Chain. Through this journey, we are calling everyone within the community of JRM-Vallejo to intentionally engage in focused prayer by skipping at least one meal a day and praying for the items listed below. 
We have seen how God responds to prayer and know that our Father listens to our voices and to our hearts. With this journey, we believe that God will sustain our desire for a deeper encounter with Him and will cause our hearts to have a greater longing for His presence in all the aspects of our lives. 
Oh how we love Your presence, Abba!


Joint Family Camp 2018

This is one of the best camps of JRM-Vallejo!  People were refreshed and revived in the presence of the Lord and made new commitments to serve God and to share the Gospel. It was worth the time and the money to join the camp! Special thanks to the Music and Camp Team headed by sis. Heidi Anne Ilan and bro.Jed Abuan, you guys did great! Till next camp!  


VBS 2018

One of constant joy is to be able to minister to children. Imagine its effect on us when we get the opportunity to spend time with them for a week! Oh what a joy!
Here are some of the photos from this year’s VBS: 


It’s VBS Week!

This is going to be a fun and productive week at Jesus Reigns Ministries Church! How we love to serve and minister to the children! Stay tuned for more updates. 


Never Stop Praying

The phrase “Never Stop Praying” is a popular motto among the believers of Jesus. We usually see it on bumper stickers or cafe walls from time to time. We see it printed on shirts and posted on Facebook as a cover photo. The idea of non-stop praying is nothing new. It has been said by Paul in a different way when he encouraged the church in Thessalonica to “pray without ceasing.”
Prayer is not only about asking God to bless us and protect us. Prayer is simply a manifestation of a relationship, a connection. When our hearts try to talk to God about anything, it is prayer. When we express our gratitude to Him, it is prayer. 
Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century Carmelite monk,  is remembered for the intimacy he expressed concerning his relationship to God as recorded in a book compiled after his death, The Practice of the Presence of God. Despite his lowly position, the wisdom he possessed was respected by many. He encouraged many to keep conversing with God no matter how small the task is and no matter how dull some moments are. 
To “never stop praying” is to practice the presence of God. It is to live consciously that God is in us and with us all the time, every moment of the day. When He said that we will be with Him for eternity, He did not mean that eternity will start when we die. 
Never stop praying! Let us keep declaring that things will happen on earth as it is in heaven. 


Draw Near

God is never early nor late. He is always on time. He has a perfect plan for each of us as individuals and the world as a whole. 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author emphasized the times and the seasons for many things,  time for the sun to rise and a time for it to set. 

We all love it when God intervenes instantly. In the bat of an eye, a miracle or an answer to a prayer is given. However, there are times that we need to lean on God and trust Him that His answer will come on the most appropriate time. 

This is where we all need to learn to tarry in His presence. 

Learning to wait on God and enjoying being with Him in prayer teaches us a lot of things.

First, it allows us to put our complete trust in Him. God is indeed knowable but incomprehensible. His ways are not our ways. When we wait on Him, we acknowledge that His plan is what’s best for us. 

Next, waiting on God teaches us to enjoy spending time with Him in prayer. There are times when we struggle to pray for at least five minutes. One of the reasons for this is we only pray to get done with our prayer list. When we learn to commune with Him, we stop looking at prayer as a duty but more like a date, something we anticipate. 

This leads to our last point. Waiting on God develops our intimacy with Him. We stop focusing on what we can get from His hands, we start gazing on His face. We bask at His beauty. We begin longing for His voice, for Him to speak to us. 

Why worry when you can tarry in His presence? Why force His hand when we can commune with Him and talk with Him face to face? Draw near to God and you will find Him nearer, close enough to hear your heart beat.