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Discover the Book - Sept. 5, 2007

  • 2007 Sep 05
  • COMMENTS
 

Why Not Drink Alcohol?

 

With 1 in 10 Americans alcoholics or drunkards, as the Scriptures not so softly call them…

With 81% Roman Catholics and 64% Protestants not opposed to drinking.

And, with the constant need to teach doctrine for us to live by, we are considering (the Christian and alcohol – does it have a place in our lives?)

  To answer this vital area of Christian living we need to survey the Scriptures:

#1 Does the Bible speak to the question? Yes.

  • First – drunkenness (alcoholism) is always condemned.
  • Second – drunkenness and any tendencies that way are disqualifiers from spiritual services.
  • Thirdly – drunkenness (alcoholism) is never part of a citizen of Heaven in fact, open to Galatians 5:19-21. Note “shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”  

#2 So is drunkenness (alcoholism) a sickness / disease or sin? It is a sin that leads to physical deterioration and dependence. But God can save and change.  

#3 Now, the third question is drinking a sin?

To answer that we turn to Proverbs 23:20-35.  

Here’s an inspired snapshot of a drunkard and the wisest man until Christ that describes Him – we know Principle #1 – No drunkenness. Principle #2 v. 20 = no social drinking “don’t be with heavy drunkenness.” Why?  

1)Wine was the most intoxicating drink known in ancient times. All the wine was light wine, i.e. not fortified with extra alcohol. Concentrated alcohol was only known in the Middle Ages when the Arabs invented distillation (“alcohol” is an Arabic word) so what is now called liquor or strong drink (i.e. whiskey, gin, etc.) and the twenty per cent fortified wines were unknown in Bible times. Beer was brewed by various methods, but its alcoholic content was light. 2)The strength of natural wines is limited by two factors. The percentage of alcohol will be half of the percentage of the sugar in the juice. And if the alcoholic content is much above 10 or 11 percent, the yeast cells are killed and fermentation ceases. Probably ancient wines were 7-10 per cent. Drunkenness therefore was of course an ancient curse, but alcoholism was not as common or as severe as it is today. And in an agricultural age, its effects were less deadly than now. Still, even then it had its dangers and Proverbs 20:1 and 23:29-35 are emphatic in their warnings. To avoid the sin of drunkenness, mingling of wine with water was practiced. 3)This dilution was specified by the Rabbis in New Testament times for the wine then customary at Passover. The original Passover did not include wine (Deuteronomy 20:6).  

Related words are shekar, probably beer, asis perhaps wine from other fruit juices (Song 8:2), tirosh (q.v.) apparently the fresh juice from the vineyard, never by itself associated with intoxication.

So –

1)     Not drunk

2)     Not social – Sin to drunk, Psalm 1 – way of sinners

3)     Not undiluted. Proverbs 23:31 = straight 7=10% wine  

So those are Old Testament principles that governed until the time of Christ.

We will continue to look at this issue tomorrow September 6th when we look at “Drinking and the Glory ofGod”.

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org. 

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