Abstaining from Alcohol yet not having a Scriptural problem with it.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Before we get started, this discussion is NOT for whether or not it is Scriptural to drink Alcohol. Please do not post arguments for and against drinking Alcohol here, please do start your own thread on that topic. [​IMG]

    For those that are left, I would like to share some thoughts on the idea of Abstaining from Alcohol, yet recognising that Jesus drank wine.

    I think that the wine that Jesus drank was alcoholic, yet I do think that the amount of alchol that it contained was very small in comparison to todays wines, and it served its purpose as a preservative.

    What I see happening here in Australia is that the Alcohol companies are putting out things like "Bacardi Breezers" (Rum) and various lolly water flavoured Vodka drinks. These have an Alcohol content of between 11-30% Alcohol and in my opinion only exist to get teenagers smashed off their faces as quickly as possible. I dont think that these are a good thing for Christians to be getting into as it could be seen as quite a poor witness, particurly to some of the Teenagers that come to the Lord from the Nightclub scene.

    So what do you think? Is there merit in Abstaining from Alcohol yet at the same time believing that Jesus drank it? Should we be doing more to pressure governments over laws to stop Alcohol Abuse?

    Here is a link called Alcohol, a Social Drug which I found interesting. - http://www.tc.asn.au/alcohol/
     
  2. DeadMan

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    Although I do not live in Australia but the USA and was completely unaware of the different alcoholic products being offered there, I agree with 100%. In today's culture (at least here in the US), Christians seen consuming alcohol serve as poor witnesses because people don't see a difference between us and them. And that only hurts the message.
     
  3. Linda64

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    BenW--
    That website was posted on another alcohol forum--but I can't remember which one, but I posted in that one already. You might want to check out where that other thread is.
     
  4. Linda64

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    BenW:

    That link is on the Alcohol-a social drug and it looks like you started that one too. This alcohol forum just might turn into a debate--even if you don't want it to.
     
  5. Helen

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    Ben you have a real point there. When alcohol, as it usually is actually, is marketed as an alternative to drinking liquids or fruit juices, it invites drunkenness. My husband's parents were Salvation Army officers in Australia MANY years ago and Barry grew up seeing drunks on street corners and being aware of the dangers of alcohol (his parents were in the missionary branch of the organization and not in the social care branch). He decided early on that he would never touch any alcohol at all, even though he knows that the Bible permits it and will even POUR me a glass of wine when I have muscle spasms in my leg or back from working outside!

    Nor does he mind if I cook with wine, for he knows the alcohol is cooked out.

    But he abstains simply because he has felt since his teenage years that that was right for him.

    An interesting thing is that earlier this year his sister was diagnosed with an acute attack of porphyria, an extremely rare and often inherited disorder. Because it is inherited, Barry has been checked for it (the chronic presentation can be lifelong and barely noticeable). The results are not totally conclusive, but it looks like he is a porphyriac, too.

    And you know something? Alcohol is terribly wrong for any of them in any amount.

    God knows what He is doing! Abstaining because of personal conviction or because one simply does not like the taste is certainly right. Abstaining because one is personally convinced that alcohol is wrong biblically falls under the admonition that each should do what he is convinced of.

    As far as pressuring governments, that won't work. First of all, there is too much in taxes to be made off alcohol for them to get serious about controlling it. Secondly, it is too big a business all by itself.

    Here in America there are a multitude of fruit and wine or fruit and vodka or fruit and rum drinks on the market shelves in the alcohol aisles. They are supposed to cool you down in the summer. This is a lie because alcohol is known for providing, even with just a few ounces, a 'flush', which means your arteries and veins have relaxed and there is more blood flow, warming you up! That is why my grandfather, in the days of stagecoaches in the Old West (late 1800's, early 1900's) mentioned in his memoirs that everyone who had to go out in the winter on those 'blasted' stages carried a small bottle of brandy or whiskey. It would ward of frostbite if the stage got stuck in the snow!

    So I think the most the government could do would be to try to put the brakes on false advertising, but what can they do about the companies showing happy couples drinking flavored alcoholic beverages at a barbie in the summer?

    There is a lie implied there. But, to my mind, it is not nearly as bad as the lies which are promoted on American television now at every turn which promote prescription medicines for every possible ache and pain and imagined dysfunction available! THAT is encouraging people to beg their doctors for these incredibly expensive medications which have, very often, some nasty side effects and are not needed at all! That is one of the key players in what is rapidly breaking the back of the medical systems here, and no one seems to realize it!

    But here on earth, money rules all. Governments are run with money so there is nothing you can reasonably expect them to do to stop the advertising of either alcoholic beverages (although most of THAT is prohibited on television here) or medications.

    So I applaud those who choose to abstain from alcohol for their own reasons. I am convinced that it is just as wrong to try to pressure them to have a glass of wine as it is for them to try to pressure others into thinking that that glass of wine is a sin in and of itself.
     
  6. Jimmy C

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    Ben

    I am in agreement with your post. I think Jesus drank alcoholic wine, and I dont really care about the strength.

    I made the decision after graduating from college that even though I dont think that drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation is sinful or wrong, that it is in my best interest to not do so. Having kids and now teens, teaching sunday school and being a deacon and a leader in our church has validated that position. It can be difficult in business situations, although in the past several years, there is less pressure to drink - in fact there is a measure of respect given me by my clients by abstaining. I guess this is one area that "tolerance" is a good thing.

    I also have quite a few very strong Christian friends who make the choice to drink. I have never seen any of them abuse alcohol, and I dont think that thier drinking comes between them and thier walk with Christ.
     
  7. mioque

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    Ben
    I agree completely with you about those breezers and related products.
    It's good Christian conduct to oppose drunken debauchery.
     
  8. DeadMan

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    Although I agree completely with everything you said, Helen, this really struck me as noteworthy. This is exactly how I feel. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ben W

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    I think that we have seen many arguements in favor of Alcohol, so I dont want to go there, yet I do want to make an observation counter point if you like.

    I think that the goalposts have moved somewhat scince then. The wine that Jesus drank was most certainley diluted with water to make it go further thus lowering the alcohol content from todays wines. I cant find a reference to spirits in the Bible as such, and I have a thought if you like that Jesus may well not have joined in with drinking high alcoholic beverages that are made with the purpose in mind to get people drunk rapidly.

    A few weeks ago I was in the city on a popular street late at night, and the amount of public drunkenness that was going on was absolutley incredible. Statistics show that over a third of our road toll is a result of people that drink and drive. I have also read statistics that suggest that as many as a third of people that commit suicide are under the influence of alcohol at the time.

    With the many negatives then that seem to be accompanying the consumption of alcohol in modern society, could it be a better witness to abstain altogether?

    I think that could be the case. Yet it is important to recognise that each of us has a personal relationship with God. He speaks with each of us individually, and we all learn and walk with Him at a pace that we share between us and Him. Hence I think that if people do want to give up alcohol with the intent of doing it because of their application of Christianity, that it is important that it is done because we are certain that the Holy Spirit has called us to do it, and not to critisize others that do not, Recognising that Scripturally yes, people can drink alcohol if they wish because Jesus did do so.
     
  10. Brother Ian

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    I agree that drinking alcohol is permitted, in some cases, in the Scriptures. I choose to completely abstain from drinking alcohol as a beverage. I will take an occasional cough medicine, but that's it.

    My position is that I do not want to be controlled by any spirit other than the Holy Spirit and I would not want to lead anyone astray or cause them to stumble if they knew I drank alcohol. Doing so would be a terrible blow to my testimony.
     
  11. HankD

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    While the Scripture does not say "Jesus had some wine with His food" it strongly implies such because he "ate the Passover" with them and towards the end He says "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God".

    Some want to debate whether "fruit of the vine" is actually alcoholic wine, but as Hebrew tradition concerning Passover wine has it, the wine which Jesus drank at the Last Supper (The Passover Seder) did in all probability, contain alcohol. A glass of Welch's grape juice at Seder would shock and probably offend a Jew.

    Personally I have no qualms about the use of alcohol either as a medicine or a beverage except as in my current situation, I refrain from the use of alcohol as a beverage because it's the best thing to do considering the local Church which I attend.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Helen. Modern medicines can be exceedingly toxic, far more than alcohol.

    One dear saint which we knew had to be rushed to the hospital suffering from bizaar hallucinations and other symptoms because of a mistake made at the pharmacy.

    We need to be very careful what we put into our bodies for physical as well as spiritual and emotional reasons.

    While I am no where near being "New Age", I believe in a natural and "holistic" approach to healing and medicine. Though I use perscription and over-the-counter medicines as a last resort.

    HankD
     

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