2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 265:4
From Wesleyan Discipline
- (4) To demonstrate a positive social witness by abstaining from all forms of gambling and by abstaining from using or trafficking (production, sale or purchase) in any substances destructive to their physical, mental and spiritual health, such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and drugs (other than proper medical purposes of drugs); and by refraining from membership in secret societies and lodges which are oath bound, believing that the quasi- religious nature of such organizations divides the Christian’s loyalty, their secret nature contravenes the Christian’s open witness and the secret nature of their oaths is repugnant to the Christian conscience.
- Gambling violates the principle of Christian stewardship and the tenth commandment, is harmful to the individual in that it is emotionally addictive, is a poor example to others, and pollutes the moral climate of society.
- Christians are to regard their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. While no “thing” of itself is sinful, the Christian should avoid the use of anything which would not help build the fellowship of the church, would not help the believers to realize their full potential in Christ, or which would enslave them. In the light of the scientific knowledge of our day concerning the actual and potential harm of these substances, total abstinence is more in keeping with these biblical principles than is moderation.
- Ex. 20:3; Matt. 5:34–36; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:John 18:20; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:Acts 4:12; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:James 5:12.
- These prohibitions do not restrict membership in labor, civic or other organizations which do not contradict loyalty to Christ and the Church. When in these relationships Christian principles are violated, members shall be dealt with because of such violations and not because of the membership itself.