Bible and beer!

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Ingo Breuer, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. Ingo Breuer

    Ingo Breuer
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    Many times when I am witnessing the discussion is on what the Bible says about alcohol. Usually, the pro-alcohol person mentions the marriage of Cana where Jesus turned water into wine. I am orginally from Germany and over there, unfortunately, you hear "preachers" proclaim that Jesus loved to party and have a few drinks. Christian resorts offer local wines. And, worst of all, Catholic monasteries manufacture and market their own brands of beer and liquors ( look. On the other hand there are total prohibitionist Christians who even avoid Bible verses like 1. Tim. 5:23 or Proverbs 31:6,7 ("use a little wine"). Now let me ask you a question: How can we witness the truths about using/abusing alcoholic beverages?

    1. How can we explain the miracle in Cana? Real prohibitionist Christians probably wish Jesus had turned the wine into water? We know that even in Jesus' day wine was abused for getting drunk.

    2. How can we explain the frequent mention of wine in the Bible - esp. in the OT - as a valuable good as if it was something desirable?

    3. Does the well Beer in Numbers 21:16 have anything to do with today's beer?

    4. What do you think about the confusion in Christianity about alcoholic beverages? I know preachers who condemn alcohol for its effects, but their backyard is full of tobacco. On the other hand, there are those Christians who actually make big profits by manufacturing alcoholic beverages. We are sending a pretty weird message to sinners. May God help us!

    Please come to the Solid Rock of Faith Site and pick up your copy of the Christian Courier Newsletter!

    [ November 15, 2002, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Ingo Breuer ]
     
  2. Rev. G

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    Essentially it is an American Christian / Fundamentalist cultural issue. Prior to the 1800s the use of wine and beer were not an issue. This changed with the Prohibitionist Movement in the 1800s-early 1900s. Sin became something in a bottle rather than something in the heart. You see this arise with Revivalism.

    Yes, Jesus turned the water into wine. Yes, He instituted the Lord's Supper with wine. Yes, Paul told Timothy to have a little wine to settle his stomach. The argument you will find from many is that these references to wine don't really mean "wine," but grape juice (fruit of the vine). Meanwhile, "pagans" are confused when they read the Scriptures and see that Jesus turned water into wine but that "we" condemn the use of alcohol. We would do much better to be honest about what is in Scripture, and to live Spirit-filled lives, which means to live self-controlled lives (see Galatians - Paul lists "self-control" as part of the fruit of the Spirit).

    All things have been given by God as a gift from God. The problem is not with the gifts. The problem is with the recipients, who abuse the gifs. Sex is a good thing, a beautiful thing. It is a gift from God. It turns ugly when people abuse this wonderful gift. Look at the misery and bondage that is created and exists when self-control is not exercised (in the boundaries God has set) and this gift is abused. Wine is a good gift from God. He gave it to us to enjoy. The problem is not with the wine (or beer), but with those who sinfully abuse the gift. Those who lack self-control with this gift get drunk - and drunkenness is clearly prohibited in Scripture. There is no question about that whatsoever.

    I'll close with this story (true). Two men, one American and one German, were attending the Lausanne World Evangelism Conference. During a meal break they went to a nearby restaurant and ordered their food and drink. Another attendee, an Englishman, entered the restaurant and recognized them from the conference. He asked if he might join them. Of course they told him he could. Shortly after he sat down the waitress brought out the drinks for the other two men. The German received the beer he had ordered. The Englishman was aghast and blurted out, "I can't believe you are going to drink alcohol! A Christian Englishman would never drink a beer!" The German replied, "I thank God I am not an Englishman," then drank his beer. [​IMG]

    Rev. G
     
  3. RaptureReady

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    You know, people talk about when Jesus turned the water to wine in Cana and use this to support their ideal of wine being okay to drink. They say alcohol is okay if drunk in moderation. Moderation is different for everyone. The people at Cana had already drunk the wine that they had. Whether one person drunk all the wine or not, someone had to be beyond their moderate drink level. So why would Jesus give him more?

    In my opinion, the people that say that there is nothing wrong with drinking is just an excuse for them to continue in their own indulgence.
     
  4. Johnv

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    In my opinion, the people that say that there is nothing wrong with drinking is just an excuse for them to continue in their own indulgence.

    If you're going to be a biblical literalist, then, since the Bible speaks only of wine, and not other alcoholic beverages, then wine must be forbidden, but vodka is not.

    No, clearly it is not the drink, but the abuse of the drink that is forbidden.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    I am not sure why this is in this forum, so I am moving it to another.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    Yep. One day in Dr. W.R. Estep's class at Southwestern Seminary, he mentioned that many Baptist preachers in Kentucky were paid in moonshine for their services during the 1800s. What they didn't keep for their own use, they sold and traded to buy what they needed.
     
  7. Rev. G

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    Very interesting. . . . I did not know that. You learn something new every day. Of course, I did know that one of the first church buildings (if not the very first) that Baptists in America had was a brewery (in McBeth, 'Baptist Heritage').

    Rev. G
     
  8. Rev. G

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    Do you think Tom T. Hall was a Baptist? [​IMG]
     
  9. blackbird

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    So! You guys think that drinking is funny!!?? And really get off on the ideas that every preacher around condones it---I for one will condemn it in any way, shape or form with every ounce of my being till the Lord Jesus Christ calls me home!! Its the same as always on this subject in any form that it appears on the threads--God help us!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  10. RaptureReady

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    I will be right there with you blackbird, and your right, it's not funny, it's sin.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    There really is a great watershed over this issue among baptists - </font>
    • Abstinence (don't even LOOK at wine, Proverbs)</font>
    • Moderation (drink, but not drunk)</font>
    • And everywhere on the spectrum in between!</font>
    I opt for total abstinence as the safest option.
     
  12. ChristianCynic

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  13. Ingo Breuer

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    Interesting posts so far. But still, let's dwell on the marriage in Cana. We still haven't really explained why God commands sobriety and abstinence and in the same breath Jesus turns water into wine. We need to be able to give reason for what Jesus did in his first miracle, so we're able to preach boldly about it. I for one don't like half-defined doctrines!
    So, does anyone know whether the miracle at Cana had any reference to the marriage supper of the lamb or any other symbolic meaning? (Bible numerics?? 6 waterpots/3 firkins???
    Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  14. blackbird

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    Now we are going somewhere--the wedding at Cana--true, Jesus did turn that water into wine--and you guys put up a pretty fair fight to say that it was alcoholic in nature--well, you aren't boxing nothing but air when that's all you want to say about the wedding---

    More will be posted later about the spiritual implications behind the whole ordeal but suffice it to say here--that Jesus can take a "Plain Jane" wedding and make it a "Cinderella" type--He can take ordinary believers and make prince's and princesses out of them.

    It goes deeeeepppperrrrr than just wine turned out of water!!

    Your friend,
    Blackbird
     
  15. Rev. G

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    No, but that doesn't mean we can't have a sense of humor when we discuss things. Look at the previous posts to see a bit of OUR Baptist history, then understand the 'Tom T. Hall' post in its context. [​IMG]

    Rev. G
     
  16. Phillip

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    I must agree 100% with Dr. Griffin on this issue. Another reason can be added. If anything you do hurts your witness as a Christian then it becomes a sin. In today's culture, seeing a Christian leaving a liquor store will usually get some remarks about how much of a hypocrite he or she is. Yes, wine was used in the Bible for several reasons:
    1. The water had no chlorine to keep parasite growth down.
    2. Wine was a good substitute, but the Bible is very careful to state that intoxication is not good.
    3. Wine was used with meals in great moderation and was a settling agent for the stomach, along with a relaxant, but it was ALL used in moderation.
    Our culture is different today and a Christian with a glass of wine in his hand is seen as a sinner, even by non-Christians, so therefore, it is best to just abstain. ......same with smoking. ;)
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

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    Somewhere I once heard somebody say that if alcohol were never heard of and newly discovered and all its properties were known as we know them it would be hailed as a great benefactor of mankind and even a miracle drug. However, it would only be available by prescription.
     

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