Drinking or Drunkenness?

Sorry, but I couldn’t help myself in posting (***There was an article linked here, but I decided to remove it, primarily because of the other content on the site and the poor title choice of the article***).

I want to point out that I don’t endorse this particular church, or their broader beliefs. However, I thought this article was pretty good and to the point. I think too many times people think they need to “help God out” by adding in some rules that he didn’t actually give us.

In reality, God gave us all the info we needed, and we don’t need to forget the condemnation Jesus brought against the Pharisees for “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

***EDIT***
Well, it’s October 4, about 5 months since I wrote this article. If you decide to read the comments, you can see that a lot has been discussed. I thought I’d write a follow-up in here, just in case someone reads this, but doesn’t take the time to read every comment.

If you fall into that group and skim through this thread without a thorough reading, please don’t rush to any conclusions about those who have posted. Several of us adjusted our responses somewhat by the end of the discussion. I, for one, came away from it with a more conservative view than the one I started with. In hindsight, I wish I had approached this topic in a better manner. My initial post here, and some of my first comments were way too casual and did not use enough scripture.

So if you decide to read through some of this thread, let me again ask that you not jump to any conclusions about the people who posted on here or their positions, unless you are willing to carefully read the entire discussion. I’ve decided to leave the post on here, in case it is helpful to someone at some point. I’ve tried to discourage any further comments on this thread, but if you feel the need to add something you can. I may or may not approve it.

Thanks.

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96 thoughts on “Drinking or Drunkenness?”

  1. “Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we prohibit
    and abolish women? The sun, moon and the stars have been
    worshipped; shall we pluck them from the sky?” Martin Luther.

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  2. Great article, thanks for the link. Its so amazing to me how drinking is demonized by those in the church yet is something that we have scriptural evidence that Jesus did. After all, why would they call him a drunkard if he had never drank? Anyhow there is a lot of scripture that can be used to back up that alcohol by itself is not sinful. It does bother me that when those in the church choose to voice this opinon they are all but shunned.

    We don’t need to give off even a hint of immorality, but to me that doesn’t mean not drinking. It does mean not getting buzzed at the local bar. I have had a drink with my meal in at a business diner and had it lead to biblical discussion. This was a good thing and at least opened someone’s mind to the fact that they ought to check out just what the bible says and not take other’s word for it.

    Alcohol can be abused by some people, some have a harder time keeping it in moderation that others. I think we are all challenged to know our own weakness and act accordingly.

    Personally nothing goes better with good Mexican food than a nice Margerita or Corna. I love a Coors Light or Coke and Jim Beam with my BBQ. And nothing quenches the fire of Hot wings like a cold beer (again I like Coors light). That’s about all the food that I can think of off my head that is really accented by an alcoholic drink.

    I think we need more discussion on this issue. The status quo won’t change until we do, and people will continue until someone ‘finds and proclaims the truth’ 😉

    My name’s Matt, I’m a Christian, and I drink. Will you join me?

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  3. Matt: While I do not believe that someone who takes a drink has committed a sin in and of itself, I do think there is sufficient scripture to indicate that it is the better part of judgement to abstain from the practice. Banquetings and revellings are condemned in the new teastament, which indicates that social drinking and partying is sinful. We are also told to abstain from the very appearance of evil which means we should consider the effects of our actions on others. Most people I know, whether religious or not, consider drinking a worldly vice. This in and of itself is enough to keep a christian from drinking. Our influence is easily damaged and hard to repair. There are plenty of other beverages to choose from so there is no real need to use an alcoholic beverage with a meal. While I agree passages have been misused on this subject to condemn anyone who has ever taken a drink for any reason, drunkenness is certainly condemned and we must therefore be very careful in this area and not use our liberty as an occasion to sin, but consider one another and provoke to love and good works. The bottom line is that while I don’t believe the bible condemns one who takes a drink for medicinal purposes or who has it with a meal when nothing else is available, I do believe it should be avoided if at all possible so as not to hurt our influence or give cause for one to accuse us of riotous behavior.

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  4. Mr. O,

    Seems like we agree on the first point that a drink in and of itself isn’t a sin, that’s a good starting point. Lets move on to the idea that all drinking be it social, private or whatever should be avoided by the Christian. We are told to be immitators of Christ. We know that He commited no sin. Then why should we avoid something He did. He was falsely chastized by the religous elite for drinking and eating with sinners. What more could this mean or imply that He was socially drinking with the outcast of society? Also His first miricale turning the water into “new wine” for a wedding party? How can bananqueting be wrong if that’s just what Jesus was doing at the begining of His ministry? I can’t see Jesus making wine for people to drink if it wasn’t ok, how could he take part in their sin?
    We know that letting anything control us other than God is wrong. Being drunk is wrong no question about it. But didn’t Paul paint a pretty good picture that your conscience should be your guide, similar to meat offered to idols?

    You stated that “I do believe it should be avoided if at all possible so as not to hurt our influence…” IMO the reason that it could hurt our infuence is because it has been incorrectly preached for so long that any alcohol is a sin. The worldy even think that the bible teaches that. This is why we must confront the wrong teachers and try to teach those that do not know what the bible actually says on the matter. The few chances I have had to talk to non Christians about this came out of them seeing me with a drink.

    Please forgive my grammer and spelling as it is early and the Lazy Side is strong in the morning. Also thank you for your comments, I’d like to continue the discussion as you don’t here many commenting on this issue.

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  5. Interesting comments…

    I think I sit somewhere between these last two points. When people bring up the idea of foul language, and how do we know which words we shouldn’t say, I always look at society. We know which words, phrases, or gestures are inappropriate in our society, and we should live accordingly.

    I think drinking fits into this category. While I agree with Matt that there shouldn’t be such a stigma about this practice, there unfortunately still is among most religious people in our country, or at least in the South. As you can see from some of the comments above, other countries don’t view drinking alcohol in the same way that some Americans do.

    But since many of the people we come into contact with here do have an issue with it, I think we have to be careful of our influence. Though I would defend a Christian’s right to drink, I still think it is wiser to abstain, or at least to be careful with doing it in public. I don’t believe it’s wrong to do so, but I think it can be a stumbling block for others.

    Typically, there are less obtrusive and offensive ways to discuss the topic than to let our actions be an icebreaker. I think we have to be very careful of that, considering passages like Rom 14 and 1 Cor 8.

    Great discussion though…

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  6. Matt, I agree that we are to be imitators of Christ, but we cnnot prove that Christ did drink intoxicating beverages any more than we can prove He didn’t. The same greek word is typically used for fermented and unfermented grape juice. Therefore, I don’t think we can be dogmatic either way based on the majority of the scripture in the new testament. However, Galations 5 condemns “revellings and such like” which would certainly seem to include the typical bar or party scene. While I personally believe that a glass of wine with a meal is ok, I don’t drink one. Paul told the Romans that there was nothing wrong with eating meat, but if it was a problem for others then he wouldn’t ever eat anymore meat. I think we have to view drinking the same way. Yes, there should be dialog about the subject as we all strive to understand it properly, but since it is such a volatile issue with such strong feelings, we should not do anything that would harm our influence or cause someone else to stumble. Further, there are a lot of older men in the Church that have studied this issue a long time that I have a lot of respect for that believe any drinking would be wrong. This too makes me cautious, as someone with wisdom and a lot of years of study may understand something more clearly than I. Also, I can live without drinking. I have many choices of beverage available to me, so there is no need to have an alcoholic beverage with my meal. What is the benefit in engaging in something that can do so much potential harm to me or to others, both physically and spiritually, if it is not necessary?
    There is another passage in the new testament that condemns banqueting, which I understand to be a drinking party, but I will have to get back to you on that, because I can’t recall it right now. Also, Proverbs 23 talks about lingering long at wine and the dangers of it. Doesn’t common sense tell us that it would be best to avoid drinking?

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  7. I will say this, however; those who believe one drink is wrong, should also realize that not everyone views it that way. So if they see a fellow Christian drinking alcohol, I think it’s also their responsibility to not judge so harshy – to still think the best of them. After all, we are told to “believe all things.”

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  8. Nate: Iwould agree that we should not jump to conclusions, but as Paul told Timothy, “let no man dispise thy youth”, so we are to live above reproach as much as possible. It is our responsibility to live in such a way as to positively influence others. Something might not be a sin, but it doesn’t mean we should do it. Even though someone might be mistaken in their view of this subject, common sense tells us that they are going to have a negative impression of us if they see us drinking alcohol. How are we positively influencing anyone through the practice of imbibing? While I don’t think I can condemn someone for taking a drink, neither can I encourage someone to do it. It is at best a questionalble practice, and unless taken for medicinal purposes (which would be a very small amount) it really accomplishes no purpose other than self gratification. What is the point? Do you really want to chance encouraging someone to do something that so many people have a problem with controlling? It is somewhat like the tounge. James says “let your yea be yea and your nay be nay lest you fall into condemnation” in the 5th chapter. Extraneous speech is to be avoided so that you don’t accidentally say something wrong. How does drinking promote spirituality? Does it bring you closer to Christ? The dangers seem to outweigh the benefits.

    Understand, I’m not saying that anyone who takes a drink has necessarily sinned. What I am saying is that it is at best poor judgement to do so when there are so many other things we can choose to drink.

    We can talk about this more when we see each other if you like, but I think I would be very cautious about doing anything to lend approval or encouragement to drinking alcohol.

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  9. No, I agree with you. As you eluded to, during Biblical times, alcoholic drinks were often consumed because there was no other choice – they couldn’t keep fruit juice from fermenting, water was sometimes polluted or scarce, and fresh milk wasn’t always available.

    That’s much different than today’s culture. While some people drink it purely for the flavor, it’s often used in order to achieve a “buzz” or just get flat out drunk.

    So I agree with your argument: while we may have the liberty to do it, it might be in everyone’s best interest to forgo that freedom.

    I just wish people would approach it from that standpoint instead of creating “laws” that aren’t really there. That’s just as dangerous as the abuse of alcohol.

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  10. I totally agree with you. Twisting the scripture is no way to prove something. In fact, it’s not just dangerous, but it is wrong.

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  11. I won’t belabor this point, but after a great discussion with Josh the other night I am now more convinced than ever that “one drink” can be condemned by a process of elimination.

    When Paul tells the Thessalonians to “abstain from every appearance of evil” is he not telling them that practices which can not be supported wholeheartedly CAN be condemned? James and Paul both speak of the sin of doubt. Matt you seem to have no doubt about this subject, but you have provided little scriptural support.

    Mr. Owens clearly expresses doubt, and well he should, because his moral standard is Romans 14 where Paul teaches that is is better not to do something that might be OK for the sake of our brother’s conscience or our own for that matter. Nathan used this expression to summarize his position, “…I still think it is wiser to abstain…” Nathan, you are quoting 1 Thess. 5:22.

    If one does not abstain from perceived evil or worldly practices they destroy their influence for Christ which is clearly sin. The word worldliness covers a vast multitude of practices that do not need to be explicitly condemned to put one’s soul in danger. You know this as you cited the example of profanity,

    “We know which words, phrases, or gestures are inappropriate in our society, and we should live accordingly.”

    Great point. Who better to define worldliness than the world. Consider also the example of smoking and ask yourself if you would feel comfortable holding a beer or cigarette in your hand at the return of Christ? Could you offer one of these worldly vices to our LORD if He graced your home?

    Side note: Was the Passover wine alcoholic? Absolutely not! It would not have been properly prepared as yeast is required to cause fermentation and yeast is also strictly forbidden during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

    Notice that wise men treated drinking wine like Jesus treated adultery. In Prov. 23:29-35, the writer’s conclusion was not – drink in moderation. His conclusion was not even that drunkenness was a sin. In verse 31 the writer concludes that one ought not even LOOK at wine as it appears red and alluring in the cup. Do you suppose he is hinting at the temptation you may experience to take a drink?

    In response to the very first comment, who cares what they do in any country on earth? We ought to be interested in what they will be doing in Heaven.

    I am only even responding to this for the love that I have for you, Nathan, and your brother Josh. I hope that you know that, and I hope that will see in this issue that when something is dangerous it is sin. That is the position that you would take on any other religious issue.

    Mr. Owens your comments were very wise and I hope that I supported the good arguments that you made.

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  12. Tadd,
    I appreciate your comments on this subject. As I have talked with Josh, I don’t think there is any disagreement with what you are saying. I think what causes Josh some unease is when passages are used incorrectly to prove what you are stating. It may require yeast to hasten the fermentation process, but natural grape juice will naturally ferment over time if left unsealed or unrefreigerated. There have been many congregations in this country which used homemade wine as the element in the Lord’s Supper in years past as they had no way to preservr grape juice. I do not believe this was sinful, but expedient. I do not see the necessity if doing that today, but I don’t think I could call it sinful. Poor judgement maybe, but not sinful. To assume that every time the word wine is used assumes that it is only grape juice doesn’t seem to fit the context of all the passages that deal with it, yet that is often what is claimed in sermons and in discussions. This is much like the argument that denominations make about numerous issurs– it just isn’t logical.

    Now I am not advocating drinking. I think plenty of passages indicate that a Christian has no business taking a drink. However, I think (and I believe what Josh is trying to say) is that we have got to be careful about condemning “one drink” as being a sin. I think it depends on the situation. For example, social srinking would be wrong. I Peter 4 condemns revellings, banquetings, AND SUCH LIKE”. However medicinal use seems to be allowed as Paul told Timothy to take some for that purpose.

    I know this is an emotional subject, and there are many who may disagree with my view on this. I think the real issue is in saying what the bible says and not adding to or taking from it.

    I would repeat, I don’t think a Christian should take a drink in our circumstances today, because of influence and the fact that there is no need for it.

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  13. I don’t really care about the technical or scientific arguments that might be made because drinking is worldly. You admit that when you continually assert that you don’t think a Christian should partake, or that you wouldn’t partake yourself. You hesitate to be associated with drinking because you know that it would jeopardize your sanctity and your “set-apartness” If it is worldly, it is condemnable. James 1:27 and innumerable passages condemn being like the world.

    Look at what you said: “I think plenty of passages indicate that a Christian has no business taking a drink.” A drink, is singular. You are condemning one drink. Why can’t I? And the next person you show me who uses alcohol as medicine will be the first. I can’t worry about a time when alcohol might have been used in such a way. I have to worry about now and if scriptural logic says you shouldn’t do a thing then it is SINFUL to do it.

    You are continually referring to passages that defeat your logic. When Gal. 5:21 says, “and such like,” that says to me that Paul didn’t complete his list. Was that phrase not included to imply that we should condemn all similar practices? Is this not a fair interpretation? This is what you would say it means in every other moral debate.

    Tell me whether or not you believe drinking is worldly.

    Tell me which passage I used incorrectly.

    Tell me why the Proverb writer said not to look upon the wine in the cup.

    Tell me how many people are going to be in Heaven because of poor judgment.

    Why do you stumble to condemn one drink? Would you not condemn one date with another man’s wife so long as they did not fornicate? After all, dating is not condemned, only lust and fornication. How about one kiss? How about one marijuana cigarette? After all, it has proven medicinal value. When you chldren first began to go out with friends was your advice, “Don’t drink, TOO MUCH!”

    If you can’t draw the line at one drink, where can you? People need to know because souls are at stake.

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  14. Sorry, I’ve been away for awhile, and am only just now able to comment.

    Tadd, I think you have some good points, but I’m afraid that for us to condemn even one drink treads perilously close to the mistakes that the Pharisees were making in the first century. In their effort to keep people from breaking God’s laws, they set fences around them. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself, the problem was that they began to teach those extra rules with the same level of importance as the laws God had given them.

    If we plan to teach people that any level of alcohol is wrong, then NyQuil needs to be on that list as well. I understand your reluctance to look at scientific and historical arguments, since we only need the Bible to teach us what’s proper. But in some instances, I think scientific and historical data can help us understand what we read in the Bible.

    For instance, some passages tell us not to take wine, while others (like the ones Dad mentioned) tell us we can. Understanding more about the fermenting process and the preserving abilities available at the time can help us greatly understand in which cases wine is ok, and when it’s not.

    Just because the Bible condemns an excess doesn’t mean that that element has no value at all. We’re told that gluttony is sinful, but we obviously can’t condemn one bite of food. We know that murder is wrong, but that doesn’t mean owning a gun is.

    My only point is that it’s very dangerous for us to condemn a particular practice that the Bible doesn’t actually condemn. When I read my Bible, I’ve only seen where drunkenness is condemned. Even though it might be wise to abstain from alcohol completely, I don’t believe we can tell people that any drink at all is wrong.

    Also, I think that using “abstain from every appearance of evil” as a “catch-all” is also dangerous. Some people think that playing cards is too closely associated with gambling. Does that mean no one should ever play Uno? Romans 14 (and 1 Cor 8-10) are there to help us see when our freedoms should be forsaken for someone else’s benefit.

    Paul didn’t teach them that they could never eat meat again – but they certainly weren’t to do it in the presence of one who thought it was wrong. That would have caused them to stumble. And though it’s seldom talked about, don’t forget that drinking wine is another of the issues Paul deals with in Romans 14. If it’s alcoholic wine, why doesn’t he just condemn it outright? And if it’s just grape juice, why should they be careful of causing someone else to stumble?

    I just don’t think that we can logically argue the Bible teaches all drinking is wrong.

    Also, when I was growing up, my parents always encouraged us to never drink at all. But they didn’t try to prove that the Bible taught that. They always used the same arguments that you saw Dad use earlier.

    By the way, I’m glad you’ve weighed in on this — look forward to hearing more from you!

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  15. Nathan,

    If you want to defeat my arguments then you need to address them. And you need to stop condemning the “wisdom of drinking” in all your posts and then backpeddling and saying, “hey, but I can’t say it’s a sin.” Not one person has taken on the issue of whether or not drinking is worldly, nor have they addressed the issue of whether or not worldliness is sin.

    If you do not think that drinking is worldly then admit it publicly because that is the only way that you can avoid contradicting yourself. If you don’t think that drinking is worldly then I will stop debating this issue with you.

    I’m also a little confused. I thought we were talking about alcoholic beverages. I never denied the possibility of a medicinal value in alcohol, but here is where we need to make a moral judgment. Maybe I assume too much, but I believe most people today with a stomach ache reach for Pepto, not wine or a beer. In fact, one sure way to be labeled as an alcoholic would be to say, “Oh, I’m drinking this beer for my stomach ache.” Nyquil and wine is not a apples to apples comparison, and you threw Nyquil out there like it was such a brilliant argument. It would be if medicines were never abused, but you and I both know better. I also find it interesting that you miss some obvious points in the exchange between Paul and Timothy in 1 Tim. 5:23. Timothy was obviously choosing to abstain from wine. Why? I mean, could we say that Paul knew of Timothy’s need better than Timothy? Paul’s recommendation was also very restrictive. Unless you and I have a stomach problem or often infirmities we can not use that passage to support the use of alcohol in our lives.

    By the way, if using 1 Thess. 5:13 as a catch-all is so dangerous then tell me how you use it. I know that your Dad has already explained that he uses the expression “and such like” to condemn social drinking although the Bible does not specifically condemn it. Help me apply those passages better if I am using them incorrectly.

    Your example of UNO doesn’t really count because it is out of context. Can you point to one example of somebody using UNO as an outlet for gambling? Variations of Poker and Blackjack are used all the time to promote gambling and as such, I could support condemning them on the grounds of worldliness.

    The use of food is required to sustain our lives. Wine is not. Can you fire a gun without beginning the process of murder? Can you drink one drink without beginning the process of intoxication?

    Your problem is the same as the Corinthians. You have knowledge, but Paul’s conclusion in 1 Cor. 8-10 was not that it was OK for those who understood the difference between idols and the True God to partake in the foods used in sacrifices of idols. Notice chapter 10 verses 12 – 20. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Verse 14, flee from idolotry. Why? They knew the difference? Verse 20 indicates that they assumed because they knew the difference then they were free to eat of those things, but Paul assures them that is not the case. Romans 14 is dealing with the same issue. Everything mentioned before meat and wine referred to former religious practices. It would be out of context to assume that Paul was referring to just any old meal, and even if he is not the only way to use that passage to support drinking is to say with full conviction that drinking is not worldly.

    And I hate to say this, but when you refer to the parents encouraging you not to drink at all you only reinforce the contradiction of your position. If that is true then they were being just as Pharaisaic as I am.

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  16. Tadd,
    Truly there is wisdom in some of what you say. However, poor judgement is not the same as sin. I believe it is poor judgement for a christian to be a police officer. Why? Because it is often shift work, which would cause one to miss worship on occasions. It also opens the possibility that one might have to use deadly force, which is not something a christian should engage in. Is being a police officer sin? Not in and of itself. See my point? I don’t know where the bible expressly condemns one drink. Is it wise? No, and additionally I believe our influence would be damaged thru the consumption of alcohol in a social setting. I don’t think anyone in this discussion is condoning drinking. What I am saying is that if we are going to speak where the bible speaks, then we must condemn drunkenness. The arguments that are normally made that “if it takes 10 drinks to get one drunk, and you have one drink then you are a 10th of the way drunk, so it is sin”, would have to be applied to gluttony also if we are going to be consistant. Is it pharaseeacal to say drunkeness is a sin, drinking parties are a sin, and stop there? Is it wrong to point out where poor judgement is a dangerous thing?

    Again, I am not advocating anyone taking a drink. There are instances (although rare) where someone with stomach trouble is advised by a doctor to take a small drink of wine with an evening meal in order to help digestion. How is this unlike Paul telling Timothy to do the same thing? If one drink=sin, then paul told Timothy to sin, which is certainly out of character for Paul. If it was not sinful for Timothy to use a drink for medicinal purposes, then we can’t say that any drink of alcohol is sin.

    The real argument is not over whether or not a Christian should drink, rather the passages and arguments used to condemn drinking. No rational Christian is going to advise anyone to drink, it is at best poor judgement, and there is no reason for us to use alcohol today (unless in a medicinal form). Let’s just all make sure that we look honestly at what the new testament has to say on this and all other issues.

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  17. Tadd,
    One other point. Not everything associated with the world is sin. Many things in and of themselves would be wholesome activities, but are made sin in how they are used. There have been many in past years who condemned any card playing as sinful, because it is worldly. Movies and TV have been condemned for the same reason. Higher education is condemned by some for the same reasons. I submit to you that things of the world aren’t necessarily sinful, and that poor judgement and sin are not the same thing. As far as how many won’t get to heaven because of poor judgement, let me say this: All who don’t make it to heaven will have made a poor choice in not obeying the gospel, but I believe ther are poor decisions we make all the time that don’t necessarily affect our salvation. As we mature, hopefully we make better judgements, but I don’t think poor judgement in and of itself is a sin.

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  18. My final post on the subject.

    My attack on poor judgment was in the way that you used it to explain the use of alcohol in observance of the Lord’s Supper. I questioned it because to imply something is spiritually “poor judgment” gives me the impression that one would either have to correct the practice or face the possibility of judgment from God.

    I don’t think that the example of a police officer makes a parallel and reinforcing argument for drinking. If someone disagrees, by all means, respond.

    The only passage that you can present that even makes alcohol use a possibility is 1 Tim. 5:23 and there are stipulations that one would have to meet. However, no argument beyond the argument of worldliness is necessary because worldliness is sin – unless we do not agree drinking is worldly. No one has answered that question yet. Strange. I ask about the worldliness of alcohol and I get examples of card playing, movies, television and even higher education, but no stand on which kingdom (darkness or light) one drink would fit into.

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  19. Tadd,

    I guess I thought that your worldliness question had been answered. But let me try to explain it further:

    Is drinking alcohol worldly? I guess it depends on how you’re looking at worldliness. Are you saying that anything associated with the world is wrong? Football is worldly, so is it wrong? If it were to become someone’s “idol”, then it would be wrong, but if it’s kept in the proper place, it’s fine.

    I think that when the Bible says worldliness is a sin, it’s not necessarily condemning a particular activity as much as it’s condemning a mindset. When we focus on the world or the things in the world, we’re guilty of worldliness. Drinking would be wrong in that context, but that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong in and of itself.

    My whole point is that I can’t draw lines for anyone that God hasn’t drawn. I can limit myself and my family from certain things all I want, but I have no right to do that to anyone else. For instance, when we go out to eat, I don’t let my kids wander around the restaurant. They have to stay in their seats the whole time we’re there. Some of my friends don’t hold their kids to those stipulations and that’s fine. I can’t hold them to it either. No matter how much it might irritate me, I can’t try to hold them to my personal conviction.

    If you can find a passage that says any consumption of alcohol is wrong, I’ll happily change my stance, but I’ve never seen such a passage. And if you continue to hold to worldliness as a “blank check,” then you can condemn pretty much anything you want — that’s why I think you have to be very careful with that argument.

    And going back to Romans 14 and 1 Cor 8-10, Paul is not telling them that is wrong to partake of these things. Look at vs 23 thru the end of the chapter in 1 Cor 10. Paul tells them that if they’re invited to someone’s house, not to ask questions about the meat they’re served (if they weren’t to partake of it at all, wouldn’t they have needed to ask about it?). Instead, he tells them to only abstain if the host tells them this meat was offered to idols. Why? Not because of themselves (which leads me to conclude that there’s nothing wrong with eating it), but because of the conscience of the one who told them. Well, why would that matter? Obviously, if the host tells them that, he thinks there’s something important about that fact — perhaps he thinks his guests should feel honored. Either way, he thinks the fact that it was offered to idols makes it special, and that’s why the Christian shouldn’t partake of it.

    Once again, the things spoken about in those chapters were not flat-out condemned. They were spoken of as things that we have liberty in. However, if those things are going to offend someone, or cause them to stumble, then the stronger Christian is told to give up his liberty in that instance.

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  20. Tadd, the argument about a police officer was not intended to prove dinking is ok, but to point out that poor judgement is not necessarily a sin. I’m sorry if you thought I was trying to prove drinking is ok, that is not what I am trying to do. I gladly submit that social drinking (ie drinking parties) are condemned. I also submit that drunkeness is a sin. I believe the bible teaches this. All I am saying, is that we should exercise care when condemning anything. I agree, that we should avoid anything that would cause us or others to sin. I think we can show by the scriptures that we should avoid alcohol. However, that is different from saying someone who was traveling in Italy and had a meal with a glass of wine to drink with it has sinned and will go to hell unless they repent. It is not something I would choose to do unless I had no other choice, then I might view it as David eating the shewbread. Of course, it is not about what I would do, it is about what God has said. He has said drunkeness is a sin. It would certainly be wise to avoid anything that might cause us to be drunk. I’m just not sure I can condemn someone for something when I can’t find a passage to support the condemnation.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I think we would both agree that we won’t be taking a drink, I just want you to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not trying to be rebellious or difficult, I’m just pleading for care in use of the scriptures. Am I misusing them? Point out which ones and I will gladly study over them and see if I can understand them more clearly. Sorry if I’ve offended you.

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  21. This is the first time I,ve ever looked at this page. I have read all the cpmments and think that my Dad related my stance on the subject accurately.

    My first point is directed toward Matt. Your point was well thought out, but I would be wary of drinking around others. While in the cases you mentioned it lead to questions and Bible study, there might very well have been those who saw and did not ask thinking you to be a hyprocrit- even if there conception was false. Paul said that it was ok to pay a preacher but he would not accept it. Sometimes advocating something you do can give the impression of an agenda, while making a point about something you have no stake in seems sincere.

    Now to something else…
    Tad, is adding to the Bible wrong? a sin? Should we speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where it it is silent?
    Are we to Proove all things?
    Is it right or acceptable to help God? does he need our help?

    Look up the greek words and their definisions for revelings and banquetings. I looked them up from only three different sources, and they were all the same. Both had to do with social drinking, except they both involved not only drunkeness but other lude behaviors as well.
    While I can agree with you that I cant take a drink without doubt, I cannot see where you can prove anything but drunkeness is condemned.
    I wonder about the passage in Prov 23 that has been mentioned. Solomon did say to not even look at the red wine as it turns in its cup, I’m not totally sure what that’s talking about. It may very well be refering to alcohol of any type. What gets me about it is what Solomon writes about wine in Prov 31: 1-9. He tells princes to stay away from it because they’ll forget the law, but then writes, give wine to the man with a heavy heart that he might forget his poverty and griefe.
    I believe that God has said what he wanted to say the way he wanted it said. God clearly tells us that drunkeness, adultry, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviosness, idolitary… (Gal 5), are sins. We also see Jesus condemning the pharisees for binding where God has not, as Nate pointed out.
    We hear it said often that if something is right to do then there’s a right way to do it. If you want to speak out against drinking I’ll do it with you, as I have on my own numerous times, but I’ll do it the way the Bible has. No one that believes in the Bible can argue against it.

    Putting everything into two kingdoms of light and dark is a good practice and a strong point. You said to me the other night if something wasn’t worldly then it is spiritual. When looked at like that I think everyone should agree that drinking is wrong, along with soda ( the mormons believe it to be worldly), sports, secular music, games, and everything that cant be said to be spiritual or life sustaining, including binding where our Lord has not.

    Paul tells us to speak the same things, and to prove all things, studying to show ourselves approved. We can only speak the same things by proving our stances by what we’ve studied from our bibles. How can you disagree with what has been said?
    If you show us a verse that states anything to the affect hat a drink is sin, then I’ll gladly preach that myself, as I do not like to be around it or those drinking.

    to close I just want to add a thought. where Jesus turned water into wine, it is the same Greek word for wine as it is mentioned in Eph 5:18 and I tim 3: 8. If God wanted us to stay away from it period, why did he use that word instead of a word that meant grape juice? He made the distiction elsewhere, why not here?
    Also, If it were a sin then shouldn’t we take opportunity to speak out against it and separate ourselves from it? When they accused Peter of being drunk on the day of Penticost he simply replyed by saying it was too early, not that drinking is a sin.

    There is no appearance of evil in abstaining from drinking, just as there is no appearence of evil saying bible things in bible ways.

    i cant spell

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  22. consider this,

    dating leads to lust and sexual immorallity. it is not needed to marry is this also sin because it leads to it?
    I can leave my house and turn onto HWY 90. Does that mean I’m driving to Mcdonalds because it leads there? no, I can stop well before I get there. Just because there is a path does not mean it has to be taken all the way.
    Belief leads to salvation, so is one saved if he stops there? No, only when he continues to the end.
    Drinking leads to drunkeness, yes. That is a reason why some consider it foolish and better avoided. drinking , however , is not always drunk nor is it always taken that far. Drinking leads to drunkeness when taken in excess, when taken to the end of its path.

    I also love you and intend only to be biblically correct.
    How can anyone without a bit of doubt say that the bible says that a drink is a sin? What scripture can they point to?

    the “such like” phrase is, in my opinion, refering to drugs and what have you (in relation to drunkeness, revellings and banquetings). A drink with a meal is a far cry from drunken and riotous behavior.

    I am not prepared nor do I think any of us is qualified to stand judge on what people do. the judgements we do make should come from sound scripture, from what we can prove. I can prove that being drunk is wrong. I can prove that alcohol can be an appearence of evil and that it can a stumbling block. What do I have to prove that a drink ( not drunk) is sin? where’s the authority?

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  23. I hope that everyone can see the importance of this issue. I mean, I taught my position publicly at Myrtle Grove Sunday and I plan to teach the same lesson on the coming Lord’s Day at Oak Grove.

    Since you question the authority of my position I suggest we debate the subject publicly. I’m sure that the elders at Oak Grove or East Hill would be willing to provide a forum and if you’d like we could debate where you attend as well. I’m teaching it publicly, and like it or not, now you have as well. If you’re willing to defend your position before fellow Christians let me know and we can talk about some propositions.

    Here is my contact info:

    Home # (XXX) XXX-XXXX
    Cell # (XXX) XXX-XXXX

    *** I edited this out just so none of it gets abused. However, if anyone would like Tadd’s information, and if Tadd gives me the ok, I’ll be happy to provide it.

    Tadd, I can see the email addresses for everyone that posts on here. So if someone’s interested in contacting you directly, I’ll let you know and we can go from there. It’s probably a little safter that way.

    Thanks,

    Nate

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  24. Tad,

    I hate to say this, but it really looks like you are more interested in winning a debate than talking about what the Bible teaches. Remember we are here to edify one another, not knock each other down.

    In Christian love.

    -Matt

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  25. Tadd, what is there to debate? You have criticized some here for not answering your questions, why then can you not answer mine? I am not looking for debate, but discussion on the subject as the Bible teaches it. I am always willing to study the Bible with anyone on any subject, and have submitted that I may have missed something, but no one can seem to show me what. I am truely seeking the truth. the answers and arguements that I have heard on this subject just dont always fall perfectly into the Bible pattern.
    I’ve heard you preach before, (purhaps not on this subject), and you do well. I approached you for a study and am always willing to do so. I’m even willing to do so on this open forum, if you are indeed willing?
    Am I asking for too much? Is asking for clear Bible passages for proof, too radical a request?
    And if you cannot provide them then all I ask is to teach it the way the Lord revealed it. What about that do you want to debate?
    I ask that definitions not be distorted and that passages are used correctly.
    Are my questions not worth answering? Do you really think that I am not sincere?

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  26. If anyone’s interested, I’ve posted an article that ties in pretty well with this discussion at this link. One of the things talked about in the article is how Christians should avoid alcohol, but I think the author handles it in a great way. To me, this is an example of how an argument can be made for not drinking without having to stretch any passages.

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  27. Tadd,

    I for one, believe I’ve already defended my position among other Christians. Furthermore, I’ve openly discussed this in adult Bible classes at the congregation I currently attend. I certainly don’t mind doing it in any other format as well, but I don’t know if a public debate is really the best way to handle it.

    If nothing else, I think this discussion has proved that the subject of alcohol is a very volatile one that people sometimes feel strongly about. If having a public debate would really be beneficial, that’s fine. But I’m afraid it might be too easy for two Christians to lose their cool with one another, and I can’t see any good coming from that.

    I do want to be clear though that I’m not at all ashamed of my position on this issue. And I think everyone else probably feels the same way. When I say that I don’t think we can scripturally condemn someone for having one drink, I mean just that. And I have no problem talking to anyone about it. I think it’s what the Bible teaches. That’s it. Why should I be ashamed of it?

    The Bible is not my word, it’s not your word, it’s God’s word. Why don’t we just let it say what it says?

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  28. Tadd,
    While I can appreciate your zeal and desire to defend the truth, do you really think a public debate on this issue will be beneficial? What will be debated? No one is advocating drinking. I’m afraid that all that will be done is stir up trouble and dissention among brethren. Proverbs 6 tell us that God hates one who sows discord among brethren. Wouldn’t this subject, which isn’t really about drinking, but rather about handling the word of God correctly, be better handled through private or small discussions? I am not trying to be argumentative here, just trying to be careful that no damage be caused to anyone through the process.

    I must say tadd, I have been somewhat surprised by the tone of your responses. I hope I haven’t offended you in some way. I only want to stand for the truth and use the scriptures to support what I say. I realize that perhaps I do not possess the knowledge and wisdom that you do, so I am certainly willing to continue to study the passages to try and gain a clearer understanding of the matter.

    What passages do you speciffically use to support the statement that one taste of alcohol is a sin? It would help me greatly if you would supply me with that. I will honestly study it and try to understand it.

    Thanks.

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  29. Tadd,
    One final thought. I offer this as something to consider. Do you believe you can say, with 100% certainty, that the apostles or our Lord never had any fermented grape juice pass through their lips? Think about the environment and preserving techniques that existed at the time. If they did, and one drink is a sin, then what conclusion can we draw? They sinned. I do not believe we can prove that they did or did not ever have a drink of fermented grape juice. Assumptions have to be made, wouldn’t you agree? Are you willing to condemn someone and make a matter of fellowship over an assumption? I think this is the crux of the whole matter. We can offer proof and agree that drinking is something a Christian should avoid. I am just not sure I can call something a sin that may have been done by Jesus. Maybe He never had a sip of anything with any alcoholic content, I’m just not sure how I can prove that.

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  30. There is no way to distinguish tone over a written response. If my tone seemed harsh, I apologize. I have no emotional tie to this subject. Too me it is too plain to be emotional about.

    If this is really an issue of handling God’s Word correctly then you have to identify me as one who is not. I would identify you as one who is not handling the scripture correctly and I have directed all the Christians I know to this discussion, so in a sense I have challenged your credibility publicly. I would also challenge your position in person and that is why I challenge you to have this same discussion with me among the brotherhood. I believe that your position is undefendable and that your position puts souls in jeopardy.

    I already made it clear I would no longer discuss it in this way. I was not kidding when I said this is my last post on the subject. I don’t see the benefit of such a generic public discussion.

    I think anyone who reads Mr. Crews’ article would believe that his argument is the same as mine. A Biblical warning should be considered a stopping point not a debating point. It should also be considered a condemning point, especially in light of passages like 1 Thess. 5:22 and Gal. 5 where activities that resembled the works of the flesh are condemned.

    Our world has changed. Do you think Peter taught publicly against institutionalism? Did such an idea exist? Alcohol and it’s use in Bible times does not compare to the alcohol today and how it would be and is used today. If you disagree, I know several real scholars who would diagree with you and whose position you would have no credence to question. Maybe that is a better suggestion. We will find two experts who will discuss this question on our behalves with expert opinions and real historical knowledge. I do know that they were not ignorant of the science and process of fermentation and that they went to great lengths to be certain that intoxication did not happen. If you are more concerned about the historical possibility that alcohol was used by early Christians than the clear warnings against it’s use in the Bible I’m not the person to discuss this with. Those arguments mean nothing to me because I can not condone the use of alcohol on the grounds of worldliness.

    If you want to debate publicly, let me know. Otherwise, I will not respond to this subject again in this way. I’m still willing to discuss it in person. I’m not angry, but I do not mince words.

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  31. I believe that the tone of everyone’s responses is exactly why my husband, Tadd, wishes to debate the subject in a formal manner. I’m shocked and hurt at the backlash he received from suggesting this. Anyone that is familiar with a formal debate knows that a debate is a great way to see two sides to a proposition in an open forum. Please, acknowledge that it is now important to study this openly because the seed has been sown very publicly that drinking alcohol is not a sin in today’s society. I also suggest that this is a great danger. This question of what worldliness actually is surprises me greatly. Some of you who are questioning worldliness are the very people who I thought taught me what worldliness is and were great examples to me as an individual. Is not the “world” that is spoken of in Romans 12:2 speaking of a symbol of wickedness? This verse says we should NOT change ourselves to be like the people of the world, but to be changed within by a new way of thinking so that we will know what is good and what is perfect. In today’s society, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that most people of the world drink alcohol. This IS a worldly thing in today’s society. Even non-Christians see the evil in it. If Kendra is seen buying alcohol in a store or is walking down the street with a beer in hand, are assumptions made by that person that she’s going to get drunk? Absolutely. That’s how things are in today’s society, like it or not. I suggest that you think about how this makes the church look, how this makes the people we love look. I’m going to give you an example. I’m giving you this example because my father hesitates to come to the Lord’s church because of this very incident. My dad who is not a Christian, who drinks alcohol and can’t seem to get away from it, and who I’ve been trying to teach the word of God to for the past five years, is convinced that he saw a member of the Lord’s church come out of a liquor store. Naturally, I stand for that person and tell him he must be mistaken because that’s just crazy. But my dad is still convinced that it was that person and he tells me “How hypocritical, Kendra.” His conception of the Lord’s church has been tainted by the idea that this Christian is involved with alcohol at any level. He wonders how we as Christians can say we’re trying to be Christ-like when we have some of our number dealing with such worldly vices. He has not been back to worship. He as a non-Christian sees the evil and worldliness in alcohol in our society. Why can’t Christians?

    I really don’t think I need to review these principals. But I do think it’s very important for you to understand that the internet is not a good way to study this subject. Do you know exactly how many people are reading this page? Is my daddy reading this page? Is a Christian who may have struggled with alcohol consumption reading this? Do you know? I as well as countless other Christians absolutely think it’s sinful and worldly for these people to take one drink. Sadly, I’m afraid stumbling blocks for these people may have been hurled. My husband responded to the comments on this page out of GREAT LOVE and GREAT CONCERN. Anyone who really knows him knows that fact. Trouble and dissension was mentioned. Do you see this internet conversation leading to anything else? Shots have now been taken, people. Tadd has been accused of being argumentative, of not being concerned but just wanting to win a debate, of criticizing and that hurts me not just because I’m his wife, but because he is my brother in Christ. Christians do not treat each other like that. My husband took the initiative to ask for a debate out of love. He’s worried about who may have read this as well as I am. We would be more than willing to have a private study on this subject, but what about this public teaching here? How is that to be handled? The best conclusion we could think of is a public debate. He didn’t just get the crazy idea for a debate and tell you about it. Tadd went to others for advice and wisdom. These older people agreed that this sounded like a great way to study the subject in an orderly public manner, since public teaching had already been done. Debates are done on a consistent basis and they’re done only for good.

    With much love and concern-Kendra

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  32. Tadd, Kendra,

    If I misunderstood any of Tadd’s comments, I apologize. I’ve always had nothing but love and respect for the both of you, and that’s what I continue to have.

    Here’s where I think we are on this issue:

    Public Debate
    In a sense, I think this blog outlet serves as a public debate. The benefit of it is we can all take time to reason out our responses, it’s more difficult to mis-speak or say anything rash, and many people can partake in it, instead of the typical setting where 2 individuals go back and forth.

    Tadd, if you’re willing to debate it publically, I’m not sure why you don’t want to continue doing it online where those who are interested can see it and weigh in, if they choose. I respect your decision, and it doesn’t bother me… I’m just not sure what the difference is, only this venue is a little less formal.

    For the other Christians that you’ve mentioned this site to, I hope they’ll feel free to add their comments as well. I would prefer to keep this discussion right here. But if there really is a lot of interest in a public debate (aside from this one), I’m willing to consider it.

    The Issue
    I also wanted to clarify something about this issue. Alchohol is not something that I think a Christian should partake of. I think the reasons that Kendra gave, primarily our example, illustrate why we should avoid it. But alchohol is only a tiny part of the real issue, a symptom of it, if you will.

    I think the real issue is about having scriptural support for everything we teach, which includes the things we condemn. As you all know, I believe the Bible teaches that baptism is essential for salvation (if you disagree, feel free to let me know, but please do it here, where we already have a lengthy discussion running). So if I hear someone explain away Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, etc, to say that baptism’s not necessary, then I consider that a misuse of scripture.

    That’s the danger I think we face with this issue. I know of Christians that this has affected. They’ve heard a sermon where the preacher tries to condemn any amount of alchohol, and it bothers them. They feel the preacher is misusing passages to apply the same condemnation the Bible gives toward drunkenness to any alchohol consumption at all. It’s a consistency issue. How can we complain about someone twisting passages to say faith only saves, when we twist passages to make a point about something else?

    And I understand that some Christians believe the Bible teaches any consumption of alchohol is wrong. But you also need to understand that there are other Christians who are just as mature and knowledgeable who don’t think the Bible teaches that. According to Romans 14, we are to bear with one another in these things. That doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it (as we are doing here), but we need to understand that people may fall on different sides of this issue.

    One Other Thing
    Kendra, I’m sorry to hear about the issue with your father. Let me offer you a few thoughts on the subject.

    First of all, hypocrites can unfortunately be found anywhere. That shouldn’t be something that we let keep us from doing what’s right (which I know you’re aware of, and he probably is too). Secondly, if your father had heard teaching that condemned drunkenness and advocated abstaining (instead of condemning both things), then this might not have become such a stumbling block for him, and he may not have viewed the other person’s behavior as hypocritical.

    To Summarize…
    I hope my points have been clear. It is certainly not my intent to offend anyone in this issue, but according to the studying I’ve done, I believe my position is in accordance with the scriptures. That being the case, I’m not ashamed of my beliefs, or of sharing them with anyone. I think it’s prudent for Christians to stay away from alchohol, and it’s outright wrong to be drunk or be involved in anything that would represent a drinking party, banqueting, revelry, etc. I can confidently say those things because there are passages that teach that. But anything beyond those issues, I have to leave up to God.

    I hope that makes sense. If not, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to correct it.

    In nothing but humble love,

    Nathan

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  33. A few quick comments. I am sorry if any feelings have been hurt here, that was never the intention. Its always best to try and be as thick skinned as possible on the internet, tone is hard to catch in written word.

    On to the subject of worldly people’s perception of alcohol. I think you are really off Kendra on people’s perception of alcohol. As the one here who (and believe me this isn’t something I’m proud of) has probably spent more time ‘in the world’ and doing ‘worldly things’ let me tell you that 99% of ‘worldly people’ don’t view having a drink as evil. No adult would assume that someone having one drink is automatically a drunk and about to get boozed out. Sadly it’s normally the people in the Church that jump to these negative conclusions. Reminds me of the Pharisees that were quick to call Jesus a drunkard.
    (luke 7 33-35. Matt 11:18-19, Mark 2:15-17,Matt 9:10-13, Luke5:29-32)

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  34. I would also suggest against relying on other experts to argue a biblical prinicple for us. Doing that is what keep me under the belief that baptism wasn’t required for salvation, once saved always saved and a host of other false beliefs. I believe we should study the word closer together and learn from it. Speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where it is one of the challanges we must hold dear to.

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  35. Tadd & Kendra,
    I apologize to you both for offending you. Obviously, there are differences of opinion on this and many other bible subjects. If ANYONE THINKS I AM CONDONING THE DRINKING OF ALCOHOL, LET ME SAY EMPHATICALLY I AM NOT. My point has been all along that we should take care and use the scriptures to say what they say. I believe Bro. Crews article does this very nicely, and I amen that.

    Having said that, I apologize for having left any poor impressions or of accusing anyone of anything they haven’t done. Please accept my humble apology and consider that I was not trying to create any hurt feelings.

    I do not want to cause anyone to stumble, so I also apologize for anything I have stated, whether written or otherwise, that might cause someone to think I approve of drinking or condone the practice. I do not.

    As far as how we arrive at the conclusion that christians should not drink, let me just say I will bow to your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of this issue and will try to continue to study and understand this in accordance with the scriptures.

    Please forgive me, and understand that no harm is meant.

    In love,

    Jim

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  36. Tadd,
    If you truly believe that widening of this discussion into a formal public debate would be helpful, I respectfully disagree. If the limited discussion here can produce the type of comments it has here, then will it improve the situation to broaden this from an open discussion to one where sides are taken and lines drawn? I would ask that we all back down and cool of and perhaps meet privately at sme point to discuss this further, if necessary.

    Kendra makes some good points as it relates to the discussion here. I think I can speak for everyone (a big assumption, i know) when I say that no one wants to cause anyone to stumble. I believe we are all trying to grow in knowledge and understanding in the scriptures.

    Call me sometime and we can discuss this further if you like. Even though I may presently disagree with you, I have not and am not now accusing you of sin. I think much of our disagreement is one of opinion, and as such should not be the basis of accusation and hard feelings.

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  37. Well I have some thoughts that haven’t really been touched on. I believe there is enough scriptural evidence to support that Jesus and his disciples drank fermented wine at one time or another.

    Lets start off with His first public miracle, turning water into wine at a feast for a wedding. Taking a look at John 2: 1-11 we see Jesus at a wedding where they run out of wine. This is a bad deal that can reflect poorly on the one throwing the party. Jesus’ mother pleads with him to turn the water into wine; Christ first resists, but eventually gives in and performs our first recorded miracle of His ministry. (as a quick side note, some see this as fulfillment of OT prophesies about the abundance of wine that there will be in the times of the Messiah, Amos 9:13-14, Genesis 49:10-11) Jesus instructs the servants to take the wine He just made to the master of the feast. The MOTF tastes it, and not knowing where it came from gives the bridegroom a pat on the back for not holding back on ‘the good stuff’. Basically it was custom to serve your best, fermented wine first. Then as your guests’ taste buds had numbed a bit slip in the ‘cheap stuff’ not as good tasting wine’

    How can we condemn taking a drink if our Lord and Savior turned water into fermented wine for a wedding party to drink?

    Secondly Christ was harshly critized throughout his ministry for eating and drinking with sinners. Luke 7:33-35 (New King James Version)
    33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

    Look up ‘winebibber’ its like calling someone a drunk. You don’t call a kid drinking grape juice a drunk. Plain and simple you don’t call someone a drunk unless they have drank an intoxicating beverage. It just doesn’t make sense any other way. It would be akin to making fun of a vegetarian saying they ate too much steak.

    Mark 2:15-17 (New King James Version)
    15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16 And when the scribes and[a] Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
    17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

    Ok here again we have Jesus eating a drinking with ‘sinners’. What do you imagine sinners of that day and time would eat and drink? Probably unclean food, and fermented wine. Why else would the Pharisees have reason to give them a hard time, the focus of their critizism was on the eating and drinking, not on the association. I admit this is an assumption on my part. There is no way to prove it, yet I think it’s a safe one. This same thought is repeated in Luke 5:30 and other gospel accounts.

    I understand the arguments behind the statement “Its best for a Christian to not drink” However I believe we are speaking where the Bible doesn’t if we are to say “having a drink is a sin”

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  38. I want to add that the person nate reffered to, that had issue with the way this was presented as not being consistant, does not drink, nor has he ever.

    Tadd, if I owe you or anyone else an apology, then I am sorry. I certainly have not intended to offend, place a stumbling block, or to give the idea that drinking is ok. I love you and think well of you, But I dont see where discussion in open, where we actually have the time and ability to engage in discussion. If I make poor or false arguements, then poke holes in them. I want to know the truth as the Bible defines it.

    Tell me here, by phone, or in front of others where I have miss-used scripture. I will gladly and would rather be able to point to verse and tell others that the Bible condemns here.

    As I said, I am always willing to study the Bible on any matter. This forum is a more expediant way to do so for me. I wish I had more time. I am sure others wish they had the time to drive to another state and debate this, but as you already pointed out this is a public debate here. I’d rather view it as a discussion. I would have called you last night but I got in late, I would call you now but youre at work. I am not sure why youre against this means of discussion.

    We must speak where the Bible speaks and stay silent where the Bible is silent. We must say Bible things in Bible ways. this is the thesis of my arguement. Why would any disagree?

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  39. Does anyone here think that God would refer to His Son as unwise?

    Proverbs 20:1 says that “Wine is a mocker; strong drink is a brawler. And whosoever errs thereby is not wise.”

    Another phrase for the “unwise” is the fool, and the Bible has lots to say about him. Notice a couple of instances:

    “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” Ps. 14:1

    “A fool has no delight in understanding, but only that his heart may reveal itself.” Pro.18:2

    “It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarrelling.” Pro. 20:3

    Notice that every time a fool is mentioned, it’s tied to a sin. In these examples, it would be disbelief, no care for the knowledge of God, and being quarrelsome. Why should we think God would see the fool mentioned in Prov. 20:1 as any different?
    God in His wisdom plainly says that those who err through wine are foolish. He does not say “Wine in heavy doses is a mocker”; He simply says “Wine is a mocker.” And the wisdom literature calls me a fool for erring by it. Is there any time when being seen as foolish by God is a good thing?
    And if we all believe that the Bible does not contradict itself, then we have to explain something: a number of you have made the statement that Jesus likely drank. If He did, then He directly partook in something His Father called unwise – and thereby acted foolishly.
    Are we really willing to say that?

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  40. Consider 1 Thess. 5:6-8:

    Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

    Here is the Vine’s entry for the English word “sober” in this passage: signifies “to be free from the influence of intoxicants;” in the NT, metaphorically, it does not in itself imply watchfulness, but is used in association with it, 1Th 5:6,8; 2Ti 4:5; 1Pe 1:13; 4:7, RV (AV, “watch”); 5:8. Cp. eknepho and ananepho, under AWAKE, No. 3 and Note.

    This is the same word translated sober in 1 Pet. 4:7 after Peter described abuses of alcohol in verse 3. Is “free from the influence of intoxicants” simply someone who is “not drunk?”

    Is he not referring to alcohol use? The context says, yes.

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  41. Scriptures definitely to consider and think about…

    Proverbs 20:1 says “whosoever errs thereby is unwise”.

    Doesn’t say a drink of alcohol is wrong; I see this as someone who is consumed, drawn away, becomes dependent, or uses it in excess as “erring”.

    I have a question: what do you think the Bible means when it says that Jesus turned water to wine, or when someone called Him a winebibber, or when they accused Peter on the day of Pentecost of being drunk and he stated that it was too early in the day, not that drinking any alcohol was a sin and how could they even associate him with such?

    Or Romans 14 – as stated previously, if this was grape juice I don’t believe anyone would be offended by it, it wouldn’t be an issue. Because of that I think Jesus turning water to wine is truly wine, just as it says and therefore the drinking of it is an issue of personal judgement. I am NOT talking about drunkenness, revelries and banquetings as these are specifically condemned in God’s Word (scriptures given in previous posts).

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  42. Great comments. Lance, welcome to the discussion. I think you and Tadd bring up some great points, and I’ll study over them. I do have a few preliminary thoughts on them though:

    I agree with Lauren’s point that the passage in Proverbs talks about erring in wine, which could indicate that there’s an appropriate way to use it. Also, the definition from Vine’s talks about being under the influence of intoxicants, which would mirror drunkenness. Being sober is being free of that influence.

    Something else to consider is that pretty much any sin you can think of is an abuse of something. There’s nothing wrong with sexual intimacy as long as its in the confines of a scriptural marriage, but sexual activity outside of that is wrong. There’s nothing wrong with eating, but gluttony is wrong. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the “fruit of our labor,” but greed is wrong. I think that’s something to consider when dealing with this subject.

    Also, I wanted to touch on one of the things Matt mentioned in his last post: Matt, I think you made some good points, but I have to disagree with you on assuming that Christ would have eaten some unclean foods. At the time, the Old Law was still in effect, and it would have been a sin for Christ to partake of that, as far as I understand it. We know Christ didn’t sin, so I don’t think he would have been involved in that. I know that was just a minor point in what you were saying, but I thought it should probably be mentioned.

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  43. Tadd and Lance, you both make excellent points and I will look into them further.
    I also, cannot see Christ ever being considered a fool.

    I want to make clear, again, that I believe a Christian should stay away from alcohol. You both make very good points to affirm that.

    This, unfortunately, will be my last post on this topic. I will remain willing to study any topic with anyone.

    I want to resubmitt that the christian would avoid alcohol out of a desire to avoid every appearence of evil, and because it is certainly a stumbling block to many (in or out of the church). Drinking can undeniably lead to drunkeness, and as Tadd pointed out, we are to be sober. Is there a more perfect way to be sober that to avoid alcohol? Lance pointed out that it is foolish. Why would any Christian want to drink in light of that?

    I am not the most educated, nor the most wise indovidual. I try to grow in both, but understand that it is very possible for me to be incorrect.
    Being incorrect on Biblical matters would be very serious. And that is why I have encouraged presenting this subject, or any Biblical subject, in Bible ways. That is all.

    There are some who would say that I have miss-used the scripture, that is certainly not my intention. Show me which ones and I’ll repent of it. I would like to discuss with Tadd and Lance in further detail their comments, if they would like.

    Bible discussion is good and must be done so with the intent to learn as much as teach. We should be ready to hear other opinions and weigh them against our own and more importantly, what the Bible says on the matter. If ever someone no longer wanted to study the Bible, then there is a problem. I’ll say again, if anyone disagrees with me then contact me, I’ll gladly discuss it and study with whom ever. Nate has my contact information if you do not already.

    Matt, I dont believe that you can prove that the drinking of alcohol was done by either Jesus or the apostles. There does seem to be evidence, I’ll allow, but no proof. I admitt, for the last time here, that I still question the ability to say alcohol outside of drunkeness, is sin. I do not question, however, that a christion should stay away from it. I have questions still on the comments of Tdd and Lance. They were still good solid Bible points. I’ll always do my best to stand by that. Sorry for any offence to anyone. It was always my intention to study and come to a better understanding.
    If I was wrong, take hope in knowing that I am only looking for the Truth, and have no agenda on this subject. None. “Seek and ye shall find.” Those who seek the truth will find it, I take comfort in that.

    I love you all, and regret any ill that may have come of what I have said.

    I know we all can agree on speaking where the Bible speaks…

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  44. Let me join the discussion by first stating that i feel as if I’m in the Twilight Zone. I find a page entitled “Finding Truth” and then see teaching after teaching in which drinking is treated as a matter of choice.
    Thankfully, it seems that all agree that drunkeness is condemned by God (Gal. 5:19-21), is a matter of disfellowship (I Cor. 5:11), and in many passages, both in the Old and New Testaments, is forbidden by God.
    Now…..a couple of Bible principles concerning the idea of drinking at all.

    First of all, Christians are taught in I Thes. 5:9-11 (as well as other places) that we are to edify each other. Not a suggestion but a command. I ask in all sincerity—can you “build me up” with a Miller in your hand? How about a Bloody Mary? My son was baptized roughly 5 mo. ago. It is not the drunk on the street corner that I am worried will influence him. It is the “Christian” who claims to love God but makes decisions and takes actions that are no different from wordly minded people. Can you edify a Christian while sipping on a mixed drink? Makes no difference if it is one drink or 25, have you built me up? Edified me? I honestly cannot imagine a person who has truly converted to our Lord who would suggest that they could.

    Secondly, there is the well known passage describing our bodies as God’s temple (I Cor. 6:19-20). What principles are there? It teaches that God dwells in the Christian. Will He “share occupancy” with tequila? Vodka? How about “one” Bud Light? In all seriousness—how does that sound? it teaches that we are to “glorify God in our body”. How much glorifying can I do when others see me with something in my hand that has caused so much damage to families, health, reputations, etc.

    Next, in II Cor. 3:1-3, we are described as the world’s Bible. Paul taught that he didn’t need to commend himself, nor did he need letters of recommendation from others. Instead, he teaches that the Christian’s conduct, character, influence, etc. is sufficient to show who/what we are. Do you believe that I (like Paul and the Corinthians) can be “declared to be the epistle of Christ…with the Spirit of the living God” with a Black Russian in my hand? Even if it is “just one”? In verse 2 Paul said we are “read by all”. What exactly are they reading? Judge for yourself—–Does drinking (even one) increase your influence for God? make you more effective as an example? To the truly converted, the answer is no.

    I Jn. 3:4 teaches nothing if it does not teach that there are no degrees of sin. “Sin is Lawlessness.” It is either sin or it is not. There is no “responsible sinning” or “moderate sinning”. It is no more possible to be a responsible drinker than it is to be a responsible adulterer. No more possible to be a moderate drinker than a moderate fornicator. Does the idea of “social drinking” also apply to “social lieing”? Light or darkness anyone?

    Ultimately, a figure has to be placed on “how much is acceptable”. When is it conceeded that you’ve “crossed the line”? At .08? At .06? How many is not too many? There has to be an answer to that. Or can we all just come to our own decisions on it? One is o.k. but 3 is sinful (depending on how much you weigh ofcourse)? I’m being ridiculous on purpose. The point is that God isn’t worried about a blood-alcohol number—–He is concerned about our spirit!

    It may be that some are looking for a passage that says “thou shalt not drink at all”. (are you also looking for passages such a “thou shalt not smoke marijuana’?). The page is called Finding Truth—-when looking at the principles above (there are others but it is late) concerning our responsibility to build each other up, recognize the fact that God dwells within us, recognize the fact that others are watching us, recognizing the fact that we are to walk in light (not gray), etc. it is very strange indeed to publicly teach that God doesn’t care about whether we have “one drink”. I have found something allright, but it is not truth.

    Some may hold to this position while never actually drinking themselves. Understand that there is no distinction. It matters not that someone is not an adulterer themself, if they teach that adultery is not sinful they are still accountable to those who accept their teaching and engage in it. This topic is no different. One of us is wrong. one of us is a false teacher. It is utterly impossible for us both to be right. And yet this is considered by some to be a ‘matter of opinion”? I don’t consider it an opinion to feel that it is possible for many to be led away into great sin by being encouraged by the teaching that drinking is righteous (“as long as you’re not drunk”). Righteous? Really?

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  45. Billy,
    I certaunly agree with your comments. However, I don’t think the majority of commenters here are saying drinking is righteous, nor are they advocating drinking. In fact, most of the commenters seem to be saying that a christian shouldn’t drink for the same reasons you have listed. What has seemed to be intended as an open discussion has also seemed to turn into something else. I think a lot of misunderstanding and emotion has entered in and clouded the discussion. I hope and pray that all can agree to study this issue and hold to the biblical principles taught in the new testament. I know I certainly am not encouraging anyone to drink or to sin, and have always advocated that the scripture condemns social drinking and drunkeness.

    Thank you for your comments and reasonableness.

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  46. Nate,

    While I will 100% agree with you that our savior commited no sin, let’s look at a few things. I think Its kinda like the theif on the cross, where he was still under the old law as Christ was yet to die and resurect, but Jesus had the athority to forgive sins. Likewis I believe He had the authority to circumvent OT laws and traditions. Remember Jesus and His disciples were chatized for breaking OT Laws/Traditions:

    Matt. 15:1-3 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

    Luke 6:1-11
    1One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

    3Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

    6On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.

    9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

    10He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.

    Passages like that are what lead me to believe that Jesus would have ate what the Sinners were eating. Still an assumption on my part, he might not have, or what they were eating might not have been unclean no way to be sure. And bottom line, whatever He did it wasn’t sinful

    However I think I gave good scriptural and logical evidence to arrive at the conclussion that one, the water He turned into wine was fermented wine, and two He drank fermented wine at some point in time. Nobody has really touched on those just yet.

    Again, I’m now not advocating everyone go out and drink. I understand the arguements for a christian not to drink. However I do believe we are speaking where the Bible doesn’t when we say any drink at all is a sin, and I believe we are lying to ourselves to think Christ didn’t have any fermented wine.

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  47. Matt-
    There is no proof that the “wine” at the marriage feast in Cana was fermented. The Greek word for “wine” in this text is oinos, which may refer to a fermented beverage (Eph. 5:18), or it may denote freshly squeezed grape juice (Isa. 16:10).

    Since the word for “wine” is generic, we cannot import the concept of an alcoholic beverage into this passage without contextual justification—of which there is none.

    Moreover, what may be “social consumption” in our day, says nothing about the practice of the first century. The juice of the grape was a common drink in that land of many vineyards.

    Finally, the fact that the ruler of the feast could still distinguish the quality of the latter beverage from the former, suggests that his senses were not dull as a result of previous drinking.

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  48. I know that ‘oinos’ is used for both fermented win such as in Gen 9: 21,24, 19:32-35 or in Lev 23:13 I

    It would be a bit easier if we had a hebrew traslation. As we have the hebrew word ‘yayin’ for wine and ‘shekar’ for strong intoxicating drink.

    The word ‘oinos’ used in Gen 9:21,24 concerning Noah getting drunk is ‘yayin’ in the hebrew. Which leads to the conclusion that when either is used it can be ment for intoxicating or grape juice. We really need the ‘shekar’ to be sure they mean strong drink. Of note is that ‘yayin’ is from an unused root word meaning effervesce or to bubble up. It is translated as wine, banqueting and winebibbers.

    What I’m trying to get at with all the sematics is that we are left to go off of context clues.

    Notice it says in vs10 Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine,

    The ‘good’ ‘wine’ here is kalos oinos in the greek. the kalos means: precious, affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming. What I labeled ‘the good stuff’

    Now in the next part of verse 10 is the important part… and when the guests have well drunk. ‘Well drunk’ in the greek methyō which means to be drunken, intoxicated, your senses numbed.

    So we have the kalos oinos, the good wine, set out at first, and when the guest have well drunk methyō, then the inferior wine would be set out, but they had kept the good wine the kalos oinos till now. Remember this is the kalos oinos that Jesus just made, the Kalos Oinos that methyō, makes people drunk.

    The wine He made was intoxicating, there is just no way around the context clues in the greek in the rest of the passage

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  49. Concerning the wine that Jesus made at the marriage feast- Was it alcoholic? The Greek word used here is “oinos,” a variation of the Hebrew word “yayin.” This word can refer to grape juice in any stage, either fermented,or unfermented.

    Regardless of your opinion of casual drinking, I’m sure most of you will agree that drunkenness is definitely a sin. In light of this, would Jesus contribute to drunkenness?

    At the time Jesus had arrived at the feast, the guests had “well drunk”of whatever they were drinking (V.10.)

    Jesus knew well the warnings of Habakkuk 2:15,”Woe to him who gives his neighbor intoxicating drink.”

    With this in mind, we can be sure that the beverage Jesus made was not intoxicating drink. To do otherwise would have been totally incompatible with His nature.

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  50. Thanks Randy, I’ll check that out.

    Wanted to add that I agree with Randy’s last point – Matt, I don’t believe Christ would have done anything that would cause others to sin. I think “when they were well drunk” refers to the fact that they had all had plenty to drink. I don’t think it was a commentary on their level of intoxication. It seems to me that it’s impossible for us to determine beyond a doubt whether the wine there was fermented or not.

    On to some other points:

    Billy, thanks for joining in on the discussion. You bring up some great points, and congratulations about your son, by the way. Believe me, he has nothing to fear from me. 😉 And sorry for making you feel as though you’ve stepped into another dimmension…

    I think your point about our influence is the most pertinent, and it’s a good one. As a matter of fact, that’s the reason I think Christians shouldn’t drink at all. Seems like I might have mentioned that earlier, but I can’t remember for sure.

    Anyway, I’ve got some other points to make, but don’t have time right now. I’ll post again shortly.

    Thanks again for everyone’s comments.

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  51. Well, after some consideration and contact from a friend I’ve realized how my last few posts could be misconstrued. With that in mind I’d like to take a bit of time and try and clear up exactly what I am saying.

    Again, I understand the argument of why it is good judgment for a Christian to abstain from drinking at all. The possibility of being a stumbling block is very real. Just look at how much of a fuss this conversation about alcohol has stirred up on its own.

    Also I am in no way trying to assert that Jesus Christ ever sinned. We know by the scriptures that Christ was perfect in every way. In a parallel thought line, Christ could never cause someone to sin.

    How is this justified with my belief that Christ made fermented wine? Just because Christ made it, doesn’t imply that He forced anyone to drink it, or to consume it to excess. We know that that everything in the world, God/Christ made (Jn 1:3) Just b/c God makes something and men abuse it, we don’t get to blame God for man’s abuse. That is personal responsibility at its basics. God causes mushrooms to grow, some we can eat. Some will make you high and then kill you. Does that mean we can blame God if we eat the bad mushrooms, get high and die? Of course not! Then no more can you blame Christ if anyone got drunk from the wine He made at the wedding.

    And to the question of how we tell if the wine Christ made was intoxicating or not, I refer us again to vs. 10. The master of the feast recognized the wine Jesus made as ‘kalos oinos’ that ‘methyō’. That is new/good wine that if over comsumed will get you drunk. Only intoxicating, fermented wine can posses the principles to make someone methyō, drunk. It matters not what they had been drinking, he directly pointed out what kind of wine Jesus had made. Again these are not my words, but the direct greek from the New testament. I am only striving to speak were the Bible does.

    Again, no one had chosen to discuss the passages where Christ is called a drunkard, a winebibber, and so on. Some might call me an overzealous Alabama Football fan. I don’t believe that I am, but some might erronously think that. Why would they have reason to think that? Because I am an Alabama fan. The same logic flows to Christ being called a drunkard. I in no way believe Christ to have ever been intoxicated/drunk or anything like that. However it only logically flows that for the pharasees to call Him a drunkard, He at some point or another must have had some fermented wine.

    I plead you to realize I am only speaking what is contained in the New Testament and making logical conclusing from that. Let’s all try to keep our heads about us, there are far more serious things going on that we could be worrying about.

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  52. Regarding Matthew 11:18-19

    Jesus was not a winebibber any more than John the Baptist was demon possessed. The critics of Jesus had slandered John. They had no credibility.

    Christ was saying that those he was addressing weren’t happy with anything– with John the Baptist, a Nazarite who had very strict dietary regulations and would not drink wine (feremented or unfermented- they wouldn’t eat grapes or anything that came from them)- they said that he had a demon. And they weren’t happy with Jesus either, who is not a Nazarite, who does eat and drink and they say he is a glutton and a winebibber. They found fault with both of them.

    Certainly the point is not that John and Jesus were guilty of what their critics accused them.

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  53. No. I am NOT saying either was guilty of their accusations. However I am saying it logically follows that there would be some basis for the accusers to exaggerate on. That John the Baptist did act strange, he wore fur and ate bugs. That’s odd. His message was odd to them at the time, this would lead to their false accusations that he was demon possessed. In a like manner, Christ was more than likely seen drinking fermented wine. This would give an evil Pharisee an easy way to rag on Him calling him a drunk.

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  54. I don’t understand why you assume that the wine was fermented. Could a Pharisee look at a flask of grape juice and tell?

    Why do you assume that whatever Jesus was drinking was alcoholic?

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  55. Because it was the eating and drinking with sinners that got him labeled a glutton and a winebibber. What would sinners be drinking? Also it doesn’t make sense to call someone a drunk that was drinking grape juice.

    How about the last supper. And the ‘fruit of the vine’ consumed there. The Palestine grape harvest begins in the Jewish month of Elul (August-September). The harvest is over before Tishri 15-21 (September-October), the Festival of Booths – Deuteronomy 16:13. Because the last supper was on Passover, at Nisan 14 (April), seven months had elapsed since the harvest of the vine. Long before the last supper, any grape juice in Palestine would be well fermented. So, when Jesus drank the “fruit of the vine” at the last supper, we can be reasonably sure that he could only have been drinking fermented wine. That is why, when the Corinthians re-enacted the supper, some of them could get drunk (1Corinthians 11:21).

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  56. Matt, I have heard many people make similar statements, but historical references indicate that the assumption that there was no means of preventing fermentation 2000 years ago is not correct.

    Also, I have heard some make the point that leaven in any form was forbidden during the passover and since leaven is the fermentation agent, that the fruit of the vine in conjuction with the passover was never fermented.

    The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures explains how grape juice could be preserved: “The means for preserving grape juice were well known. Kato (De Agri Cultura CXX) had this recipe: ‘If you wish to have must [grape juice] all year put grape juice in an amphora and seal the cork with pitch. Sink it in a fishpond. After 30 days take it out. It will be grape juice for a whole year.”’ (Vol. 16, pp. 2088-2089)

    Another method for preserving grape juice was to concentrate the juice by boiling it into a syrup. Stored in a cool place, this concentrate would not ferment. Adding water later yielded a sweet, unfermented grape juice.

    Still another way to have grape juice all year was to finely chop raisins—which are dried grapes—and then add water to produce juice. [For more information, see William Patton, Bible Wines—Law of Fermentation, pp. 24-41; C.A. Christoforides, “More on Unfermented Wine, ” Ministry, April 1955, p. 34; Lael O. Caeser, “The Meaning of Yayin in the Old Testament,” (master’s thesis), Andrews University, 1986, pp. 74-77; F.C. Gilbert, Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of Today (Nashville, Southern Publishing Assn., 1972, pp. 240-241.)]

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  57. I think those are great points. Obviously, we’re not the first people to discuss this topic. I’ve even heard the argument that leaven is naturally present with grapes (grows on its skin), and that fermentation pretty much begins as soon as the grape is crushed. In fact, I’ve also heard that one of the ways to insure the leaven is removed is to allow it to turn to wine, since the alchohol eats up the leaven. Sounds crazy, I know, but you can see some articles on it here and here. The first one is actually written by the guy that does the Theophilus cartoons.

    Anyway, I don’t put much stock in those things, but thought it was interesting. It seems people are divided on fermented or unfermented, alchoholic or non-alchoholic, etc. Personally, I think both sides make good points.

    But before this goes any further, I think I need to clarify a few things about my actual position on this subject. Standby for transmission…

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  58. This whole thread has gotten away from my original intent. When I first posted about this subject, I think I approached it in too casual of a manner. There are many different articles and many different lines of thought concerning this issue, hence many different ways that people look at all of it. It was poor judgment on my part to so casually make reference to such a convoluted issue.

    After going back and rereading every post on this topic, I also think my first comments were a little too casual. I really wasn’t as clear on a few things as I probably should have been. So whether it’s really necessary or not, I want to take this opportunity to clarify those things.

    First of all, I titled this site “Finding and Proclaiming the Truth” because that’s exactly my goal. I don’t pretend that all knowledge stops with me. Lord willing, I still have many years of growing, studying, and maturing ahead of me, and it’s likely that I’ll change my mind about a few things along the way. My intent is to allow a forum for spiritually-minded people to discuss varying topics and hopefully enrich their understanding. If that has happened at all, then I count it a success. Though I would probably tweak certain things about every post I’ve ever made on here, I would not completely rewrite them. As Paul said, I’ve done everything in all good conscience.

    On the subject of alchohol, I think we can all agree that drunkenness is a sin that the Bible condemns. Not only that, but revelries, banquetings, etc are also condemned. As Billy and Kendra (among others) have both stated, a Christian must also consider his example to those around him. I think we’ve all proved that at least in the Southeastern US, the subject of drinking is a pretty hot one. For those reasons, I think Christians would be well advised to stay away from alchohol. As Paul said concerning a similar issue in Romans 14, “do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.”

    As the last few posts indicate, I think it’s impossible for any of us to know beyond a doubt whether Jesus and the apostles ever partook of alchohol or not. We do know that Christ certainly didn’t sin. The other conclusions we might draw along the way are fine, but all of them are at least partially speculation. So in my opinion, our ability to bind those conclusions on others is severely limited.

    In no way do I advocate drinking – not on any level. I simply advocate that we let the Bible say what it says and leave it at that. Hopefully, as we all continue to study these things and grow, all of us will come to a more perfect understanding of what the Bible teaches, whatever that might be.

    If I haven’t been clear on any of this, please let me know. I don’t believe this is an issue for any of us to divide on, especially since Romans 14 deals with issues just like this. Hopefully it’s one we can all help each other understand better.

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  59. As I have read this I am a bit taken back by the willingness to embrace something that seems to be so clear to me. I want you to know I am no scholar, no intellectual; I am merely trying to be as faithful to the Lord and his word as I can be. There are several arguments and proofs that I am too simple minded to understand. However I do understand that strong drink is anything that will lead to intoxication, and is not good for us. Lance mentioned Proverbs 20:1, you can also look at Proverbs 31:6. I also want to make clear that it doesn’t matter what they do in other countries, planets, or wherever, that is their situation and they will have to answer for it. But for me as a Christian living in the United States today it would be sinful to take one drink if for no other reason than James 4:17- “Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”- NKJV. We also should consider James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Let us not have the stain of that sin.

    Let us be bold enough to call sin what it is (i.e.- not an alternative lifestyle, not a bad choice, not a poor use of judgment, not something that is ok for them, but not for me.) If we as Christians are too afraid to call sin what it is we are just as corrupt as the Muslims who call our Savior “Just a Prophet” or “Just a Good Man.”

    I do feel that this is something that needs to be discussed more openly, as well as in person. In this forum our ability to discuss this is greatly limited. This also needs to be discussed beyond this small-unknown forum, and a public debate would be an appropriate setting. I feel that drinking is one of the devil’s devices and it needs to be taught against publicly with clarity and conviction.

    I hope that we all can come to a true understanding of God’s will for us.
    Here are a couple other interesting links-
    http://www.eaec.org/bibleanswers/alcohol.htm
    Or http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Believers/drinking.htm

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  60. I have several issues with what has been said and I will deal with them in time, I can no longer remain silent on this. I at first viewed this post as disappointing, I was angry about the blasphemous article, then the foolishness of the thoughts expressed, I’ve seen demonstrations of weakness on the part of my brethren, and remain disappointed with those whom I‘ve known and respected through the years. Most importantly, what has been said has gone against God’s word and that is the issue. I still believe this is a matter of weakness on the part of those who say they cannot say taking a drink is a sin, but in addition to that, lines have been drawn and this is now a whole different matter altogether. Several have expressed that this is a Romans 14 issue, but I hold that this is not a matter of judgment but that the Lord has been very clear on whether a drink is sinful or not. In addition to that, the mere suggestion of saying that we might serve a flawed Savior is particularly distressing. I will cover both of those soon.
    Just because a matter is a “heated topic” is not a reason to back down from it Nathan. The reason we shouldn’t partake in the drinking of alcohol is because it is sin. I would love to let this go, but I can’t b/c several have violated God’s word in this matter and I cannot stand by and see God’s word mis-handled. The Lord says to preach the word in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort. I come to you and everyone else here in love for your souls, seeing that you are in error here. What disallows me from letting this go is not because it is a “hot issue”, but from the example I have in Acts 5:28-29 where the apostles are told to basically keep quiet about Christ (no doubt a “hot issue“ in their region b/c they were the ones who killed Him), to which they responded “we ought to obey God rather than men”. So you see Nathan, I can’t back down when error is taught, and this is error. After I post this I would like to offer my information to those who would like a cd of a lecture done by my uncle on the subject of alcohol and the Christian. And I’d also like to state at the outset of this that clinically, alcohol is considered a drug, and a very powerful one at that.
    One thing I want to point out that has been repeated quite a few times about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is nothing more than a lie. In essence several have made Him out to be an open sinner, hypocrite, and a party to those in sin and I can’t help but say something about this blasphemy. (more on blasphemy later) If this is the case then this not the Jesus Christ who saved me from my sins and if it is, then we should not worship Him because He was a sinner. You see, if I claim that taking a drink is a sin and believe the scripture teaches that, yet you say the Lord took a drink, then I’ve just called my Savior a sinner. I don’t believe he drank, nor made intoxicating wine, and I believe drinking is a sin. For you to call this a matter of judgment is to allow that the Lord could have drank alcohol, which means I can, and I should follow His example. After all, if the Lord came down to this earth and lived the perfect life, and in that life He drank alcohol, then wouldn’t it follow that so should I? If I can’t then I can’t follow my Savior.
    After reading the numerous posts talking about Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding feast, being a drunkard or drinker himself, and other things there are some inconsistencies if this is the case…let’s apply some common sense here as we read the scripture. In Jn. 2 the Lord turned 120-180 GALLONS of water to wine. So tell me this, after they had drunken the other wine, he makes 120-180 GALLONS? more of “INTOXICATING” wine?? If that is the case, the Lord not only encouraged them to drink alcohol, but encouraged drunkenness, extreme drunkenness in this case b/c that would be a great amount of alcohol. But then the Lord God condemns drunkenness in the rest of His word all throughout the scripture? That’s foolish to make that claim and there is no basis for it. The claim that my Savior was a drinker, winebibber, or socially drank is preposterous and is not the picture of the One who died for my sins that I see in scripture. Aside from all of that, if it was wine that was intoxicating then that goes directly against everything the Old Testament and New Testament teach on drinking and drunkenness. If this was intoxicating wine then it is direct contradiction to Proverbs 23. If it’s poor judgment to be drinking, then I guess the Lord used poor judgment and He encouraged others to use poor judgment when He made intoxicating wine for them all to drink. Again, this is ridiculous and I hope none of us believes such a thing.. And because some accused Him of being a drunkard, a drinker, or associated with those who were in sin, then that means He was? Well they also accused Him of being a blasphemer, but we won’t apply the same reasoning to that accusation will we? I surely hope not!
    Now back to the blasphemy I spoke of earlier. Nathan, the fact that you even posted the article you posted disappoints me and you should be ashamed. The very fact that someone refers to the Son of God, and lowers His name, as “The King of Brews” is in poor taste and is at the very least blasphemy. The fact that you would give an audience to it and encourage others to read such an article with a title such as that is scary and then you even placed your approval on a portion of it. Has the Lord‘s church been wrong all of these hundreds of years and you‘ve found something new? Do you realize what you’ve done here is made something that is a known drug, a poison, a nonessential item to sustain life, and most of all a sin, a matter of judgment? It doesn’t matter to what degree you place it Nathan, you’ve given the green light to use drugs. For anybody who is struggling with addictions, or is weak in this area, you’ve given them the go-ahead to use their own judgment on this issue, after all, your judgment is just as good as mine if it’s not doctrine. So why then is the alcoholic trying to get sober if all he has to do is cut it down some? You have no idea what those people go through Nathan. To say that taking a drink, or even hinting that it might be okay, is giving them poison that will lead to their death. For an alcoholic, the purpose of drink 1 is to get to 2, then 3, then 6. If I’m supposed to bear my brother’s burdens and build one up in a weakness, how do I build up the brother who’s fighting drunkenness? Encourage him to be able to just have one drink again? You see, your belief on this is either lawful to do no matter who it is, or it’s unlawful to do no matter who it is. There is no middle ground on this.
    Do we realize that what has been done in this exchange of posts is that a line of fellowship has been drawn between all of the brethren who believe drinking is wrong in any capacity? and before you say you haven’t drawn that line, let me point it out:
    Fact: if you can’t say this is a sin, you’ve placed it in Romans 14, so then it’s up to anyone’s discretion and your idea that one drink isn’t a sin is just as good as John Doe who says that for him 3 is okay to have and it’s not a sin
    Fact: if this is a judgment issue then it’s up to the conscience of the individual and has no bearing on our soul’s salvation. Rom.14:5
    Fact: if this is an issue of judgment then to preach our own view as doctrine would violate the faith and personal conscience of others (not doctrinal), thus it would be considered sin. Rom 14:12,23
    In a judgment issue you can preach that to do either is right and still come out okay. Can we do the same with alcohol? I think not.
    Fact: if anyone teaches a matter of judgment as doctrine, he is a teacher of error and should be pointed out as such and withdrawn from if he will not repent for being a false teacher
    Fact: if you are attending and having fellowship with those who are publicly teaching that drinking alcohol is a sin, and you believe it to be a matter of judgment, (we know this b/c several have now publicly expressed it) have studied with them and they refuse to withdraw this belief, then aren’t you having fellowship with false teachers? For aren’t they violating Matt.15:9 in that they “teach as doctrine the commandments of men?”
    Fact: now you are in sin b/c you are having fellowship with false teachers 2 Jn. 9
    Fact: The churches who do not deal with these men accordingly are operating in error by not following
    2 Jn. 9-11
    The real fact is Nathan, that until now this may have been a private view that you and a handfull of others may have held, been studying, and as matter of conscience with you, but putting it in the forum it is in now and making the statements that you and others have made, the lines of fellowship have been drawn whether you would like to admit it or not. I hope you realize this and make correction. Discussion is good to have but better judgment would have been to study this personally with the elders, or with the preacher, or whoever opposes what you believe with your bibles open in order to come to a better understanding…however, now the time has come where after all of this discussion there are two sides to this issue and we must pick which side we’re on, only one of them is right. Either:
    1. Drinking alcohol is sinful
    2. Drinking alcohol is not sinful
    Consider:
    1 Cor.6:9-11 If they used to be this way, then why would Paul condone them going back and doing just a little bit of it and still be considered faithful? “Corinthians, go ahead and commit a little idolatry, I can’t say it’s a sin” or “Corinthians, go ahead and just get started being a homosexual, I can’t say it’s a sin” But no. No. He says but now you’re washed and clean do them no more b/c you’re Christ’s. Do “them” no more, do what? Do those sins no more. Not in the greatest, not in the least. Don’t even come close, as seen in other passages.
    1 Cor. 6:12 “…not be brought under the power of any” If we’re under the power of a substance then aren’t we pushing God out? If we’re full of God then is there any room for any drugs? God says in Matt. 6:33 to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” How can I do that when I’m putting something into my body that the Lord warns against (Prov.23) and condemns in various other passages? Or what about Matt. 6:24 where the Lord says that we “cannot serve two masters, for either ye will hate the one and be loyal to the other or else be loyal to one and despise the other” Placing ourselves under the influence of alcohol, or any drug, places our loyalties elsewhere and it’s not what God had in mind. Drinking is wrong. Period!
    1 Cor. 6:19-20 Our body is the temple of the Spirit, how can we glorify God in our body and in our Spirit which are God’s if we partake of a drug such as alcohol? Notice that when we’re prescribed a drug by the doctor, or take over the counter medication at home, it’s to get us back to a state of feeling normal, not to heighten our state of normal into abnormal. Anybody whose ever abused a drug, no matter what it is, will tell you that the feeling of normal was never normal while they used. Soon normal was how they felt when they were using, while high or buzzed, and in the late stages normal was just taking the drug so they could just function, and then they found another drug. This is how drugs work. Alcohol IS a drug and it IS a sin to take part in its consumption. If we take the position that one drink isn’t wrong, then that opens the door for the other drugs as well. It’s pretty sad when those who are outside of the body of Christ can understand this simple point and see it clearly as a sin, but those who’ve been raised in the church for most, if not all of their lives, are the ones who bring such a subject up and question it’s sinfulness when it’s so clearly evident to others.
    Scripture after scripture and example after example has been laid out plainly and concisely through this whole post by Tadd, Kendra, Lance, and now numerous others who have joined this discussion only to be answered with one or more of the following statements, actions, or attitudes: “oh, you must be mistaken, that’s not what I meant”, or “maybe you misunderstood me”, more circular reasoning, more questions with no end, personality conflicts, a misapplication or misunderstanding of the scripture, and a refusal to heed what’s been said and explicitly shown from God’s word. Nathan, you’ve heard my dad, Randy, and I’m sure many other preachers preach on this same subject time after time through the years, and I have no doubt that you’ve had many opportunities to discuss this, as well as some of the others involved in this discussion, yet now you choose this forum to be your outlet for such a discussion. This private view is no longer private Nathan, and I believe you are in sin as well as others who share your belief. Nathan, I side with what the word of God says and what I can prove from the scriptures I’ve referenced and that others have stated as well. I could even bring you numerous personal examples and testimonies from a multitude of others (both out in the world, and in the body of Christ) who will explain to you in no uncertain terms the adverse effects alcohol has played in their lives from the very first sip they took to the very last, how they know for a fact that taking a drink is a sin for both them and anyone else, and that alone should clue you in that it‘s not right for anybody. Drinking is a sin!
    Personally I think a public forum in front of the brethren is where this belongs, not on the internet. The Bible teaches the truth on this and one of us is wrong, therefore in order to find out the truth we need a venue where both will be able to prepare in advance and be given the opportunity to “give an answer for the hope that is within them.” One side has the truth on this Nathan, and the truth has nothing to hide, it’s time to defend your view now that this has become public in nature. Debate this issue yourself in front of the brethren, or choose someone to represent what you believe on this, because souls are now at stake and this matter must be resolved before brethren.
    Find me a church where they teach that taking a drink is okay and I’ll show you a church who has gone astray in other areas as well. Take a look at the article you put up, I’d hope we’d all agree they’re seriously off the deep end, but you keep following this line of thought that’s where you’re headed too Nathan. You allow a little bit of sin in Nathan and you’ve opened the door for it all. And you (as well as those who have agreed with you) have opened the door wide open with drawing the line against all who don’t share your view here with what you said at the beginning of this discussion:
    [ In reality, God gave us all the info we needed, and we don’t need to forget the condemnation Jesus brought against the Pharisees for “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). ]
    So if we teach that drinking alcohol is a sin, then aren’t we “in vain worshipping the Lord” as the beginning of the verse says and being Pharisaical and far from God? That would be conclusion one would come to according to your own words Nathan, and the context of the passage. Here are more passages to read over and I hope you will study them to find the truth. It is plain as day to me and I can most assuredly say that taking a drink is a sin. You see Nathan, it‘s very easy once all has been laid out on the table here for you to step back and say let‘s take it easy guys, but the harm has been done:
    Hosea 4:11 Is. 28:7-13 Prov. 20:1 Is.5:11,22-23
    1 Pet. 4:3 1 Thess.5:22 1 Cor.5:11-13 Gal.5:19-21
    Jn. 2 Prov. 23 2 Pet.2:12-22 Eph. 5:18
    Let me close with this: We all agree with Psalm 1, and we all agree that sin is not befitting a Christian. So we can apply the scripture to our lives in all aspects. We agree that drunkenness is wrong. It would be logical to conclude (besides all the scripture that says it‘s wrong) that the road to drunkenness would also be wrong. Matt. 7:13-14 plainly says we are to choose the narrow way, that way is the Lord’s way and it steers clear of things that even appear to be evil (1 Thess. 5:22) So now when we look at the scripture Psalm 1 where it says “blessed is that man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful…” we can draw from that that we should not walk by the intoxicating drink (or linger by it as Prov. 23 says), stand in its path, nor sit anywhere near it. If we are having a drink Nathan, after all it is, as you say, as matter of judgment (Rom. 14), and my brother sees me drinking that beverage, what is he going to think about it? It is, after all, a matter of judgment right? YOU can’t say it’s a sin, right? So what do you do with Matt. 7:20 where it says “by their fruits you shall know them”. I see someone drinking I don’t think “hey, I wonder if that’s number 1 or 7” Not in the least Nathan. Drinking is wrong from #1 all the way to the end result being drunkenness. I hope you can see the logic in the scripture in that. Just try to apply your reasoning on this with all of the other types of sin. I’m praying that all will come to a knowledge of the truth on this and make correction where it is needed.
    I offer my information to obtain the lesson on Alcohol from my Uncle Art, who not only gives a Biblical explanation as to why it is wrong, but also a clinical reason from the standpoint of our bodies and its effect.

    Once again, if anyone wants to contact Matt, let me know, and I’ll arrange it. Guys, PLEASE stop posting your personal information on here. It’s just not smart.

    — Nate

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  61. Well said, Matt.

    I am surprised that the phrase “free from the influence of intoxicants” was used to jump to the conclusion that drunkenness is the only drinking taught against. Does an intoxicating substance only influence one at the point of excess?

    Consider also this example: Lev. 10:9 – “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die…” If there is any parallel to our priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9) then you or I would not be in a position to approach God until the intoxicating effects were gone from our body. Can we intentionally put ourselves in that position and say it is not sin? Would our High-priest ever have put Himself in such a position?

    Proverbs 31:4 says, “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink;” but we have trouble determining whether or not the King of Kings would have used intoxicating drink.

    If the argument is really one of specific authority to condemn drinking let’s follow it to it ends. We all agree that when God specified vocal music for worship He condemned all other forms of music in worship.

    You’re argument would be that when God specifically condemned drunkenness He allowed all other forms of drinking. But then we encounter passages such as 1 Pet 4 that make alcohol use even more restrictive and so we know that can not be the case. The same thing that makes instrumental music a sin makes one drink a sin – it is never mentioned as being allowed by God. Is that not being silent where the Bible is silent? We would all be hard pressed to even provide a Biblical proof of anyone drinking alcohol casually (if we could at all). Medicinal use is specifically allowed and that is why I can allow it.

    The content of the wine at Cana and all other such historical and academic questions are easily judged in view of passages that condemn not only drunkenness, but similar practices (Gal:5:19). In other words, we may never know what was intended by Prov. 31:6, 7, but we should KNOW that it is not inviting nor authorizing God’s people to use intoxicating drink.

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  62. Maybe I dont understand what Rom 14 Is talking about. I will read it again. What Nathan and others, such as myself, have referred to with mentioning Rom 14 is verse 21. We may not have the most acurate understanding on the passage, but if you read it you will see that we did not put drinking in there, God did. I’m sorry That I do not see this issue as clearly as the rest of you. I, and if I my speak for Nathan, are trying to study it further with what is at hand.

    You should all take a moment and look back at what has been said and see who has drawn the line. Nathan asked for Bible study and discussion. Who has mentioned Fellowship? Who honestly drew that line?

    To say that one public forum is wrong and then say that another is public forum right, sounds wierd to me. Maybe you’ve all seen different debates that I have. Some people think they can prove drinking was done in the new testiment, I see evidence. I see evidence to the contrary. I may be slow and simple minded, but I dont think that Nathan said this is a dividing line. Rom 14 allows that there are those who find eating meats and other activities as sinful. Paul says that although they are wrong, and the activities allowable, we should endulge them to avoid placing a stumbling block. I dont think it was a stumbling block to discuss those issues, but to do those things around them. This is not an example where paul told them to withdrawl fellowship because some thought and logically let be known, that they disagreed with the eating of meats and other things. This is an example of why we should avoid certain things.
    I ask again, Who has drawn a dividing line?

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  63. Billy, you have come off strongly on a topic you feel strongly about. I cant throw any stones about that. You did bring up valid points, which should be considered. Asking if God would dwell with a beer, or any other intoxicating dring is an outstanding point. Seeing God dwell with RedBull, BigMacs, and JellyBeans seems just as rediculous.

    Luke, you also have things worthy of consideration, and forgive me for not being able to address all that I would like. the point of yours that stands out to me, is where you stated that we should call sin a sin. I agree and dont think that anyone here would argue that. Among other things in you example of what should be called a sin was “poor Judgement.” I’m not sure that every lapse in judgement equals sin. Is that what you’re saying?

    Tadd, I understand your desire to stand for what you believe in. I can understand you saying that if someone disagrees with your strong beliefs that they are drawing diving lines and should be corrected publicly. I could understand it better if you were consistant. You told me that I Cor 11 was clear to you and I agree with you. But you havent seemed to draw or suggest any division on this matter. How many times have you preached on it. It is clear to you, then what’s different? People obviously disagree. Many to me seem unwilling to even study the issue. Do you think they are drawing division, do you think that you should?
    Nathan and others here seem willing to study. Why is this a call for a line in the sand?

    I hope no one here wants division of any kind. Rhetoric can be useful for illistration, but it is not proof. Both sides of this issue should remember that.

    to clarify a point on my previous post, where i said,” we should endulge them” the “them” was refering to the weaker bretheren discussed in Rom 14.

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  64. A debate seems ill advised. Emotions are obviously high on this subject. A debate, to me, would only fuel those emotions which might lead to poor judgement and the mishandling of God’s word.
    I believe people will feel the need to submitt everything they can think of on the issue. I believe that with these things going on people will “shoot from the hip” and not give adequit time to compose their thoughts before they deliver them. I think people will be more likely to draw lines and divisions in such a case.

    here in this forum, people can study and think before they respond. They can consider what someone else has said for a longer period before having to respond. I dont see the problem with Bible discussion in this way. Luke, how are we geatly limited in this forum?

    Proverbs tells us how to handle one another to acheive the best results. Gal 6, very breifly does the same.

    Tad, if Nathan should not have directed anyone to the article, then youre guilty of that too. I have not read the article, but the title is horendous.

    We should be longsuffering with one another. especially when the one another are willing to study.

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  65. Tadd, one more thing. I really do believe that the parallel you’ve drawn with the levitical priesthood is a good point. I mean that. Should we do all the things that the the israelites did to prepare themselves for the tabernacle? We are a royal priesthood, so a better question is, should we, or are we bound to do all the levitical priests did?

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  66. Obviously, I need to respond to a few things on here.

    First of all, I can’t tell you how sorry I am that this issue has caused so much conflict and has caused so many ultimatums to be made. Considering that this topic doesn’t concern the divinity of our Lord, what is required for salvation, or the overall gospel message, then I am rather surprised that so many divisions are trying to be made about it. As Josh mentioned, would we divide over the head covering? And as he also mentioned, none of us put this issue in Romans 14, God put it there, regardless of how any of us feel about the subject.

    Matt A. has referred to us calling Christ a sinner. Let me say in no uncertain terms that that is NOT the case. The other Matt made a post yesterday that suggested Jesus may have eaten unclean foods, but I made a statement disagreeing with that because it would have left Christ a sinner. And Matt later reposted saying that he was mistaken, and essentially withdrew his comment. Are we Christian enough to let that go? We certainly should be.

    Now, I know that part of Matt A’s statement refers to some of us suggesting that Christ may very well have turned the water to alchoholic wine and may have partaken of some of it himself. Well, that’s only wrong if any amount of alchohol is wrong. If any alchohol is wrong, then Christ simply wouldn’t have had any. If he did have any, then a moderate amount is obviously not wrong. Either way, Christ certainly didn’t sin. As Romans 3:4 says, “let God be true, but every man a liar.”

    Many of you have made some really good points for consideration — I’ll certainly be the first to say that. As a matter of fact, this discussion has actually made me more certain that the Christian has no business drinking. As has been said, the Bible teaches that drunkenness, revelries, banquetings, etc are wrong. Furthermore, we have to be careful of our example for others. And many good points have been made that we are to pursue holy things, strive to be spiritual, draw closer to God, etc. It’s those points in particular that I had not considered as much before.

    So I thank all of you for pointing those things out. But now, if you’ll allow me, let me try to explain what the real issue here has been. (My next comment is coming right up…)

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  67. Earlier, I posted another article on this site concerning how we perceive biblical warnings. Was there something wrong with that article? Did it come to the wrong conclusions concerning drinking alchohol? If so, please let me know, and I’ll correct it.

    If that article was correct, then why have so many of you claimed that I’m (or anyone else on here) advocating drinking?! If that’s your position, then I’ll submit that you either haven’t read this entire thread, or you’re not understanding it. In no way do I condone drinking. Hopefully, that will clear things up a little.

    Why do I think a Christian shouldn’t drink?

    First of all, it can lead to drunkenness. Many of you have so aptly pointed out that danger lies along the path of alchohol. I couldn’t agree more. And we’ve all agreed that drunkenness is wrong (Rom13:13, 1 Cor 5:11). Great.

    Secondly, revelries, banquetings, and drinking parties are also condemned by God (1 Pet 4:3). In other words, frat parties, keggers, or any place or gathering that promotes drunkenness and partying. Have I said anything amiss so far?

    Thirdly, as Christians, we are to be careful of our example (Matt 5:14). Seeing as how alchohol leads to drunkenness, how it’s often found in the settings of revelries, banquetings, and drinking parties, and how we have plenty of other beverages to choose from today, we should all avoid alchohol. Aside from some mild health values, or for use in cooking, or for use as a primitive fuel source, there’s not too much value in alchohol.

    Christians should stay away from it.

    Is that clear? Does someone disagree with what I’ve said? Have I misrepresented God’s word in some way? Please let me know if I have, for that’s not my intent.

    I don’t drink alchohol. I certainly don’t advocate that anyone else should. I have no agenda.

    If so far, you agree with me, then you might wonder what all this fuss has been about? Well, the issue I’ve always had is not in wanting to say that alchohol is ok. My issue has always been that I’m not comfortable with the way we often come to the very conclusion that I listed above.

    I have heard many sermons from many different preachers (I’m honestly not trying to single anyone out here — I hope that’s clear) that come to the same conclusion — that a Christian shouldn’t drink — but sometimes I think they misuse some passages to get that conclusion.

    For example, I have often heard the passages concerning “baquetings, revelries, and drinking parties” be defined to say that even a sip of alchohol is a sin. That’s not something I find in the Bible. I know for a fact that those words don’t mean that in English, and I think most of the Greek definitions don’t mean that either. Even if I found one that did mean that, I don’t trust my own expertise of the Greek language (which is nill) against that of the large groups of Greek scholars who translated those words into “banquetings, revelries, and drinking parties.”

    Furthermore, wine is one of the things listed in Romans 14. Paul tells the Christians there to “bear with the weaker brother.” Obviously, each side of the issue views the other as the “weaker brother,” but it really doesn’t matter who is weaker and who is not. The way we are to deal with one another is in love and forebearance. What is it that James 3 says? Verse 17 says “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” In other words, we can’t compromise on God’s word, but beyond that, we must be careful in the way we approach one another.

    Anyway, I do not believe this issue is as cut and dry as many of us like to make it. Should a Christians drink? Absolutely not. There is plenty of evidence to support how we should act as we strive to become better examples.

    But let me ask you a question… (my next post is coming shortly…)

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  68. There are a few things I would like to discuss. Unfortunately none of them have to do with alcohol. But so many comments have been made I feel some things need to be addressed before we move on.

    The first topic is attitude and Christian love. We are challenged to correct each other when we see a brethren in error, none would argue that. However we must remember that in doing that we must harbor no spite, no harsh feelings. We are told to treat each other like brothers and sisters, older ones like respected fathers and mothers. I have to ask is this the way you treat your family? Some of you have attacked Nathan with such bitterness it makes me sick.

    Secondly false accusations and twisting of other’s words. Nowhere has anyone here labeled Christ a sinner, a hypocrite, a drunkard or any thing like that. Those that accused others of making those statements should know better than to stoop to that level.

    Thirdly, My name is Matt and I and I only am responsible for my statements. Don’t blame things I said, or positions I took on Nathan. I can stand on my own two feet. I have simply laid out direct passages from the New Testament, even breaking some of them down to the Greek to try and get some of you to under stand. My positions can be talked about further in another post, now is not the time.

    Fourthly, all this call for a debate in a public place. One side of this argument really seems to be looking for some attention. We are here simply to discuss matters of faith and grow together in knowledge of our Lord. Why do you want to end that? Why are there calls time and time again to have a debate where it seems one side just wants to put the other in its place. This site has had around 200 hits a day on this subject, that seems pretty public. Not to mention that all can chime in, not just one or two per side.

    Fifthly, labeling alcohol as a drug. That is a pretty week argument. You want to ban caffeine next? Anyone here have a cup of coffee this morning, or plan on having tea or a coke at lunch? Alcohol is a drug, so are a lot of other things that can be used both beneficially and to harm us.

    All this talk about drawing a line and poor fellowship, even hints of withdrawal. I would politely ask you to keep you nose in your own congregation. Others from Nathan and my congregation are aware of the things posted here, Randy has even made some comments. We all seem to show the maturity to study over issues, talk about them amongst ourselves and not get all riled up. I would ask that you do likewise.

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  69. I think a key to understanding this issue is found in the articles that Luke referenced…
    http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Believers/drinking.htm

    This artilce said that the alcholic drinks that we have today would have been considered “strong drink” and condemned.

    Much wine in the first century was very low alcohol content and/or was watered down. It may have been fermented, but at such a low level that it would have been difficult to drink enough to get drunk- unless you were drinking something in the category of “strong drink.”

    The Nazarites (and others) would not drink anythiing from the grape (or eat the grape). These are the types of folks Romans 14 is talking about. People who had imposed rules upon themselves that God had not, or were still imposing the old law. These were matters of indifference to God and they should not judge others in areas of indifference to God.

    Romans 14 is not saying that we should allow everyone to practice according to their conscience. The matters discussed there are matters of indifference to God. We know that strong drink and drunkenness are not matters of indifference to God.

    If I could have some of the wine that Romans 14 is talking about, that wine was a matter of indifference to God. But I don’t believe that type of wine is what is being sold today. The wine and other alcholic beverages sold today are what would have been considered “strong drink.”

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  70. How many new converts do you know that perfectly practice God’s word? How many of you have known young women who studied themselves out of the world into serving Christ that always dressed as modestly as they should have? Did you withdraw from them? Did you make it a point of fellowship? Or did you allow them time to come to a better understanding? Did you try to lovingly coax them in the right direction and understand that God bears with all of us in our weaknesses, as long as we really are trying to serve him faithfully?

    Or how about attendance? The first couple of times a new convert missed services when they probably could have been there, did you scorn them publically? Did you threaten them with withdrawal unless they repented? Or did you try to teach them and allow them to grow a little before you expected that level of understanding from them?

    If we hold people to some of these things who aren’t even Christians yet, are we putting extra barriers between them and Christ? We have to understand that certain things have not been illustrated so plainly in the Bible, even if we think they have.

    For instance, where does God draw the line for us on gluttony? How many carbs are too many? Is this something that God has told us, or are we forced to make our own judgments on the issue? And if that’s the case, can we make those judgments for others, or is that between them and God? Sure, we all know what gluttony is, and what it isn’t. But is there not a gray area that we can’t decide for anyone else but ourselves?

    I think that’s the principle taught in Romans 14 and 1 Cor 8-10. God has left some things up to our own judgment. The Pharisees made it a law that a tailor couldn’t carry a needle around with him on the Sabbath for fear that would tempt him to work. Is that necessarily a bad suggestion? No. But did they have the right to draw that line for him? I don’t think so. I think it would be wise for all of us to study over Col 2:16-23 and try to determine what Paul is speaking of here.

    I think I’ve said about all I can at this point. Let me reiterate that I in no way condone drinking, nor do I do it myself. I think a Christian should not engage himself in such activity because of where it can lead, the dangers associated with it, and his example to those around him (Christian and non-). Furthermore, I don’t dispute someone who teaches those things publically. I just ask that we all make sure we are teaching them biblically. Remember, a stricter judgement is reserved for those who are teachers. If we take up that noble responsibility, let’s make sure we all do it with a clear conscience and with the sincere determination to teach God’s word accurately.

    If that’s what all of us are really, continually striving for, then we’re doing our best. And I’m convinced that God is pleased with that. We will all make mistakes along the way. But God is faithful and just to forgive us when we fail him (if we repent). And he’s promised that if we seek the truth, we will find it. Certainly, if I’ve been guilty of misrepresenting something or causing someone to stumble, then that’s wrong, and I ask all of you, and God, to forgive me of that.

    Hopefully, this last series of comments makes my intentions clear. If I have mis-spoken, you would be my friend to point it out.

    Thanks

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  71. Josh,
    Clarification- Poor judgment can be consequential or not. A non-consequential example would be I washed a new red shirt with my white t-shirts resulting in they all turning pink. That is a not an issue it was poor judgment.
    Whenever judgment must be used, we as Christians are taught clearly “better safe than sorry.” In this case where alcohol is viewed so negatively in scripture (i.e. Prov 20:1; 31:4-7; Leviticus 10:9; Galatians 5:19-21; 1Peter 4:3) and we have to make a decision to partake or not, cast judgment, the decision is clear. So in this case when we are taught not to partake, and to be soberminded and we have to make a decision about it. Using such poor judgment and deciding to endulge would be a sin because it is contrary to what the Bible so clearly teaches.
    Another example of poor, sinful, judgment would be if my wife and I went to the beach and she wore a 2 piece bikini. Although it is not viewed as wrong by the world it is, and she would have used poor judgment as according to 1 Timothy 2:9.
    The reason I feel that this forum limits us is because we are missing all the non-verbal communication as well as emotion. The reason that I say this is because we all must be careful that we are doing this out of love for one anothers souls, and I do not mean to “offend” just by the inflection the reader may put in any statements that may be posted. So, I know I can much more clearly convey myself speaking in person as opposed to through a internet forum.
    The only offense that we all should want to make is that of trying convict others to do what is right in the sight or God.

    Nate,
    I understand the point about not putting up barriers between |”new converts or prospective converts.” But we must always realize the barrier between ANYONE and Christ is the barrier of SIN. In whatever form it may take- marriage situations, any type of addictions, partaking in a variety of activites that are sinful will be the barrier, not me or anyone else who is trying to obedient.

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  72. Josh, I in no way believe that anyone here is ready to disfellowship because of the issue at hand. Ready for more much needed study? Most definitely.

    I know that Matt A. drew up an illustration of what happens when one teaches for doctrine the commandments of men. If anyone is teaching falsely, or misusing God’s word, we all know what that leads to if he doesn’t repent. I was just thinking about the statement that Billy made in an earlier post, One of us is wrong. one of us is a false teacher. It is utterly impossible for us both to be right. And yet this is considered by some to be a ‘matter of opinion’? …”

    I think Matt and Billy were both stressing the fact that for many of us, this is a very serious issue, not just a matter of judgment.

    Also, I agree with Luke, it’s easy to get emotional and put the wrong inflection on other people’s post. Please, be careful not to do so.

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  73. Randy, I can see your point. I hope that I have not come off in an offensive way and hope I havent left the impression that everyone here has.

    I also believe that strong drink is condemned. And you may be right, that what is sold today is has much more alcohol. I will look into it. thanks.

    Rom 14, will take me longer to agree on. Wouldn’t the Nazarite have known not everyone was as Nazarite? I’m not sure, and maybe we can’t know for sure. I will, however, look into it.

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  74. Luke, I have no issues with your tone. I hope you take no offense with mine. I appreciate your willingness to discuss the matter with me.

    I totally agree that we should be better safe than sorry. Someone once commented to that, “there is a way that cannot be wrong.”
    Should we make women wear a covering and a man remove his hat to pray, because it is undeniably authorized?

    I remove my hat and abstain from alcohol for just those reasons. Can I then bind that on others because I feel it is the safe way?

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  75. Josh-
    I did not mean to infer that Romans 14 was referring to Nazarites directly. I just was using that as an example of a group of people that had bound dietary restrictions upon themselves that God had not bound.

    Of course, there were judaizing teachers that were trying to bind OT dietary restrictions (what you could eat and drink and when) upon others and they were not to do that.

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  76. The example I used of the Nazarite vow was not stated correctly. Those that took the vow did so voluntarily (so in that sense, it was self-imposed), but the regulations were God’s as stated in Number 6.

    Numbers 6 :1-12 describes the requirements of the one who takes this vow to “separate themselves to the Lord.”

    But these regulations in regard to diet (whether from this vow or elsewhere in the Old Law) were now a matter of indifference to God according to Romans 14.

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  77. Josh,
    There is much more to the discussion in 1Corinthians 11 but I won’t wear a cap or hat and my wife in the assembly does wear a covering.

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  78. Sorry I didn’t address your last question in response 83 about binding. If it was just because I felt that way then no. However if scriptures teach the practice then yes it can be bound, and I feel that both practices are taught. Not to say there might not be an unanswered question but the teaching is still there.

    Trying to have all the answers is also one thing we need to be careful of and that is to think we have to have every answer to every possibile scenario when we can see what the overall teaching is and follow that. Let us not look for the loophole let us be willing servants will to sacrifice things here for the greater things to come.

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  79. I don’t see the bitterness you speak of, Matt, and it is not just as simple as keeping our nose out of your congregation. People in this discussion who have taken different sides worship together and have long relationships with Nathan and his family. I’m just the guy who chased the rabbit. Unfortunately, Matt, I think you have been hurt by this teaching because the inescapable conclusion of an earlier argument you made was that Christ without a doubt used intoxicating drink and that He encouraged and was a party to others participation in drunkenness and the eating of unclean meats. I do not fault you, though, because that is the honest end to your position.

    Some may continue to say that passages have not been presented that condemn one drink, however, neither have passages been provided that affirm one drink as a Christian liberty. My stance is that there is no passage. I am only authorized to abstain from casual or moderate alcohol use. The Bible questions not only my wisdom, but my faithfulness if I do not abstain. If that isn’t binding then nothing is. Josh, my answer to covering wouldn’t help you because I can think of no woman in our congregation that doesn’t cover herself. It is one of the reasons I attend there.

    I don’t care about the argument and I consulted others about my conviction to challenge this before the brotherhood in a public debate before expressing that desire. The issue is now two fold to me – public false teaching on one side or the other and alcohol.

    If you don’t understand that I do not believe this falls into an area of judgment, now you know. I also, as Randy, do not believe the teaching of Romans 14 is simply to practice according to one’s conscience. These issues are why I suggested a public debate among the brotherhood.

    I believe I have been confused with someone else or either my comments have been misconstrued, but I do not believe that there is a word on this post that would indicate I took this discussion personal or that I made personal attacks. I mean, I just haven’t said some of the things that have been attributed to me.

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  80. I think Tadd’s idea of a public debate is a good one. I would be interested in helping or participating in it. Location would not be an issue for me wether in Birmingham area or Mobile, Pensacola area. If anyone would be willing, we can work out the details. You can contact me at ********

    Guys, let me again respectfully request that you STOP putting your personal information on this site. If you want to post your private information on the internet, feel free to go to WordPress.com and open your own account. It’s free, and you can post whatever you like on it. However, until then, if anyone wants to contact you directly, I’ll let you know.

    — Nate

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  81. 85 (now 86) posts on this topic. I find it quite amazing and maybe even sad that this has to be debated in such a way. Although I am sure faithful preachers, teachers, elders of old were disturbed about having to debate fellowship halls, musical instruments, saved by faith alone, and many other false teachings that have tried to creep into Christ’s church.

    Many verses have been used, in my opinion some correctly some incorrectly. I have no more to add. But why are we having to debate such a thing as the poison of alcohol? We know, “that in the end it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper”Prov.23:31-32 (I changed my mind and used a verse)
    Why would a christian even dare to partake in this and why would another defend it? You are either for it all the way or against it all the way. Sneaking a drink by hiding yourself from the world in your home does not make it ok. I feel most agree that social drinking is sin. It destroys your influence. If you do not think so, after you down one try to teach the person next to you the gospel of Christ. I bet they do not listen. If it is sin there, how could it not be sin in your home? Is it sin for me to look at pornography in public, but ok in my home as long as I do it “occasionally” and no one sees me? Obsurd? Of course it is, but I can not find anything in the Bible that says do not look at pornography. (By the way, God always sees us even if we are hiding in our homes.)

    We should be proclaiming to christians that they should run from strong drink! It serves absolutely no purpose in the life of a christian. Let us see how far away from sin we can get, not how close. We do not need to be putting stumbling blocks in front of people by telling them it is your choice.

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  82. There are several passages in the New Testament that deal with drinking, wine , and drunkeness. The following are most of them, although there are some others that use the words, but don’t seem to directly address these points.

    Romans 14:21 We are not to eat anything or drink wine if it causes our brother to be weak or stumble.

    Ephesians 5:18 We are not to be drunk with wine, wherein is excess.

    1Timothy 3:3 Elders are not to be given to wine.

    1Timothy 3:8 Deacons are not to be given to much wine.

    1Timothy 5:23 Timothy is told to use a little wine for his stomach’s sake.

    Titus 1:7 Elders are not to be given to wine.

    Titus 2:3 Aged women are not to be given to much wine.

    1Peter 4:3 It is a sin to walk in lusts, excess of wine, banquetings, and revellelings.

    1Corinthians 5:11 We are not to keep company with idolators, railers, or a drunkard.

    1Corinthians 6:10 Neither thieves, nor covetors, nor drunkards will inherit the kingdom of God.

    1Thessalonians 5:7-8 We are to be sober.

    Romans 13:13 We are not to walk in rioting and drunkeness.

    Galations 5:21 Drunkeness, revellings, and such like are works of the flesh.

    Now this is what we see the New Testament saying on the subject. We agree with it, we plan to teach it, and we admonish all to do likewise. If you disagree with what these passages say, then we have some doctrinal matters we need to discuss further. If you do agree with these passages, what do you intend to debate? If you believe these passages need some amplification and addition, then you are venturing into the realm of opinion. supposition, and/or conjecture. We do not mind you teaching this, if you use scripture and teach it with the caveat that it is your opinion. We do not believe anyone’s opinion should be taught as fact, nor do we believe God needs any help. He has told us what He is going to say on this subject, and he means what he says.

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  83. I don’t know what else there is to say to add to the vast amount of entries appropiately recognizing drinking modern day alcoholic beverages for any use other than medical purposes to be sin.
    Modern day alcohol is “strong drink.” It would never be wise to drink alcohol in it’s modern form. Proverbs 20:1
    We should not consume any substance that can cloud our judgement or cause us to not be soberminded. 1 Thess. 5:8
    Nor should we put ourselves in any position that resembles evil.
    1 Thess. 5:22

    Here is some info that I found a Truth Tract entitled The Bible, Medical Science and Alcohol.
    page 13 “Alchol is not even a true stimulant in any sense of the word, Experiments show that it is a depressant to the nervous system of man whether taken in large or small quantities.”

    How can one be truely 100% soberminded if they take even one drink? It will have some sort of effect.

    We know that alchol is legal and therefore one of the most prominent causes of much wickedness in the world. So why would we not admitt it’s connection at least in the USA with evil and then avoid it.

    If it is wrong for us as indivuals to take a drink publicly because of 1 Thess. 5:22 how can we say it is not sin?

    If by making a concious decision to drink even just one drink effects our mind making us not soberminded according to modern day science and the more important 1Thess. 5:6-8, then why can’t we call it sin.

    Stance: Drinking any amount for any reason other than medical purposes is sin. 1 Tim. 5:23

    Scott

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  84. the issue still out there is are you guys willing to say that the bible teaches that taking one drink of alcohol for any reason except medicinal is a sin.

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  85. I can say what the bible says.

    Romans 14:21- We are not to eat anything or drink wine if it causes my brother to stumble or be weak.

    Ephesians 5:18- Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess

    See post #89 for additionsl passages.

    In addition:

    Isaiah 5:11-12- Woe to those who pursue intoxicants.

    Isaiah 28:7- Intoxicants cause error in vision and judgement.

    Proverbs 23:20-21, 29-35- Woe and sorrow are caused by wine.

    Proverbs 31:4-5- Drinking can cause one to forget the law and pervert judgement.

    1Thessalonians 5:22- Abstain from the appearance of evil.

    Romans 13:14- Make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

    It is because of these passages that I do not drink, nor do I advocate or support drinking in any form.

    I hope this focus on the scriptures will satisfy the discussion here, and if further discussion is needed, then please contact me directly. My intention is to only say what the scriptures say.

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  86. I also agree with posts 92 and 89. I only regret that I didn’t use so much scripture at the beginning.

    At this point, I see no further good coming from any posts. If anyone feels like they need to discuss the issue further, then I’d ask that those conversations take place privately.

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  87. The whole of these are interesting. i was priviledge to read this only the day before yesterday i.e. 11th September, 2008. My only conclusion is that as some of the brethren had posted, if a congregation wishes to take a stand on drinking, i.e. preach against drinking at all, it is no problem for it will edify the church, but let us all be guided, the bible in NO way make reference to drinking as a sin. all this fuss about drinking being sinful is PURELY manmade. I want to congratulate the “starter” of this discuss and pray that GOD will give us all a perfect understanding of His words.

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  88. nate, I just stumbled upon this old post of yours and actually read all of the comments… All I can think to say is, “WOW.”

    What a fun bunch you used to run with. And I’m sure many of them were great guys, but judging solely from some of their comments, many look like first year pledges for the pharisee fraternity. And many clearly hadn’t read the comments or the post they were commenting on – almost comical.

    This sort of thing (not limited to drinking) is actually one of the things that helped me see the way out of my fundamental group (1 true church crew). The “chosen-one-true-church” talked so much about doing things god’s way, but then, like these people, would draw hard lines on things not found in the bible – casting those out who didn’t see it their way.

    Sad really. They were so concerned about doing things the biblical way, needing scriptural authority for everything they did, but then somehow didn’t need scriptural authority for defining sins and casting people in hell… I guess it was supposed to be inherent knowledge. Why is it that the fundamentals are most likely deficient in fundamental love?

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