In Fiji, there is a cultural drink known as kava and Jesus would in fact, drink it. We have no reason to believe that He would not do it. It seems that this would the pattern that He gives throughout the New Testament.
The first thing to understand is God has made the earth and everything in it. Kava comes from a root that is in the earth. We know that Kava was from God himself. What is in the earth is the blessing of the Lord to the people that dwell in that land. God foresaw the need for it before even the foundations of the world.
With that said, Jesus was also very big on incarnal ministry; dwelling among people and living like they lived. John said that Word was God and the Word become flesh. Jesus did not mind turning the water to wine and his friends were prostitutes, corrupt politicians, and dumb fishermen. The circles of friends were people that loved the thing that the poor of his day loved.
In a Fijian context, Jesus would spent time at the Kava teaching about the Kingdom of God that is here and is yet to come. He would use the issues of the present day to impart spiritual truths into the people listening. Jesus would prefer places like the kava bowl over all the pretty churches lining Suva.
The Kava Bowl is a relaxing place
Fijian use the kava bowl to gather around (especially the men) to relax, unwind and talk about their lives. It would like the bar in Germany or a buddy’s garage in America. Times of unwinding and resting is very important. It is the whole concept behind the Sabbath that God demanded everyone to take part in every seventh day. It was serious business in the times of the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, Jesus idenifies himself as “the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” He is the Lord of the Harvest but He is just as much the Lord of the Sabbath.” Under the new system, with the veil ripped, we are living in a place of rest, not just have a legal day for it.
Fijians gathering around the kava bowl in the evening is celbration of the biblical command to have rest and relax. In anything, you are drinking kava, you are do an act of worship unto the Lord of the Sabbath. You are celebrate what the Lord has given you and enjoy the harvest of His creation.
I see that the drinking of grog is a mere tool to do what the Lord has commanded us to do on a regular basis. If we do not learn to relax, our years on this planet will be shortened and the years that we do have to will not as fruitful as they could be. Living in a spirit of all work and no play is not from the Holy Spirit. He is all about resting and enjoying the things of the Kingdom that we dwell in.
Why do pastors hate kava
One thing that blew me away was how pastors such as Suliasi Kurulo, Atu Vulaono and Epeli Ratabacaca condemn the use of Kava by people attending their churches. Let me be clear: they are adding conditions to salvation and there is NO commands from the Lord in the New Testament using kava as a way to celebrate the goodness of God. It just is not there.
I believe that these pastors view of use of grog as a competitor for financial assistance. If a Fijian spends $20 on kava on Friday, that is $20 less that his wife can give to the pastor on Sunday. This is the only reason that I do can see that these pastors would have a problem with it. One thing is for sure, they can’t give a biblical defense for their reasoning. That much is given. I have personally challenged them.
The claim that grog numbs you and is therefore a drug does not hold weight. The same could be applied to all medicine that is a suppuesion. Are we going back to all use of medicine is sin too? I am not in agreement, I know that!
The problem is really pastors in Fiji need to get off their soapboxes, platforms and out of the pulpit. Instead, they need to actually dwell among the people and find out what is really happening in their lives. Some of these pastors do not even the names of the members of their churches.
It is really about personal convictions
If you feel it is wrong to drink it, don’t drink it. If you feel it is wrong because your pastors said it is wrong, you need to re-think the issue and figure out what is right or wrong for you; not for him. Your pastor did not die for you and He will not stand before God on Judgement Day for you,either. What I am saying is that you need to make your own decisions about what you do before God. That was the point of Jesus dying on the Cross of Calvary.
The bible says that Kingdom is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It says elsewhere where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM. We also know came to set the captive free. We can come to the place that we see that kava is in the freedom we have been in the Holy Spirit. It is like whole meat thing in Corith. Paul said to let each person make the choice for themselves.