Is a little alcohol alright with the Bible?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by C.S. Murphy, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. C.S. Murphy

    C.S. Murphy
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    PLease list your sriptural reasons for whichever stand you take. To drink or not to drink that is the question.
    Murph
     
  2. RaptureReady

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    To answer a question with a question, why drink? [​IMG]
     
  3. Helen

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    Because most medicines wire me to the ceiling. If I need a muscle relaxer, a little wine and a hot shower will do it. And I have no reactions. If I need more serious cough medicine than a cough drop, our pediatrician years ago gave me a 'grandmother's recipe' for my son, who has the same inherited problem (my father also had it -- it is generalized paradoxic drug reactions): 1/3 honey, 1/3 lemon, 1/3 vodka. Vodka is used because there is no artificial flavoring or coloring in it and it makes the medicine taste so awful that no kid will want more than a spoonful of it! But it works like a charm.

    I learned about the wine and a hot shower from a nurse when I spent almost a month in false labor before my son was born! It stopped the false labor almost immediately with no side effects at all. Please understand the amount of wine is only about an ounce! VERY little is needed!

    So yes, there are medical reasons for alcohol. It is also much, much safer than most of the medications so many willingly take day after day which can have horrid side-effects!

    If you are an alcoholic with either a genetic reaction to the stuff or a developed habit of dependence, it is imperative to stay totally away from even a drop. But for other people, it is an extremely safe medicine in the right amounts. It also has other uses and benefits.

    Now, for Murph, as far as the Bible goes. In Proverbs 31:6-7 we read, "Give beer to those who are perishing,
    wine to those who are in anguish;
    let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.


    Paul told Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach's sake. Jesus was called a drunkard, or similar (depending on your translation) -- which would never have been said had He never touched wine!

    Noah was a husbandman, used to making wine. Its affect with the drastically lowered air pressure after the Flood caused him to pass out cold. But if he had not expected the taste of wine, he would have spit the stuff out after the first sip! He knew what he was drinking; he just didn't know that the effect would be so drastically different post-flood.

    The Bible warns about drunkenness and running after drinks and it warns about getting up early in the morning and starting your drinking then and about being a 'champion' or 'expert' where mixed drinks are concerned. We are told to stay sober.

    But not once is wine said to be evil or wrong.

    Drunkenness is wrong.

    There is quite a difference.
     
  4. Rev. G

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    To answer a question with a question, "Why not drink?" Just that I'd throw that out there for the heck of it since "Why drink?" was already taken.

    The Scriptures clearly prohibit drunkenness, but nowhere is the use of alcohol forbidden. If the Scriptures do not forbid it, then to do so is legalism. If one should partake, it should be done with self-control, in moderation, and with concern for the "weaker brother" and the witness to non-believers.

    Rev. G

    [ September 22, 2002, 01:18 AM: Message edited by: Rev. G ]
     
  5. Maverick

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    7941 shekar (shay-kawr'); from 7937; an intoxicant, i.e. intensely alcoholic liquor:
    KJV-- strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine. ***. shikkor. See 7910.

    3196 yayin (yah'-yin); from an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication, intoxication:
    KJV-- banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

    Not sure what version you are using, but beer does not cut it as the strong drink. Jack Black or your Vodka would be more fitting. That must be a bad attempt at dynamic equivalence since beer is normally only 3.6% alcohol hardly a strong drink versus 80 proof.

    This was discussed in another post. In Baptist History, I learned of a Pastor that inherited a brewery and he did not sell it. Up until the Temperance ladies, who could be quite vicious, it appears that abstinence was a belief held by a minority. You cannot get drunk on grape juice, so new wine is obviously alcoholic. Did Jesus do alcoholic wine? Well, if you are well drunk or have drank enough wine that your taste buds are a bit numb you can serve the best first and then bring out a lesser quality because folks won't know. Yet, in this parable it was good enough to be discernible as the best quality. Not sure you can have the same situation with grape juice/

    The Hebrews did often cut their wine by miing it with water so string wine may have been undiluted. Also, we must take into account the process. We increase the alcohol content by adding sugar to the fermentation porcess so their uncut wine most likely did not have the same % of alcohol as ours. With our high rate of heart disease, it might be good that as we change our habits we add a glass or two of wine at night.
    It will raise our HDLs and may help us to rest as well lowering the stress factor.

    Yes, some folks should not imbibe.
     
  6. Mike McK

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    Oh no. Not another alchohol thread. :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Mike

    [ September 24, 2002, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Bob 63 ]
     
  7. Don

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    Maverick, a question: On "The Mole II" (something I realize most people probably didn't watch), there was a challenge for two of the players. They stepped into a grape vat, crushed grapes with their bare feet, and used a sock-looking apparatus to squeeze the juice into bottles. They then were required to coerce their fellow players into drinking their "toejam wine," as it was called. One girl would not drink it on the grounds that she refused to drink alcohol. None of the players present mentioned the fact that the wine was just freshly squeezed from the grapes, and hadn't had a chance to ferment and obtain an alcoholic content yet.

    Isn't this an example of "new wine"? The players here obviously had a cultural bias, in that we all tend to think of wine as alcoholic--period. This was evidenced by the fact that none of the other players made the correction to the young lady about drinking alcohol.

    So until I get home in a couple of weeks, and have a chance to do a serious word study on the subject, I'm going to ask you to either send me a private message--or address it here--and explain to me just how "new wine" in the bible obviously means wine with an alcoholic content.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Drinking is not an issue, only drinking to the point of being drunk.

    If you're like my brother in law who's 300lbs and can drink a keg without it affecting him (okay, maybe I'm exagerating), then lucky you. If you're like me, a 1 drink lightweight, then ya can't drink as much.
     
  9. eric_b

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    Well drunkeness is certainly forbidden:

    Eph 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

    But I'm not aware of any verse that forbids drinking in moderation. The only verse that I can think of that might apply is:

    1Co 8:13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

    This is the verse many Christians use as the reason they choose not to drink at all, they are concerned that other Christians with alcohol problems could stumble because they know that other Christians are drinking.

    I wish I could say that this is the reason I don't drink, because it would be a noble one, but the truth is that even as an unbeliever I chose not to drink. It just makes life simpler. I knew somewhat what kind of havoc alcoholism and drug abuse had caused among some families I knew of, and decided that I just didn't want to open myself up to even the faintest possibility of that. Call it enlightened self-interest...

    But having said all that, I don't think drinking in moderation is necessarily a sin.

    Eric

    [ September 22, 2002, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: eric_b ]
     
  10. Don

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    Eric, I would cross-reference that verse with Romans 14:21 (says the same thing).
     
  11. Jim1999

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    Is a little alcohol alright with the bible?

    Hm I heard it leaves a stain!

    Sorry..no alcohol for me....I have a life to give

    Cheers in the Lord,

    Jim
     
  12. blackbird

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    Hallueljah for Jim 1999!!
    I finally found someone who is on my side!

    It was ole Adrian Rogers who shared this thought as he was watching a TV program--a beer commercial came on--two men were fishing down the river--beer in their hands--guzzling that hell's brew--one of 'um looks at the other and says, "Man! It don't get no better than this!"

    Dr. Rogers says, "I got to thinking! They're right! It doesn't get any better!! It only gets worse!!"

    Funny how some folks will get on the site and condemn smoking cigarettes because of its harm to the body--and then out of the other side of their mouths they say,"Lets go get a cool one!"

    God help us! They just don't get it!

    Your Tee-toteler friend,
    Blackbird
     
  13. BrianT

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    Funny how some folks will get on the site and condemn having a cool one because of its harm to the body--and then out of the other side of their mouths they say,"Lets go have a doughnut!"

    God help us! They just don't get it!

    ;)
     
  14. Rev. G

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    So, is Martin Luther (beer drinker) in hell?

    Rev. G

    P. S. (Or C. H. Spurgeon - brandy user / cigar smoker? Or Jonathan Edwards - pipe smoker? Or B. H. Carroll - cigar smoker? Or the Puritans - wine users who planted the first vineyards in America? On and on and on....)
     
  15. Ransom

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    Jim1999 said:

    Is a little alcohol alright with the bible?
    Hm I heard it leaves a stain!


    Funny you should mention this, as the first damage to the NKJV I was given as a graduation present was a few drops of port wine spilled on Col. 2:7. I hate the fact that the Bible is damaged, but on the other hand it HAS been interesting watching the stains change colour over the years.

    On the other hand, the massive coffee stain over Rom. 8 REALLY burns me up. Not only does it not age in interesting ways, but it was a stupid clumsy mistake. On the other hand, at least the Bible now opens naturally to my favourite passage. [​IMG]

    To answer the question of the thread, there are at least five commended uses of wine in the Bible.

    1. Celebration.

    Wine was a permitted part of a celebration that was commanded in the Law. If drinking wine (or other fermented beverages, as the Law clearly says) was sinful, why would God command his people to do so on a yearly basis?

    If drinking wine is sinful, then why does this God-inspired praise song list wine amongst the many gifts of God? Indeed, why does it associate wine with the very necessities of life such as vegetation, bread, and animal fodder?

    2. Thirst.

    Bread and wine was an everyday meal; bread to fill the stomach, wine to satisfy the thirst. If drinking wine is sinful, then why does the Scripture mention this meal so matter-of-factly; furthermore, how could such a sinful drunkard like Melchizedek ever be considered a type of Christ?

    Of course, this is figurative language, using water, wine, and milk as metaphors for God's grace. But that only raises the question: if drinking wine is sinful, then why in the first place would God invite people to drink spiritual wine to satisfy their spiritual thirst? (Imagine if the verse had instead said, "Everyone who is lonely, come to the brothel and satisfy yourself without cost and without price." Same thing.)

    3. Ceremonial.

    Again, if drinking wine is sinful, why would God a) permit the Israelites to keep vineyards; b) offer this sinful beverage on his holy altar?

    5. Medicinal.

    Self-explanatory advice, given under inspiration by an apostle. Clearly the medicinal use of wine is not sinful.

    5. Aesthetic appreciation.

    By saying that some wine is better than other, this passage says implicitly that the purpose of wine is not simply to get drunk, but that evaluating its taste and quality and other such properties are also appropriate uses of wine. The Bible approves of wine-tasting, in other words. If drinking wine was sinful in the eyes of God, how could the steward even have made such a judgment (how would he know?), and why would Holy Scripture take such an evaluation for granted?

    I could also add Jesus' matter-of-fact use of the new wine/old wine tasting analogy in Luke 5:39. For a God who supposedly thinks wine is intrinsically sinful, Jesus seems altogether too casual with everyday examples like this, it seems to me.
     
  16. Ransom

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    Rev. G said:

    P. S. (Or C. H. Spurgeon - brandy user / cigar smoker?

    Just curious: Spurgeon was active in the Temperance movement of his day. I take it, then, that he was not a teetotaller himself, but a more moderate (no pun intended) advocate of temperance?

    Or the Puritans - wine users who planted the first vineyards in America?

    And, of course, everyone knows the reason the Mayflower put to land at Plymouth: their food supplies were running low, "especially the beer." [​IMG]

    The Puritans promoted the use of beer because they viewed it as the beverage of moderation; a healthy intake of beer kept people away from the abuse of harder liquors such as rum. Some colonial towns had laws "limiting" the use of beer to "only" two quarts at breakfast.
     
  17. russell55

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    Ransom says:
    You are right. Wine is a good gift from a good God.

    Do we all have to drink it? Of course not. Should those who do drink it drink carefully? Of course.

    But we also need to be really careful not to disparage one of our Heavenly Father's good provisions.
     
  18. Rev. G

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    I'm not familiar, at all, with Spurgeon being involved with the Temperance Movement. Please shed some light on that subject.

    Rev. G
     
  19. Ransom

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    If I had my CD of Spurgeon's works handy, I could probably find something easily amongst the announcements in the Sword and Trowel. As it is, the best I can do is to Google The Spurgeon Archive which comes up with only a few oblique references.

    Stay tuned.

    [ September 23, 2002, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  20. Jim1999

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    When Spurgeon noticed a sign in a tobacconist shop: The cigars that Spurgeon smokes......he quit smoking cigars. He believed his testimony for his Lord was more valuable than that. (Taken from his biography)

    I never said it was sinful to drink anything. Along with Spurgeon, I might agree that my testimony for Christ is more important than a sip of wine, beer or any alcohol. The world does not say, "He drinks one beer...." It says, "He drinks beer and is a baptist..." Sorry, I cannot be a part of that.

    I don't eat donuts either...oops! Is Tim Horton's really a donut shop?

    I think all things in moderation are acceptable, except poison. The thing that bothers me is this; too many times I have been called out to still the heart of a broken and battered woman, abused by a drunken excuse for a man. As a director of a shelter for battered women, my eyes are blackened by the multiplicity of butchery, the savaging, the absolute disrespect for another human being. I abhor alcohol. If that isn't clear enough, I make no apology. I have nothing but disdain for those who promote this barbarous excuse for liquid refreshment.

    Cheers in the Lord,

    Jim
     

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