XP Ministries Abstinence Policy
Related to Smoking, Drinking, Recreational Drug Use, Gambling
IMPORTANT INTRO FOR WIMN – Please read!
XPministries (WIMN is a department of this ministry) has an abstinence policy for our staff and leadership. I realize that there are various convictions held by believers and leaders in this area. Of course you are free to set standards for your own life and ministry. However, for WIMN, we ask that during XPministry and WIMN events (including meal times, in hotel rooms, and after meeting gatherings) that you honor the policy. I have included the policy below. Thanks so much for your kind consideration of this policy.
EXPLANATION OF XP MINISTRIES ABSTINENCE POLICY
AN ADDICTIVE SOCIETY
We live in a day and hour when many are bound by addictions to smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs, and gambling. These practices are imprisoning growing masses, holding them in bondage. The church is called to reach them, love them, and lead them to freedom.
THE WORD OF THE LORD
We (XP Ministries) are heralding a call to raise the bar and rally believers to live in such a way that if anyone were to follow them and copy their behavior, none would stumble. Our prophetic message includes an invitation to the Body of Christ to abstain from these practices and live in the freedom and liberty of the Holy Spirit.
No specific Scriptures declare that smoking cigarettes, gambling, or using recreational drugs are forbidden or sin. However, there are some Scriptures addressing alcohol consumption and the effects of alcohol. Here are a few for examples: (Leviticus 10:9; Proverbs 20:1; 23:30-35; 31:4; 1 Corinthians 6:10 NASB).
More importantly, however, we are taught to examine the fruit.
Matthew 7:18. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
Jesus said a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. For example, if smoking were good for us, then it wouldn’t produce bad fruit. If drinking alcohol were good, then it wouldn’t produce bad fruit. If using drugs and gambling were good, then they wouldn’t produce bad fruit. But each of these addictions do produce bad fruit.
The main point for us in this ministry is to walk in LOVE, pursuing that which builds up one another. We do not want to cause any to stumble through our example, especially those who might be weak and vulnerable.
Romans 14:13. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this – not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
Romans 14:15. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
Romans 14:19-21. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.
Matthew 18:7. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
LEADERS ARE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE
1 Peter 5:1-4 (ESV). So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Titus 1:7 (ESV). For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.
WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?
How do we raise the standard of love to provide a safe model for everyone in a day and hour of great moral failures and addictive lifestyles?
Love does not judge others who have freedom of conscience to smoke, consume alcohol, use recreational drugs, or gamble. But we at XP Ministries have chosen to abstain in order to live clean and moral lives before the Lord and others. Love reaches out to those needing freedom from addictions. Love seeks to help keep others safe. Love speaks the truth. Love chooses to do nothing that would cause another to stumble.
Love is our motive. Love is our aim. This is the greatest desire and goal of our XP team.
THE HIGHER ROAD
1 Corinthians 10:23 (NASB). All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.
The higher road is to do the things that edify others and keep them safe from harm. The higher road is to live our lives in such a way that no one will stumble if they follow our example. We desire this higher road and we gladly lay down our lives when it comes to freeing those who can’t free themselves from practices mentioned above. Our goal is to serve Christ and others well. Our lives are not our own. We freely choose to love in this way.
THE XP MINISTRIES POLICY FOR:
All Staff Members (full time or part time)
Any Leadership Position (volunteer or salaried)
Our policy for all staff and leadership positions is heart-felt and free-will abstinence from smoking (including electronic cigarettes), consumption of alcohol, use of recreational drugs, and gambling. This refers to our private lives as well. Our staff and leaders do not imbibe. They practice abstinence.
Other Volunteers and Church Family:
If you personally feel the freedom before God to engage in any of the practices listed above, we ask that you would willingly abstain from them during times of serving at or attending XP events (including event break times).
(There may be a rare instance where someone believes the Lord has invited them to serve in our ministry, but they do not desire to abstain from the practices listed above. In such a case, that person may be friends with XP and its team without judgment or condescension from our ministry. However, they will not be able to hold a staff position or a volunteer leadership position in the ministry. We are preaching the blessing of abstinence, so as staff and leaders we must represent it in both conviction and lifestyle.)