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Drinking Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel

Drinking Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel

drinking beer and wineBeer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel

By William H. Shea, Associate Director, Biblical Research Institute

Doesn’t the Bible refer in a number of places to wine and strong drink? Don’t we quite often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible? Can’t we assume, then, that Scripture generally does not condemn drinking alcoholic liquor?

It’s true that we often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible and that Scripture speaks of alcoholic beverages, but we need to be careful not to read too much into a superficial look at such texts. When our English Old Testaments refer to alcohol, they generally use the words wine or strong drink. So any examination of the Old Testament’s attitude toward alcohol must take into account the different Hebrew words translated into these two English terms.

The term strong drink presents no major translation problems because only one Hebrew word, shekar, lies behind it. But even so, the translation strong drink is more general than it ought to be. Modern readers may well think of strong drink as distilled liquor. But that is not what the Bible means by the term shekar….

Since the process of distilling alcohol did not develop until around A.D. 500, the strongest alcoholic beverage people could make in Bible times contained only 14 percent alcohol by volume, approximately the maximum produced by natural fermentation. This fact tells us that the scriptural term strong drink certainly gives us no license to drink what we know today as hard liquor.

If distilled alcohol is not what the Bible means by shekar, what does it mean?

Here is where ancient languages related to Hebrew can be helpful. Documents written in cuneiform script on clay tablets tell us that the Babylonians had an alcoholic beverage they called shikaru. (Notice how similar this Babylonian word is to the Hebrew shekar. It is actually the same word in two related Semitic languages.) Some of these clay tablets tell how shikaru was made so we can easily determine what beverage they are describing. From grain, the Babylonians made a mash which was allowed to ferment. In other words, these tablets that speak about making shikaru are talking about making beer! Since the Bible texts that use the word shekar are referring to the same drink, they are talking about beer as well.

This is something extremely relevant to our modern society. Here are Bible texts talking about beerthe beverage that is so widely advertized on American TV and that is so widely consumed by the American public.

And what view does the Bible take of this beverage? A very dim and negative view indeed. Of 21 Old Testament texts that mention shekar (beer), 19 strongly condemn it. The other two texts present special cases (we’ll discuss one of these later). The New Testament mentions this same beverage only once and prohibits its use by John the Baptist as he grew up.

To give something of the picture these 19 Old Testament texts convey, let’s look at what some of them say about shekar: Leviticus 10:9 prohibits its use by a priest in ministry; Numbers 6:2, 3 forbids Nazarites from drinking it; in Judges 13:3, 4 an angel warns Samson’s mother-to-be not to drink it during her pregnancy; in Deuteronomy 29:5, 6 God tells the Israelites that He did not provide this drink for them in their wilderness wanderings.

There is also the interesting story of Hannah. She went to the tabernacle at Shiloh and prayed so earnestly about the fact that she was childless that the priest accused her of being drunk with shekar. This she denied. See 1 Samuel 1:15.

The prophets of Judah in the eighth century B.C. were especially vigorous in their condemnation of strong drink, or beer. Isaiah mentions it eight times, and each reference is strongly negative. He pronounces a woe upon those who drink it (Isa 5:11) and notes that it would not bring mirth when God cursed the land (Isa 24:9). He points out that beer causes staggering (Isa 29:9) and that false priests and prophets were two groups who especially staggered from its effects (Isa 28:7). The prophet Micah noted that the people wanted precisely this kind of leaderone who would approve of its use (Mic 2:11). Proverbs 20:1 speaks of rage and brawling as two of its side effects.

Thus we see an almost universal condemnation of beer in the Old Testament. But what about Deuteronomy 14:22-28? This text doesn’t seem to fit the pattern; it seems to indicate that Israelites could actually pay part of their tithe in beer! Some have seen in this a modern license for beer-drinking.

First, we should carefully note that Deuteronomy 14 is dealing with a special use under special circumstances. The chapter takes up the subject of the tithe in verses 22 and 23. In a later section, it speaks about what might be called “delayed tithe.” It is here that beer occurs as part of the “delayed tithe.”

What is all this talking about?

Deuteronomy 14 identifies the tithe as certain foods and drinks that the Israelite was to take to the sanctuary located centrally in the nation. When the tithe was paid regularly and on time, the products offered were to include newborn lambs and calves, freshly pressed oil, new unfermented wine or grape juice (tirosh), and grain. All these were fresh products that came from the harvest of the new agricultural year. But what was the Israelite to do if for some reason he couldn’t get to the sanctuary with these fresh products? He was to make a substitution, and it is this substitution that verses 24-26 describe.

Verse 24 presents the problem: that of an Israelite who was not able to get to the sanctuary on time. Verse 25 presents the intermediate solution: he was to convert his tithe into silver and retain the money until he was able to go to the sanctuary. Verse 26 gives the final step in presenting the delayed tithe. When he arrived at the sanctuary, the Israelite was to purchase some of the same agricultural products he should have brought earlier and eat the tithe meal before the Lord.

But the products he purchased for the tithe meal must be mature to show symbolically that the tithe presentation was late. Thus he did not present a lamb; he purchased a mature sheep for presentation. He did not present a calf, but a mature ox. Instead of fresh grape juice (tirosh) he presented yayin, wine that had fermented with the passing of time. And he did not present grain; he presented beer that had been made from grain. In each case, the delayed tithe meal consisted of things chosen to correspond to and show the development of the agricultural product which should have been presented originally. Although not readily apparent, this actually involved an interest penalty since the ox would cost more than a calf and the sheep more than a lamb.

Under these special circumstances, the symbolic substitution of beer for the earlier grain when presenting “delayed tithe” can by no means be taken as a license for unrestricted recreational use of beereither then or now. Especially when beer is elsewhere condemned in the OT.

When we turn to the subject of wine in the Scriptures, we find two main words—tirosh which usually refers to grape juice in its unfermented state, the way it comes from the press as a new agricultural product, and yayin, a word with less clear meanings.

In 30 of the 38 references to tirosh in the Old Testament it is paired with grain and oil, or oil alone, as products of the harvest used for tithe and taxes, etc. Three texts (Mic 6:15; Isa 62:8; 65:8) refer to tirosh as the product of the grape; four texts (Prov 3:10; Joel 2:24; Mic 6:15; and Hos 9:2) speak of tirosh as produced by pressing. Only one text (Hos 4:11) suggests that tirosh may produce intoxicationand this text may actually be referring to early fermentation or to the practice of mixing new and old (fermented) wine.

Thus tirosh appears to refer almost exclusively to unfermented wine or grape juice. But yayin, the other main word that the Bible uses for wine, clearly means fermented wine in most cases.

The Old Testament uses the word yayin some 140 times. Before dealing with specific texts, let’s get a general overview of its use in the Bible. By my count, the Bible presents yayin in a negative light 60 times; in about 60 more cases it simply mentions it without making any value judgment, and in only 17 references does it possibly say something positive about it. Thus yayin, fermented wine, is spoken of negatively much more often that it is positively.

On the negative side, first of all, are the stories in which fermented wine produces bad results. Not many (if any) historical narratives in the Old Testament mention a beneficial outcome from the use of wine, but several end disastrously: the drunkenness of Noah (Gen 9:21); Lot (Gen 19:32-35); Nabal (1 Sam 25:36, 37); Amnon (2 Sam 13:28); Belshazzar (Dan 5:1-3); and Ahasuerus (Esth 1:1-10), for example.

Isaiah (51:21); Jeremiah (23:9); Hosea (4:11; 7:5); Joel (1:5); and Habbakuk (2:15) are among the Bible prophets who point out the ill effects, both physical and moral, which intoxicating wine produces.

Proverbs 23:29-35 describes wine’s immediate physical effects (red eyes and blurred vision), its immediate social effects (strife and wounds), as well as the long-term results (woe and sorrow). Elsewhere, the book of Proverbs refers to wine as producing poverty (21:17) and violence (4:17). Isaiah adds that it deceives the mind (28:7), inflames a person, and leads to forgetfulness of God (5:11, 12).

Those texts which point to certain useful functions of wine should not be overlooked, but they should be placed in perspective. Three texts (Ps 104:15; Eccl 9:7; 10:19) mention that wine can make the heart glad and bring cheer. This indicates an awareness of the immediate physiological effects of alcohol, but these texts need to be placed along side the many other Bible statements mentioning its nonbeneficial long-term results.

Ecclesiastes 9:7 and 10:19 might superficially appear to give approval for indulging in alcohol. In a bit of ancient philosophy, Ecclesiastes 9:7 says, “Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already approved what you do.” RSV. It is a description of the author’s search for those things that bring meaning in life. This text is pointing out that man should be content with certain common duties of lifeincluding eating and drinking, even wine. However, the book ends with the author’s finding a greater good to provide meaning in lifethat man should fear God and keep His commandments. See chapter 12:13. All the other experiences in which the author tries to find meaning fade in significance beside this.

At least seven other Bible texts which appear to speak favorably of yayin do so merely by means of comparison; they are not speaking directly about wine itself. For example, the Song of Solomon uses a comparison with wine four times (1:2, 4; 4:10; and 7:9) to bring out the beloved’s beauty. Hosea 14:7 uses the fragrance of wine from Lebanon as a comparison. Proverbs 9:5, 6 uses wine figuratively in talking about the “banquet of life” that wisdom provides. Amos 9:14 and Zechariah 10:7 use the merriment that wine creates as a figure of how God’s people will rejoice at the time of His final victory.

Wine was also used as a drink offering in the temple service, just as we have seen that beer was used in the presentation of delayed tithe. These drink offerings were poured out beside the altar; they were not drunk by the priests.

Thus most of the texts which mention wine favorably actually use it figuratively in comparisons. A few speak of its immediate physiological effects. But by far the majority describe its detrimental resultssuch as wicked acts committed in connection with drinking wine. Isaiah, for example, associates wine with the taking of bribes. See Isaiah 5:22, 23. Amos combines wine with profaning sacred things. See Amos 2:8.

In summary, the writers of the Old Testament raise four indictments against drinking wine. First, they recognize its immediate adverse physical effectsredness of the eyes, blurring of vision, staggering, and drunkenness in general. Second, they recognize its long-term moral effectsvarious kinds of immoral and unethical behavior along with the social results of such actions. Third, they identify particular instances of such behavior and connect them with specific persons. Fourth, because of its effects, they prohibit certain classes and specific individuals from drinking any wine.

In contrast to this large negative picture, about the only positive images the Bible gives of alcohol are three texts that note alcohol can produce a state of levity (certainly a valid physiological observation). The Bible writers also occasionally use wine to draw some favorable comparisons in figures of speech. (Yet they also use wine to symbolize some unfavorable comparisons as well. See the “wine of wrath” in Psalm 75:8 and Jeremiah 25:15).

How then should we personally relate to alcohol in view of the overall picture given in the Old Testament? If one takes the whole picture into account and evaluates all the evidence, the most reasonable conclusion is that the only safe course is complete abstinence from alcohol in any form.

[DTW note:  I am not against drinking alcohol, I am against what alcohol does to people over time.  When people become born again, some people are delivered from drinking, and never to want to drink another drop of alcohol again.  If you are drinking alcohol for the wrong reasons, you have a problem, if you have relieve the pressures of the day by having that glass or two of wine at night to relax, then you have a problem because in fact you should turn to Jesus to relieve the pressures of the day is the whole point of this article.]

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131 comments to Drinking Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel

  • Zelda

    3,5 years ago the Holy spirit impressed upon me the need to abstain from alcohol. I was a moderate and casual drinker who especially appreciated red wine and although I obliged directly, I found myself questioning and confused at times. With time I came to see alcohol for what it was – the root of many social evils and heartache and knew in my heart that a true Christian should and could not use it innocently or nonchalantly. The effects of alcohol are not compatible with a true Christian walk. Even just feeling slightly tipsy damages ones direct and sober communication with God. My husband followed suit after 2 years -even though it was more of a rocky ride for him with much rationalization and accusation – I refused to be provoked or judgemental or condescending and patiently waited for him to get where I was.

    However, abstention among nonChistians is easy. They just accept it for what it is. We get the worst battering from Christians. They are so touchy and defensive when it comes to the use of alcoholic beverages. They rationalize. They accuse. ( Legalistic is most often used). They are arrogant. And they misquote the scriptures grossly. It can be most frustrating at times.

    Thankyou for this article. On a subject like this it seems difficult to find support and validation in the church, which I find a sad state of affairs.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Zelda

    >> Even just feeling slightly tipsy damages ones direct and sober communication with God.

    You said it so well…

    For Genuine Christians, Yes the Holy Spirit will always be the one to impress upon the believer that something is not desirable and it needs to change or stop. i.e. Alcohol And yes you will get the name callers and accusers, but you know that it is non other than Satan speaking through them having a go at you.

    I’ve been wanting to put up this article for months now but never got the around to it, after New Years (fresh in peoples minds) I thought it a good time to put it up and see what type of comments come rolling in.

  • Burning Lamp

    Thank you so much for addressing this topic that sadly is “off the table” with pastors and teachers in the general evangelical community.

    One much-followed and well-known pastor, Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle goes so far as to say that abstinence from alcohol is a sin!

    Unless I missed it, this article does not address what many use as justification for drinking wine – the miracle at the wedding in Cana by the Lord Jesus. Surely if Jesus made wine it is perfectly fine, isn’t it? Let’s take this to a logical conclusion. Wine is a product of fermentation is it not? Fermentation is a spoilage process which came with the Fall is it not? Would our Lord create a spoiled beverage? No, of course not! What He created was something far beyond anything conceived by man or found on this earth and could very well be served to the saints at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    Another fact that is often overlooked is that there were methods in place during Bible times to preserve the wine before it became fermented such as boiling it down to a thick syrup-like substance. Then it was reconstituted with water for drinking.

    Christians are too quick to engage the culture and be a part of society instead of abstaining. One does not have to take a self-righteous position, but rather quietly ask for a non-alcoholic beverage. I have found hosts are more than happy to comply. As the author states, it seems to be a bone of contention with other Christians who like to tip back a few and feel good about it instead of listening to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

    What believers who drink alcohol seem to forget is their responsibility to set a good example for others who may not be able to handle alcohol moderately and it leads to destruction in families, marriages and carnage on the roads. Alcohol causes people to stumble and as Christians we have a responsibility to behave in such a manner as not to cause anyone to stumble. Calling abstinence legalism is a copout.

  • Maranatha Mark

    Sorry Brother, but I don’t buy you arguement. Yeshua Himself made wine, not grape juice for the Wedding feast that he attended, and the Last Supper used wine, not grape juice. The Bible does not prohibit the drinking of alcohol, it prohibit glutany or in the case of alcohol, drunkeness. There is a difference in drinking a glass of wine or beer, and drinking until you are drunk or impared. Why would the Messiah use grape juice as a symbolic representation of His blood, which cleases His followers (us), when grape juice has no “cleansing” characteristic? He wouldn’t, but wine on the other hand which was considered a “Cleansing” agent, is a perfect representation, as it was customary to add a little wine even to the water you drank to kill the nasty unseen stuff that would make you sick, just a sin taints our relationship with the Father.

    Ever wonder why the scriptures tells you NOT to put “new wine” in old skins? It is because the fermenation process produces gases that will split an old wine skin, but new wine skins are elastic enough to expand and not burst.

    Another reason we know it was wine that was used during the Passover is because at that time of the year, there were no fresh grapes to make grape juice, and any grape juice around would have long since turned to wine or vinager due to the naturally occuring yeast on the grape skins… that is how “Kosher” wine is made… no additional yeast is added to start the fermination process, it relies upon the naturally occuring yeast on the grapes skin to start the fermination process!

    The fact is drinking wine, though weak as it may have been, was far safer than drinking the water in those days. Making wine and other alcohol was a way to preserve the harvest, in the days before pressure canning and refrigerators. Grape juice made the way they made it in those days, would as I stated above, naturally ferment inside of a couple of weeks. So again, come back to the fact that the wine in the cups at the Seder meal (Last Supper) that Yeshua and the Apostles drank was real wine complete with alcohol, as the Passover is held long after the harvest.

    All this said, if you are an alcoholic, you shouldn’t drink alcohol! If you are sugar addict (yes, there is such a thing) you shouldn’t eat things with added sugar. And whether a beverage with alcohol or food in general you must always approach with moderation. But to suggest that the Hebrew people marched around with just grape juice and drank only grape juice, it an out right distrotion of the facts! And No, I am not an drinker. I am not particularly fond of beer of any kind, and only drink Kosher wine for communion, for the most part. However if we followed your logic, then I can assume that you and your supporters are all subscribers to the Mosic food laws concerning what is “Clean” and “Unclean”, correct? I can also assume that the Wedding feast where Yeshua changed the water into wine, where the feast guest were already drunk, was all mistranslation by King James translators, as the wedding guest surely couldn’t have been drunk off grape juice. And why would it be such a miracle for Yeshua to make grape juice, a crafty person could simply pour a dried powdered form of grape juice into water to reconstitute it, but wine is different… the fact that Yeshua turn the water into “Fine” wine – according to scripture, the “Best” wine, is beyond simply adding a powder to water trick!

    Drinking alcohol will not send you to hell, and drinking a single glass of wine a day is reported to be good for you, in fact. Drinking to get a buzz is a different story, and drinking in front of someone with a drinking problem is a different issue as well. We should not do things to make our brothers and sisters stumbling. But isn’t is funny how the same folks who get bent out of shape of drinking, more often than not, have not problem watching movies with barely clothed men and women, or even nudity in them; have no problems with folks wearing speedo’s and bikini’s on the beach; or eating the legs off the table every time they sit down to eat and are as big as a house!

    I apperciate Brother Shea’s views and study on the subject, but based on my own studies he appears to be purposely bending meanings of Hebrew words to suit his argument. If you haven’t figured it out, you can use the Scriptures when taking them out of context, to make any point you choose, but the Full Consel of the Bible will only allow the truth to be told!

    Blessings and Shalom,

    Maranatha!!!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Marantha Mark

    >> However if we followed your logic, then I can assume that you and your supporters are all subscribers to the Mosic food laws concerning what is “Clean” and “Unclean”, correct?

    Just for saying that you get tarred and feathered. I specifically stated at the end of the article in green that we are saved by grace and do not follow LAW. So this lends me to believe that you actually didn’t read this article properly at all?

    And if anything Mark, you are the one wanting to be a Jew, drinking your ‘kosher’ wine, calling Jesus by his Hebrew name (Yeshua) and ending your comment with “Shalom”. When you poked your finger at us the rest of your fingers are pointing back at you – Mr ‘I wanna be Jewish deep down’ This is what the bible says about you:

    Revelation 3:9 “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you”

  • Burning Lamp

    Maranatha Mark, did you even read my remarks? Hello!!!
    You are saying Jesus produced fermented wine at Cana? Please!!
    And have you done research on methods used in those times to preserve wine and then reconstitute it? No, you are only interested in justifying your own imbibing and could care less about the example you are setting for others. Many don’t know they are susceptible to alcoholism until they take the first drink.

    Have you considered the MULTITUDES who have stumbled through alcohol, broken marriages, domestic abuse, not to mention the innocents murdered on the road by impaired drivers. You mention this, but you seem to think that abstainers are guilty of other vices – that could be true, but a lame excuse on your part. Abstainers I know try to live pure lives before the Lord in every area of their life. Those who are legalists are prone to other sins because they just replace one with another, but that is not what we are talking about here.

    We are to be sober-minded as believers and alcohol dulls the senses. I am the product of an alcoholic home and I know the damage it causes. I doesn’t take much to be above the legal limit to drive and one glass of wine or beer before getting behind the wheel can do that. There is no “safe” amount.

    You show your ignorance by your statement that drinking wine doesn’t send you to hell. No sin does except rejecting Christ. But believers are called to a higher standard and we are to be in the world but not of it. Biblical abstinence is not legalism, it is faith in practice, caring more about others than yourself and not abusing Christian liberty.

  • Maranatha Mark

    Burning Lamp, again, you know nothing about me, other than I have once in a while drink a beverage with alcohol in it, which I fully admit. Alcohol only dulls the senses when taken in excess, which I plainly stated that one shouldn’t do. I am sorry you had alcoholics in your home, I have relatives who were alcoholics as well, but that neither adds to or takes away from what I stated. AS I SAID in my first post, one should not do anything that would cause someone to stumble. As for what amount puts someone over the legal limit, that is different for each person and depends on several factors – weight, empty stomach/full stomach, alcohol content, etc. I never suggested that anyone drive. I never drive if I have had even a glass of wine (which is about 4 ounces), simply because I wouldn’t want to chance of being stop and having the smell of it on my breath and having to go through the tests the officer would do… and no I haven’t ever had to do any test, as I never have put myself in that situation.

    I am fully aware of what salvation by grace has gain us… no longer under the penalty of sin or the LAW. Nevertheless, the article was still misleading in my opinion and took scripture out of context to try and justify an obvious erroneous position. Calling abstinence “Biblical” doesn’t make it any more “righteous” than just calling it “abstinence”. But I only caution those who think by their works they are made more “Righteous” than others, and don’t like to see folks take scripture out of context to try and justify their position. Again, we could go back to the Clean and UnClean foods laws, if we wanted make a case against eating pork and catfish, but we would have to ignore the New Testament to do so… we would have to ignore the full counsel of the Bibie, which is my rub with the article to begin with.

  • Maranatha Mark

    [deleted by DTW] Mark – I am not anti-semetic. Through out time (the last 2000 years) everyone has felt it perfectly fine to call Jesus by his name JESUS until the Hebrew Roots movement came along and now you feel it necessary to call Him by His Hebrew names. And now because I don’t call him by his Hebrew name I am ant-Semitic. Not a chance buddy o’ pal. No where in the bible does it say that if I do not call Jesus by his Hebrew name I am anti-semetic, but it does say there are gentiles who want to be Jews (Hebrew roots) and they are part of the Synagogue of Satan. Go ponder that one.

    As a born again Child of God, a new creature in Jesus Christ, I am become a spiritual child of Abraham, yes. I don’t become a spiritual Israelite as you said. (I think there is a big difference between what you said, and what I said). Secondly you don’t need to start acting like a Jew once you become born again. Where in the bible does it say this?? No where! In fact God forbids the Gentiles to do it!

  • Paul

    Thanks Deborah for posting this article.
    Since Jesus came into my life, I have kept clear of alcohool, but not in a strict and absolute way. Occasionally, to please my host and in order not give a too restrictive view of my faith, I would taste alcohool.
    This is the incident that made me vow never to touch at alcohool again.
    In 2004, at our wedding anniversary my wife and I invited some friends for a party at our home with the intention of preaching the gospel to them (which we did successfully). One of our guest brought a bottle of wine. We don’t drink wine and we don’t serve wine to our guest. But at the time we were not dogmatic about it. So to please our guest who brought the wine, we opened it and served about one ounce to each guest, including ourselves. then we put the rest of the bottle on the kitchen table. One of the guest was so upset (he felt insulted), he went to the kitchen(without us noticing) and emptied the bottle. By the time we saw him he was drunk. That was one of the saddest days of my life. I felt so bad and responsible for this man’s getting drunk in my house ! with a bottle of wine I opened ! I had been a stumbling block to this man.
    I vowed I will never again serve any alcohol in my house to anybody. And since I would not do that to anybody coming to my house, I would not accept any alcohol presented to me by anyone because I would never do the same thing to them if they come to my house.
    The matter was settled.
    By the way, my father was (maybe still is) an alcoholic, and I know the damage that it causes to lives, marriages, families, societies.
    Born again Christians, stay away from alcohol. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Paul

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Paul

    That’s it.

    I could easily have a drink if I wanted too, but I don’t want too I know that Jesus doesn’t want me too and because it’s the Holy Spirit in my life who is preventing me from doing it.

    My husband used to be an alcoholic and our Lord Jesus Christ delivered him from it. So he knows all about drinking and it’s consequences, he has been sober for many many years now.

    We once went to a ‘Christians’ home and they made a ‘brandy’ Trifle pudding. I asked them to please not put brandy in ours. Unfortunately I got brandy in mine and my husband was lucky enough to not get in his. I was sloshed! You could not taste the brandy, that is how sneaky it was. But I was angry because if my husband was the one who ended up with my bowl of Trifle he would have had the brandy…and then what? I shudder to think.

    Anyhow I found out later that these ‘Christians’ were Calvinists – no wonder they where so happy to get drunk while eating their pudding and it didn’t bother them – it became a big joke because everyone was tipsy and laughing uncontrollably. I said to my husband when we left, “that is not how Christians behave…”

    I very rarely cook with a little bit of red wine because of the nice taste and the cooking kills the alcohol. That’s it.

  • Estelle

    After giving my heart to Jesus I felt a burden on me to stop drinking. After having a really bad nightmare I woke up the morning and said that I’m done, no more drinking for me. I had 2 sips after that and felt so regretful about it. Since then I have not touched alcohol for 6 years and around 5 months.
    I never gave much thought then about alcohol in the Bible or whether Jesus really did or did not make alcoholic wine, at that time I felt it was only wrong for me to not take even one sip.
    After I did some research it is plain to see that Jesus could not have made alcoholic wine, as He is sinless. He would have broken the old law should he have made intoxicating wine.

    As in Leviticus, no priest was allowed to drink wine, is Jesus not our High Priest?
    And in Proverbs 31 :4-5
    “It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
    5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”
    Is Jesus not our King?

    The verses after that condone the use of alcohol in one way: (Proverbs 31 : 6-7)
    Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.

    In this instance I think alcoholic serves the use of a painkiller.

    And at the Wedding where Jesus made wine. Would the “drunk” people be able to discern between good and bad wine when they have finished all the gallons of “intoxicating” wine??? A drunk person would not be able to taste the difference between good or bad wine? While a sober person would notice and taste the difference, that the second wine was far better than the first.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Estelle

    After I did some research it is plain to see that Jesus could not have made alcoholic wine, as He is sinless. He would have broken the old law should he have made intoxicating wine.

    As in Leviticus, no priest was allowed to drink wine, is Jesus not our High Priest?

    And in Proverbs 31 :4-5
    “It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
    5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”

    Is Jesus not our King?

    That is the most incredible discovery ever! Well done.

    Just a side note, today Israel makes the best wine on earth and it’s….non-alcoholic. Go-figure.

  • Estelle

    I just remembered. Jesus was offered wine on the cross. As in Proverbs 31:6-7 it was given as mercy to not feel the pain as much, but why did He refuse to take it?
    Mark 15:23
    23 And they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it.

    Matt 27:34
    they offered Him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when He tasted it, He would not drink it.

    Not sure if it was alcoholic wine or just plain vinegar (that was given as a mockery)? Either way He did not want to drink it.

  • Burning Lamp

    Maranatha Mark, I don’t doubt your sincerity, but I would respectfully ask you to arm yourself with the facts and solid information supported by the Bible. I apologize for being flippant, and I do hope you will take the time to investigate this topic.

    No person ever sets out to be an alcoholic. The first step is the first drink and once that line is crossed there is always the possiblity of impairment and addiction. I would implore you to take an honest look at the evidence that is rarely if ever taught or addressed in Christian circles for fear of being accused of legalism. I hope you will consider the following and then get back to me with your thoughts.

    Drinking alcohol today has become common place, and many Christians see nothing wrong with it. They use the Bible to condone their actions-saying, “Didn’t Paul tell Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake?” They question, “Didn’t Jesus drink wine?” Then they insist that Jesus made alcoholic wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

    These sound like convincing arguments until you understand that the main Hebrew word for “wine” (yayin) or the main Greek word (oinos) can refer to a fermented or unfermented drink. The wine spoken of in the Bible is a generic term. The context in each case indicates whether it was speaking of fermented wine or not.
    You might ask, “Could people in Bible times keep their juices from fermenting when there was no refrigeration?” The answer is, “Yes”. To preserve their sweet juices in a hot climate, people often boiled the juice down until it was thick like syrup, and later when they were ready to use it they would add water to it. Also they would boil their juices and, then seal the air out. There were other methods to prevent fermentation like filtration or by drawing off the juice from the subsided yeast, and by the use of sulfur. They could, at times keep juice in a cool place such as in a cave, underground or in running water. For more on this subject read, Bible Wines, by William Patton which can be found online at At this link you will find an exhaustive examination of the “Laws of Fermentation” that every Christian should read and keep for reference.

    “Did Jesus make alcohol for the wedding in Cana?” The term used in, John 2:1-11, is “oinos” the generic Greek word for both fermented or unfermented juice. We must determine from the context whether it is a fermented or unfermented drink here.

    The person in charge of the wedding party remarked, after he had tasted the wine, “…you have kept the good wine until now.” Good wine was fresh grape juice, the fermented grape juice was considered inferior. Also Jesus would know about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (being God as well as man), and would not give alcohol to a wedding party, which probably included several pregnant women. No, Jesus did NOT make a fermented wine at this wedding. What He did do was to give a wedding gift of at least 120 gallons of fresh grape juice.

    The Hebrew word (chemah) is translated as “poison” when speaking of fermented wine in Deuteronomy 32:33. Alcohol is a toxic mind-altering drug. Alcohol causes ill effects on the digestive, muscular, skeletal, nervous and circulatory systems. It causes cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice, pancreatitis, and blackouts as well as many other sicknesses.

    God’s Word is consistent, it does not tell us not to drink fermented wine in one part of the Bible and in another part only to drink a little alcohol. Here are three types of New Testament references that people think are saying it is all right to drink a little fermented wine, beer, etc. First, Ephesians 5:18, in some versions the word “excess” is used. The New King James Version more accurately uses the word “dissipation” (meaning intemperance or the opposite of temperance-which is total abstinence from alcoholic liquors).

    Second, in other references such as 1 Timothy 3:2,3 and Titus 1:7, we have the phrase, “not given to wine” this is taken by some to mean, “not to be addicted” to alcohol. But in reality the Greek word used here is, “mee-paroinon”, literally, not at, by near, or with wine (alcohol). According to Paul, total abstinence is an indispensable qualification for a pastor. (See Bible Wines William Patton)

    The New International Version in 1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7 says here, “not given to drunkenness”. This translation does not make sense in light of Proverbs 23:31 and 32 and the rest of the injunctions against any drinking of alcohol. Paul even goes so far as to warn that a person would not be saved if they are drunkards. “…nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:10) So be very careful which versions of the Bible you study!

    In Revelation 1:6, we are called kings and priests, according to Scripture kings or princes were not to drink fermented wine or intoxicating drink. In Proverbs 31:4,5 we are also told that priests were not to drink any wine or intoxicating drink when they went into the tabernacle (or temple), Leviticus 10:9 and 10. Then 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
    For more study on this subject read also: 1 Samuel 1:13-16, Proverbs 4:14-17, 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:22, 28:7,8 Jeremiah 35:1-6,18,19; Daniel 1:8-16, Amos 2:12 Habakkuk 2:5,15-16; Matthew 24:48 – 51; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8.

    For more information about wine and other alcoholic beverages in the Bible:

    Is It Alright For Christians To Drink Alcohol?

    Myths about Wine and Alcohol Part 1

    See Also:

    *For more information about grape juice and health:
    Welch’s: All About Welchs: Company FAQs
    Welch’s: Healthy Living:
    Welch’s:All About Welchs:Company History

    This article in its entirety can be found at

  • Maranatha Mark

    Burning Lamp, I do not agree with your “Good Wine” theory. The tradition for Jewish wedding celebrations was to celebrate for up to a week. And the wedding feast it was tradition to bring out the best wine first – high quality fermented stuff, not grape juice. As the celebration progressed and the guest became impaired from consuming the fine or better quality wine, they would bring out the lower quailty wine (lower alcohol content and or poorer tasting), as the wedding guest at that point didn’t care. If you aren’t impaired nasty beverages are nasty beverages, and why would a wedding host serve their guest fowl tasting “juice” if they new the guest would be able to tell, and take a chance on spoiling the wedding celebration.

    As for Proverbs 31, are we now going to King Lemuel’s mother for our proof against drinking wine, but then again, how do we know she isn’t talking about grape juice here? Brother/Sister Lamp, it looks like we make the term “Wine” mean fremented drink when it suits our purpose. The wisdom to not drink to the point of being impaired, I whole heartedly agree, and have not problem with and agree in saying it isn’t good for a follower of Yehsua to over endulge in fermented drink or food, as far as that goes. For most adults, a glass of wine or a single beer will not impair you sufficiently to even get you arrested for driving drunk, much less impair you significantly. Do you ward off medicines that impair your mind… if you follow your logic and that of the sermon on the Mount, then pain medication and medicines for ADD, Depression and other mental problems would fall into the “Mind-altering”/impairing your ability to think clearly.

    We have other folks here sighting drinking alcohol as being a “Sin”, which is not true. It is true though that folks with additive personalities, a single drink can lead to alcoholism, a single bit of pie can lead to obesity, and a single glance at a pretty woman can lead to adultry/fornication. Again, I say, if you know you are around a person who has had trouble with alcoholism, don’t drink… don’t do anything to cause them to stuble. But ultimately, alcohol will not keep a truly saved person out of heaven. It is very prudent to observe the wisdom of the full counsel of the Bible, in every part of our lives. As “Melchisdecian”, we are to lead by example, by allowing the Holy Trinity to work through us for the glory of the Holy Trinity. Folks who have taken vows of what-ever are fine, as long as those vows are not what they live for. If that happens then the vows themselves become idols, and sinful. Many pastors teach that your salvation is in constant jeopardy of loosing your salvation, due to the fact that many folks if they understand that ALL their sins have been forgiven, once and forever – once our old nature is crucified with Yeshua, we are a new creation and the righteousness of El Elyon; we are not longer under the LAW or Penalty of Sin. BUT as an adopted son of YHWH, we strive not to sin or displease our Father, out of an ever increasing love for the Holy Trinity. When a saint sins, they break followship with the Father until they earnestly repent, but their salvation is still secure. Many here don’t believe that, they look at the Father as an Angry Father, looking to lower the boom on anyone who makes the first mis-step, and they do most of what they do out of fear of what the Father will do to them if they mess up. That is not the YHWH I know! My Father in Heaven is Loving but perfectly just, and never goes back on His Word, nor does He play the ‘gotcha’ game! I follow Yeshua, my Father’s only Begotten Son and the one true Messiah, out of Love, not duty or fear, and I live to see my Father glorified, hopefully lead by the Holy Spirit.

    I appreciate you sharing your understandings about the subject of alcohol consumption, but I don’t agree with your interpretation of the Hebrew terminology involved and the logic you seem to try to use. From my humble understandings, your conclusions don’t line up with scripture, as you take warnings against becoming drunk or intoxicated, and make the leap to saying it means no drinking at all. As for the Priest of the Old Testament, if we follow your logic with us being “Kings and Priest”, then we must also subscribe to the laws of clean and unclean foods, which Peter dismissed in the New Testament. But I am fairly confident you will not support the Mosic Food restrictions. Alcohol isn’t the issue, in almost all the verses you cite, it is becoming intoxicated that is the issue.

    Again, I do appreciate your thoughts on this, but I still stand on my understandings, inlight of the scriptures you have quotes and my own research into the matter. Blessings and Shalom!

    *Note: for all those who are not really familiar with the meaning of “Shalom” perhaps you should do a little research into the meaning of the word, then perhaps you might see why I would use the word in greetings and departing words!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Marantha Mark

    >> We have other folks here sighting drinking alcohol as being a “Sin”, which is not true

    Who said this?

    >> *Note: for all those who are not really familiar with the meaning of “Shalom” perhaps you should do a little research into the meaning of the word, then perhaps you might see why I would use the word in greetings and departing words!

    Strong’s Concordance 7965 for Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmon etc.

    Shalom on it’s own really just means bye or ‘peace’, but repeating the world Shalom Shalom means ‘perfect peace’ see Isaiah 26:3

    And your point is? Why don’t you just say ‘Peace to you’ in English? Just like you can say Jesus name in English. But no, you feel more attracted to wanting to be Jewish don’t you.

  • Burning Lamp

    Maranatha Mark, you obviously did not read all the information that I suggested which is counsel of men of God who have spent much time and care in researching this topic. They give much documentation, data and proof of several facets of the issue. Face it, you like your wine and you don’t want your boat rocked.

    Sure, our Lord made more fermented (spoiled) wine for the drunken guests to “enjoy”. Right. And even in their drunken state they were able to detect that the wine was “good”. Sure, Jesus would have contributed to their drunken state. What an insult to our sinless Savior! There is no “good” spoiled grape juice. The fruit of the vine is sweet but it is an acquired taste for the fermented beverage. Everyone of all ages can enjoy the grape juice, but you have to be an adult of age to drink the fermented product. What does that say to you Mark?

    Brother, if you prefer to partake of the product of spoilage then have at it. But it is hard for me to understand why you would prefer alcoholic drink over pure fruit of the vine. The health benefits are identical. What if at some time one glass of wine turns into several and you get behind the wheel or your senses are dulled and you show a lack good judgment? Are you saying you are perfect and cannot sin? This sounds a lot like pride my friend. You are on a slippery slope.

    You like your wine and somehow your Messianic-style beliefs have clouded your thinking. Like Debs says, why do you make such an issue of using Messianic lingo? My experience with Messianic groups is that they are enamored with Jewish traditions and prefer to stay in their own little corner of Christianity and worship on the Sabbath, etc.

    I will simply say to you, grace and peace.

  • Estelle

    I did not say in my comment that we are priests or Kings, but that Jesus is. Jesus had to keep all the law of the OT and He knew it word for word.
    He also knew this verse of Habakkuk 2:15
    “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor,
    Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk,”
    Would He not be guilty of giving drink to the people at the wedding (making them drunk) if it was in fact intoxicating?
    I’m not saying that the first wine was 100% non alcoholic, but it was definitely so little that it did not impair their judgment.

  • Willem

    Maranatha Mark – I agree absolute with you – Real reborn Christians are set FREE, and can eat or drink anything with responsibility.
    If you are reborn and you want to stop drink any alcohol it is fine, and if you want to continue drink a glass of wine or beer or Whiskey it is also fine (The sin is in overdoing it)

    By saying reborn people must not drink alcohol at all is going back to Jewish rules Gal 4:9 ” turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?”

    Rom 14:16-23, Gal 5.

    Love to all
    Willem

  • Zelda

    Why do people insist that old, spoiled grape juice and wine is synonymous. I am sure that many prestigious winemakers would be grossly insulted if you imply that the ” art” of making wine is leaving ” new grape juice” in ” new skins”…….and voila – you get wine. What you get is rotten grape juice. Wine making is -and has been ( even 2000 years ago) a meticulous concocting and brewing and fermenting of grapes to an exact and precise taste. And wine can also go off. I’ve read that it was easier to preserve grape juice in antiquity than to preserve wine. Wine did not happen by accident or by neglect. It was premeditated – with care. We are so arrogant to think that because people did not have the benefit of modern technology – they were dumb and stupid too.

    As for people who think a Christian can and may drink so long as not to get intoxicated – why walk on the edge of the cliff if you can walk 100m away from the edge. Why frolic and gamble with something that may be stronger than you. Why play and gamble with your eternity. If you stumble and fall, God will always pick you up. But if you willfully ignore His Word and His will by self-justification then I think you willfully turn your back on God? He gives salvation as a free gift – but I suppose you can give it back too ?( if you really accepted it in the first place?)

    Thank you Estelle – thats a good verse to remember concerning the Cana wedding. Leaven/fermentation was always a sign of sin in the OT. Fermentation is degeneration. Why would our wonderful Creator make something imperfect and degenerate – even when he walked the earth? I think it is safe to say that the wine at Cana was 100% non alcoholic.

  • Burning Lamp

    Willem, what about the verse in First Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 31, the Apostle Paul says, “Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

    If you can chug down a jigger of whiskey or a can of beer and do it to the glory of God, find any possible glory in that you don’t know anything about the glory of the Father and His holy character.

    You care only for yourself and fulfilling the lust of the flesh and abusing the freedom that Christ paid the ultimate price for you to have. We are not supposed to use our freedom, to indulge ourselves, but the Lord says to deny ourselves for the benefit of others and for His glory.

    Your liberty is not cheap, it was purchased with the precious blood of our Savior and we owe it to Him to live our lives beyond reproach and keep ourselves as clean vessels for his use.

    The world loves its liquor – it is big business – the more they sell the more damage is done. We should not think so highly of ourselves to think that we won’t fall off that slippery slope by testing the limits. If you play with snakes you are sure to get bit sooner or later.

  • FollowsTheWay

    A view from the 1880s. I am reading it now:

    Classic Reprints No. 137
    Do the Scriptures Prohibit the Use of Alcoholic Beverages?
    By A. B. Rich
    1880
    78 pages
    $10.00

    “Reprinted from Bibliotheca Sacra, this is a three-part article which examines all of the Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible that relate to wine, new wine, the fruit of the vine, or strong drink. The author answers his title question in the affirmative.”

    http://www.vancepublications.com/classic%20reprints.htm

  • Burning Lamp

    In my response to Maranatha Mark I included an exhaustive study of the topic from a biblical perspective that can be obtained online. It takes some time and effort to read it, but sadly I think we will find that those who choose to imbibe are not really interested in the truth.

    It is good to have several sources of information and they are available for those who honestly want to know the facts and rightly divide the Word of God.

    I don’t think that any drunk driver ever woke up one morning and decided they were going to go out on the highway to kill someone. Alcohol impairs the mind, even in small amounts. Most people use it for a social lubricant. The liquor companies flourish. If one reads the history of the Prohibition in the U.S. one will find that it failed, not because society was not better off, but because the evil heart of man demanded his way and his liquor and was killing himself by his own conncoctions or by drinking poison. Also the speak easy’s were doing good business because people demanded their liquor and the underworld was making a killing because of the wickedness of man’s heart.
    Therefore they decided to make it legal again.

    Legalism doesn’t work – unless the heart of man is changed the flesh will reign. Sadly, the flesh reigns even in Christians because of a lack of knowledge and the motivation to learn the truth. This applies to false teaching and to unbiblical practices besides partaking of alcoholic intoxicating beverages.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    FollowsTheWay

    Affirmative

    Roger that.

  • TheTimeWillCome

    This is really typical of an issue that’s not an issue, and then people are arguing over the state of people’s salvation over it. Sigh.

    Many of you may say (like the article says) that this isn’t putting law over people, but the fact of the matter is it is. You are making your own convictions about alcohol some kind of divine law, rather than allowing each to make up his own mind on what is essentially a secondary matter. When you say that GENUINE Christians don’t have a drink, you are making assumptions over people’s salvation without saying outright what you really mean – you don’t believe they are saved. How is that not making salvation a thing of works rather than faith?

    I see no commandments at all from Jesus around alcohol. The wedding example can be argued in a number of ways. The Old Testament is to be used through the lens of Jesus’ commandments to us. Interesting that Jesus had the opportunity to say something about alcohol in the Sermon on the Mount scriptures but he says nothing. It seems to me he didn’t deem the issue important enough. But he had plenty to say on lust and anger and that lot – stuff that being drunk can lead to. But not alcohol.

    1 Cor 10 came up and it says this, before the part about eating and drinking to the glory of God. It says in vs 29 and 30 – “why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? ”

    It was asked if one could honestly have a glass of alcohol and bring glory to God. It was stated that one who says they can doesn’t know anything about the glory of the Father and His holy character. I beg to disagree. If one can give thanks to God for his goodness and enjoy a good port, without over indulgence and abuse, where is the problem? God is in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, the humdrum of living as well as in the supernatural. In all honesty even going to the toilet is a holy moment when one give thanks to God for their health. I’ve heard that apparently the ancient Jews even had a prayer of thanks for their day’s first bowel movement.

    I’ve enjoyed some good drink most of my adult life. In a month that means probably a beer or two (on separate days). Some months nothing because I can’t afford it. I was only ever drunk when I was 21 and never did that ever again. That was a unique case and more due to peer pressure at my 21st than anything else.

    The argument against drinking is rather technical compared to reading 1 Cor 10 and other Scriptures like Colossians 3 at face value. When things get so technical I don’t know how it can become anything else besides Law. Salvation is by faith in Jesus and faith alone. Grace alone. We are free from laws of all kinds – Jewish, pagan, be it whatever. We are so free that we cannot indulge our sinful nature. So free that we can abstain from alcohol freely or drink without ever abusing it.

    It’s not what goes into a man but what comes out. It’s about the heart guys.

  • TheTimeWillCome

    One more comment, just for thought. Good old Spurgeon used to drink and smoke – he never abused it. He gave up drinking (and I believe smoking) only after he realised others used his example to abuse it.

    “I abstain myself from alcoholic drink in every form, and I think others would be wise
    to do the same; but of this each one must be a guide unto himself,” is what he said.

    “I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame. But I remarked that, if I knew that another would be led to take it by my example, and this would lead them on to further drinking, and even to intoxication, then I would not touch it,” is another quote.

    I’m siding with Spurgeon on this one. If it’s going to make others fall, then by all means don’t do it. But in and of itself it isn’t a sin.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    TheTimewillCome

    >> This is really typical of an issue that’s not an issue, and then people are arguing over the state of people’s salvation over it

    Really where?? Don’t make up things that were never said!

    Alcohol will ALWAYS makes others fall dude.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    TheTimeWillCome said:

    One more comment, just for thought. Good old Spurgeon used to drink and smoke – he never abused it. He gave up drinking (and I believe smoking) only after he realised others used his example to abuse it.

    “I abstain myself from alcoholic drink in every form, and I think others would be wise
    to do the same; but of this each one must be a guide unto himself,” is what he said.

    “I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame. But I remarked that, if I knew that another would be led to take it by my example, and this would lead them on to further drinking, and even to intoxication, then I would not touch it,” is another quote.

    I’m siding with Spurgeon on this one. If it’s going to make others fall, then by all means don’t do it. But in and of itself it isn’t a sin.

    Sooooooo Spurgeon can decide to stop drinking and you are ok with that, but when we want to do the same thing you throw the LAW noose around our necks. I think you have a split personality.

    An no where did anyone here say it was a sin to have a drink. It’s what happens after you drink where the sin takes place. Again you are making stuff up as you go along. I wish for once people would learn to READ properly. It’s driving my nuts.

    Romans 14:21 “21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”

    As a Christian you are an EXAMPLE to others. As a Christian you grow in Sanctification, you grow in Holiness with the help of the Holy Spirit in your life.

  • TheTimeWillCome

    Hi Deborah

    The article states: “When you become a born again believer and the Holy Spirit fills you, you automatically find yourself wanting to stay away from such vices as alcohol because you know that alcohol never produces anything a good.” [DTW – Exactly]

    Vice = wickedness (in particular immoral or wicked behaviour) last time I checked. [DTW – an immoral or evil habit or practice. Synonyms: fault, failing, foible, weakness – pick one]

    Burning Lamp, above, said this: “This applies to false teaching and to unbiblical practices besides partaking of alcoholic intoxicating beverages.”

    IE., drinking alcohol is an ‘unbiblical practice’. In light of his sentence is he saying having a drink is not a sin? I can’t see how I could read it any other way – it sounds to me like he is saying it is a sin. [DTW – I dunno, ask Burning Lamp]

    In both cases the wording is very misleading and the general tone of the article and the conversation is very misleading. That’s why I brought Spurgeon into it. [DTW – The article was very self explanatory]

    “Sooooooo Spurgeon can decide to stop drinking and you are ok with that, but when we want to do the same thing you throw the LAW noose around our necks.”

    Care to provide the quote where I did this? I’m ok with anyone who decides to stop drinking – I won’t argue. It’s when they take that conviction and now insist that all Christians should do the same. DTW – You said “Many of you may say (like the article says) that this isn’t putting law over people, but the fact of the matter is it is” and “You are making your own convictions about alcohol some kind of divine law”

    With regards to this conversation and in light of how you’ve taken me to task for having a ‘split personality’ – how do you feel about having a glass of wine at home where no one is around to see you and so stumble? [DTW – I will stumble my friend]

  • Burning Lamp

    Time Will Come said:

    I’ve enjoyed some good drink most of my adult life.

    Note – ENJOYED – why not ENJOY a GOOD glass of grape juice or other GOOD beverage that doesn’t doesn’t intoxicate and bring down society and serve as a trap for people? You ENJOY it, so that makes it right and you don’t care to investigate the topic.

    Note – GOOD DRINK – What makes a GOOD drink?

    And you make false accusations which proves you have NOT read through the posts and the information here. NO ONE has said that taking a drink has ANYTHING to do with one’s salvation. Got that?

    But as Christians we are responsible to behave in such a manner to honor our Lord.And that is NO WAY puts us under the Law.

    As for Jesus saying anything about the use of alcohol, well, Jesus is the Word and there is PLENTY in the Word about strong drink and the dangers. And Jesus spoke about principles of living rather than specifics. If you follow the PRINCIPLES He taught, the use of alcohol is not a good idea from either a personal standpoint or as example for others.

    Jesus is my Hero, not Spurgeon. Although he was a good man, he was confused on his theology – he was not a perfect man and he would be the first to admit that.

    Recently a well-known discerner was discovered to be a closet alcoholic for many years all the while he was writing about errors in the Church he was sipping away on the bottle to make it through the day. He NEVER got drunk – no one knew – but he was hooked. I have known of people who were closet alcoholics and NEVER got drunk. He lost his pastorate and his good name.
    You tell me, what is GOOD about that?

  • TheTimeWillCome

    @Burning Lamp

    Don’t be too hasty. The topic has been investigated at length by myself. Otherwise I wouldn’t comment.

    I enjoy a drink as much as a I enjoy a steak or a milkshake. I’ll enjoy any beverage, really, and most of the time my choice would probably be a coffee or a milkshake. Is it a good idea to have milkshakes every day though? Of course not. One might become a glutton – which is certainly a sin. And becoming intoxicated is gluttonous – that’s ultimately what the sin is.

    I agree with you – we are responsible to behave in such a manner to honour our Lord. Let’s see what we agree on

    1) We both agree that being intoxicated does not honour the Lord.
    2) We both agree that it is better to ensure you don’t drink around a brother with a drinking problem / possible drinking problem in case your act ends up tempting them.

    Where we disagree on is context. With number 2 in mind, having a drink with a brother who does not have a drinking problem of any sort is certainly not dishonouring to the Lord in any way. And of course if I have number 1 covered, I see no Biblical reason why having a drink should be frowned upon.

    There is plenty in the Word about material items and their dangers too. Should material items be banned from Christian life? Is it a sin to drive a nice car or to wear nice clothes? To eat good food? To have lots of books? To listen to lots of music? Of course not.

    The Bible warns of being lazy. Does relaxing therefore dishonour the Lord?

    The Bible warns of being a workaholic. Does working dishonour the Lord?

    The Bible warns of being a glutton? Does eating nice things dishonour the Lord? Heck, does eating dishonour the Lord?

    Of course not. All things are sins when they become an idol, when they consume us, when we decide they are more important than the Lord. There is practically not a single thing or activity on this planet that we can’t abuse and once we abuse it then it is a sin. But having a drink is about as sinful as listening to a good song and enjoying it. IE. not a sin.

    I suggest to you that you are misreading the reason and context for the Bible’s warnings about strong drink. Like it warns us about material items, it tells us to be careful of strong drink. But to take those warnings and say that one who doesn’t drink at all honours the Lord better than the one who does is to take it further than the Bible takes it.

    Will I eat a steak in front of a person struggling with gluttony? Of course not. Will I take them out for a seven course meal? Of course not. I’ll apply the same to drinking. But will I take a brother out to a seven course meal who is not a glutton? Sure, why not? And we will both give thanks to the Lord for the meal.

    I’m following the principles Jesus taught. He says if your right arm causes you to sin then cut it off. But there’s nothing wrong with a right arm. Only if it causes you to sin, THEN cut it off. But the right arm in itself is amoral.

    If having a drink causes you to sin then cut it off. If it causes your brother to sin then cut it off. If it causes neither you nor your brother to sin then there is no problem. Unless you want to say that having a drink in itself is always a sin, regardless of context. And there is where we will disagree.

    I may have misunderstood peoples’ stand here on salvation and drinking. But nevertheless it still seems to me that people here are saying that having a drink in itself is a sin.

    @Deborah, you yourself said that “no where did anyone here say it was a sin to have a drink.” @Burning Lamp, is this correct? Are you saying it’s NOT a sin to have a drink?

    Deborah, if you say alcohol is a vice (an immoral or evil habit or practice, by your own definition) then how come you say it is not a sin? Surely an ‘evil habit’ is a sin? Or do you see these differently?

  • Marion

    TheTimeWillCome said: quoting Spurgeon…

    “I abstain myself from alcoholic drink in every form, and I think others would be wise
    to do the same; but of this each one must be a guide unto himself,” is what he said.

    “I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame. But I remarked that, if I knew that another would be led to take it by my example, and this would lead them on to further drinking, and even to intoxication, then I would not touch it,” is another quote.

    I’m siding with Spurgeon on this one. If it’s going to make others fall, then by all means don’t do it. But in and of itself it isn’t a sin.

    Interesting argument…too bad it doesn’t fly; not according to Scripture, or even logic. So, if so and so sins, says and believes it’s ok, and since they are a scholar…well then, I’m good to go!?? Spurgeon said “and each one must be a guide unto himself”…REALLY? The Bible says, ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105) The Bible says,”Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Prov. 2:1)
    That pretty much settles it – unless of course – your god is your belly. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” Phil. 3:17-19
    Spurgeon was a man, a sinner like us, and with limited understanding. He should have let the Bible be his guide. With this one, it is evident the Holy Spirit was not his guide. When our standard is our comparison against others, we can excuse all kinds of wickedness…it is a false and condemned standard…read your Bible…not to find words to excuse your self interest…but to know the true and living God and his ways, that you might walk in them to bring him glory!…it has a lot to say about the “wisdom of men”. The Bible says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 16:25)

  • Marion

    oops error above…not Proverbs 2:1 but 20:1 regarding wine being a mocker

  • Robbie

    >>>It’s when they take that conviction and now insist that all Christians should do the same<<<

    Ah Timewillcome,
    The shoe fits you and blaming it on legalism or the "conviction of others" is just an excuse to sin. An excuse as old as the mountains.

    About Spurgeon: – He was a false ecumenical teacher…
    Spurgeon says, "There are some that differ from us as wide as the poles; but yet they are God's children." This is the exact opposite of the words of 1 John 4:6 and 1 Timothy 6:3-5

  • Burning Lamp

    TTWC, since when does a milkshake affect your judgment – I don’t know of any law that says anything about how many milkshakes you can have before you can safely drive a car.

    As for tipping back one with another believer who does not appear to have a problem with alcohol, how do you know what is going on in his private life? I told you about the pastor who was a closet alcoholic for many years and it ended up destroying his credibility and his ministry.

    Also, either for yourself or your hypothetical friend, either of you could fall down that slippery slope into overindulgence – none of us should think too highly of ourselves to think we are beyond falling into sin – that is PRIDE. You kid yourself if you think it is okay to play in the devil’s playground. And you have to admit that alcohol is hawked all over the place as the route to happiness and many are they who fall into that trap through the first drink at a party to be part of the crowd. Some escape that fate, but those who do not make a train wreck out of their lives and that of others.

    You keep pressing the question if it is a sin to drink alcohol and try to pin us down. It is a sin to partake of ANYTHING that could lead to destruction. The is a biblical principle. Gluttony harms ones self while drinking alters the mind and behavior and harms not only ones self but others. I don’t know of anyone who went home and beat their wife after having too many milkshakes.

    Another thought is this: We should err on the side of caution in ALL our behavior. And there is no law against abstinence. To compare alcohol consumption with eating is just a cop out. Eating is necessary for sustaining the body – drinking alcohol is not. Life without alcohol is not harmful to anyone, but life including it is risky and often harmful.

  • TheTimeWillCome

    Hi Burning Lamp,

    “I don’t know of anyone who went home and beat their wife after having too many milkshakes.”

    Haha, fair enough.

    Look, you certainly win the argument on the side of what’s better to do overall. I won’t argue with you on that. It’s fine to say we should err on the side of caution, but the keyword there is ‘err’. One shouldn’t make that ‘err’ a biblical injunction simply because it is where they are more comfortable. One ought to say, “this is what the Bible says about it in its entirety, in its context, in every scripture’s context; and I choose to live in such and such a way because that’s the best way I find I can achieve my goal of living according to that and this scripture.” When you make your choice of living, your personal ‘line’ as it were, a biblical injunction you are not only engaging in false exegesis but you are laying a burden onto others that God Himself does not lay on them.

    If you want to discuss the merits of whether having a drink is the wisest course of action, that’s far different to discussing the exegesis used in this article and in comments like Marion’s above. I’m sure you would win that argument in 99 percent of cases. Maybe all. But it’s the exegesis here I believe is faulty, the way scripture has been used, and since this is a blog that centres around teaching I think the finer details ought to be discussed, ironed out, and wrestled with and even argued over in an edifying environment.

    “You keep pressing the question if it is a sin to drink alcohol and try to pin us down. ”

    I’m not trying to ‘pin you down’ – what I’m looking for is clarity. Is it a sin? Yes or no? As much as the readers and writers of this site expect clarity from the many teachers they expose (and part of the problem with those teachers is the lack of clarity, isn’t it?) I expect clarity from this site and its readers.

    “It is a sin to partake of ANYTHING that could lead to destruction.” This is where I think the logic is flawed. Certainly anything in all of life can lead to destruction. I would require you to pick this apart, clear up your definitions, and do so with scriptural support.

    I get the impression you’re trying to measure the sin of alcoholism as worse than other sins. Hey, I could be wrong but this is the impression I’m getting.

    There’s bad lightning moving in here so I need to switch off my PC. Thank you for the conversation though, appreciate it.

  • Marion

    To all readers of this blog:

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8)

    “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith….” (2 Tim.6:20-21

    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblins, for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker:…” (2 Tim. 2:15-17a)

    “Holding fast the faithful word as ye hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,…” (Titus 1:9-10a)

    “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is a heretick after the first and second admonition, reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” (Titus 3:9-11)

    Please let this be the end of TimeWillCome. Clearly he has manifested his heart; in light of the above Scriptures, he is not a lover of the truth and is rather a lover of contention, who minds earthly things. His conversation further reflects not an honest questioning of the Word of God that he might walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord, rather, an evil heart.

    Further dialogue with him or about him, is a waste of time.
    I’m done.

  • TheTimeWillCome

    Hi Robbie,

    “The shoe fits you and blaming it on legalism or the “conviction of others” is just an excuse to sin. An excuse as old as the mountains.”

    Dude, this is a bit of an ad hominem. You sound like you’re attacking me rather than the content of my posts.

    Let’s try another example to show you what I’m getting at. Some people are convicted to listen to Christian music only. Others believe they can also listen to some secular music. You can use your argument here to enforce a conviction about listening to Christian-only music on others. But you would be laying a burden on them that the Bible does not require.

    You obviously believe that having a drink is a sin. If I’m incorrect here then please correct me, but by your wording I’m getting that impression. But that’s taking warnings in Scripture about strong drink too far. Strong drink can lead you to sin, granted – and that for me is what the Scripture is warning about – but that doesn’t mean that having a drink is a sin. After lots of study on the matter I’ve come to the conclusion that you would be using the scriptures incorrectly.

    To use a different example, sitting on the edge of a cliff is dangerous and can lead you to fall off, but that doesn’t mean that sitting at the edge of a cliff is a sin. Jumping off may very well be – that’s suicide – but sitting on the edge of the cliff, there’s no sin in that. It may be stupid but it’s not a sin.

    Do I want to justify sin? No, of course not. I just want to make sure that what we say is sin is what God says is sin. I don’t want to claim something that’s a sin that isn’t a sin. Likewise, I don’t want to claim that something isn’t a sin when it is. I’m sure you can appreciate that motive.

    “About Spurgeon: – He was a false ecumenical teacher…”

    I hope you’ve come to this conclusion through a fair amount of study of both his preaching, doctrine and life.

    “Spurgeon says, “There are some that differ from us as wide as the poles; but yet they are God’s children.””

    Context?

  • TheTimeWillCome

    Marion, if one cannot come here and ask questions, talk, converse, and even argue around the scriptures in an effort to be a Berean then I don’t understand the reason for comments at this blog. Surely a teaching ministry involves patiently talking about these things, wrestling over them, even arguing in an edifying way. I’m open to seeing things differently provided my views, or the view put forward here, can be shown to be the truth through the Scriptures and reason. I am asking for more reason, more Scripture, because I am not convinced on the argument here after doing my own studies.

    The reformation would never have happened if people didn’t actually wrestle with each others’ viewpoints of scripture. God guides us into all truth with His Holy Spirit using various means, it doesn’t happen over night. I’d appreciate it if you let me be guided.

    Am I at this blog to teach? No. That’s the owner of this blog’s prerogative. I am here to converse, disagree, or agree depending on where I am at.

    I get the impression that you’re turning what I think is a rather simple and important conversation about what the Scriptures say to a personal attack on me. Well I’m not interested in anything except what the Scriptures actually say. Attack me personally if you’d like, call my heart evil, but that has nothing to do with what the Scriptures say on the matter at hand.

    Our battle is not against flesh and blood – our sword, the Word of God, is not to be used to attack people but the principalities and powers of darkness, the teachings and philosophies of the world and the devil and his ideas and influence. Let’s use the scriptures then to attack what is untrue, what is false; not to attack people. However, your last post appears to be using the Word to attack me rather than engaging on the actual content of my posts. I honestly see this as using the Word incorrectly.

    Expose and oppose what I say fairly and with Scripture. Pick apart the content of my posts with Scripture and reason. Why attack me personally? Does that truly expose the error of what I believe? It’s more likely to make me argumentative and then we’ve allowed sin to enter a conversation about the Bible, which I don’t want to happen.

    You say I have an evil heart. You are right. I am the chief of sinners.

  • Estelle

    Burning Lamp

    Although I agree on the issue with alcohol I can’t agree with some of your other comments.
    Alcohol is something I hate because of what it does to people, people you love and therefor cannot support any part of it or anyone who makes or sells it.

    Other people don’t necessarily hate it and don’t see anything wrong with a glass of wine once in a while and no scripture you give them will convince them otherwise. Only the Holy Spirit can convict them.

    My brother can no longer eat any sugary food. Something changed in his body and now it can’t absorb the sugar correctly anymore. So just one day suddenly after eating one pudding he got so tired that he couldn’t stand up and went and fell asleep. Should he have bought a sweet that day and eat while driving, what could the consequences have been? (Just saying that the sugar had an intoxicating effect)

    I mentioned that I cannot agree with your other comments, on the tattoo article you told someone that it was fine to use makeup and hair color. For me this is a HUGE issue and for other people I know it is a huge stumble block to see Christians that are supposed to care for animals use products like these that are almost always used in animal testing.

    I know there are companies that do make hair color and makeup that don’t test on animals (Revlon is one, so if you really want to spend your money on that then fine), but the reality is that almost everyone does.

    Coloring your hair or putting on makeup to look pretty is for me very vain, whether it was tested on animals or not.
    But using any products for beautification that was tested on animals is something I believe no Christian should do, approve of or take part in.

    Like Proverbs 31:30
    Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Hold yer horsies everyone, would you please stick to the topic! Estelle, if you want to discuss tattoo’s please do so under the correct article.

    What I find amazing is how people can compare alcohol to other substances like sugar (when someone finds out they have Diabetes) – what next? I am surprised no one has mentioned why it’s not legal to smoke grass – heck that makes you dizzy. I am shocked. Really. The lengths people will go to to justify drinking alcohol is just amazing.

  • Estelle

    hehe, I did not discuss tattoos, only makeup and hair colour. For me it is relevant, Burning Lamp is stressing the effects etc of alcohol and being an example to other people and not a stumble block, but is in error with regards to what I said.

    I am not comparing alcohol to sugar, just saying there is more than one substance that can alter your judgement/make you feel dizzy etc (like grass too). Anything that makes you lose control of your mind/body/judgement etc. you should stay away from it. And yes it will be wrong for my brother to take anything that is sugary (he’s not diabetic though) because he knows what the effect will be. Just like I know it is a sin for me to drink alcohol.

    Every person should stay away from alcohol, becoming an alcoholic can only take a second and your life is ruined. So yes, rather walk far from the cliff than go anywhere near it.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Estelle

    Allllll righttyyyyy thennn… sorry, me bad!

  • Burning Lamp

    Dear sister Estelle, this thread is clearly about the issue of alcohol and nothing else but alcohol.

    Since you brought it up I will respond on the other. Yes, society is WAY too concerned about physical appearance – plastic surgery on little girls, breast augmentation, and all the expensive procedures to alter the body’s looks. Now let’s not throw the baby out with the bath. A little makeup and syling your hair makes one more pleasing to look at and I see nothing wrong with that – enhancing the natural. If all of us did nothing to spruce ourselves up a bit like some religious sects believe, and let ourselves appear to be dull and drab, then what good is that? It is if we become obsessed with our looks and have to have a certain this or that. Inner beauty is the most important, but there’s nothing wrong with putting some curtains on the windows. Now let’s close that topic and return to the issue at hand.

  • Burning Lamp

    Now TTWC, you are making a simple issue complicated and throwing around your “exegis” is unnecessary and distracting.

    As for scripture, there is plenty warning against strong drink. But if one is looking for a direct mandate not to imbibe you will not find it.

    To me it is a matter of simple deduction. It is not necessary to drink alcohol – there is an abundance of good non-alcoholic choices provided for us. If one chooses to imbibe, one chooses to enter a slippery slope. The Bible makes that clear. If we choose to risk the welfare of ourselves and others based on our fleshly desires, that violates biblical admonitions as to the temple of the Holy Spirit and the example set for others. Bottom line: there is no good and valid reason for drinking alcohol. It represents a vile part of our society, crimes, accidents and all kinds of sin abound due to alcohol use and abuse and the liquor industry flourishes. There was a recent study in the news that reported a huge concern with binge drinking.

    If everyone was sinless there would be no problem with alcohol. You say you are chief of sinners. Then why do you deliberately put yourself at risk to sin when you don’t have to? Please answer that question.

    You try to muddy the waters by asking if one sin is worse than another. Typical smoke screen. Sin is sin, but the CONSEQUENCES of sin are VERY different!

    I also said that alcohol abuse does NOT have to include drunkiness. You never addressed this. Alcohol is a drug, a legal drug. As with any drug is can be addictive – and if one is a drinker and has trauma in their lives, it is natural to reach for the bottle for solace. I also said there are “closet” alcoholics who nip away to get through the day. They are hooked. You never addressed this.

  • Paul

    What’s the issue here?
    I think the previous posts have been pretty clear:

    “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and
    we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:10

    “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one
    wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to
    hospitality, apt to teach;
    Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    but patient, not a brawler, not covetous” 1 Tim 3:2-3

    “It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
    5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” Proverbs 31 :4-5

    Are we not kings?
    are we not priests ?
    are we not rulers ?
    are we not bishops (overseers) over the souls of not only our brothers and sisters but all those for whom our Saviour shed his sinless and precious blood?

    I ask TTWC: You invite an unbelieving person (friend, neigbour, stranger) to your house, and you are witnessing to him. He brings alcohool with him. You serve it and you drink with moderation(?). That person goes over the limit (even by just 0.0001%) and gets impaired, or he litteraly gets drunk. How will you feel? What account will you give to God about the soul of that person of whom you(we) are the keeper?
    It is not a matter of being legallistic or of calling drinking alcohool a sin. It is a matter of conscience and obedience. If I would do anything that will be a stumbling block for any of these little ones for whom Christ died, I better not do it.
    I believe the wine of the miracle at the wedding in Cana was not alcohool.

    Let’s be sober and vigilant and watchfull. The Lord is near.

  • gerie

    Hi Everyone,

    As I was thinking about these things you all are discussing, I thought I might share my opinion on the matter. The wine in the Bible was definitely fermented, otherwise many scriptures just don’t make any sense, the bursted winekins etc, there are many others. I would like to take the words in one scripture for my example.

    In Titus 2:3 it says “not given to MUCH wine”…

    In the greek, the word “given”-*douloo*-literally means: to make a slave, to bring into bondage.

    They were not to become addicted by drinking too much wine. *much* in the greek means–a large amount, (of wine). And again, wine in the original greek, definitely implies fermentation.

    Paul talks about the same idea in 1 Tim 3:8 when he again says, “not given to much wine,” *given* means addicted to, so in other words, use moderation and know when to stop. He didn’t say *no wine* but don’t drink *much* wine. Much wine. In other words don’t drink too much wine. He didn’t say don’t drink at all. That’s what Timothy had been trying to do, when Paul encouraged him to “take a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and often infirmities.”(1 Tim 5:23)

    Through research, today we know that a *little* wine is good for us, just like Paul also knew way back then. However, what may be good for one, might be a stumbling block for others. We must use caution and wisdom. It is not drinking the wine itself but becoming addicted to it. So if you come from a family of alcoholics it would be wise to just stay away. But what applies to you may not apply to everyone else.

    Romans 14:21 Paul says…
    21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
    22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.

    So if you are going to have wine, have it privately and don’t drink too much, and don’t become addicted to it, or be made a slave to it. Because that’s what Paul was really talking about whenever this topic came up. It was about coming under the bondage of an addiction and the same idea can apply to many other things that we can become addicted to.

    I wonder what Paul would say about all of the Pastors preaching sermons with fat bellies, that witness to everybody that they have come under the bondage of fast food and sweets? Or maybe they are addicted to just food itself. The eating of food isn’t bad, but only the eating of *much* food. Eating way too much food is an addiction. Just like drinking *much* wine is wrong because they have become addicted to it. With anything we do in this life whether it be eating or drinking, or buying and selling or anything else, the Holy Spirit inside of us always teaches us to use *moderation*. I hope you all agree.

    However one last thing… I don’t think they had drinking and driving laws back then, unless they objected to riding camels while intoxicated. But if we are careful to only drink wine using the cautions of scripture,(in moderation) we won’t allow ourselves to drink to the point of intoxication.

    I believe that “moderation in all things” is a teaching that is sorely lacking in the body of Christ, and no wonder, when many Pastors themselves are not practicing the things they preach.

    God Bless Everyone,
    Gerie

  • Polly

    Gerie, this is for your benefit. This is a long thread and you might have missed this post by Burning Lamp. Please read through this material thoroughly and then revisit your thoughts on this topic.

    Drinking alcohol today has become common place, and many Christians see nothing wrong with it. They use the Bible to condone their actions-saying, “Didn’t Paul tell Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake?” They question, “Didn’t Jesus drink wine?” Then they insist that Jesus made alcoholic wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

    These sound like convincing arguments until you understand that the main Hebrew word for “wine” (yayin) or the main Greek word (oinos) can refer to a fermented or unfermented drink. The wine spoken of in the Bible is a generic term. The context in each case indicates whether it was speaking of fermented wine or not.
    You might ask, “Could people in Bible times keep their juices from fermenting when there was no refrigeration?” The answer is, “Yes”. To preserve their sweet juices in a hot climate, people often boiled the juice down until it was thick like syrup, and later when they were ready to use it they would add water to it. Also they would boil their juices and, then seal the air out. There were other methods to prevent fermentation like filtration or by drawing off the juice from the subsided yeast, and by the use of sulfur. They could, at times keep juice in a cool place such as in a cave, underground or in running water. For more on this subject read, Bible Wines, by William Patton which can be found online at At this link you will find an exhaustive examination of the “Laws of Fermentation” that every Christian should read and keep for reference.

    “Did Jesus make alcohol for the wedding in Cana?” The term used in, John 2:1-11, is “oinos” the generic Greek word for both fermented or unfermented juice. We must determine from the context whether it is a fermented or unfermented drink here.

    The person in charge of the wedding party remarked, after he had tasted the wine, “…you have kept the good wine until now.” Good wine was fresh grape juice, the fermented grape juice was considered inferior. Also Jesus would know about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (being God as well as man), and would not give alcohol to a wedding party, which probably included several pregnant women. No, Jesus did NOT make a fermented wine at this wedding. What He did do was to give a wedding gift of at least 120 gallons of fresh grape juice.

    The Hebrew word (chemah) is translated as “poison” when speaking of fermented wine in Deuteronomy 32:33. Alcohol is a toxic mind-altering drug. Alcohol causes ill effects on the digestive, muscular, skeletal, nervous and circulatory systems. It causes cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice, pancreatitis, and blackouts as well as many other sicknesses.

    God’s Word is consistent, it does not tell us not to drink fermented wine in one part of the Bible and in another part only to drink a little alcohol. Here are three types of New Testament references that people think are saying it is all right to drink a little fermented wine, beer, etc. First, Ephesians 5:18, in some versions the word “excess” is used. The New King James Version more accurately uses the word “dissipation” (meaning intemperance or the opposite of temperance-which is total abstinence from alcoholic liquors).

    Second, in other references such as 1 Timothy 3:2,3 and Titus 1:7, we have the phrase, “not given to wine” this is taken by some to mean, “not to be addicted” to alcohol. But in reality the Greek word used here is, “mee-paroinon”, literally, not at, by near, or with wine (alcohol). According to Paul, total abstinence is an indispensable qualification for a pastor. (See Bible Wines William Patton)

    The New International Version in 1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7 says here, “not given to drunkenness”. This translation does not make sense in light of Proverbs 23:31 and 32 and the rest of the injunctions against any drinking of alcohol. Paul even goes so far as to warn that a person would not be saved if they are drunkards. “…nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:10) So be very careful which versions of the Bible you study!

    In Revelation 1:6, we are called kings and priests, according to Scripture kings or princes were not to drink fermented wine or intoxicating drink. In Proverbs 31:4,5 we are also told that priests were not to drink any wine or intoxicating drink when they went into the tabernacle (or temple), Leviticus 10:9 and 10. Then 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
    For more study on this subject read also: 1 Samuel 1:13-16, Proverbs 4:14-17, 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:22, 28:7,8 Jeremiah 35:1-6,18,19; Daniel 1:8-16, Amos 2:12 Habakkuk 2:5,15-16; Matthew 24:48 – 51; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8.

    For more information about wine and other alcoholic beverages in the Bible:

    Is It Alright For Christians To Drink Alcohol?

    Myths about Wine and Alcohol Part 1

    See Also:

    *For more information about grape juice and health:
    Welch’s: All About Welchs: Company FAQs
    Welch’s: Healthy Living:
    Welch’s:All About Welchs:Company History

    This article in its entirety can be found at

  • Robbie

    Thanks Polly. VERY interesting.

  • gerie

    Hi Polly,
    I agree that there are a lot of Christians out there leading undisiplined lives, and abusing things that if not done in excess would be OK, such as eating too much food or drinking too much wine. What I find is that many Christians who will quibble about drinking *a little* wine, may be walking around with a hundred pounds or more, of excess weight and see nothing wrong with that! You said that Paul said in 1 Cor 6 they would not be allowed into Heaven if they were drunkkards. That agrees with what I have been saying, it is the *abusing* of alcohol that is bad. That *abuse* is what will make you a drunkkard, not drinking only *a little* wine. That’s what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us, is *moderation* in all things. If a person knows that they are weak in this area, then abstinence is in order. But that rule doesn’t apply across the board to every Christian, and we will all be accountable before God in what we have allowed in this life. Anything that was done without faith is sin. You said that the word wine can either be translated fermented or unfermented, I believe it should be translated fermented. You agree that it can be translated either way. So then we should use common sense and our God given discernment to see how its used in the text.
    Jesus used the same word in Luke 10:34 when the man was pouring oil and wine “oinos” into the wounds, as is used in Titus 2:3, where it says not to be given to much wine “oinos”. Why would Jesus say to pour grapejuice into the mans wounds? It is the alcohol in the wine that would kill the germs. If Paul was talking about grapejuice in Titus 2:3, then why did he caution them not to drink *much* of it? They shouldn’t drink *much* grapejuice? He would feel the need to caution them against drinking too *much* wine, that makes sense, but would he feel the need to caution them from drinking too much grapejuice ? No, the arguement makes no sense. Just like it would not be good to pour grapejuice into a wound. All these different scriptures are using the same word “oinos.”
    (Romans 14:21) “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine “oinos”, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”
    You see that here, it is also translated from the same word “oinos”. Here it says that it is better not to drink wine “oinos”, if it causes my brother to stumble. Again, he is not talking about grapejuice here. Drinking grapejuice in front of someone would never cause them to stumble. It is still translated from the same word “oinos” as well as in all of those other scriptures we talked about. But let’s think about what he said in this last scripture. If someone think’s it’s wrong to drink a little wine, then that person shouldn’t drink wine because without faith, for you, it would be sin. But for others that may want the benefits of it and they see in scripture that it is not harmful if it’s used in moderation, then we shouldn’t accept condemnation from other Christians. To our own Master we stand or fall. If we drink a little wine, we drink it to the Lord, if we abstain from wine, to the Lord we abstain from it. We should all use wisdom and faith in the things we allow or not allow. In the case of Timothy, he was abstaining from something that could have greatly benefitted him, and that’s why Paul encouraged him to take * a little* wine “oinos” to help with his stomach problems.
    Also we read in Acts 15, that certain Jews were trying to force the Gentile Christians to be circumcised according to the law of Moses and to observe other restrictions they were trying to force upon them. This would have been the perfect time for them to lay down the law and to tell them plainly not to drink wine, but they didn’t. Instead they said this:
    (Acts 15:19) Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
    20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
    So what we have talked about, here is the sum: Just because other Christians are abusing something doesn’t make it wrong for the rest of us. We should use discernment about what we do in front of others as Scripture teaches, so that we don’t cause our brothers and sisters in Christ, who may be weaker in faith, to stumble and fall. We should do all things through faith and obedience to the Spirit of Truth who is in us, who Himself will guide us into all Truth. And lastly, we should always be sure to maintain a clean conscience.

    God Bless Everyone,
    Gerie

  • Burning Lamp

    Gerie, just what would be the “benefit” of drinking fermented wine? It involves a risk of addiction that is not necessary. We have pure water to drink, we have all kinds and varieties of grape juice to drink. Why would a Christian choose to drink something that doesn’t taste as good and is a product of decay and runs the risk of addiction and harm to others? Why would one go to the liquor store or place of purchase and risk being seen by others as being an imbiber of alcohol?

    Wine is a gateway to other harder liquors. The door has been opened.

    What if in the privacy of one’s home a child is influenced to have the privilege someday of having an “adult” beverage. It would not be suitable for children and that should tell us something should it not? How many young adults can’t wait until their 19th or 21st birthday depending upon the local laws, to have that first drink of an “adult” beverage?
    And how many of them die of alcohol poisoning or young women lose their virginity under the influence?

    There are some things that it is best not to touch and alcohol is one of them. It is unnecessary for health while food is necessary for the body to function. Yes, there are people who overeat, but it doesn’t cause their minds to be impaired or their judgment dulled. They are hurting themselves, not others. I get so weary of this argument.

    Anyone who feels the need to nip at the wine does not do so for the taste – it is because it brings relaxation. And as humans we are suscipible to traumas in our lives and once we have mounted that slippery slope we run the risk of sliding down it into the pit.

    Christian liberty is not about pushing the envelope as far as we can – no, it is erring on the side of caution and not thinking too highly of ourselves that we won’t slide into sin.

  • gerie

    Hi Burning Lamp,
    There are many benefits to drinking a glass of wine, for one it is very good for the digestion. That’s why Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach’s sake. He was probably having digestive issues, which wine is very good for.

    My Mom is 82 years old and has Parkinson’s Disease. The doctor advised her to take a glass of wine or a bottle of beer to lesson the shaking and thank God, it has worked for her. Should I have put on my religious hat and say to her, “Thus saith the Lord, thou shall not drink wine?”

    Of course not because it’s not in the Scriptures. Should I have told her to ask the doctor to prescribe pills to do the same thing? No, not that either. Wine is more natural then drugs are. Should I have told her, you’ll just have to suffer till you die? No, not when there is a remedy to relieve some of the suffering, just as Paul tried to relieve some of Timothy’s suffering with a *little* wine.

    We can’t control what everyone will do with the information we give them. Paul told Timothy what he might do to relieve his stomach problems, but it was ultimately up to Timothy to control his intake and to just drink a * little* wine. There will always be a lot of “what if’s” in all of our lives. As Christians, we are not to be controlled by “what if’s” but be led by His Spirit, using wisdom. Putting others first. To openly drink too much wine in front of baby Christians, who might be emboldened to do the same, is a sin and shows a lack of wisdom, poor judgment and no self control. Because in their inexperience they might not have enough faith yet. Their conscience might condemn them for a lack of knowledge, and so for them to do the same thing would be a sin for them, because it’s not of faith. Just like some feel guilty for eating meat or pork and others can freely eat all things without condemnation. Let each one of us be fully convinced in our own heart.

    I would never go around condemning anybody for drinking a glass of wine, there are other things more important than that to focus on. But anyone who think’s that it’s a sin shouldn’t drink, no matter what I say. However they should also refrain from judging others, that do. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for what we allowed ourselves to do.

    If there is one teaching that is sorely lacking in today’s church it is practicing moderation. It’s all or nothing. What about moderation? Some woman think it’s alright to wear make up and some don’t. Those who choose not to wear it, shouldn’t judge those who do, and those who wear make up, who are putting on gobs of it are sinning because they are not using moderation, the way we are taught by His Spirit.

    I would say that the Church as a whole is suffering from a lack of discipline. They’re not being taught to practice moderation in all things.

    Paul said,
    (1 Cor 6:12) “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

    Like I said before, eating excessive amounts of food, even the right kind of food is doing more damage to Christians in America, (whether it be their health, or damaging their witness), than a glass of wine a day, ever could. Many Christians are getting diabetes and other serious diseases because they just can’t control their food intake. This is a serious problem in the American Church which the Pastors can’t preach on, because if they do, they expose themselves. They themselves are bound by their own food addictions, so instead they play it safe by preaching about drinking wine, which at the end of the day, makes everybody happy as they catch up on all of the latest juicey, gossip at the coffee and donut table. Isn’t Satan clever?

    God Bless Everyone,
    Gerie

  • Burning Lamp

    Geri, I will try AGAIN to refute your stinkin’ thinkin’ about alcohol. Nothing I say seems to sink in my dear. The notion that one has to drink alcohol for health benefits has been debunked over and over:

    See this article from the Mayo Clinic:

    Does grape juice offer the same heart benefits as red wine?
    Answer
    from Martha Grogan, M.D.
    Possibly. Some research studies suggest that red and purple grape juices may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine, including:

    Reducing the risk of blood clots
    Reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol
    Preventing damage to blood vessels in your heart
    Helping maintain a healthy blood pressure
    Grapes are rich in health-protecting antioxidants, including resveratrol and flavonoids. These antioxidants are found mainly in the skin, stem, leaf and seeds of grapes, rather than in their pulp. The amount of antioxidants in grapes depends on many factors, including the kind of grape, its geographic origin and how it’s processed. Dark red and purple grapes tend to be higher in antioxidants than are white or green grapes. Likewise, the level of antioxidants such as resveratrol found in wine varies, with higher levels in red wine.

    Besides grape juice, other grape products may offer health benefits, including dealcoholized wine, grape extracts and grape powder.

    Keep in mind that it’s also beneficial to eat whole grapes — not just grape juice. Some research suggests that whole grapes deliver the same amount of antioxidants that are in grape juice and wine but have the added benefit of providing dietary fiber.

    Other articles:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/62023.php
    We don’t need wine for our stomach, just drink some grape juice or other natural product.

    There are some things that moderation just won’t work and are best to leave alone period. You obviously haven’t read the information that was presented here.

    I am sick and tired of the food analogy. Food never took a life on the road, food never abused a child, food never caused a brawl. Food is necessary for life – alcohol is not.

    More than enough evidence has been presented here that gives serious believers good reason to abstain from alcohol. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will. I’m done.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Geri

    Apparently you drink and enjoy it, otherwise you would not be arguing this topic.

  • gerie

    Hi B.L.,
    I can see that the topic is not open for discussion as is the case when one’s mind is already made up. I believe that we shouldn’t change scriptures to go along with what *we* think is best. We must hold fast to the truth, even if it doesn’t fit in with our preconceived ideas. The Bible is clearly talking about wine, the fermented kind. We would never pour grape juice into a wound and the Holy Spirit uses the same word as in the other scriptures that talk about wine, as I have stated before. Also grape juice (unless fermented and it became wine), could never cause wine-skins to burst. Its silly to argue about this, there are more important things, as I’ve already stated. If anyone would drink a glass of wine a day for health reasons, they should never be condemned by anyone in the church. When you site studies and articles such as the one by “Dole” think first if they have any interests in the outcome, since they manufacture and sell grapejuice.

    You said food doesn’t kill, ah, but it does. Witness the diseases running rampant in the church, from eating too much food and of the wrong kind. You are mistaken about that. It’s the *abuse* of food that kills, just like its the *abuse* of alcohol that does the harm, not drinking in moderation which would probably be a glass a day. Teaching moderation and discipline and control are sorely needed today. If one knows that he can’t stop at one glass of wine, then he should stay away from it period, and pray that they Holy Spirit would teach him how to control his flesh.

    If one has diabetes he should stay away from sugar, especially if he’s driving because his vision can be impared and he can cause harm to himself and others.To a diabetic sugar can do the same sort of things as too much alcohol can to others. Wouldn’t you agree that teaching moderation would be beneficial to those in the same situation? Also there is a terrible misuse of prescription drugs in the Church. People need to learn control while they are still in this body. We have to master our bodies, Paul says, and make it our slave. It takes practice and teaching on the subject of *moderation*.

    Hi Debra, No I don’t drink wine or beer or anything, as I’m allergic to it all. But if I wasn’t, I would drink a glass of wine a day to help my digestion as Paul adviced Timothy. It is still sound advice. There is no evidence that mere grapejuice can have the same effects.

    God Bless Everyone,
    Gerie

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    oh boy

  • Burning Lamp

    Gerie, this topic has been discussed quite adequately here with MUCH documentation.

    I guess you think MAYO CLINIC has a conflict of interest?

    I said that people who overeat HURT THEMSELVES – the food doesn’t impair them to harm others as alcohol does.

    EVERY single alcoholic would never have become an alcoholic or an impaired person if they had not taken the first drink. Face it Gerie, alcohol is used in our society as a social lubricant, a way to escape problems and binge drinking is a huge problem.It is a source of heartache and evil because the nature of man is evil.

    Alcohol is BIG business and as Christians we are to come out and BE SEPARATE from evil ways.

    Alcohol is a hook, a gateway to sin, and it is NOT NECESSARY!!

    You talk about moderation. Fine. One glass a day. Well, that could EASILY turn into 2 glasses and then when you are at a party, one beer turns into two, and partaking in a mixed drink with hard liquor seems not to be so bad.

    Moderation? What is moderate for one person is not moderate for another. Moderation would not apply to one who is susceptible to alcohol abuse and ONE DOESN’T FIND THAT OUT until AFTER one has partaken. Then it is TOO LATE!!!

    If you had taken the time to read the articles cited in all the posts on this thread you would educate yourself, but you choose not to inform yourself because it just might change your mind.

    YOU my dear are set in your mind and are the one twisting Scripture to justify your position. and won’t listen to anyone else. There is nothing further to discuss.

  • Andre

    All Christians I’ve met will admit that drunkenness is sin, my question now is when are you drunk? After a of glass wine? A bottle maybe? The SA government recons that if you have 0.05g of alcohol per 100ml of blood you are too drunk to drive now that is less than a glass of wine, so even a government of this world declare you too drunk to drive if you had a glass of wine and if you do they will charge you with DRUNKEN driving. So until someone give me the g/100ml that God considers drunk I would rather abstain from any alcoholic drinks.

  • Kate Akele

    Ze point is clear- OBEY THE BIBLE AND DON’T DRINK! If you must drink,drink water!

  • I hope it’s ok to comment on a thread that’s over 2 months old…

    First of all I don’t drink. In fact I’ve never drank and I’m 40 years old. I doubt I ever will. Any of my opinions on this subject have come about through study and reflection on both God’s Word and other materials.

    Second of all I’ve just completed reading this thread including all comments through Feb 11 (by Andre). And except for the occasional personal attack it has been a very interesting discussion.

    Well, except that I’m still left with a few bothers. How come nobody replied to gerie’s rather concise points regarding the use of the word “wine” in the New Testament? How pouring grape juice into wounds and being admonished to not drink much grape juice…just makes no sense?

    Not to mention many other places I’ve personally read (in the NT) where to assume it means grape juice would make just as little sense.

    It almost seems like there are people here with personal problems concerning the abuse of alcohol who are trying to use scripture as a club. You know, to beat those down who hold to differing opinions (thus the seeming personal attacks). That may seem harsh but I am just offering my own opinion after spending the time to read this rather large thread.

    Both sides of the debate have seemingly presented cases that are/should be self evident in their interpretation. But only one side seems to be using correct interpretation of scripture.

    I would know this: in the verses gerie cited, *IS* the Holy Spirit referring to grape juice?

    If not, then what?

    If so, how does that make any kind of sense?

    Thank you for your time and thought on this matter, and once again thanks for a very interesting discussion.

    Take care.

  • Andre

    Chris.

    All I want is you guys saying that a Christian can drink in moderation is how much because like I said there is unanimous agreement among Christians that drunkenness is wrong because scripture teaches so, now please tell us how much can a Christian take without becoming drunk?
    Would it be fair that if a worldly government say 0.05g/100ml and you are too DRUNK to control a car and would put other people’s and your own live at risk then God would see it as drunkenness?
    Gerie you are right about sugar with diabetics the difference though is that sugar is a natural food we NEED (glucose is the fuel we all burn daily) so it is a challenge for a diabetic to maintain the right levels of this fuel, they certainly do not take sugar to get a high and if they do that will be a sin because they put their bodies at risk.
    For me the issue is simple when I became a new man I’ve put off the old things which were ruling my life like alcohol, I always think arguments about how much I can get away with is missing the point completely, do I really need alcoholic drink so much that I would put my relationship with God at risk?
    Beside all the arguments I also do not drink in order to take a stand against an industry that ruins millions of lives every year.
    I also want to know from the moderation crowd is taking LSD or cocaine okay since the Bible does not specifically mention them?

  • Burning Lamp

    Andre, you are right on. Why would anyone run the risk of drinking to the point of impairment? Why push the envelope? Why not err on the side of caution? The Bible says we are to be sober. How many drinks can one have and still be sober and not impaired?

    You are so right about taking a stand against the liquor industry. There is so much carnage on the roads, spousal abuse, child molestation and abuse, domestic violence, etc.

    People who use Christian liberty as a justification for tipping back a few should take another look at the issue.

    It is a problem in the Church for sure and Christians are supposed to set the example.

    Thanks for writing.

  • Gerie

    Its obvious from scripture that Jesus ate well and drank wine. So much so that they called him a glutton and a winebibber in Luke 7 verse 32. What Jesus was saying in these scriptures is that John the Baptist did everything strict and sort of religious by fasting a lot which would appeal to certain religious people. He didn’t eat regular food nor did he drink any wine, but even that wasn’t enough for them, because they still accused him of being demon possessed. On the other hand Jesus came eating heartily AND drinking wine, and they called him a glutton and a drunk. I am assuming that they wouldn’t call someone who drank a lot of grape juice a ‘winebibber’. So what Jesus is saying here, is that if we eat food and drink wine, you find fault with us and on the other hand, if we don’t eat much food and don’t drink wine, you STILL find fault. It sort of sounds like today, doesn’t it?

    (Luke 7:32)

    They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
    33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
    34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

    I understand how badly some christians want the Bible to speak against drinking wine, but it just doesn’t. It says we may drink wine if we want to but as with everything else, only in moderation. I don’t drink wine myself because of allergies but I wish I could have a glass of wine with dinner. There is nothing wrong with that and it may be healthy too. The problem I have with Christians that say scripture is talking about grapejuice, when its really talking about wine, is that common sense will tell them that its wine the scripture is referring to, but now we look to others, who we are trying to convince, like we are lying. So now they have an excuse and a legitimate reason not to trust us. Because if we are stretching these scriptures and interpreting them our own way, then they will wonder what other scriptures we may be doing that with, and we have unwittingly lost all credibility with that person. You see? So thats the main reason that I find fault with those who want to say that the Bible means grape juice when its really talking about wine. Its because of credibility and we never want to lose that.

    So how much is too much? Well, we each have to be our own judge of that. Timothy chose to stay away from wine altogether, and thats the choice of many christians today. The Holy Spirit inside of us is the one who guides us in everything even drinking wine. If we have a problem with alcohol, the Holy Spirit is perfectly capible of convicting that individual not to touch something that may be perfectly fine, for another. We shouldn’t judge eachother over these type things. We just need to be careful with what ever liberty we allow ourselves. And be sure that we don’t go too far and abuse our privlege of freedom in Christ.

    God Bless Everybody,
    Gerie

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Gerrie

    Luke 7:33-34 “33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
    34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”

    Matthew 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

    You say, “….Jesus came eating heartily AND drinking wine, and they called him a glutton and a drunk.” And you are making the same assessment that those people of that time were making about Jesus (a SINLESS MAN) that he was being gluttonous (sin) and being drunkard (sin).

    No Gerrie, these people called Jesus that ONLY because of the company he was keeping – he was sitting with tax collectors and sinners.

    Jesus sat in the company of gluttenous winebibbers PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THEM and in turn evil men came along (men with no wisdom) and they said Jesus was doing the same things as the gluttenous, and the drunkards.

    He was only eating food moderately and because he was preaching to everyone he sure as nuts was drinking non-alcoholic wine! But he was falsely accused, and you have accused Jesus falsely again!

    Please, next time, make sure you NEVER INSULT JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD AGAIN like you have done ok?

  • Zelda

    The people who called Jesus a winebibber and glutton, also plotted to have him killed. Would you expect kind words from them? Should we believe all they said ? afterall Jesus said thier father was the devil ( and father of lies)? Do a Google search on alcohol statistics. Even secular organisations promote alcohol as a drug that does more damage than all other drugs put together. Where I live, binge drinking has risen 100-fold in the last 5 years (with more than a 100% increase each year). and it is sad to say that it involves 14 year olds – especially girls. How can you defend a potent drug and call it biblical. I get hot under the collar when people don’t think rationally!

  • Burning Lamp

    The Bible says Jesus always did the will of the Father who is in heaven. So He would not disobey God the Father who said by the Holy Spirit, “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.” Proverbs 23:31 and 32 (NKJV)

    The person in charge of the wedding party remarked, after he had tasted the wine, “…you have kept the good wine until now.” Good wine was fresh grape juice, the fermented grape juice was considered inferior. Also Jesus would know about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (being God as well as man), and would not give alcohol to a wedding party, which probably included several pregnant women. No, Jesus did NOT make a fermented wine at this wedding. What He did do was to give a wedding gift of at least 120 gallons of fresh grape juice.

    The Hebrew word (chemah) is translated as “poison” when speaking of fermented wine in Deuteronomy 32:33. Alcohol is a toxic mind-altering drug. Alcohol causes ill effects on the digestive, muscular, skeletal, nervous and circulatory systems. It causes cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice, pancreatitis, and blackouts as well as many other sicknesses

    God’s Word is consistent, it does not tell us not to drink fermented wine in one part of the Bible and in another part only to drink a little alcohol. Here are three types of New Testament references that people think are saying it is all right to drink a little fermented wine, beer, etc. First, Ephesians 5:18, in some versions the word “excess” is used. The New King James Version more accurately uses the word “dissipation” (meaning intemperance or the opposite of temperance-which is total abstinence from alcoholic liquors).

    Second, in other references such as 1 Timothy 3:2,3 and Titus 1:7, we have the phrase, “not given to wine” this is taken by some to mean, “not to be addicted” to alcohol. But in reality the Greek word used here is, “mee-paroinon”, literally, not at, by near, or with wine (alcohol). According to Paul, total abstinence is an indispensable qualification for a pastor.

    In Revelation 1:6, we are called kings and priests, according to Scripture kings or princes were not to drink fermented wine or intoxicating drink. In Proverbs 31:4,5 we are also told that priests were not to drink any wine or intoxicating drink when they went into the tabernacle (or temple), Leviticus 10:9 and 10. Then 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

    If our Lord was physically on earth today He would no doubt go to bars, but it would be to preach the Gospel. He most certainly wouldn’t go in and “tip back a few” with the crowd.

    Gerri, do you really think that the Lord will serve alcohol at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? Of course not! Fermentation is a result of the Fall – it is spoilage!

    I am sure you don’t mean it this way, but Debs is right – you are insulting our Lord by accusing Him of causing people to sin by drinking to excess!!

    You might ask, “Could people in Bible times keep their juices from fermenting when there was no refrigeration?” The answer is , “Yes”. To preserve their sweet juices in a hot climate, people often boiled the juice down until it was thick like syrup, and later when they were ready to use it they would add water to it. Also they would boil their juices and, then seal the air out. There were other methods to prevent fermentation like filtration or by drawing off the juice from the subsided yeast, and by the use of sulfur. They could, at times keep juice in a cool place such as in a cave, underground or in running water.

    Gerri, I do hope this helps you see the truth of this matter.

  • Gerie

    I hope you all know that I would never insult the Lord Jesus Christ. After further study these scriptures tell the truth on their own, without me having to say much at all. Which is the way I like it.

    Note that everytime wine is mentioned, that it is all the same word, (3631) in strongs concordance, OK?

    (John 2:9) When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine,(3631) and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine(3631); and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine (3631)until now.

    THE LORD JESUS TURNED PLAIN WATER INTO REAL WINE (3631) AS WITNESSED BY THE SERVANTS

    (Romans 14:21)It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine (3631), nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

    HOW CAN DRINKING GRAPEJUICE BE THE CAUSE OF MY BROTHER STUMLING?

    (Eph 5:18)
    And be not drunk with wine, (3631) wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

    WE CANNOT GET DRUNK ON GRAPEJUICE

    (Titus 2:3)
    The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine,(3631) teachers of good things

    THE WORD *”GIVEN”* IN THE GREEK MEANS ADDICTED. HOW CAN ONE BECOME ADDICTED TO GRAPEJUICE?

    (1 Tim 3:8)
    8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine(3631), not greedy of filthy lucre;

    NOT GIVEN (ADDICTED) TO MUCH GRAPEJUICE? MAKES NO SENSE. WHY WOULD HE PAIR EXCESSIVE DRINKING OF GRAPEJUICE WITH GOSSIPING AND GREED?

    (Rev 17:2)
    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine (3631) of her fornication.

    HOW CAN ONE BECOME DRUNK, in verse 2, BY DRINKING GRAPEJUICE?

    Everybody,In no way am I condoning christians to just turn it loose and drink to excess. Scripture doesn’t teach that. Also if you feel guilty to even drink a single glass of wine, then for you it is sin. Also if we know that our brother’s faith is weak and he gets guilty easily, then we should never have our glass of wine in front of him, because then he might try it himself, but he wouldn’t be doing it with faith and so then, he would then be sinning. Whatever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:21) We must interpret scriptures accurately so we don’t lose our credibility before those who we are trying to convince of the truth. We can’t force the scriptures to say something that they’re not saying.

    God Bless Everybody,
    Gerie

  • Andre

    Gerie.

    You are quoting the very people who lied about Jesus in order to prove your point. Was Jesus then also a glutton?
    I think you are missing the point or avoiding it on purpose? If the Bible says being drunk is a sin don’t you think we should avoid it with the same eager as other sins like adultery or theft?
    So if their is no clear cut answer to when one is drunk don’t you think it is gambling with sin to take a glass of wine? Is it not the same as saying I am going to visit another man’s wife while he is out but we are not going to do anything wrong we are just going to have a bit of fun , maybe flirting at most?
    I am sure you would say no why would a Christian put himself in such a vulnerable situation. You see my point? I think you rate a bit of drunkenness (‘tipsy’, ‘light headed’ or whatever nice terms the world uses to disguise the evil) as a lesser sin than something like adultery but the Bible mention them together.
    Jesus the author of the Bible would not have double standards where in one place he says you are not allowed to get drunk but in another instance he makes enough wine to make a whole wedding party drunk, not the Jesus I serve. Freedom in Christ has nothing to do with how many earthly pleasures you can enjoy before you die but in the right context it is about not being put under the yoke of the law and other man made religious rituals. I am not saying Christians cannot have pleasures and fun but this is not the context in which Paul wrote about our freedom in Christ.

  • Micheline

    I got this rap video from my daughter and thought that I have to share the lyrics. I ‘copy & paste’ from the website (http://rapgenius.com/Jefferson-bethke-why-i-hate-religion-but-love-jesus-spoken-word-lyrics). I certaily hope this is legal.

    Jefferson Bethke – Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus (Spoken Word) Lyrics

    “What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion
    What if I told you voting Republican really wasn’t His mission?
    What if I told you republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian
    And just because you call some people blind doesn’t automatically give you vision

    I mean if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars
    Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor
    Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce
    But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores

    Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice
    Tend to ridicule God’s people, they did it to John The Baptist
    They can’t fix their problems, and so they just mask it
    Not realizing religion’s like spraying perfume on a casket
    See the problem with religion, is it never gets to the core
    It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores
    Like let’s dress up the outside make look nice and neat
    But it’s funny that’s what they use to do to mummies while the corpse rots underneath

    Now I ain’t judging, I’m just saying quit putting on a fake look
    Cause there’s a problem if people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook
    I mean in every other aspect of life, you know that logic’s unworthy
    It’s like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey
    You see this was me too, but no one seemed to be on to me
    Acting like a church kid, while addicted to pornography
    See on Sunday I’d go to church, but Saturday getting faded
    Acting if I was simply created just to have sex and get wasted
    See I spent my whole life building this facade of neatness
    But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness

    Because if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean
    It’s not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken
    Which means I don’t have to hide my failure, I don’t have to hide my sin
    Because it doesn’t depend on me it depends on him
    See because when I was God’s enemy and certainly not a fan
    He looked down and said I want, that, man
    Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools
    Don’t you see so much better than just following some rules
    Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the Bible, and yes I believe in sin
    But if Jesus came to your church would they actually let him in
    See remember he was called a glutton, and a drunkard by religious men
    But the son of God never supports self righteousness not now, not then

    Now back to the point, one thing is vital to mention
    How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrum
    See one’s the work of God, but one’s a man made invention
    See one is the cure, but the other’s the infection
    See because religion says do, Jesus says done
    Religion says slave, Jesus says son
    Religion puts you in bondage, while Jesus sets you free
    Religion makes you blind, but Jesus makes you see
    And that’s why religion and Jesus are two different clans

    Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man
    Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own
    Not based on my merits but Jesus’s obedience alone
    Because he took the crown of thorns, and the blood dripped down his face
    He took what we all deserved, I guess that’s why you call it grace
    And while being murdered he yelled
    “Father forgive them they know not what they do.”
    Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you
    And he absorbed all of your sin, and buried it in the tomb
    Which is why I’m kneeling at the cross, saying come on there’s room
    So for religion, no I hate it, in fact I literally resent it
    Because when Jesus said it is finished, I believe he meant it.”

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Gerrie

    You are confuzzled. Sorry to say. You are quoting the wrong scriptures for the wrong things…

  • Gerie

    Jesus made water into wine. That was the miracle! It was a wedding. People drink wine to be merry!

    (Ecc10:19)
    A feast is made for laughter, and *wine maketh merry:* but money answereth all things.

    (Ecc 9:7) Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and *drink thy wine with a merry heart* for God now accepteth thy works.

    (Mark 7:15) Jesus said,

    There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    (Romans 4:14)
    I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    (Col 2:16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

    Wine is not evil of itself. It’s only the *abuse of wine*, the over indulgance, that would make it seem evil. But that is coming from within the man and has nothing to do with the wine itself. Wine is good, if its used in moderation. God made it for us to enjoy. Just like food it can’t hurt us if its taken in moderation.

    God Bless Everybody,
    Gerie

  • Burning Lamp

    Gerrie, you have obviously made up your mind and you are not listening to those who are trying to reason with you.

    You have not addressed ANY of the scriptures I mentioned or answered the questions that I asked. Are you not interested in the truth?

    And you HAVE insulted our Lord Jesus whether you meant to or not when you say that He let intoxicating beverage flow freely at the wedding which would have resulted in drunkenness and harm to all present.

    If you are interested in having a real discussion of this issue, please respond specifically to what I mentioned in my previous post instead of just cherry picking verses that you think support your views.

    And you are wrong about “wine” being the same word – it is all about context and principles that Jesus taught rather than the letter of the Law.

  • Marion

    “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20::1)

    Jesus fulfilled all the law. He would not have violated His law or His wisdom, making Him “deceived” and “not wise,” by partaking in “wine” or “strong drink”. He cannot contradict Himself, or violate His own word.

    Sooooo…I believe His word is the final word.

  • Gerie

    Burning lamp, what are your questions exactly? Yes, Jesus did change water into wine at a wedding feast. No, I don’t think that Jesus was worried about all of those things you cited, just as when He fed them with the loaves and the fishes that He wasn’t worried about those who might have or contract celiac disease from the eating of bread or those who might have fish allergies.

    [Edited by DTW: Deleted the rest of your comment – Gerie you have just stated that Jesus would be the CAUSE OF PEOPLE TO SIN. I am no longer allowing you to comment on this blog.]

  • Burning Lamp

    Gerrie, if lots of wine makes you “merry” as you say – celebrating at the wedding, then you are saying that intoxication makes you happy.

    DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?

    And would our Lord create a miracle that was spoiled by fermentation?

    Drinking grape juice is a pleasure and DOES make one “merry” as it tastes good, not needing an acquired taste as does fermented wine.

  • Burning Lamp

    P.S. Gerrie, you said God made wine for us to enjoy. Wrong-o! The LIQUOR industry ferments wine through a process. The wine the LORD creates is from the vine and sweet and does not impair our senses. Do don’t put the onus on the Lord – He didn’t create the kind of wine you are trying to justify.

  • Gerie

    [deleted]

  • Gerie

    [deleted]

  • Colin Ford

    Some desire to prove that wine in the New Testament period did not contain alcohol and that it was only grape juice, in which case the Lord could not have turned water into wine at Cana nor serve wine at the Last Supper.
    But how is it possible that wine (oinos) contain no alcohol if it is a product of fermentation as described in Mark 2.22 and, if used in excess causes drunkenness (Ephesians 5.18 and Proverbs 20.1),while at the same time oinos contains no alcohol? I understand that the Septuagint uses the word oinos, and that the Greeks had another word for non fermented grape juice, or ‘must’, it was trux.
    The Bible clearly teaches teaches against being addicted to wine (1 Timothy 3.8,Titus 2.3), and I believe that can only be wine with alcohol, not grape juice. Indeed the Apostle does not forbid the drinking of wine, only the abuse of it.
    Paul advised Timothy that he should ‘use a little wine'(oinos) in 1 Tmothy 5.23. This can only make sense if that wine contains alcohol. It would appear that Timothy’s ailments could have been due to drinking contaminated water, which the alcohol in wine would kill. Similarly the Good Samaritan treated open wounds with wine and oil, this is because alcohol is a natural disinfectant (Luke 10.34).
    This leads me to conclude that when Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover then they did indeed drink wine.
    Wine,beer and any other alcoholic drink, drunk to excess will indeed cause problems, that there is NO doubt. Guns and knives don’t kill, people do. Galatians 5.23 describes one of attributes of the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ as ‘temperance’ or ‘self control’. With the Word of God abiding in the believer, he or she would remain in control and not drink to excess (Ephesians 5.18).
    As believers we must be careful not to put a ‘stumbling block in his brothers way’ Romans 14.13. If I had a recovering alcoholic over for dinner, I wouldn’t have any wine on show; Romans 14.21.
    We must be careful to use the Word of God aright and not use it to push our bias.
    I can well understand the vital import of James 3.1.

  • Burning Lamp

    Colin, at the Last Supper our Lord said that the next time He drank of the fruit of the vine would be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

    29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

    Now Colin, I ask you – would the Lord use fermented wine (spoiled) as a representation of His holy blood?

    And do you think that there will be fermentation (spoilage) in heaven and that the Lord will serve alcohol at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

    He says in this verse that He will drink the same thing as was in His cup at the Last Supper as He will drink with us in heaven.

    Fermentation is a product of the Fall. There was no spoilage before the Fall.

    Of course there is both fermented and unfermented wine. The Bible clearly warns AGAINST drinking FERMENTED wine that can cause intoxication. Those who have a bias have used certain verses to justify drinking alcohol citing Christian liberty.

    It has been clearly shown that there did exist in Bible times methods of preserving fresh grape juice to keep it from fermenting.

    Today, except for some personal production, wine-making is an INDUSTRY and a profitable one at that. One that results in much sin and carnage. Imbibing is at best a slippery slope.

    And as far as the Cana miracle is concerned, considering the large AMOUNT of wine produced, if it was alcoholic, it would have resulted in intoxication. To say our Lord contributed to that is blasphemous!

  • Colin Ford

    Hello Burning Lamp,

    From what I have read in some of your postings above I do indeed agree with much of what you say as regards the commercial Wine/Beer/Spirits industry. To blame the ills of society on that alone however is not right (I am not saying that you do).
    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind at all that alcohol ABUSE has indeed caused innumerable problems.
    If there were no such thing as alcohol, would you say that everything would be perfect? I think not.

    However from my own Bible study I believe that if Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover, then they drank wine, period (Matthew 26.27).

    Those who love God’s Word need to show extraordinary care, not to make it say anything more or anything less than what it says.

    I shall not comment on this topic here again.

    God Bless.

  • Burning Lamp

    Colin, I am glad that we can agree on some points in this topic.

    I certainly do not blame all the ills of society on alcohol, but it certainly contributes to much of it – all one has to do is listen to the evening news to hear all the crimes and abuses that are alcohol-related.

    And statistics have proven that during Prohibition society fared much better. That is a little known fact that is well hidden by those who benefit from the sale of alcoholic beverages. The reason Prohibiton had to be repealed was because the sinful nature of man was hell-bent on feeding the desire to imbibe through illegal means that led to graft and corruption.

    Now, I think we can agree that there will be no alcohol in heaven. That should tell us something shouldn’t it?
    I point blank asked if you thought Jesus would serve alcoholic wine at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    Yes, the world WOULD be better off without alcoholic beverages, but as we know, man has a propensity to dull the senses one way or another as an escape whether it be through drugs, marijuana, meth, etc. Alcohol is often just the first step on the road to drug addition.

    As Christians we should acknowledge that we still have our sinful natures and are open to temptation. We are to avoid temptation and things that could possibly cause us to sin – one of those things would be alcohol. It does eliminate one gateway to sin, although of course there are others. But every one we can eliminate will help us spiritually. This is not legalism, this is simply giving our best to God and not pushing the envelope or taking unnecessary risk.

    Although you declared an end to your participation in the discussion, I wanted to further clarify for the benefit for any others who might have been following this topic.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    BL said…”Yes, the world WOULD be better off without alcoholic beverages, but as we know, man has a propensity to dull the senses one way or another as an escape

    Indeed, even people who drink just one glass of wine a night or one shot of whiskey are having a numbing effect on their senses. Believe me the don’t do it because it tastes nice – alcohol does not taste nice and that is a fact.

    They drink it because it DOES SOMETHING TO THE MIND, it numbs the senses!

  • Smuggler

    Hi Deb’s
    Some thing to think about regarding alcoholic wine used in Holy Communion.

    Fact: the bread in the Pass-over had to be without leaven. – points to Jesus body being “pure” and sinless.
    Would the wine then be with “leaven” ?

    The Blood of Jesus that was shed on Calvary was “sinless” and not polluted (fermented) by this world.
    Yep, fermentation is a destructive process that breaks the original “pure” fruit down and creates a product with a different “character”.
    When Jesus used “wine” at the last supper and then compared it to His blood, it HAD to be a pure and “un-fermented” fruit of the grape.
    Dirty “fermented” blood cannot cleanse/redeem you.

    The “wine” that we will receive in Heaven will definitely be pure and sweet. In Heaven, fermentation will no longer be “possible” because the process can only happen where there is death/decay.

    The wine that Jesus made at Canaan’s wedding would have had no “fermentation” in it’s character because Jesus’s work is pure and perfect and is “preserved” by His Spirit!

    Let us not “pollute” our witness with “alcoholic wine”. [loaded statement]
    Amen?

    Sorry I am so “cryptic”, my “time management” is a little bit non-existent at the moment.

    Blessings

    ns:
    The original full book – Bible Wines – by William Patton can be downloaded in pdf from the following link:

    Just click on “download” on the top left of this web-page.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Heya Smuggler

    Good to see you, and I know how your ‘time management’ works, so when I dont see you for ages I know why…”the man is working really hard” :)

  • w

    Maranatha Mark wrote:

    Sorry Brother, but I don’t buy you arguement. Yeshua Himself made wine, not grape juice for the Wedding feast that he attended, and the Last Supper used wine, not grape juice. The Bible does not prohibit the drinking of alcohol, it prohibit glutany or in the case of alcohol, drunkeness. There is a difference in drinking a glass of wine or beer, and drinking until you are drunk or impared. Why would the Messiah use grape juice as a symbolic representation of His blood, which cleases His followers (us), when grape juice has no “cleansing” characteristic? He wouldn’t, but wine on the other hand which was considered a “Cleansing” agent, is a perfect representation, as it was customary to add a little wine even to the water you drank to kill the nasty unseen stuff that would make you sick, just a sin taints our relationship with the Father.
    Ever wonder why the scriptures tells you NOT to put “new wine” in old skins? It is because the fermenation process produces gases that will split an old wine skin, but new wine skins are elastic enough to expand and not burst.
    Another reason we know it was wine that was used during the Passover is because at that time of the year, there were no fresh grapes to make grape juice, and any grape juice around would have long since turned to wine or vinager due to the naturally occuring yeast on the grape skins… that is how “Kosher” wine is made… no additional yeast is added to start the fermination process, it relies upon the naturally occuring yeast on the grapes skin to start the fermination process!
    The fact is drinking wine, though weak as it may have been, was far safer than drinking the water in those days. Making wine and other alcohol was a way to preserve the harvest, in the days before pressure canning and refrigerators. Grape juice made the way they made it in those days, would as I stated above, naturally ferment inside of a couple of weeks. So again, come back to the fact that the wine in the cups at the Seder meal (Last Supper) that Yeshua and the Apostles drank was real wine complete with alcohol, as the Passover is held long after the harvest.
    All this said, if you are an alcoholic, you shouldn’t drink alcohol! If you are sugar addict (yes, there is such a thing) you shouldn’t eat things with added sugar. And whether a beverage with alcohol or food in general you must always approach with moderation. But to suggest that the Hebrew people marched around with just grape juice and drank only grape juice, it an out right distrotion of the facts! And No, I am not an drinker. I am not particularly fond of beer of any kind, and only drink Kosher wine for communion, for the most part. However if we followed your logic, then I can assume that you and your supporters are all subscribers to the Mosic food laws concerning what is “Clean” and “Unclean”, correct? I can also assume that the Wedding feast where Yeshua changed the water into wine, where the feast guest were already drunk, was all mistranslation by King James translators, as the wedding guest surely couldn’t have been drunk off grape juice. And why would it be such a miracle for Yeshua to make grape juice, a crafty person could simply pour a dried powdered form of grape juice into water to reconstitute it, but wine is different… the fact that Yeshua turn the water into “Fine” wine – according to scripture, the “Best” wine, is beyond simply adding a powder to water trick!
    Drinking alcohol will not send you to hell, and drinking a single glass of wine a day is reported to be good for you, in fact. Drinking to get a buzz is a different story, and drinking in front of someone with a drinking problem is a different issue as well. We should not do things to make our brothers and sisters stumbling. But isn’t is funny how the same folks who get bent out of shape of drinking, more often than not, have not problem watching movies with barely clothed men and women, or even nudity in them; have no problems with folks wearing speedo’s and bikini’s on the beach; or eating the legs off the table every time they sit down to eat and are as big as a house!
    I apperciate Brother Shea’s views and study on the subject, but based on my own studies he appears to be purposely bending meanings of Hebrew words to suit his argument. If you haven’t figured it out, you can use the Scriptures when taking them out of context, to make any point you choose, but the Full Consel of the Bible will only allow the truth to be told!
    Blessings and Shalom,
    Maranatha!!!

    I agree with you. A glass of wine will not make one drunk. I used to believe it was a sin but over the years I no longer believe this. A nephew who was a pastor at the time preached you will go to hell if you drink wine. This was concerning to me because what IF it was real wine our Lord drank, you would be accusing Him of sin and sending Him to hell. Telling lies will keep one out of Heaven but I do not believe drinking a glass of wine will do that. Getting drunk is a sin but one glass of wine will not make one drunk. Eating a meal will not make one a glutten yet overeating will. Many in Europe drink a glass of wine with meals. What about Timothy in the N.T. who had stomach problems and told to drink wine? Many believe wine can be unfermented or fermented, would not unfermented be grape juice? I believe everyone must pray and decide for themselves about this. I would not accuse one of sin if they drank a glass of wine. If those who say the grape juice is 14% alcohol by itself, then would drinking that be a sin? I believe we must be careful of accusing others of sin when it might not be a sin. I grew up in a church that taught you can not go to a movie, play golf, do much of anything or you would go to hell. We must study scripture for ourselves. We do have books missing which Constantine and the Catholics took out to keep us from learning things we needed to know. The Catholics kept some of these books in their Holy Book. Many of these books belonged in our Holy Bible. Those who believe everything was created in 6 days are wrong. Much time passed between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2, millions or trillions of years passed with the fall taking place and making the earth chaos. The Holy Spirit moved over the face of the waters (already here), the earth is very old. Gen. says the earth was without form and was void, later scripture God says He did not create the earth without form, neither did He create it void. Many make believers seem ignorant because they do not know the scriptures. Many who do not agree with other believers tell them they are on their way to hell. Believers are to be known for their love for one another. If one does not agree with another, pray for them. Reading a chapter a day is not Bible Study. Speaking things against this fellow because he believes a glass of wine is not a sin is not right. Perhaps we do not know what he knows as yet. Sometimes I have said in the past I did not believe as another, I learned it was because I had not yet learned enough to understand. I have changed my mind on a few things as I studied and grew in the knowledge of the Word. We sometimes speak too soon. Just my opinion. You are welcome to yours as we study scripture we grow, we learn. Sometimes some of us think we know all there is to know and we say things that we do not fully understand.

  • Robbie

    W, So you believe in evolution….

    “Much time passed between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:2, millions or trillions of years passed with the fall taking place and making the earth chaos. The Holy Spirit moved over the face of the waters (already here), the earth is very old. Gen. says the earth was without form and was void, later scripture God says He did not create the earth without form, neither did He create it void…..”

    Jer 2:27 Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.

    My Bible also tells that first sin, then death. Evolution puts death first and then sin. “survival of the species by means of natural selection” (survival of the fittest)

    My Bible clearly divides the days

    Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

    Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. .. etc

    And about alcohol… I will not take that chance

    Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    So according to W, God needed a big bang first before He could start to work on earth… and then he just let evolution take over… oh boy

  • Brian

    Looking at this site it looks as if each person wants to force their point of view onto someone else and boy if someone disagrees with them then there is a hudge problem. Can’t say I will be back here . http://bible.cc/1_timothy/1-4.htm. One common trait of false doctrines is that the proponents often major in minor matters. The warning, both to Timothy and Titus, is not to get caught up in arguments over silly things. The Jews were famous for this, spending countless hours arguing over minor details. Jesus scolds them thus, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. Quiet frankly this topic for me is one of those minor matters that is not going affect my salvation one way or the other.

  • Mark S.

    [deleted]

  • Mark S.

    **I agree Brian. “Force” their tradition is what the pharisees here are doing. Matt. 21:31

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Mark S

    You are speaking about tithing.

  • Carmen Carolina

    Absolutely correct!
    In the Canah weeding Our Lord gave about 3 liters of wine per person if we assume that it was 200 guests.
    Pax et Bonum!

  • Chris

    I know that this topic is discussed often by many people. I have read through the arguments for and against the drinking of wine.
    What I have found is that nobody on the abstinence side to wine has answered or discussed the Scriptures plainly suggesting the moderate drinking of wine for example:

    1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; and
    Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

    In Romans 14 we read that there should be no accusation both ways to those that eat and drink and those that do not.
    Instead in verse 19 I read that these people should strive to be at peace with one another.

    In Romans 14 it speaks much more of eating meat that will also cause your brother to stumble. Could you please discuss these passages in detail?

    Looking forward to your answers.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I found this great article to answer your question..

    The Debate over the Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverage part five

    Let’s review some things. God prohibits drinking alcoholic beverage in Proverbs 23:31. The terms yayin, oinos, and shekar, translated “wine” and “strong drink,” can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and this must be indicated by the context in which they are used. Now a question. Having those two points in mind, how does a particular qualification for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8 (cf. Titus 2:3) fit in? That verse says:

    Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

    I draw your attention to the part: “not given to much wine.” Here’s the issue with this. If this wine is non-alcoholic, then why would he warn that deacons could not be given to much of it? It wouldn’t seem to matter whether a deacon drank as much as he wanted if it were non-alcoholic oinos. On the other hand, if it’s alcoholic, the verse wouldn’t be prohibiting it, contradicting Proverbs 23:31. The way that it reads is that it must be alcoholic. It would seem that it would only be restraining the deacon from drinking alcohol, not grape juice. So is this verse permitting the moderate drinking of alcohol?

    No. 1 Timothy 3:8 is not permitting the drinking of alcohol. A deacon must show discernment in his drinking of oinos. That is what it is teaching. Wineskins didn’t come with labels on it. If they did, and the label said “alcohol,” the deacon wouldn’t even drink that. Because it wasn’t that clear what the oinos might be, when someone drank oinos, he had to be careful with it. There were varying kinds of oinos and the degree of quality control varied in those ancient times. There was no refrigeration. Oinos could be addictive. One of the ways that a deacon could know on the borderline oinos would be how much of it he was drinking it. Drinking much of it could be a sign of addiction. This is why Paul would state it the way he did. And that fits in with the other passages of scripture.

    A grammatical point enters in here too. After listing the qualifications of the bishop, Paul begins the deacons’ with the word “likewise,” a word that means “in the same manner.” One of the traits required of the pastor is translated “vigilant” in v. 2. The Greek word, nephalios, means “temperate, sober, strictly holding no wine, temperate, abstinent.” If the deacons were to fulfill qualifications that were the same as the pastor, then he too would be required to be abstinent.

    In Wine in the Bible Samuele Bacchiocchi answers the question, “Is a little addiction right?”

    Addiction to something which is intrinsically evil is always morally wrong, whether it is moderate or excessive. To argue that “not addicted to much wine” allows for a moderate addiction to alcoholic beverages is to adopt a dangerous method of interpretation. Such an interpretation rests on the assumption that what is forbidden in much is automatically permissible in little; what is declared wrong in excess is naturally right in moderation. Is such an assumption true? Anyone can see that this method of interpretation is utterly indefensible. When Peter says that the pagans were surprised that Christians did not indulge in “the same excess of riot” as themselves (1 Pet 4:4), obviously he did not mean that Christians were moderate in their rioting. We cannot automatically assume that what is unlawful in excess is lawful in moderation.

    Albert Barnes in his Notes on the New Testament writes concerning this idea of “much wine.”

    It is not affirmed that it would be proper for the deacon, any more than the bishop, to indulge in the use of wine in small quantities, but it is affirmed that a man who is much given to the use of wine ought not, on any consideration, to be a deacon.

    He goes on to say:

    It may be remarked here, that this qualification was everywhere regarded as necessary for a minister of religion. Even the heathen priests, on entering a temple, did not drink wine (Bloomfield). The use of wine, and of strong drinks of all kinds, was absolutely prohibited to the Jewish ministers of every rank when they were about to engage in the service of God (Lev 10:9). Why should it then be any more proper for a Christian minister to drink wine than for a Jewish or a heathen priest? Shall a minister of the gospel be less holy than they? Shall he have a feebler sense of the purity of his vocation?

    We can be aided in some of the language of Paul in 1 Timothy 3 by considering what he said to Timothy later in 1 Timothy 5:23:

    Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

    Timothy had to consider the same instruction for pastors when it came to a health issue that he was having. The water supply in Ephesus must have been causing Timothy an upset stomach. If you have been to certain foreign countries, you know about the admonition, “Don’t drink the water.” Water with even a little contamination can cause severe sickness, debilitating someone. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve drunk some of the amoebic water in certain locales. In Mexico, they call it Montezuma’s revenge. Timothy wasn’t drinking the oinos for pleasure or even to satisfy thirst, but for medicinal purposes. Non-addictive oinos would have kept Timothy from poor water, alleviating the stomach problems. But he had to be careful too.

    I think there is another aspect to this in the following thoughts. Proverbs 23:34-35 shows that alcoholic yayin deceives a person. He who drinks it loses mental control. A person who is drinking what is plainly alcohol can’t make a clear decision about what he is doing. He thinks he can, but he clearly cannot. First, Paul wouldn’t be contradicting a passage that prohibits drinking alcohol. Second, he certainly wouldn’t inform someone that he should make sure to drink it in moderation. Someone not drinking alcohol could be trusted to be moderate, but a person drinking alcohol couldn’t necessarily be trusted to stop in time. He might stop, but the deceptiveness of the alcohol, affecting discernment, couldn’t guarantee this.

    Of course, everything that I have presented in all points of this debate relates to the oinos, yayin, or shekar of biblical times. The distillation process wasn’t even in existence at that time. Modern booze is much more addictive than the most addictive of those ancient days. So it is even more powerfully deceiving today than it was then. And now we know if we’re drinking alcohol. We’ve got labels that even tell us the extent of the addictiveness. Then they didn’t.

    So we’ve got this very deceptive substance. People often become addicted from that one drink. Scripture says it’s addictive. The Bible prohibits it. And yet people say they can drink it moderately. Many can’t, but that’s OK to those who think they can. As long as it can be done, or at least people think they can do it, it must be right. Let those be damned who can’t stop drinking it. It’s a substance that results in multiplied societal problems. But that’s the people’s fault who drink it? Right? They’ve got to be able to show more discernment, so they’re wrong in not doing so? But can they show discernment when the drink itself is deceiving and more than deceiving today than ever? The substance itself is a problem, just like Proverbs 23 says. Christians must abstain.

    source: http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2009/08/debate-over-prohibition-of-alcoholic_20.html

  • Redeemed

    Chris, if you are sincerely seeking the truth, you should obtain a copy of this book in addition to the excellent information Deborah just provided:

    Bible Wines or The Laws of Fermentation
    by William Patton

    This is NOT a question of legalism. It is a matter of rightly dividing the Word and having the facts.

  • Carm

    Colossians 2:16-23 NKJV

    “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”

    BL’s arguments all go along the line of abstain since you won’t have enough self-control in anyways, saying one glass of wine will later lead to two and then to hard liquor (19 Jan 2012). Self-contol is one of the most basic christian characteristics (unless you were born again yesterday and still need your pastor to change your diaper for you), and is commanded of us.
    Spurgeon said: “The person whose religion is worthless is not known for his self-control”. If your self-control is that non-existant that you have to completely abstain from wine, well good for you.

    If you abstain since the Holy Spirit instructed you to, well good for you. But you cannot on biblical authority command people to abstain. You can absolutely command “do not be drunk on wine” – hence the comments section on this article being so long: you have to come up with reasons for commanding christians “do not taste”. And the most popular one is that the average christian will lack such basic self-control that they can’t even afford to take one sip.

    And you keep going on about the social problems related to alcohol abuse… Well “the love of money is the root of ALL evil” (1 Tim 6:10 – KJV), but please don’t ban me from having money – I do have the self-control to not let it Lord over me.

    Alcohol, money, guns, motorbikes (that infamous killer of young men), television, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, chocolate (and yes cocoa is a stimulant and aphrodisiac, that’s why women crave chocolate – heavily researched scientific fact) – these things are inanimate, we will be judged for the choices we make in handling these things.

    If you want to ban me from this site, like Gerie, for weighing in (whilst using scripture) then you are operating in a spirit just as dangerous as the “cults” you are warning against.

  • Smuggler

    Hallo Deb’s !

    A short testimony regarding “wine” for you.

    My wife suffered severely from stomach problems resulting in constant constipation and IBS.
    For the past 5 years we have been struggling to find the right foods with the right fiber ratio’s
    and pro-bio-tics and and and … very loooooong painful story.
    We had allergy tests done and blood analyzed but no solution supplied worked.

    Then one day i read again the bible scripture where Paul advises Timothy on drinking “wine” and i though to myself “she must drink wine !”
    OK, but what about the alcohol in wine? Why? Because i know that the biblical wine, as advised for Timothy to drink, did not have alcohol.
    I started looking around to what is available and I found a very interesting alcohol-free wine !

    It is truly a wine made in oak BUT it is alcohol free.
    (details on website)

    I gave this to my wife to drink, 1 small glass per day.
    The result is a miracle for us.

    She got her life back… her constipation is a thing of the past, her stomach cramps have disappeared, her colon has started functioning normal without pain again and she now has normal daily/regular bowel movements, while still eating the same food we did before !

    Yes, we tested this by stopping the “treatment” and 2 days later she was back into the old problems.

    Now, 3 months down the line and she is still doing very well… she actually regained her appetite and is enjoying her food again.

    God made a wonderful fruit in grapes BUT we have distorted and “abused” it.
    Mmmm… sounds familiar… isn’t it the same that Satan did to the world ..???

    If used correctly, grapes will be a blessing to you BUT “abuse” it and it will come and “bite” you !

    Blessings !

  • Smuggler

    Oh, forgot to say…
    This “wine” we use tastes sweet and is very very nice.
    It is like grape juice but with more “body” in it’s flavor.

    It does not have the “bad” taste of normal alcoholic wine.

  • Chris

    As I have mentioned there are two camps of theologians one for an one against the drinking of wine.

    According to Romans 14 one should not get into an argument regarding this issue nor should there damnation on people with different views in this regard.

    Concerning many attempts by people saying that the moderate continual use of alcohol WILL lead to the person eventually becoming an alcoholic I have to disagree strongly as I personally know many people who drink wine, beer or even whiskey moderately and have not become alcoholics.

    Should wine etc. be banned or they will not be in a position to obtain any it would be no skin off their noses as they will simply go without it.

    My own father in law is one such person. He very often has one whiskey before supper which by the way is considered as a strong distilled alcoholic drink, yet I have never seen him drink another drink after that except an occasional and very seldom half a glass of wine during eating his food. This he has done for more than 45 years. I have never seen him drunk or with any hangover, nor is he addicted to alcohol.

    It would rather seem as if it is the world given to much drinking that influences others to do the same. Life and social behaviour in general has become more deranged in substance abuse with time of which alcohol is only part. Just look at sexual immorality, it is out of control and many of these people do not even touch alcohol while in marriage where responsible and virtuous Christians are concerned just the opposite happens.

    I understand that Proverbs 23 is quoted as one of THE texts to mean that drinking of wine is prohibited, but one has to also take into consideration the finer detail in what is said here:
    Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
    Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
    Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
    Pro 23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

    Now I am certain that a glass or two of wine does not bite like a serpent or stings like an adder, but certainly the use of much wine will. Nor will one or two glasses of wine cause those who use it moderately to behold strange women or the cause a person to utter perverse things, but much wine resulting in drunkenness will, unless the person even in a sober state of mind lusts after other women and has a perverse thought pattern.

    Practically and in reality in even in today’s terms where the wine is supposed then to be stronger than that of the Biblical wines, I have experienced no such behaviour from sane and stable responsible people that have consumed wine moderately.

    Before my new birth as a born again believer I used to drink excessively and I know that even when I was sober I would “behold strange women” and “utter perverse things” but the wine made it worse!

    So this verse to my mind clearly speaks of excess and excess will cause perverse thoughts and even actions.

    To use Proverbs 23 as a very basic Scripture to indicate that this is the verse which prohibits the moderate drinking of wine is very questionable because one glass of wine or even more than one glass taken by most people does not cause them to “Behold strange women or utter perverse things” and this is fact.

    Also to use Proverbs 23 to deduce that ”therefore” the wine in 1Tim.3:3and 8 and Tutus 2:3 is an not fermented wine, because wine is forbidden in the Bible due to Proverbs 23, is more of an assumption. I would rather say that the excess of wine in the New Testament agrees with the excess in Proverbs 23.
    One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control and loosing self-control does not reflect a person walking in the Spirit but one walking carnally. This is why Paul writes to the Galatians and says that we cannot do what we want to and mentions drunkenness under the carnal issues.

    There are many verses in the New Testament that clearly mentions that drunk people will not inherit the Kingdom – this is understandable. What is also very clear is that all these verses mention drunkenness specifically and nowhere do I read that people who drink wine will befall the same fate. There is no verse saying that any person who specifically drinks wine or part thereof will not inherit the Kingdom.

    Then another Scripture is quoted to mean that the drinking of wine is prohibited and that is Lev.16:9.

    My question is why is the word “when” used in this verse? Lev 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
    If they were never allowed to drink wine in the first place it would surely not have been necessary to instruct them not to drink wine only when they were about to do service in the tabernacle as this would have been the norm in society at the time.

    When looking at the vow of the Nazarite in Numbers 6 we find something similar: Num 6:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    Num 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
    Num 6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

    Here there is a distinction between wine “Yayin” which according to Strongs and Spiros Zodiates’s concordance means intoxication and then this verse also mentions“ liquor of grapes” “Mishrah enab” wich means grape juice ore could even mean grape juice steeped with water. Here we find a clear distinction between wine “Yayin” and steeped juice of grapes. Definitely no confusion here.

    Then there follows many other instructions to keep. This the Nazarite only had to keep until his allocated time of the vow ended.

    So we read in verse 20: Num 6:20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine “Yayin”
    Then “Yayin” as fermented wine obviously stays “Yayin” as fermented wine in verse 20 or did this word “Yayin” change its meaning to grape juice or diluted wine from verse 3?

    Again I would like to stress that I am open for discussion in this regard and would not like to transgress our instruction in Romans 14 to have indulge into a strife concerning this topic.

    Speaking of Romans 14 could someone then also explain the meaning of meat here. I Understand that drinking wine is not permitted because of the weaker brother that may stumble, but then we are not to eat meat as well. Was this meat pork?

    Also when I read Romans 14 there is no direct reference that would indicate that the abstinence from wine will cause people not to inherit the Kingdom, but the main purpose of this is because of the weaker brother – same with the meat.

    Thank you for the previous answer and may the Lord’s patience be with us in this discussion.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    >> If you want to ban me from this site, like Gerie, for weighing in (whilst using scripture) then you are operating in a spirit just as dangerous as the “cults” you are warning against.

    What?? It’s comments like this that really upset me.

    So, based on that verse are you saying that keeping that Sabbath is correct?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Smuggler

    I never stated that drinking alcohol for a medical condition is problematic is with that verse you stated. You gave your wife a little glass a day and it helped her.

    Are you too now drinking 1 little glass a day or not? If not, why not? ;P Just a thought.

  • Estelle

    Hi Deborah, Funny that he mentioned the Gerrie guy, just last week I saw a webpage about “discerning the world” went to take a look and it was actually his website/blog thingy…
    Here’s the link.

    I saw more than one article about your site and saw my own comments, kind of taken out of context. Either way, saw no way to send a message or comment.

    (hehe, this is not really a comment, just thought I would share)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Estelle

    Oh thanks for that info. That Gerrie guy was totally off the mark on everything. He believes in Calvinistic Lordship Salvation: Lordship Salvation – Putting the Cart Before the Horse and he seems hell bent on exposing me for proving biblicaly that Lordship Salvation is WRONG. I actually love it when people write about me, gives me lotsa advertising :))

    I deleted his comments because the man was erratic and a false teacher. Shame poor guy.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    You know I don’t have a problem with people who have a drink every now and then, honestly! I am not saying you can’t drink.

    I am all for MODERATION!

    But I know of people who cant wait to get home from work to have a drink, and half a bottle of wine later they have had their drug for the day.

    Chocolate does not alter ones senses, neither does caffine (except keep you awake)

    Alcohol numbs the senses; problems that you should give to Jesus, you hand over to 2 or 3 glasses of wine.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Chris

    Carmen Carolina

    I have heard the argument that the wine ate the wedding (If it was fermented wine) would have had a volume of 600 – 700 litres at the first sitting then adding even better wine the second time would have calculated to 1200 or 1400 litres.

    WOW! This would have been HEAVY drinking for the guests for a day’s feasting and I wonder if they would have made it early into the feast. I think that they would have passed out long before the feast ended.

    OK assuming there were only 200 people at the wedding (which I doubt because the wedding banquets were quite an affair and should have had much more people) but assuming there were 200 people they would have been extremely drunk and I also believe that the Lord Jesus would not have approved of such behaviour as he would not have opposed the Scriptures.

    But many forget is that many of the wedding banquets lasted for 7 to 8 days.

    If a mere 200 guests (which remains questionable) drank 1400 litres over only seven days and not eight each person would have consumed one litter per day from between e.g. 10 in the morning to 10 in the evening and that would have calculated at one glass of 84ml every hour. (An average wine glass today filled to the brim carries 300ml) Half of this glass obviously 150ml so in today’s terms only a quarter of a wine glass would have been consumed every hour. In eight days it would have been much less)

    If the person had double at 150 ml (Half a glass in today’s terms) every two hours it is still very questionable if the person would have been so drunk as to become perverse and behold strange women as in Proverbs 23. The consumption was ONLY 84ml and even if it was double that at 150ml it would still not have had the effect described in Prov.3 The effect of drinking this quantity could possibly have made the person sleepy in the long run, but not perverse.

    I have deliberately used maximum volumes in these calculations – 1400L and not 1200L then only 200 guests.

    If there were 400 guests then each person would have had even half of the above mentioned paragraph.

    If there were 600 – 800 people then the picture again changes entirely

    I stand to be corrected regarding this calculation.

    May we all be faithful to the Lord Jesus

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    I need a calculator, mine is broken – all of them ;P LOL

  • Estelle

    I think Gerrie mentioned earlier in one of the comment that he’s allergic to alcohol, so doesn’t drink or something like that, but he gives his mother wine to drink who has parkinsons.
    I don’t think any of us commented without empathy for his mother, many of us have sick parents or family… but I don’t think drinking wine is any good…maybe there is some relief for the person, but it would never be on my list of recommendations. I am sure there would be other medications or options that are not addictive and doesn’t have the same effect as alcohol.

    I think the only “alcohol” I have had for the past 7 years now is the small amount in cough syrup… that’s already more than enough for me, hehe.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Estelle

    You are right, none of us were without empathy for his mother or anyone being sick… where wine does something marvelous to help an ailment. The problem with Gerrie’s rants is that he wished he could drink (but couldn’t) because of his allergy.

    Now I wondered, why would anyone wish they could drink? Only for the purpose of getting that ‘feeling’ you get of being tipsy of course.

    Anyhow… enough about Gerrie.

  • John Chingford

    Hi Chris

    I read your last 2 comments. Excellent presentation! I DO believe the scriptures are clear that drinking strong drink IN MODERATION is okay. However, how is moderation measured? Everyone seems to be different. For extremes some moderation may mean 2 or 3 glasses, but for some half a glass and others should not drink at all because their blood condition means that any alcohol would set them off.

    Does everyone know what is their point of moderation? Even if you think you know, our bodies will react differently in different circumstances. For example, drinking on an empty stomach will trigger off an affect far quicker than drinking after eating. Those who are “regular” drinkers take longer to be affected, while going a long period of time without any strong drink will affect you quicker than it did in the past.

    If you are able to measure how much is in moderation for you and doesn’t stir sensual feelings within you (leading to debauchery)then it is okay, but it IS fraught with danger.

    Chris you asked “Speaking of Romans 14 could someone then also explain the meaning of meat here.”

    Here is my explanation:

    When the apostle Paul talks about meat, he is referring to meat that was first offered to idols/demons and then the residue sold in the market place. Basically, if you wanted to eat meat you had to buy such meat. This was disturbing the believers consciences because they felt there was something wrong with eating such meat.

  • Chris

    Debs, your hubby can get you a calculator at staff price, but I am sure there should be one on your computer alternatively use Excel or I could post you one…………..LOL

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John said…

    Chris you asked “Speaking of Romans 14 could someone then also explain the meaning of meat here.”

    Here is my explanation:

    When the apostle Paul talks about meat, he is referring to meat that was first offered to idols/demons and then the residue sold in the market place. Basically, if you wanted to eat meat you had to buy such meat. This was disturbing the believers consciences because they felt there was something wrong with eating such meat.

    For us, that would be like us here in SA going to Mohammed Falafals and getting a Shwarma. The meat’s been prayed to Alah and all. So I pray over the Shwarma in Jesus Name and now it’s blessed by our mighty Heavenly father! :) Yummy Shwarma…hmmm hmmm.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Chris

    >> Debs, your hubby can get you a calculator at staff price, but I am sure there should be one on your computer alternatively use Excel or I could post you one…………..LOL

    I just point blankly refuse ;P

  • Redeemed

    Smuggler, thank you for sharing – I just have a question. Why would not grapejuice, the fruit of the vine not be just as beneficial as the nonalcoholic wine? Just wondering………

    All others – I have been doing an extensive study of the Bible and all the words that refer to “wine” and the meaning and context of each. It is quite revealing!

    If anyone is SERIOUS about this topic, they should obtain a copy of William Patton’s book, BIBLE WINES OR THE LAWS OF FERMENTATION. It covers such topics as
    New Wine in Old Bottles
    Wedding Wine at Cana
    Christ Eating & Drinking
    Charge to Deacons
    The Lord’s Supper – NOT fermented wine
    Classificatiaonof Texts – Bad Wine, Good Wine

    and much more. All excellent exegesis of the Word and rightly dividing it to settle this question once and for all.

    I preferred to purchase a copy from LifeLine Printing – it is also available from Amazon and others, but if one just wants to print it from the internet,
    it is public domain and can be found at http://www.archive.org/stream/biblewinesorlaw00pattgoog/biblewinesorlaw00pattgoog_djvu.txt

    This is only for those who are serious about wanting to learn what the Bible says rather than toss around opinions, etc. And I believe that EVERY Christian should be concerned about this issue, if not for themselves, but for their friends and families and brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I would be most interested in hearing comments from those who have taken the time to look into this study.

  • Redeemed

    Regarding Christ turning water to wine at the Cana wedding, it is almost always assumed that it was alcoholic because of the word “wine”.

    Fermentation is a form of decay. Our Lord would not have created a substance that had been in any way decayed. It would have been the pure fruit of the vine, the sweetest and most flavorable possible. In that day the fresh fruit of the vine was commonly preserved to prevent fermentation. It was later reconstituted. The creation of fresh “wine” would have been a pleasant and amazing surprise to the guests.

    It really is that simple rather than trying to do a complicated calculation of the number of guests, etc. Our Lord Jesus is not a bartender, a dispenser of alcoholic beverages!

    When He offered the elements at the Lord’s Supper, He referred to the “wine” as the “fruit of the vine” and that He would not partake of it again until in heaven at the Marriage Supper. No reasonable person would even entertain the thought that there would be a product of decay served in heaven! And certainly something that is lifted up as representative of His precious and pure blood would not be fermented. Just as unleavened bread represents His Body.

    Why do Christians try to justify being like the world and try to use the Bible to do so? One cannot err through abstinence, but one can certainly be put at risk by imbibing.
    And what of the example that we are to set before the world? Maybe one can throw back a couple and do no harm to oneself, but what about those who may be watching and think it is okay to do the same and fall over a cliff?

  • Myfanwy Brown

    Hi folks,

    Well this is just my two pence worth towards the discussion..

    I am not going to write a long comment as there has already been alot discussed and much scripture quoted, and I am not as wise as many on this subject.

    I started drinking heavily when I was 18/19, after my father’s suicide. I literally drank till I passed out and I made myself physically ill from mixing different types of alcohol. I was working and I had many a hangover, as well as many embarrassing situations from what I had done the night before. Sometimes at night I would wake up feeling as though someone was choking me.. and even though I was in a severely backslidden (and deceived) state, I would pray the blood of Jesus over myself until the choking stopped. I knew I was opening myself up to demons. Other nights I would be very drunk and I would go into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror, and I would see some ugly stuff there..best left there!

    From then on, I drifted in and out of my faith, different churches and relationships, for many years. All I want to say is that I found once I started drinking, I could not stop. It was either/or for me. I would always feel horribly ashamed of my actions, including sexual sins, after one of these drinking binges. I felt ashamed that my children saw me in that condition too, and I still feel it was a form of abuse, even though I never did anything wrong to them when I was drunk.

    When I met my ex hussband, he was a heavy drinker, and so that kind of snowballed things too. I went between trying to stop him from drinking so heavily, to getting caught up again myself. I hang my head in shame. I was no example, we were no example to our precious children.

    Anyway, I had developed psoriasis when I was in my early thirties, and this worsened awfully after even one drink. I also have ulcerative colitis, and drink made that worse too. As the years went on I stopped drinking entirely (through conviction from the Holy Spirit and my own desire to be ‘clean’ and please God). I had the odd social drink from time to time, but I did not enjoy it.

    I praise God that I have not touched alcohol for a long time now, I never crave it or desire it in any form. From my viewpoint, alcohol only had a very destructive outcome. I also have a ‘friend’ who is an alcoholic, and she has lost everything through alcohol. I did alot of awful stuff and I had some bad experiences through alcohol (including being raped and beaten up)..but compared to my friend’s experiences, that was nothing much to struggle through. I have just phoned her now and she is back in the mental hospital, a place she has been in countless times. Some years back, I personally called her doctors and got her admitted to a detox and rehab centre. She remained in there, and far from home and all her problems, for about eighteen months. She then came back and began drinking all over again. All I can do is pray for her now.

    The bottom line is, alcohol can be terribly dangerous.. my parents only drank socially, and I had a few naughty drinks when I was in my early teens..but I would never have known it could become something so destructive in my life. I would rather abstain from alcohol now, ( and I do so gladly!). I do understand that people will argue that I had a problem..but in fact I was able to go without alcohol, it was always my CHOICE to start drinking.

    Yes, I know, again some folk will say that they can drink in moderation..but why would you want to take the chance that it might turn into more, or cause you to sin? And what if you cause someone to stumble through seeing you drink? Why would you bring that awful stuff into your home and maybe a child of yours would be tempted..and/or would go onto a life of destruction through alcohol abuse? I say it is not worth it.

    Phew, that was supposed to be just a paragraph or two…but I said what I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to say tonight. I hope it helps.

    God bless.

  • Myfanwy Brown

    Debs, I just read through my comment..can you change ‘earky’ teens to early!! LOL

    [edited – done]

  • Myfanwy Brown

    …Altho’ they were pretty irky!! : ))

  • Redeemed

    Myfanwy, thank you for sharing that testimony. Thank our Lord for His grace and mercy that you survived through all of that.

  • John Chingford

    Hi Redeemed

    What you say sounds convincing. However, why did Jesus say that new wine should not be put in old wineskins? It was a known fact (obviously) that old wineskins could not contain the potency of new wine. If the wine was simply grape juice then surely old wineskins would not be a problem? If alcoholic wine is so sinful, why would Jesus seemingly be condoning it by using it in his story?

    Why not use a less “sinful” example of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was using this to tell us that we either need to become new creatures in order to receive the power of the Holy Spirit or that the old covenant needed to be replaced by embracing the new covenant so that each of us can live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Why did Jesus attend the wedding at Cana if they were drinking alcoholic wine? Wouldn’t His appearance there be condoning what they were doing? Jesus was labelled a “drunk” because of His associations. In fact Jesus Himself relating to John the Baptist said “the Son of man came eating and drinking and you call Him a drunkard (or “wine bibber”).

    If Jesus simply drank grape juice why would Jesus say those things about Himself?

    Redeemed, I do accept your wise counsel because as imperfect human beings it would be better not to drink at all. The difference is that Jesus IS perfect. However, I am confused why Jesus did not separate Himself from such so called “sinful” practices and preach against it – but He didn’t. However and a MASSIVE however, Jesus was/is the light of the World and everything He did/does is perfection and by His light exposes our nakedness. So I am sure that the very presence of Jesus at these events was enough to expose these “drunks” sinful nakedness into a changed life.

    Chris, did you see my reply to your question above?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John

    Please read all the comments, those questions you ask have already been dealt with.

  • John Chingford

    Sorry Debs

    But, my present horrendous personal circumstances do not give me enough time to investigate or read thoroughly. Therefore, I do not have time to read everything. Redeemed knows about my situation. This is why I am directing my comments to her. I am hoping that she will answer me directly to save me time. As far as I can tell my last comment is actually giving a different slant to the topic by not just making one point but linking several together.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    John

    Okie Dokie :)

  • Redeemed

    Hey John, you ask some very valid questions.

    First, let’s talk about your question:

    “Why did Jesus attend the wedding at Cana if they were drinking alcoholic wine? Wouldn’t His appearance there be condoning what they were doing? Jesus was labelled a “drunk” because of His associations. In fact Jesus Himself relating to John the Baptist said “the Son of man came eating and drinking and you call Him a drunkard (or “wine bibber”).”

    Personally, I don’t avoid events or weddings, etc. where alcohol is served and consumed. Although I do not imbibe myself I cordially mingle while sipping on my water, soda or non-alcoholic beer. (I make sure I keep the bottle to show it is not the real thing.) I have noticed that upon occasion that it has a positive impact. Others who are feeling the pressure to imbibe to be acceptable but really don’t want to are encouraged to take an alternative beverage. As believers we are called to be salt and light. I would never attend an event where there was anything immoral or inappropriate going on or if things got out of hand I would promptly exit.
    As believers we have to think of ourselves as ambassadors for Christ and to shine the light wherever He gives us opportunity. We have to remember that our Lord had vicious enemies who were always trying to discredit Him, calling him a wine-bibber and other derogatory names. He came as a servant in contrast to their self-righteous, prideful attitude.

    Now this question:

    “However, why did Jesus say that new wine should not be put in old wineskins? It was a known fact (obviously) that old wineskins could not contain the potency of new wine. If the wine was simply grape juice then surely old wineskins would not be a problem? If alcoholic wine is so sinful, why would Jesus seemingly be condoning it by using it in his story?”

    Jesus refers to this in Matt. 9:17, Mark 2:22, and Luke 5:37.

    Here is what Patton has to say:

    Our Lord here refers to a well-known custom in His day in relation to the keeping of wine. Notice the facts. They did not put (oinos, neos) new wine – the juice fresh from the press- into old bottles, then made of the skins of goats, and the reason is given, “Else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish.” But it was the custom to put the new wine into new bottles, and the reason is given, “That both the wine and the bottles are thus preserved.”

    Quoting from Cyclopoaedia, early edition: “The force of fermenting wine is very great, being able, if closely stopped up, to burst through the strongest cask.”

    “If the ‘new wine’ had already fermented, the old bottles would suit just as well as the new; but, if not fermented, the old would not suit, not because they were weak, but because they would have portions of the albuminous matter or yeast adhering to the sides. This, having absorbed oxygen from the air, would become active fermenting matter, and would communicate it to the entire mass.”

    The new skins, being clean and perfectly free from all ferment, were essential for preserving the fresh unfermented juice, not that their strength might resist the force of fermentation, but, being clean and free from fermenting matter, and closely tied and sealed, so as to exclude the air, the wine would be preserved in the same state in which it was when put into those skins.

    Columella, who lived in the days of the Apostles, in his recipe for keeping the wine “always sweet” expressly directs that the newest must, be put in a “new amphora” or jar.

    Smith in his Greek and Roman Antiquities says, “When it was desired to preserve a quantity in the sweet state, an amphora ws taken and coated with pitch within and without; it was filled with the mustum lixivium, and corked, so as to be perfectly air-tight.”

    The facts stated by Christ are in perfect keeping with the practice prevailing in His day to prevent the pure juice of the grape from fermenting. The new amphora – the amphora – the amphora coated with pitch within and without – and the new bottles, all have reference to the same custom. The people of Palestine must have been familiar with this custom, or Christ would not have used it as an illustration. This passage, properly viewed in connection with the usages of the day, goes a great way toward establishing the fact that Christ and the people of Palestine recognized the existence of two kinds of wine- the fermented and the unfermented.

    This passage also helps us to understand the character of the wine Christ used, which He made for the wedding at Cana, and which he selected as the symbol of His atoning blood.

    In connection with this parable, Jesus uses the example of old and new cloth when making a garment.
    They do not mix. It all needs to be new or the integrity of the garment is compromised.

    If new wine is put into old wineskins that have held fermented wine, it will result in exploding the container. In order to preserve the fresh grape juice or fruit of the vine, one must have a new, clean container. The point Jesus was making was regarding the old and new covenant and that the old must pass away. You cannot mix legalism with grace.

    I have seen some explanations for this parable that are quite frankly laughable as they ignore facts, the laws of fermentation and the fact that fresh grape juice can be and was preserved in early times.

    At times I wish our Lord had been much clearer about the use of alcohol. But if one studies the Word and what the Bible has to say, it all comes together.

    Patton in his book takes on all the references such as the “much wine” charge to deacons and other passages that are often misinterpreted and therefore misunderstood.

    Thank you for your kind words John and I hope you can return to your ministry soon as you are missed.

  • Chris

    Apologies for only replying now – had to attend to work.

    John yes I took notice and it makes sense that the meat in Romans 14 could have been meat offered to idols as this would fit in perfectly well with meat offered to idols mentioned in 1 Cor18.

    In this context of making the brother stumble with regard to the eating of meat I am not so sure if wine then was excluded from the same purpose. In other words if the meat was to cause stumbling with regards to idols, then surely the wine having been mentioned in the same section of Scripture is in the same context.

    To curb drunkenness and realise moderation I do understand is that one should be filled with the Spirit and not with excess of wine, because one of the fruits of the Spirit is self – control. Self – control is also one of those things we have to add to our faith as Peter mentioned. We should be exercising unto godliness – we have to do these things.

    If you are unable to apply self-control in anything which is in excess or otherwise lead you away from Christ like idols, then DON’T DO IT in the first place.

    Getting drunk is the same as getting drugged, hence the Greek word used for witchcraft “Pharmakeia” and that is to be drugged. So then do not get drunk.
    I agree with Deborah that foods offered to idols are to be prayed over to be eaten with a clear conscience. In today’s butcheries and supermarkets there are an abundance of such foods and I believe that the Lord foreknew that this would eventually happen in the latter days – so giving us a means of prayer to not have our hearts condemn us.

    When I read the Scriptures only and no other source the Lord’s Word is sufficient. I really do not believe that the Lord would leave us His Spirit and His Word to communicate unclear meanings to us regarding wine. If “Not Much wine” was such a deadly offence I am sure that the Lord would have instructed us clearly as he does with drunkenness, fornication, adultery etc.
    We do not have to indulge in extra Biblical sources to realise that the other immoralities such as adultery, fornication, thefts lies etcetera are evil.

    The Lord is compassionate and our Teacher His Word is sufficient and true. I do not see sense in studying unclear extra Biblical resources which cause us to wish that it is the Lord Who at times should have made Scriptures much clearer.

    I indulged in the study of different articles and opinions regarding the abstinence and the general misuse of wine which then made the Lord’s Word unclear as it does to many others. But going back and reading the Bible over and over and referring to the Hebrew and Greek certainly made the unclear clear.

    As the saying goes……..If the perfect Word makes sense, then seek no other sense.

    I also believe that the Lord’s Word is sufficient for believing babes and brings in enough understanding in plain simple sense. The Hebrew and Greek will broaden the knowledge already gained and not oppose it or make it mean the opposite or make it unclear.

    The Word becomes unclear when it is confused with what others want it to mean and then make it to mean what they want it to mean.

    I have often heard that certain passages are unclear and then these passages are called “difficult verses” Nowhere do I find that the Lord said He would give us difficult verses and I do not believe that the Lord would do something like that as He is our teacher and not the author of confusion.
    Having read much on this topic and having worked through many DVD’s I have realised that in many cases only parts of Scriptures were used for abstinence. Some out of context and some without quoting the rest of the chapter or other parts of the Scriptures.

    In many of these arguments I have heard and read things like the “therefore this must be like that” an “That then must mean this” these are assumptions applied to certain verses.

    A typical example would be: Because the Lord Jesus was a Nazarene and did not drink wine we are to be followers of Him and then Numbers 6:3 is quoted. Yet Numbers 6:20 is NEVER quoted.

    Yes, I personally believe that the Lord Jesus did not drink wine nor did he marry and have sexual relations with a wife. He was separated and set apart from man, yet He was fully man and God. We are to be followers of Him, but this side of eternity nobody will be like him otherwise we would not for example have married and had sexual relationships with spouses because of the burning Paul talks about.

    A quote attributed to Joseph P. Free mentioned: ‘It would appear that the beverage was grape juice”. Then this is deemed as fact.

    There are simply too many such “it would appear” statements to mention here.
    Presumption after presumption is seen and agreed on as fact.

    Now I have also heard authors endorsing abstinence quoting from the Talmud only to quote Rabbis teaching the same. This source is an abomination to the Lord Jesus and the messages in the Talmud concerning Jesus is utterly blasphemous, yet when this source is quoted discarding moderate responsible use of wine, everyone applauds it.

    Many of the observations from these unreliable sources are seen as fact. But surely fact will not result in uncertainties or “difficult verses” facts should make Scriptures clearer and illuminate the understanding when reading the Lord’s Word as given plainly.

    I find no “difficult verses” or unclear meaning when reading that excess is forbidden and that drunkenness is forbidden. Nor do I find “difficult verse” or uncertainties in reading “not given to much wine” as the Lord’s Word given plainly.

    I have had discussions with top theologians who are Hebrew and Greek speaking with Hebrew and Greek Bibles who also believe that strickt moderation is not offensive, but only offensive to the weak brother – as Rom. 14 shows to be.

    Therefore if the Lord’s Word makes sense, seek no other sense.

    With this and on the basis of Romans 14 I am withdrawing from this topic as I feel that if anyone thinks moderation is offensive, I will offend this person and rather concentrate on the more weightier matters which I thing in these perilous times need our defence.

    May the Lord make His face shine upon us all

  • John Chingford

    Thanks Redeemed and Chris for your insights. I can see the logic from both of you but feel the need to ask something which doesn’t seem to have been properly tackled above.

    Why would drinking much unfermented grape juice be forbidden to Christian leaders? If it is not alcoholic then why would it be wrong to drink a lot. The word is actually linked to drunkenness.

    Why does it say “do not be drunk on wine but be filled with the Spirit”. The key word is “drunk”. How can you be drunk on grape juice? Please don’t say “you can even be drunk on water” that is completely different and is not what the Bible is referring to. It is very clear that drunkenness is sinful but drinking a little IS NOT. If new wine (before fermentation sets in) is what Jesus drank at the last supper (incidentally is that what the Jews at passover (Pesach) always used?) then they actually would have drunk much grape juice – 3 or 4 cups isn’t it? Wouldn’t 3 or 4 cups of wine (grape juice) be sinful if it was grape juice that Paul instructed Timothy that leaders should not drink much of?

    Clearly it was alcoholic wine which Christian leaders should not drink much of. Therefore “a little” wine with meals is perfectly acceptable. What about those who had no access to springs or wells or to clean drinking water. What did they drink with their meals?

    But as Chris and the apostle Paul has said, I will say the same thing; for the sake of my weaker brother I will drink no wine nor say any more but concentrate on the more important topics of our faith.

  • Colin Ford

    Chris,
    Thank you, wise counsel indeed.

  • John Chingford

    Chris, by the way the Nazirite vow is not a Nazarene vow. Nazirite and Nazarene are two completely different words and mean entirely different things. Jesus being a Nazarene simply means He comes from Nazareth. Forgive me if I misunderstood you, but it seemed that you are linking Jesus with a Nazirite vow? As far as I can tell, the gospels never tell us that Jesus followed the Nazirite vow, but John The Baptist seemingly did. Maybe that is what Jesus meant when He said ” For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Matthew 11:18-19.

  • Myfanwy Brown

    You know, I just want to say, there is that old saying, ‘when in doubt, don’t’! I believe that as Christians, if we have any doubt whatsoever, we should count it as conviction, which is the best and safest option or choice. As I said in my previous comments, why take the risk, not just for yourself, but for those around you too.

    Satan is so clever and he will use any and every opportunity to get us to slip up and put temptation in our way. We are also told to come out of the world and be no part of it..if we are drinking alcohol, we are still doing as the world does. I do not say this in condemnation, I struggle with other things, not alcohol related, and it is hard to let go of certain behaviours. Other people might say to me that there is no harm or sin in what those behaviours are, but to me, it is sin.

    So each to their own belief and conviction, I believe anyway.

  • Hev

    Well ja,

    On the one side Deborah have issues with Prof Malan, and then publish an article he advocates… okay, I’ll even show you a video from Don Nori that give me one of the clearest answers from the Bible on this issue (though I’ll have to admit that there apparent is something in that video that I’ve missed that bad)

    Now the issues:

    1) Alcohol does have it uses, good uses that is like cleaning wounds and sterilizing utensils.
    2) Alcohol were apparently used to purify water (in small quantities) for human consumption… in some places I’ll prefer to drink a glass of beer together with water than water alone, as I know my stomach has troubles with plain tap water.
    3) ANY abuse of alcohol are STRONGLY warned and preached AGAINST in God’s Word.
    4) Alcohol in NON-MODERATE quantities is bad for the human body, mind and spirit. Period. (See point 3) Scientific fact for at least the body and mind, and spiritual warning from the Bible.
    5) Are the use of alcohol bluntly forbidden or condemned in the Bible? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    6) If we apply the same arguments of drunkenness to gluttony, then we should all ABSTAIN FROM EATING!
    (Just check how many verse (NIV) have drunk in the same verse as glutton
    7) Making the same case for alcohol’s mind altering nature that I’ve seen Dave Wilkerson’s “Sipping Saints”, I’ll show you that you SHOULD NEVER AGAIN USE COMPUTERS, CARS, nor make love again… as they all have mind altering states which could be bad for you (and I’ll testify to that mind altering states, and I’ve seen those symptoms in truely born again christians)

    In other words: Yes, Alcohol consumption for the sake of alcohol and or consumption of alcohol as goal/target/etc. I can’t condone in any way, not scientifically, not Biblically. HOWEVER I don’t see the issue with the use of a glass of wine/sundowner/etc. *WITHIN*REASON*AND*LIMITS*OF*THE*INDIVIDUAL*

    HOWEVER: The questions when we consider the use of alcohol, by ourselves, and of others, should be:

    i) Will I be a stumbling block? The opposite is that I won’t have LOVE in me to prevent another child in Christ to stumble for whatever reason.
    ii) Am I offended by another Christian’s MODERATE/APPROPRIATE use? If I am, then I’ll have to search my heart why I’m offended and why I don’t have brotherly love anymore?
    iii) Am I putting me/anybody/that person BACK ON TO THE LAW? If so, then I don’t have love yet again, and forgot that I myself have been saved by grace alone!
    iv) DO YOU know your OWN LIMITS? I have a tell tale when I draw the line and move to water, do you? If you don’t, then it’ll be better for you to NOT engage and kindly refuse to prevent stumbling into drunkeness, and I’ll honour your request myself IN LOVE! (but beware of falling into (ii) and rather warn me if (i) might be an issue and then I’ll know not to be a stumbling block for you, especially when you’ve been a alcoholic etc.)
    v) Stop debating alcohol, and rather address people’s hearts and minds IN LOVE (Now I’m preaching for myself and will pray for God’s wisdom through His Spirit)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Hev

    >> On the one side Deborah have issues with Prof Malan, and then publish an article he advocates…

    To be clear, I had the issue with Prof Malan (found out he was an undercover Calvinist) long AFTER I posted this article, pay attention to the DATE of the article. Get your facts straight BEFORE you condemn me. I am going to put up a notice on all Malan’s articles soon, but for now it need to wait as I am currently doing something else that needs all my attention. Once I am finished only then will I put up a notice. There are unfortunately many articles by Malan on my site and it is going to take time putting up a notice on all of them.

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Drinking Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel

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