Skip to comments.Christians and alcoholic beverages.
Posted on 12/19/2011 9:39:11 PM PST by LouAvul
The church I belong to, some drink alcoholic beverages and some don't. It's apparantly one of those things that if you do, you just don't discuss it. Our former minister (he later told me) actually made his own wine. But he only told me that after he quit making his own wine.
Throughout the Patriarchal and Mosaical Ages God approved of alcohol consumption. He even recommended it (if you believe the Bible to be inspired). For example, Deuteronomy 14:26. Or, Proverbs 31:6.
The prohibition in the Old Testament is concerning drunkenness. (Cf Proverbs 23:29ff)
Jesus lived during the Mosaical Age, so it's logical to assume he drank alcoholic beverages. It was a perfectly natural thing.
In the New Testament, there is no condemnation of alcohol consumption. There is, however, condemnation of drunkenness. Again, anybody who has spent much time around drunks knows the difference.
Anyway, the reason I ask your opinion is because I always assumed it was condemned in the Bible. I think I may have been wrong. What do you think?
God invented alcohol so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.
I always assumed it was condemned in the Bible
why? Don’t you know communion was originally WINE and bread? Some churches still use wine.
AFAIK (and I have read the Bible straight through, as well as Gospels many times), there is no general condemnation of “drinking”.
Personally, I don’t like it. I think it tastes God-awful. And I’m less than enamored of the idea of getting drunk, as so many these days seem to be. Not only pathetic but boring. “Parties” have become nothing more than drunken orgies, period, with nothing else to do.
To serve God you should avoid things that distract you from doing God's will. And alcohol would do that. It is about limiting those things in your life that can take you away from the will of God and serving Him. Can you serve God better clear minded? Obviously. Because we serve God's kingdom daily we should be of sober mind daily.
Secondly when you gave your life to Christ you made a covenant with Him to have Christ as your example. Christ wasn't a liar, used profanity or a drunkard, neither should His children be.
My thoughts anyway.
You were wrong. Drunkenness is the issue. Not alcohol.
Thinking is one thing. Proving from scripture is another.
There is no biblical proscription against alcohol. If you do a word study, there is a greek word for unfermented wine, and fermented wine. When Jesus turned the water to wine, the original greek makes it clear it was the fermented variety.
For those who don’t think so, remember when the comment was made about “saving the good wine for last”? It would make no difference if ti were not fermented.
Yes, it’s a sin to get drunk. It’s also a sin to have unrighteous anger. But there is a righteous anger. The thing is -— this takes judgement and responsibility. It’s easier for people to just make a rule.
This being said, if you cause you brother to fall, (even if you don’t get drunk) then it’s a sin. So if your drinking affects others to drink too much, you are wrong, even more so than are they.
Drunkenness however, is a sin. Booze didn't work out too good for Noah or Lot.
I like a glass of Chaucer's mead now and again, but I am too cheap to buy it.
Christ turned water into wine after the wedding party ran out of wine. Thats a lot of wine to go through if the brides father had been storing away for his daughters wedding.
What better opportunity for Christ to condemn the consumption of alcohol? He not only consumed wine, He created wine.
I'll bet it was the greatest wine these wedding guests had ever tasted.
Some Christians believe alcohol consumption is a sin, but I believe your opinion is correct. I don’t know of anything in the Bible that condemns alcohol consumption. However, I would not drink in front of any Christian who was having trouble dealing with alcohol. For example, one of my Christian friends was an alcoholic. In no way would I risk making him stumble by placing the temptation in front of him. So it’s really more complex than simply whether to drink or not. Not only that, but if Christ’s teachings are relevant to alcohol, wouldn’t he likely say even the desire to be drunk is a sin whether or not one gets drunk?
The question to ask yourself is...
What was Jesus’ first miracle.
The answer should send you down the right path.
Some suffer from the Bourbon-ic Plague...
Tea-Totaller’s won’t drink...Tea...
Gin...used to remove the seeds from cotton (the seeds are more valuable than the cotton)...
Vino...what Italians drink...
Brandy...specially modified Vino...
Scotch...a person so tight he screws his socks on...
Whisky...makes the fair sex Frisky
Now it’s your turn!
Jesus was cool with it, they called him a “winebibber”
Pick your translation: http://bible.cc/matthew/11-19.htm
I grew up Southern Baptist, still am. And when I was young, every Baptist church had a church covenant, which was an agreement between the members of that church and God. Baptist churches are independent and “associate” together in a convention, so the covenants from church to church would often be different.
One common clause though was that members would not use alcohol as a beverage or sell it for use as a beverage.
We didn’t look down on Christian denominations that allowed drinking. It just wasn’t for us.
However, this stance wasn’t without problems. Occasionally you’d have members that either drank and were thus in violation of the covenant. Or you’d have spouses that were Christian, but wouldn’t join the church because of the covenant.
When we lost the liquor law wars and dry areas became wet, we found that our kids couldn’t work in grocery stores or restaurants and honor that covenant. It was at that point that many if not most baptist churches started dropping that clause.
We acknowledged that Jesus drank wine and that it was almost certainly alcoholic. Though it’s thought that wine of the time was not as strong as wine today.
Scripture even records that Jesus was accused of being a “winebibber and a glutton” Mat 11:19, Luk 7:34
Scripture likewise condemns gluttony, but not eating.
Christ’s first miracle was making wine. Good wine. Under conditions where “grape juice” would have gotten Him run out, not commended.
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 1 Timothy 5:23(NIV)
No. That's incorrect. The only word used is oinos.
That's used for fermented and unfermented fruit of the vine.
Incredibly, non-alcoholic beverages are a recent invention, in a way. In ancient times, fruit drinks fermented/spoiled spontaneously, and one would dare drink from much of the available water supplies. Thus, people would ferment their beverages under controlled circumstances, and use the alcoholic drinks to sanitize the water. Hence, the bible advises, “Drink no longer (pure) water, but use a little wine (in it) for thy stomach’s sake, and for thy infirmities.” (1 Tim 5:23); Non-alcoholic beverages meant primarily milk and, when sanitation conditions improved, water.
Only in 1875 did Thomas Bramwell Welch, son of a prominent prohibitionist minister, invent a process for pasteurizing grape juice to inhibit it from turning into wine. Thus was created the notion of a “soft drink,” containing no alcohol, in contrast to a “hard drink,” containing extra alcohol.
Evangelical Christians acknowledge that we should refrain from being drunk. Since it is different for everyone, some can drink very little and become drunk while others can drink more before they become drunk. To eliminate this problem, one should not encourage people to start drinking (ala lead them down the road to sin) thru drinking. Granted I can hold a beer in my hand and not be drunk but I may encourage a fellow Christian to drink and think he can handle the alcohol but he is actually on the way to being drunk. Guidance is to eliminate the guess work by forgoing alcohol all together. Note this is a guidance. Most EC just don’t drink thus eliminate the possibility of being drunk or leading a fellow EC down the act of getting drunk.
No such thing as “unfermented wine.” In fact, even “grape juice” is a modern invention (!) (See my previous post in this thread.)
I once heard of a church that thought bowling was wrong. They probably made an association with alcohol being served in the bowling alley, but they didn’t draw the line at drunkeness or even at alcohol. They drew the line at bowling. So of course they ended up calling a pastor who loved to bowl.
One day the pastor was two towns away and thought nobody would see him. Of course someone did see him and reported it to the deacons, who promptly fired him.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.~1 Timothy 5:23
Agreed. Ever try Creekside Cellars in Evergreen? Very nice.
I thought no one was going to get it straight on both non alcoholic ‘grape’ juice and water sanitizing.
It’s also the same reason the Western expansion in this country in many places followed Johnny Appleseed’s orchards, the apples were used mostly for cider, and therefore safe water.
Closer to home, I was at a church down near Baton Rouge and they had a guest youth pastor come speak on the evils of Dungeons and Dragons and Rock music. He claimed the Dungeons and Dragons game was satanic but didn’t say why.
He said Rock Music was satanic too, even Christian rock. His argument was that the form of music was evil. He claimed that they had played rock music at dinner time and fed dogs, and then one day, they played rock music and didn’t feed the dogs and the dogs ate each other.
LOL, well duh. If you establish Mozart as the dinner bell and then you play Mozart and don’t feed the dogs, they are probably going to become angry at each other too.
It wasn’t a case of Christian Rock being satanic, it’s a case of not properly understanding scientific method and control groups.
The D&D is a little more interesting though. I moved to Nashville and again heard a youth pastor claiming D&D was satanic and not saying why. This time though I asked why, stating that I had played the game and had not felt any warnings from the spirit that I was in danger.
The guy thought for a minute and came back with an intelligent reply. He said it was the role playing nature of the game. That the role playing was being used to introduce people to demonology and eventually demon worship.
Now I don’t know anyone who did that, but I can see that the role playing nature could be used to teach any number of things that are evil. The role playing nature could also be used to teach Christian disciplines and any number of things that are good.
Again, it’s not that role playing games are evil, it’s how it’s used. A gun can be used for evil or for good. Doesn’t make the gun evil.
Anytime you find four Episcopalians, you will always find a fifth.
Oh man, that’s good.
In fact, grape juice without alcohol was invented By Mr. Welch in about 1920 or so, so any church celebrating communion before then used wine.
There is nothing in the New Testament that prohibits one from taking a drink as long as you don’t get drunk and you don’t cause someone else to stumble or offend them . (see Romans chapter 14)
It is for this stumble and offend part that some churches say do not drink .
In Pauls letters to Timothy he says
1Ti 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
If it were a sin for him to drink it Paul would not have told him to do so . (take into account that water sanitation back then is not what it is today and we don’t know in what situation he was in to be told this )
I buy wine every once in a while to cook fancy dishes and what I don’t use after opening either ends up turning to vinegar or getting dumped down the drain . I can’t stand the taste of any drink and I am blessed that neither can anyone in my family . If anyone in my house was prone to drinking I would never bring it into my house even for cooking as I have seen to many peoples lives ruined from drinking .
The admonition found throughout Scripture is for sobriety.
That nowtithstanding those grieving are to be offered strong drink; someting that can be reasonably interpreted to be liquor.
Christ made water into not any sort of rot-gut: but good wine.
Finally, it can be established that according to James its “not what goes into a man that defiles what comes out that is defiling.”
If one is arguing out of James, just who is being defiled, i.e., the listener or the presenter?
| Question: Does "wine" in the Bible mean "grape juice"?
Answer: Prohibitionists object saying, "But how do you know that the original Hebrew and Greek words mean fermented wine? Certain historians say the wine used was nothing more than molasses that this grape drink was nonintoxicating and the ordinary drink of people in Christs time."
Here is the truth about this false idea!
There are thirteen original Hebrew and Greek words for "wine" in our English Bible. How can we know which one means fermented wine? To find the answer, do not go to Aristotle or Pliny, but go to the Bible itself. By comparing its usage, the scriptural meaning of wine can be defined.
One of the original Hebrew words for wine is "yayin." This word is first used in Genesis 9:21 where Noah "drank of the wine and was drunken." This wine caused drunkenness! Was it just grape juice or was it molasses?
In Genesis 14:18 we read of Melchizedek Jesus Christ who "brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God." God Himself here gave wine to Abraham. And again, the original Hebrew word was "yayin" which always means fermented wine. This same Hebrew word is used in Amos 9:14 speaking of the coming Millennium where the people will "plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof." They will drink the same kind of wine that Noah drank and became drunk by overindulgence.
In the New Testament, one original Greek word for wine is oinos. Proof that it is alcoholic is given in the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritan poured oil and wine on the mans wounds (Luke 10:34), showing that the wine had enough alcoholic content to be used as an antiseptic. Would you pour grape juice or molasses on a wound?
The Greek word oinos is also used in John 2 where Jesus turned water into wine by a divine miracle. It is used in 1 Timothy 5:23, the command of Paul, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thine often infirmities." This Greek word is also used in Ephesians 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess."
In ancient times it was impossible to preserve grape juice. Except for a short season the "fruit of the vine" was either made into a thick molasses or into wine. Check Hastings Bible Dictionary for the full proof.
See my tag line :>)
The “prohibition” is against unseemlyness; its so easy to argue out of James that one’s faith is dead w/out works.
Obviously if one is a drunken bastard: there’ll be a hard time witnessing the gospel.
For such reason most evangelists will be tee-totalers.
Assume? Of course he drank wine. He even made the stuff by miracle and gave it out to people.
Prohobitions against drinking alchoholic beverages are unscriptural. There are numerous passages that reprove drunkenness, but none that prohibit alchohol for laymen or deacons, only elders.
The Bible is emphatic that man is not to add to Scripture, i.e., to make up his own laws that are contrary to Scripture. Not only in the New Testament, but throughout the Old Testament we see this illustrated. God makes it incredibly clear that it is his law we are to obey, and our civil laws are to be compatible with Scripture.
Theologically the prohibition on drunkenness is related to the fact that the person who is drunk loses control of his inhibitions; the drink is controlling his mind and actions. A person who is drunk is unable to prevent themselves from speaking and acting contrary to Scripture. That situation is inconsistent with the Holy Spirit which dwells within believers, as it guides their thoughts, feelings and actions towards obedience to the Word of God and it gives them help in overcoming temptation. The habitual drunkard would really have to question their own salvation, i.e., whether the Holy Spirit dwelled within them, if they are unable to control their consumption of alcohol. Drunkenness, like all other sinful behavior, contradicts the Christian walk. When I habitually engage in a sinful behavior, I know that I have wandered off the straight and narrow path to salvation and I need to get right with God.
The Arminian errors came to pervade many protestant denominations; in America in the 1800’s this resulted in the roots of prohibition. Some women who were wealthy and had presumably too much time on their hands helped to foster the prohibition movement. The concept of prohibition spread to women throughout society and in many congregations; it became very popular. It’s easy to see how they would see habitually drunk lower class men as a problem for society, but they failed to understand that the drunkenness was a symptom, not a root cause. Many men also bought into the idea of prohibition, to be sure, but it was a movement largely springing from the powerful influence of society women.
How should this erroneous thinking been avoided ? Teaching elders, or pastors, are clearly defined in the Bible as men, not women. Therefore the first error was when pastors started listening to popular opinion regarding correct interpretation of Scripture. Preachers should have spoken out againts it and used church discipline to stop people from publicly spreading false teachings. Public drunkenness was addressed in civil law all over America in those days and these laws should simply have been continued to be used. While the “society ladies” could have focused their efforts on moderation, they instead haughtily thought themselves able to cure the problem of drunkenness completely, thinking that it was the alcohol itself that was the problem. They failed to see that the only way sinful behavior in man is restrained is when a person is born again of water and the Spirit, i.e., they convert; they come to God through belief in Jesus Christ. Making alcohol unavailable to the unbeliever who still continues to reject God offers no restraint to their sinful tendencies.
The fact that prohibition was misguided was born out by the the rise of bootlegging and speakeasies and made the crime syndicates that operated them much larger businesses - and more powerful - in America than they had before prohibition.
It is very important to not interpret the Bible as to add to Biblical law, to create additional laws of our own devices and present them as divinely inspired. It never works out well. Teaching elders have a duty to preach the true Gospel, all elders have the duty to use Church discipline in cases of heresy and the whole Church has a duty to stand against sin and testify to the Gospel.
>> To serve God you should avoid things that distract you from doing God’s will. And alcohol would do that. <<
Too much stress can also distract you from God’s will, and make you depressed or bipolar. A little bit of wine with dinner or a shot of rum with your bedtime cocoa can be good for you, spiritually. DRUNKENESS is sinful; drinking isn’t.
Excellent word study.
I’m not going to dispute your assertion; what I will dispute is that the Lord’s Supper “require” wine.
I see no reason why brandy couldn’t be used - even for pre-schoolers who’ve accepted the doctringe of the Gospel - instead of grape-juice (except for the fallibleness of Man).
I’m not going to argue against whatever New Testament practices and according to New Testament beliefs by like-minded congregations of New Testament doctrines may exist.
There’s an old joke far older than me, which I learned from Baptists, not Catholics:
What’s the difference between when Baptists and Catholics meet in a liquor store? The Catholics wave to each other.
It is entirely reasonable to understand that the usages of the word translated “wine” in the Bible may or may not indicate that the substance being described is fermented. Some of us choose to be more strict in our interpretation and choose to abstain from alcohol. But it is also understandable that others will choose to impose a modern meaning on an ancient word and will therefore not choose to abstain from alcohol.
This is one of those times that both extremes can be equally correct.
The issue is known as Christian Liberty.
Christians can get stoned w/out ramifications; the Law has been fullfilled.
The ‘problem’ is when non-Christians see gentiles behaving in a manner that is percieved as being uncouth’.
ALL gentiles should be aware of being seen as behaving as uncouth; this is NO different than what is portrayed to Peter in Acts.
I agree with your theological point, but your source makes some weird errors. Molasses has nothing whatsoever to do with wine, except that they can ferment also. Molasses is made from sugar beets or sugar cane, is far too sweet and thick to drink (thicker than honey, by far), and is the source for the alcohol in rum.
HOKAY nevermind, sorta: Apparently sometimes a thick, gooey product of figs, grapes, dates or carob is translated as “molasses.” I still can’t believe anyone insisting that ouinos would be translated as “molasses,” but then that’s your source’s point.
What was Jesus' first miracle? He made wine at the Wedding of Cana. He could have given a lecture on the evils of drinking. But, instead, he kept the party going!
I imagine He first verified an adequate number of designated drivers.
I’ve struggled with this, but Romans 14 helps a lot with this issue. Early Christians struggled with the idea that “meat sold in the shambles,” or offered to idols should not be eaten. But Paul says that there is nothing unclean of itself, and God gives us all things richly to enjoy. The idol that the meat was offered to wasn’t real, so you aren’t worshipping the idol by eating its sacrifice.
Does a man have faith in eating it? That’s great! Praise God for His blessings and eat it with a clean conscience. Does a man not have faith? That’s great as well! Glorify God and don’t eat it, keeping a clean conscience. But the man with liberty shouldn’t flaunt it before his brother, lest he stumble. And the man who doesn’t eat shouldn’t judge his brother for his liberty in Christ.
Then Paul makes the statement, “it is good neither to eat flesh, nor to DRINK WINE, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth...” Is it wrong to eat meat? Of course not. And why would a brother be upset with your drinking of grape juice? Therefore one has to supposed he is actually talking of fermented wine. Is it wrong then to drink wine? Of course not. But if your liberty causes someone to stumble, you sin against them and God.
So is it sin for a Christian to drink alcohol? NO, if he doesn’t abuse his liberty in Christ and drinks in moderation, have full control over his faculties.
Is it a sin for a Christian to drink alcohol? YES, if he isn’t persuaded that it isn’t prohibited by Scripture, and hurts his conscience and Spiritual walk with God by doing so. Because “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
In fact it is my intent to abstain from the nonsense presented by your camp.
I’ll abstain when when your eyes erupt fluid violantly and ears bleed copiously...
Then, and only then, will I abstain.