Recently, a reverend minister inflicted his intoxication/drunkenness on his colleague pastor who was allergic to alcoholic beverages. This pastor became ill due to the alcohol he inhaled. It all happened when all the officiating ministers of a marriage ceremony were sitting at a table. Doesn’t the Holy Bible say we should not be filled with alcohol because it leads to debauchery but rather be filled with the Holy Spirit? (Ephesians 5: 18). Is it possible for one to be filled with alcoholic wine and the Holy Ghost at the same time? Is it not a deviation for genuine Christians to be drunkards?
This article aims at discussing some Christian deviations and not standard deviation in Mathematics. The term “deviation” is to do something that is different from what a majority of people consider to be normal. In other words, what are some of the abnormalities that are not biblical that some Christians adhere to, either due to ignorance or sheer megalomania?
Deviation is a change or difference from what is standard, usual, acceptable, planned and expected norm. People who are fond of exhibiting signs of laziness, lukewarmness and lackadaisical attitudes have highly deviated from standard and pure Christian practices. All those who refuse to work hard have deviated from acceptable norms.
Let us discuss some deviant Christian practices as follows:
Pursuing miracles instead of the miracle worker
It is deviation at its peak when a Christian chooses to seek prophecy, miracles instead of seeking to know the Jesus Christ personally as and Saviour.
A Christian should not say to a Prophet, Odifo, hye me nkom, hye me nkom, meaning, “Prophet, prophesy, prophesy, I need a personal prophecy now.” It is highly unscriptural and unchristian to pursue personal prophecies instead of desiring to know Jesus Christ personally. Prophets must give prophecies to confirm what the Spirit has told a believer. I agree with Apostle Professor Johnson Suleman that, “prophecies cannot break biblical principles.”
It is so disheartening and demoralising to hear the masses, particularly the youth, insulting their leaders in the name of democracy. Democracy without decency and decorum is destruction. The Bible says;
“Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.” (Romans 13:1-2)
Does it mean Christians should not criticise their leaders?
As Christians, we have to criticise constructively and circumspectly.
Church leaders spearheading homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality
Can ministers of the gospel who are born again and morally upright, pioneer and promote homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality? The answer is an emphatic NO, as it is an abomination and abhorrence in the sight of God for human beings to indulge in homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality (Leviticus 18:22-23).
Refusing to embark on two Christian mandates concurrently
Complete Christian responsibility involves winning souls and shouldering social responsibility by taking care of the poor and the needy concurrently. The Jesus Christ categorically stated that all those who refuse to show care and love by shouldering Christian social responsibility to the needy could go to hell as follows,
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me…” (Matthew 25:41-45). Apostle Paul also endorses the Christian social responsibility in Acts 20:35b by paraphrasing Jesus Christ as, “…labouring hard to support the weak/poor, and remembering the words of the Jesus Christ, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
People who purport to be Christians and indulge themselves in the aforementioned deviations and are cheerfully unconcerned or aloof about becoming born again, are social or societal deviants.
What is the way forward?
We all must resolve to do away with the devil-may-care attitude, laziness, lukewarmness and work tirelessly and assiduously to ensure an all-round accelerated development in Africa and in Ghana, in particular. Diligence and the devotion to duties must be our lifestyle as Christians/citizens. The Bible says, “…God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6b)
In other words, Christianity does not encourage laziness, lukewarmness and lackadaisical attitudes. That is to say that Christians who are students, workers and are lukewarm, lazy and lackadaisical can be considered as Christian deviants.
Again, Christian leaders must lay emphasis on diligence, dedication, devotion to duties, holiness and eschatological studies instead of focusing on material prosperity. What is not Christian deviation is to seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness first and all other things will follow.
Men and women of God who are fond of asking people to pay some money before the believers are prayed for or can receive miracles must desist from that and rather teach church members to know the importance of giving and Christian social responsibility.
In conclusion, what is not Christian deviation is about imparting and influencing lives positively through the power of the Holy Spirit in order to ensure a trans-generational impact through holiness, loving Jesus with an undying love, loyalty, diligence, devotion, as well as embarking on kingdom promotion business, such as soul winning, intercession (not imprecatory prayer), teaching people about the reality of heaven and hell (eschatology), true repentance and discipleship.
The writer is a lecturer at the Ghana Technology University College.