Wine in the Bible....alcohol in general

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by scooby, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. scooby

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    Hi all,

    I am an Independent Baptist and have been all of my life. I have a question conerning the use of wine in the Bible. Whenever I talk to friends about salvation, the question always seems to pop up, "Why is alcohol bad?" or "Why can't we drink alcohol as long as we don't drink to excess." My church firmly is against drinking ANY amount of alcohol (consuming alcohol that is contained in medicines is okay, ex. cough syrup, etc.) Well, I tell them that the Bible states that we shouldn't touch wine that has movement (fermented). First of all, I know this passage is in the Old Testament (we only use the KJV), but I am not sure where. Even if I did have the verse to point out to them, I am sometimes countered with the argument that laws stated in the Old Testament don't apply to people today in modern times. Then there is the argument that I get that Jesus turned the water into wine, etc. I try to tell them that all wine back then was not fermented and thus alcoholic, that it was often made into nonfermented wine simply because of the water quality and taste for some of the regions. Does anyone who believes like I do have any good passages and counters to these arguments? Thank you in advance. NEVER MIND--I see that this topic has been discussed before. Sorry.

    [ April 23, 2002, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: scooby ]
     
  2. Aaron

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    It's funny that a few years ago this would not be a question in a Baptist church. But today as our society grows more and more sensual, the church cannot help but become spotted by sensuality and questions like this are more and more frequent.

    The Bible does not contain any straightforward condemnation on the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages. The assumption is then made
    is that there is nothing wrong with it.

    However, as Christians, we should not be asking what is wrong with something, but what is right? When dealing with the over-daring permissiveness of the Corinthians who falsely asserted that "all things are lawful," St. Paul said, but not all things build God's Kingdom, 1 Corinthians 10:23.

    Of what possible good is the moderate consumption of alcohol? None. It is simply vanity and an indulgence of fleshly desires, and this at the expense of the consciences of our younger brothers. This kind of thing is soundly condemned in 1 Corinthians 8. Paul elsewhere states that we should not receive the grace of God in vain. In other words, we cannot receive the grace of God as a license to do anything we want, but as the power to live as we ought, "giving no offence in any thing, that the
    ministry be not blamed," 2 Corinthians 6:1-3.

    We are a nation of kings and priests, Rev. 1:6, and wise, old Solomon said, "It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink," Proverbs 31:4.
     
  3. Rev. Joshua

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    Aaron, you're right that a few years ago no one would have thought twice about this. 150 years ago, before the Temperance movement, a baptist sitting down with a cold beer or a glass of wine wouldn't have surprised anyone.

    Joshua
     
  4. A.J.Armitage

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    Water purification? Sure, the water wasn't very safe back then, but they could've had fruit juice, such as the so called "unfermented wine". If the moral status of alcohol was as you say, Jesus would've turned water into pure water and everyone there, being good proto-teetotalers, would've cheered that they didn't have to drink that wicked wine anymore.

    Something else just came to me: the claim that alcohol was a practical necessity is disproven by experience. Muslims, as we all know, do not drink anything alcoholic. Islam predates modern water purification, and large parts of the Middle East are still too primitive to have modern sanitation. They get along fine, at least in terms of water poisoning, without alcohol.

    [He asked me to carry it over from another thread, so here it is.]

    [ April 23, 2002, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: A.J.Armitage ]
     
  5. A.J.Armitage

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    Of what possible good is moderate listening to music? None. It is simply vanity and an indulgence of fleshly desires, and this at the expense of the consciences of our younger brothers.
     
  6. Aaron

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    Not so. The right kind of music is of great advantage. But if my listening to music causes my brother to offend, I will not listen to music as long as the world stands.

    The Gospel is not wine and song, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    [ April 23, 2002, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  7. Aaron

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    Would a Baptist 150 years ago sanctioned a homosexual marriage? I doubt if you're thinking right about what would have surprised a Baptist.

    [ April 23, 2002, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  8. A.J.Armitage

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    I just saw the "a verdict that demands evidence" thread. Ack! You really do have the kind of attitude I made fun of!

    One frustrating thing was that the guy you were debating with called your argument fallacious, and it was, but he didn't get to the heart of it.

    It went something like:

    All music is communicatuion.
    Some communication is evil.
    Therefore some music is evil.

    To make that valid, you'd need to flip the first one around to say, "All communication is music." This may be true is some poetic or metaphysical sense, but in ordinary terms you'd go from having an invalid argument to a false premise.
     
  9. Aaron

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    We can argue that in the music forum if you'd like. ;)
     
  10. just-want-peace

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  11. A.J.Armitage

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    And he does? That's not good. :(

    He's right about Baptists 150 years ago not being teetotalers, though.

    I think I like those guys from 150 years ago.
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

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    Fruit juice only stays unfermented with refrigeration.

    AJ, I'm going to make a wild guess here. I have seen your name pop up on every thread on this board that has to do with alcohol. I'm going to bet that you are a college student and are in rebellion against your parents strict standards now that you are out from under their roof. Am I very far off?

    Or is it that your parents also use these same justifications for drinking?

    You seem a bit earnest about this argument.
     
  13. A.J.Armitage

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    Fruit juice only stays unfermented with refrigeration.</font>[/QUOTE]Well, yeah, but you didn't really address my point. If wine only existed for water purity, why didn't Jesus just purify the water?

    If it was necessary for water purity, how did/do Muslims go without it? For that matter, how did the original teetotalers in America go without it? The fact is, wine was used for much the same reasons it is today.

    As it happens, I am a college student. I like how you set up the thing with my parents. Either I'm rebelling, or if not, you still turn it around against me.

    Fortunately for me, the actual situation is right down the middle and avoids your two options neatly: my Mom never drinks, because she doesn't like the taste, but she doesn't have any sort of moral objection to others drinking. And she is a Baptist.

    And is there anything wrong with that?

    Now, I am a fascinating person, but this is a sidetrack.

    Going back to the fact that alcohol had the same uses as today (the negative references to wine confirm this), this mean you're back in the dillema of asserting that somehow we're more advanced now, so that unlike the tribal rubes who wrote the Bible, we know better. I'm sure that's not what you have in mind, but that's where it leads.
     
  14. Clint Kritzer

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    Here, if you want to see "how well" the Middle East is doing with their modern water supply, try this link: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/mideast/cuvlm/water.html

    Bad time to be a Muslim, a Jew, an Arab, a Palestinian, or an African it would appear. At least that is if you want a glass of clean water.

    My assertions about you personally stem from me personally. I was once a college student out from under my parent's roof. I'm pretty fascinating myself. [​IMG]

    I know you won't let this rest since more than half of your posts since you joined are about alcohol, so I'll just save my testimony for your next assertion. I'll guess that this time it will be a press about the water to wine miracle. WHOOPS! Didn't mean to say it out loud!

    See why this subject started on the dead horse thread?
     
  15. Rev. Joshua

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    Aaron, nice try, but I never made the claim that baptists 150 years ago would have sanctioned homosexual marriage. You brought it up, presumably to divert attention away from the facts.

    Teetotalling is a relatively recent development among baptists, and its rise to prominence was directly related to the Temperance movement.

    Joshua
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

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    Clint, a note along this vein. Despite the hedonism that surrounded my adolescence in an urban public high school in the eighties; I never drank in excess. Nor did I do so while in college or the Army, despite virtually unlimited opportunities to do so. I grew up in a home where my father modeled responsible alcohol consumption.

    My wife, growing up in a European household, likewise grew up with a healthy attitude about alcohol. She never abused it in high school or college.

    Invariably, the adolescents I've known to abuse alcohol when given the freedom to do so have been either children of parents who abused alcohol or chidren of parents who tried to convince them that any consumption of alcohol was wrong.

    Joshua
     
  17. A.J.Armitage

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    I had a brief look there, and the problem seems to be allocation rather than sanitation.

    Well, once it's established that wine really does mean wine, that's pretty conclusive.

    [Edited to name link]

    [ September 28, 2002, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  18. BPM

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    Joshua I can see that I am really going to like your views, thanks. Paul said all things are not expedient so rather than argue right wrong or culture I am interested in your reasoning that drinking is expedient for you. It's funny also that many Catholic Priests may look at what they have done as an act that will be accepted if people are more educated, I am not trying to change the subject but rather am reminding everyone that once we step away from the scriptures we may end up somewhere we don't want to be.
     
  19. Clint Kritzer

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    From the first paragraph in this site: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/subabuse/alcohl02.htm
    Josh, the research bears you out. Also, from this link: http://www.harthosp.org/healthinfo/scripts/scr0062.htm
    This topic was started on the dead horses thread and the whole point of my first posting there was to inform this community of their responsibilty and Christian obligation to those who read these pages. The message doesn't always sink in well with some.

    I'm not referring to you, Josh. You've been involved in these threads with me before and I think you recognize the pain that alcohol has put me through and for the most part, you seem to have backed off from the topic, and I'd like to think that it is partly due to a respect you may have gained for my position.

    As for AJArmitage, you are new here and you are young. If this gives you consolation then I will state it. The Bible gives no clear condemnation of moderate consumption of alcohol. Hopefully this will satisfy your vindictiveness towards the tradition that so many Baptist have towards abstinence. This subject and the repetition of the following story that my responsibility as a moderator of these forums requires of me is one of the greatest challenges I face as a Christian.

    Now, for the rest of the story, as the man says.

    I witnessed my Dad drink maybe three beers my entire life. My mother only drank homemade wine about once every other year and even at that, it was barely enough to get her lips wet. I grew up in a rural area, in a Christian home, and didn't have a lot of peer pressure around me just my own curiosity.

    I was a fairly smart kid and knew the Bible reasonably well even at a young age and I knew the arguments and supports that you are asserting even now in this thread. Hey, the Bible says it's okay, it MUST be okay, right? Even though I knew it was wrong by my parents and societal standards, I started drinking beer when I was 15 years old. What did they know that the Bible didn't?

    Yeah, it was fun and it made me look cool. Sometimes I'd even drink MORE than moderately and actually get a little high off of it and that was even MORE fun! Do you ever experience THAT part of it? That's NOT Biblically supported, you know.

    So I continued through my high school years drinking on the weekends and at the drive-in and whenever I got the chance just being cool and social. Then after graduation I moved away.

    Got my first DUI in the fine state of North Carolina. 17 years old and free as a breeze and just hanging out being cool, and the next thing you know there's blue lights all over my rear view. Spent some time in jail, paid my fines and costs and I was out.

    Time went on and I went to college for a while. Drank there too. Hey, EVERYBODY drank there! Dated girls that drank, hung out at bars, the whole nine yards. Hey I could handle it, right? After all, the scriptures said that as long as I wasn't getting drunk, God was smiling on my habit. Never mind the waste of money, or the poor witness I had become, or those times that, oops, sorry God, I got drunk and embarrassed myself. But hey man, I was COOL. Right?

    Dated a girl back then that went to another school. She drank too. I didn't know it until some years later that she got raped at a frat party because she had a drug sliped into her drink. She wasn't drinking to get drunk, but hey, that happens. She was staying within Biblical guidelines, right?

    Time marched on and I found myself in Michigan. Man, in MI you can find a liquor store on every corner and by this point, liquor was the stuff that scratched the itch, know what I mean? I think it was gin that night and I was driving on a half iced road and lost control of a snow plow and hit a parked car! Had to be the ice, right? I wasn't drunk! That landed me a second DUI (up there it's an OUIL). Been a bunch of years bt there I was again, jail, fines, higher insurance. So I paid my penance to the state and got into AA and got myself right and there was NO WAY I would make THOSE mistakes again!

    More years passed and I went through a lot of changes. Married a woman who drank ... too much, but I couldn't rightly call her down on it could I? I was a drinker too, and look at all the problems I had with it and she seemed to do okay. Well, it wasn't okay. The marriage disintergrated and she left with the two kids, my kids, and still stays bitter to this day.

    So here I was, divorced, free, making all kinds of money, even had good positions at my church up there. Sarted a gospel quartet and everything, but then at night, a lot of nights. It was off to the bar. You see AJ, I just couldn't see that I had a problem. I had a problem that started out as something that I could justify two decades before with scripture, but now IT had become bigger than me.

    So there I was in MI. And I bought some WINE. Not liquor, home made WINE. By now I had a tolerance that would have shocked the medical community and this stufff wasn't even the normal poison I sent coursing through my veins. This was for FUN, and for crying out loud, Jesus may have made something like this!

    That night, I ran a Dodge pick-up truck right into the side of a train. WHAM, BABY! 35-40 niles an hour the accident report said. The front end of my truck was flattened to the same plane as my windsheild. I hit that thing so hard it broke my rear axle. Do youknow how hard an impact that is?

    I woke up in the hospital. Wasn't sure how I got there, but I vaguely remember hearing the windsheild being crinkled around my head as the EMT guys peeled me out of my demolished vehicle. The injury report: Major facial lacerations, five broken ribs, left leg beat so badly I thought the bruise was spilled anesthetic for four days, broken right ankle, broken right femur, torn liver. There's probably more, I can't recall.

    You see AJ, your debating a man who should be dead. For whatever reason, God spared me. He had tried before to tell me. He had allowed me to get caught in my sins. He had allowed my first wife to abandon me and take my kids but I still wouldn't listen. So he threw me up against 40 tons of steel so that I was squashed like a bug before I could get a clue that I had a real problem, a problem that started with a scriptural support when I was a teen. Just because I could remedy my problem through logic, didn't mean that for me it was not a sin.

    I didn't mean to become an alcoholic. Shoot, some studies say I was BORN this way. I started out with moderate drinking because I felt that it was OKAY. For me, it wasn't.

    So here I am now, the Ancient Mariner of the Baptist Board and whenever I catch the eye of a new wedding guest, I am compelled to tell my story. If I did not have this position, I would not have ever looked at this topic. God let me live, and God led me to this site that is a CHRISTIAN MINISTRY and I think the two are intertwined.

    So don't think that this topic will survive long. You can call me a little biased against the subject.

    Now, invariably, the next post will say, "But we're talking about MODERATE drinking!" I don't care. Somewhere out there on the internet, some teenager may have just made a pageload that brought them to this story, and if it saves their record, their marriage or their life by my refuting you, then it's all worth it.

    So you asked me if I know better than the people back in Biblical times? AJ, Christ who loves me would not have handed me any wine.
     
  20. scooby

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    Wow, Clint you are right, you by all rights should be dead. God definitely spared you. I don't support the assertion that the wine Jesus made at the wedding was fermented wine. I never have. I know Jesus would not give man a little of something that could cause addiction and confuse his thinking. I know a lot of you out there will say that God gave us all sorts of things that people are addicted to, ex. food, nature (fishing, hunting, etc.), the list goes on. But these things do not affect one's clear thinking and judgement process. I really didn't expect any responses to my post since I put the disclaimer there at the bottom after I had learned that this topic had been driven into the ground. Hopefully, my next topic will be something fresh.
     

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