"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Sipping Saints - An outcry against the alarming spread of drinking among Christians -David Wilkerson|
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1).
This nation is fast becoming a sodden society of too many intoxicated citizens. Alcohol is now the modern golden calf, and millions of people, young and old, male and female, have been seduced by it.
The teetotaler, the prohibitionists, and all the others who have for years fought against this flood of booze have been laughed out of existence. We laugh to scorn those old-fashioned little ladies who went around smashing barrels of whiskey and shutting down bars and honky-tonks, and taking pledges of abstinence.
We liberated moderns have made it fashionable to drink. It is now considered sophisticated, urbane, cool - to drink socially. Try saying "No" to the airline stewardess who keeps pushing drinks at you from the time you get on the airplane till you deplane. "What do you mean, no drinks?" She looks at you as some kind of kook for refusing free drinks.
People are offended nowadays when you refuse their offer of a complimentary drink. They try to make you feel unneighborly for not joining them, or that you are putting on a "holier than thou" attitude. Even President Carter couldn't keep drinks out of the White House.
"Be not among winebibbers..." (Proverbs 23:20).
To me, the real tragedy is that so many who call themselves "Christian" are now drinking. I call them "sipping saints," because that is how it all begins - one sip at a time.
A recent poll revealed that 81% of all Catholics now drink and 64% of all Protestants. These shocking figures keep mounting higher each month. The permissive attitude toward social drinking is fast creeping even into the most conservative, evangelical church circles.
I have spoken at Charismatic conventions where thousands of "Spirit-filled" saints of God lifted hands in praise and adoration to God - and after being dismissed, numbers of them walk out into the parking lot, open their car trunks and pull out a couple six-packs and pass them around to fellow worshipers. Others order mixed drinks with their restaurant meals, in between the praise sessions. They return to speak with "pickled tongues."
"And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands" (Isaiah 5:12).
The prophet Isaiah has a message for the entire Charismatic movement - in both Catholic and Protestant circles.
"God's people are in captivity to these things because of a lack of knowledge . . . But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness" (Isaiah 5:13-16)..
The prophet Hosea said, ". . . wine and new wine take away the heart . . ." (Hosea 4:11).
This suggests that sipping saints have divided hearts.
Spirit-filled people lay claim to being "kings and priests" unto the Lord. The Bible emphatically states,
"It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink, lest they drink and forget the law . . ." (Proverbs 31:4,5).
The writer of Proverbs suggests happy, overcoming Christians don't need wine, that it is only for the depressed and dying.
"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts" (Proverbs 31:6).
A fine Christian lady wrote to me saying:
"We are good church-going Christians. We love the Lord, and we see nothing at all wrong with serving wine in our home. We drink moderately, and our children are learning to drink under our supervision. They do not overindulge. We have never seen anyone drunk in our home.
"You are simply trying to make us feel guilty and are pushing your fundamentalist morals on us. We were not raised under the legalistic taboos like you evidently were. Frankly? sir, our drinking habits are none of your concern."
God bless that dear lady - but one of these days it will be my business. It starts becoming my business when those teenagers go out with their friends and get stoned.
Just today, one of my students, a converted alcoholic, told me how she became a drunkard. Her parents taught her how to drink moderately. At parties, birthdays, and when company came, everybody took a social drink. It was served at meals. She admired and loved her parents. They despised drunkenness, yet they had a bar in the house.
This young lady started going to teenage parties and began to drink socially with her crowd. That led to drinking in clubs. Soon she was getting stoned in parked vans. Finally, when problems began to pile up, she began to lean on wine heavily. She ended up in a mental institution, a hard-core alcoholic.
That same story is repeated to me over and over again from coast to coast. How many, many times I've heard it, "My parents were considered good Christians. They went to church. But we always served wine or beer at our house. My big brother drank moderately and he was my hero. I drank to be like my parents and big brother, but I couldn't handle it. But they made me think drinking was the thing all good people do."
Am I prejudiced? Narrow-minded on the subject? You bet I am! And I have reason to be. My own brother, a minister's son, started drinking beer moderately - just to be sociable with friends. He wound up a heavy drinker, leaving his wife and lovely children to pursue his habit. Thank God he is saved today and back with his family.
But I sent my brother Jerry with a team of converts to Europe to testify about what Christ did in delivering him from the power of alcohol. The Christians in Europe gladly rejoiced in the testimonies of deliverance from dope and prostitution - but they didn't want to hear a word about Jerry's deliverance from alcohol. Why? Because European Christians guzzle wine and beer like water. It broke his heart.
I have heard all the excuses for the drinking among Christians in Europe - and I can't accept any of them. They blame it on impure water. They talk about it being rooted in their culture and customs. They drink "because they have always done it."
How deeply offended some of the pastors were in Paris, France, when I refused to drink their wine. American missionaries, who themselves easily adopted the European customs, told me I should "do as the Parisians do, while in Paris!" Yet, how deeply offended I was when some of these same ministers were so stoned they couldn't stay awake during my crusade.
There is an alarming rate of alcoholism and heavy drinking in Christian circles in Europe. They do get drunk! They are not all moderate! None of their excuses make it right. And what phoniness for American Christians to drink "only in Europe." They won't touch a drop here in the States, but they think it's "cute" to join the brethren over there in sipping a few!
I am deeply offended by drinking Christians because of the terrible example it sets for young people! This nation is now facing a plague of drinking among teenagers. The two most popular words in school today are "cruising and boozing." Drunkenness is spreading in our schools like a wildfire out of control. Kids tell me that as many as 80% of their class not only drink, but get stone drunk. We face the possibility of having over one million young alcoholics next year.
I've been helping drug addicts for 20 years. But this drinking rage now sweeping our nation frightens me. They drink now because they think alcohol won't"waste" them like drugs! Booze is now the preferred "liquid pot." Everywhere you see teenagers getting stoned, they tell you - "No cops, no parents, no politicians can hassle us now - because they are all doing it, too. We finally found a kick that won't put us behind bars!"
I don't want to get involved in that age-old argument about the Bible and fermented wine as opposed to grape juice. But the more I see of these bombed-out, broken-down, hopelessly drunken young people - the more I am convinced Jesus did not mock that crowd at Canaan's wedding feast with the same stuff that is destroying our youth today.
Christ came to fulfill the law! The law says, "Wine is a mocker . . . whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Was Christ deceived? Would he have served a drink that would have led to a man leaving a feast drunken to heat up his wife? And in court that man is asked, "How did you get so drunk?" And the convicted man answers, "I went to a wedding feast. Jesus of Nazareth served up a really strong drink. He got me drunk."
I can't conceive that Jesus would mock that crowd and serve a drink that could have been abused if taken immoderately. I believe that elixir Jesus served was the pure juice of the vine - a supernatural punch so full of nature's true blend, it was a unique and welcome change! Would Jesus add alcoholic content to His supernatural drink and make it "bite the cup" when the law said -
"Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright . . ." (Proverbs 23:31)?
That was written by a king who had "given himself over to wine" (Ecclesiastes 2:3). And Christ would have never, never given the guests over to wine that was intoxicating.
Paul knew the law, too. He revered the wisdom of Solomon. Pure juice of the grape is good for the health! It is nutritious. But fermented wine is not more nutritious, according to a doctor friend of mind who is well read on the subject. How could Paul recommend drinking alcoholic wine when the law he respected so warned, ". . . be not among winebibbers..."?
But the real issue is not whether or not the New Testament refers to fermented wine or grape juice. The real issue is the abuse of it that is so prevalent today. Solomon had three thousand wives. At one time, Moses permitted divorce. God winked! But God does not wink when His laws become so perverted and abused. Look where our permissiveness has led us. So-called Christian discos, featuring beer drinking and dancing to Christian music. Rocking, rolling, drinking "Christians."
"...Lest they drink and forget the law..."
We are forgetting the laws of God, the very laws Jesus said He came to fulfill. We now allow a lesbian priest to be ordained in the Episcopal church. Homosexuals not only flaunt their sins, they boldly seek recognition and power within the church.
One million new divorces this year. Ten million kids victims of broken homes. Nude dancing in the church sanctuary. Liberal ministers mock old-fashioned biblical sex standards. They now tell our kids, "Masturbation is a gift from God to relieve your tensions."
And the lawlessness to end all lawlessness, some of our church agencies have been serving as fronts for anti-God, Communistic anarchists seeking to destroy democracy - using the churches' missions money to engage in covert acts of violence.
Do Christians drink because of ignorance? Has no one challenged them by the Word of God? Do these new converts from the Jesus movement drink to prove they are liberated and not under law?
A young lady, a member of a Christian love commune, wrote to me recently and said, "Sure, we all drink. Jesus did; Paul did! The Bible is not down on it. Our leaders drink moderately. They are good Bible teachers and they travel, speaking at youth gatherings." Yes - and I happen to know some of them also smoke. They mix Jesus with their heavy rock music, and only God knows where the compromise ends.
They seem to think that adding the word "Jesus" to anything sanctifies it and makes it all right.
You say - "Don't judge, David! What about the beam in your own eye?"
I am not anyone's judge. I have not set myself up as some kind of spokesman for any group. But Paul said, "We judge those within - God judges those without."
It's time judgment was called for! It's time all drinking Christians were challenged! It's time for the Holy Spirit to expose the looseness, the slaphappy "anything goes" attitude. If it's wrong for my dear converted alcoholics and addicts and prostitutes to drink, even moderately, then it is deadly wrong for mature Christians to drink and set a poor example for them.
And I get very weary and spiritually indignant when drinking Christians come back at me with - "Aw, you're just a fundamentalist, law bound, moral do-gooder. We modern, liberated Christians are free in Christ. We are not under law. We will not be bound by your attacks on our freedom."
That offends everything in me that yearns for godliness and holiness. That offends every young convert whom God has convicted of past drinking habits. And the Bible says -
"But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" (Matthew 18:6-7).
I refuse to give in to the mounting pressures of worldliness - in the disguise of spiritual freedom! What has happened to us, saints of God - when we can sit idly by and not rebuke the fast eroding morals in the house of God?
I believe in free grace, but not licentiousness. I believe in the imputed righteousness of Christ, by faith. But I also believe the holiness of God demands that we "touch not that which is unclean."
I also believe that smoking ministers are not being honest with God. These "puffing prophets" refuse to practice what they preach. And drinking ministers are a reproach to the name and power of God.
It is not an effort to condemn true ministers of the gospel. But how can we as ministers and parents ask our kids to quit using drugs and alcohol, if we will not clean up our own lives - and set a Christ-like example?
At times, just for a fleeting moment, I think to myself, "Maybe I'm the one who is wrong. Maybe these new Christians who rock, roll, smoke, drink, and who go back to their old haunts to sing, entertain, and perform - maybe they have seen something in God I haven't yet seen. Maybe all these fast changes aren't compromise, but a sign of maturity and growth. Maybe I am too old-fashioned - too out of it to recognize some new thing God is doing."
But then I begin to compare the rollicking, boisterous sounds of their music with the old songs like "The Old Rugged Cross," and "Holy, Holy, Holy." Then I want to cry! I look at them going back into those smoke-filled clubs to entertain the drinking crowd on the pretense of taking Jesus with them, and then I compare them with all the millions of God's people over the centuries from the martyrs on down to the converted addicts and gangs of today, who forsook the world and all its associations to take on the reproach of Christ. I begin to weep for those compromised Christians. I know I am not wrong.
Please don't get mad at me! If you are one of the sipping saints - don't allow your hurt or anger to rob you of the truth. If you find yourself resenting this message of separation - it is probably because God has already convicted you - and He is now wanting you to enjoy complete freedom.
Pray also that God will lay it on the hearts of ministers all over the nation - to take a bold stand in their pulpits against these insidious trends.
Pray for our teenagers! The pressures on them to drink with the crowd are getting worse daily. They need to be encouraged to stand up and resist, lest they be drawn into this whirlpool of drunkenness.
Even if you don't "feel convicted" - abstain for the simple but powerful reason of setting an example for the youth!
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things" (Proverbs 23:29-33).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/8/10 17:13||Profile|
| Re: Sipping Saints - An outcry against the alarming spread of drinking among Christia|
Sent by email instead so as not to be wrongly misunderstood
| 2016/8/10 17:40|
| Re: |
Go ahead and post it Jeff- we're all interested now!
| 2016/8/10 18:07||Profile|
| Re: Sipping Saints - An outcry against the alarming spread of drinking among Christia|
My experience with alcohol in the church
I'm 34 and have been in church my entire life. Without exception I have noticed that those church attenders who drink alcohol are carnal in other areas as well. R rated movies, and other worldly entertainments most often accompany the drinking church attender.
I played sax on the worship team at a 500 or so member church in college. The guitar player threw a Superbowl party that the team and others including the pastor attended. When I got there I noticed a keg of beer being served. It was then that I began to understand why the pre service worship team prep time seemed so carnal with much joking and jesting and talking about all things not God related. No reverence. No fear of God.
After college I went to Russia with a missions group that reached out to children. We met with a Russian family that were not believers and they offered us Champagne for the New Year celebration. I respectfully declined but the trip leader and another woman who was part of the missions team both had a drink and then the woman asked to taste some russian vodka. I was later shocked when the missions group did Disco tech night with the children and played a bunch of godless American dance music(Britany Spears,Christina Aguelara etc.) as the children danced around. There was soft porn in the leaders bathroom back in the states and ultra violent video games in the family room. His daughter's room was painted all black with morbid pictures hanging.
More recently we attended a church where a worship team member's wife posted pics of her mixed drinks on Facebook. They attended godless rock concerts on occasion and I noticed he had Metallica, Nirvana, and other anti christ music on his phone.
Then there was the time before I was following Jesus when I would sneak beer and hard liqueur and try to drown my sorrows all the while attending church. Nothing good came out of my alcohol use. Only depression.
Paul Caine, Perry Noble, and a host of other pastor leaders have been deceived by the "spirits".
I personally abstain now because I know me. I don't trust myself. I don't want to give anyone any fodder for accusation or stumbling. I have 4 children and don't want to be a bad example for them. I don't want to be part of the "young restless and reformed" crowd that goes to pubs and does the beer tasting events. I want there to be a distinction between my life and the lost world around me. I want to honor God. I have enough shortcomings in my life and don't want to try to deal with another one.
I long to be around men like David Wilkerson who fear God. Whose words shake you to the core when they preach because they are so filled with the Holy Spirit that the conviction is instant. Where are they?
I want to love my wife and children and pursue a simple devotion to Christ all the way to the end.
| 2016/8/10 18:43|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
Since the 1980's social drinking in Churches in North America have become very popular. This sudden change has brought about alot of people now considering anyone who holds to the standard view that drinking should not be done in the Church gathering, or at the very least on sunday and not in public as it would not be proper for saints to be in places enjoying the same enjoyments of the world. Of course there are parts of Church history where reformers in cities that were "all" christian by name had pubs where drinking was allowed in moderation.
But even Luther admitted on Sundays came thiefs, drunkards, etc to have communion and he lamented that it was like giving the holy communion to dogs! Meaning he believed that those who were regenerate where different then those who were not and that would be marked in a changed life. Unfortunately in the thinking of a Christian state ie Lutheranism it allowed "all" to be Christian if they just came to Church on Sundays and followed a few other rules but that did not allow all the populous to be born-again from above.
Why I mention this is that there are periods in Church history that allowed public drinking but I would argue amongst more true groupings of believers that was few and far between if not ever.
This is an issue that many young believers are being raised under with "pastoral" approval to be allowed to have full liberty. Imagine it, walking into a modern liquor store and being allowed as a born-again believer that is single and 20 years old to buy anything you want, just make sure you sip it slowly and be careful!
I responded on Facebook to a brother who was teaching approval on alcohol with believers with these words that I hope do not sound harsh:
It should be clear in our minds that modern alchol available in stores today in North America is primarily made for the high precentage of intoxicating element and its primary use is drunkeness of some sort or fashion. Why would people drink it otherwise? In the Bible days grape juice was lightly allowed to ferment to allow it to store for more then one day along with other reasons. If abundant healthy drinking water were avialable in bible times via metal taps then I am sure grape juice (ie wine) would have been much much less. It is irrenous and mis-leading to other young christians especially to allow the modern wine and beer to be concurrent with what the Bible exhorted as wine. Our liberty should not seek allowance in all the modern amusements and fanfares of the day. If we love the world and seek its pleasures we are not following in the ways of the Apostles (1 John 2:15, Col 3:1-3, etc). The modern use of alchol must be very wisely measured and it can lead to sin very easily. Just consider the millions of lives ruining within even the Church itself with what started off with liberty and social drinking. Welch Grape juice was invented by a holiness wesleyan preacher so that grape juice would be longer lasting without fermentation in America. Take liberty brethren and have a good glass of Welsh's! I say these things with reverence and let not our seeking liberty in areas that are marked with danger be the stumbling block for others in the faith.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/8/10 19:00||Profile|
| Re: |
Pretty interesting article.
The idea of wine in Bible times not being intoxicating or fermented strikes me as desperate pleading, especially with verses like these:
Ps. 104: He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the service of man,
That he may bring forth food from the earth,
15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. Prov. 31:6
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
Of course the wine was intoxicating or there would not be warnings against imbibing to excess. The master at the party at Cana made the observation that generally the good wine is served first and then when people are drunk they break out the cheap stuff. But the wine Jesus made was the good stuff, and the master of the party was surprised that they saved the good stuff for last.
No one here (at least not me) would ever argue that excessive alcohol drinking is okay. Scripture is clear on that issue. But that is as far as we can officially go. But we can certainly argue that it is unwise to drink alcohol at all because it is almost impossible to know when one has crossed the line into dissipation.
| 2016/8/10 19:57||Profile|
| Re: sticking to the scriptures|
I hesitate to respond on this because the potential for being misunderstood and mischaracterized is huge. Let me start by saying that the mostly (if not totally)!apostate movement within the church to draw people in with beer tastings in church, or meeting at bars to drink or whatever is abhorrent. Jesus, the Spirit of God, the fellowship of the ekklesia & the Word of God are to be the draw, not a desire to drink alcohol. Let me also say that I come from a long line of alcoholics (dad, grandad, etc.) & have been a heavy drinker (& consequent fighter) early in my youth & was a heavy illicit drug user (all of them - often simultaneously) in my late teens and early 20's before I got radically born again. I am not naive of the ills of such.
Let me also say, not to boast but to address a broadbrush stereotype grouping brought up earlier in the thread, I am a holiness guy. My favorite preachers are Ravenhill, Tozer, Brown, Katz, Washer, Wilkerson, etc. Outside of a backslidden stint many years ago where I still struggled with pornography, I haven't gone to or watched a rated R Movie (except the Passion of the Christ) in the last 18.5+ years since my conversion. I haven't had cable, satellite or any such thing (not even a local TV station Antenna until last year because my two oldest boys play basketball now & wanted to watch Golden State in the NBA finals & I turn it off and wait for commercials to be far over before turning it back on). I don't listen to secular music. 95% of what I watch & is Christ centered. The other 5% is an occasional nature/animal documentary, "How It's Made", WW2 Documentaries, Food/Nutrition Documentaries, etc. 100% of what I spend my available time reading is Christ/Bible/Evangelism/Missions/etc. focused. I am not sharing these things to boast, but to show that I am not some compromising, backsliding, harlot apostate. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am admittedly far from perfect, but I am about The Lord, the Ministry, the Mission, Eternity, etc.
Let me also say I am acquainted with the ministry of Teen Challenge and other addiction focused ministries (I have preached & shared at some of them including Teen Challenges in the Northeast & East Texas area (where Wilkerson began). I know why the Bible includes warnings on "do not be drunk with wine" & such. And I know that being a drunkard is one identifier of some of those who will not inherit the kingdom. But the "teetotaler" (not a single drop or you're in sin) stance not only as a personal conscience/wisdom one, but as a doctrinal mandate for everyone, is stretching & adding to the scriptures.
Although I want to be EXTREMELY careful not to encourage people to have a heart attitude of "eat, drink & be merry, for tomorrow we die", I also secondarily want to be cautious not to go beyond what is written, add to (or outright change/deny) the Word of God, & operate as the Pharisses did who tithed of their mint, dill, & cumin (& made sure everyone else knew about it). Guys like John Piper admit he's by nature a "teetotaler BY DEFAULT" because of what he has seen and his background, but when asked if drinking is a sin, he says, "it certainly can be". And when asked if drinking is ok, he also answers "it can be". And he doesn't judge others who aren't teetotalers & even he himself if he was in Germany where it's standard and customary to drink a beer with a meal, would likely try to be polite & thankful and manage it so as not to dishonor, disrespect & harm a human relationship (in the spirit of "eat what is out before you without question of conscience" assumably).
We have to look at what the scriptures actually say & just be honest with them not adding to or taking say from. I think some of what Todd pointed out (& I did too before Pulling my initial response) is something we have to be honest with. If the people in 1 Corinthians were being judged for "getting drunk" with the Lord's Supper communion wine, it's ridiculous to say it was "probably just 1% alcohol back then) or whatever. Jewish historians don't bear that out & neither does common sense. They'd have to drink multiple gallons to get drunk? Really? Think about that. Have you ever say drank 1-2 gallons of anything? You can actually die from drinking a gallon (much less 2) of water too fast. This is just something I believe people wrongly assume to defend their (overreaching the scriptures) position.
For those who say "do not love the world or anything in the world.." As a teetotaler defense, I would say that could be applied to a lot of things & overreach. You could apply that to chocolate cake if you wanted & speak of gluttony & the empty calories & never eat a nice desert for the rest of your life if you wanted (& go by your conscience by all means, but don't try to institute a doctrine of men based on yourself). Many would also discount anything remotely like rap style music. But I would say Shai Linne often has more solid theology in one song than many Western pulpits put out all year long. And the spirit of it is to glorify God & spread the Gospel. Again, not your cup of tea musically or have a weak conscience about it? Fine, anything not of faith is sin, so by all means obey YOUR conscience, but don't make your (weak) conscience a LAW for all people and use scriptures out of context to justify a new tradition of men. "Death metal for Jesus"? Sure, the discernible spirit of that garbage is not from above. I think those that are mature with discernment can all agree on that.
But back to the specific topic at hand. If someone wants to occasionally have a single glass of wine, doesn't parade it around other believers as some badge of honor, considers the weaker brother, understands the dangers of overusing alcohol, & understands all the scriptures on the subject both the warnings and the matter of fact non-warnings, am I going to accuse them of sin? Absolutely not. I don't need to go farther than the Word to enforce my agenda to make sure people are safe. God does just fine in how He handles things in the Word. His balance & reconciliation of all scriptures in context is perfect, lacking in nothing. If someone argues with me, I generally just let it be, assuming their conscience is weak in this area or they are just doing as they know best to honor God & praise God for them. No judgement. I could "make a case" using scriptures (in an unbalanced way) if I wanted to to say my wife can't wear a drop of makeup, must wear dresses only to the floor, can't use a perfumed shampoo, etc. & call that "modesty". Well, it can be modesty. It can also be self focused legalism. My wife dress modestly too. No cleavage, no high cut dresses or skirts, etc. We go by the "let your clothes be a frame for your face, not your body, which is sensual" as Paul Washer says. As he also points out, a woman doesn't have to go out of her way to look ugly/unattractive physically either. That's not modesty. That's legalism.
In addition to what Todd already pointed out in his post, here is a short article from a Bible Study Site called Bible Study.ORG. It is not some "liberal apostate website" either. We need to just be responsible and honest with the text and let God's Spirit with His Word do the rest:
Did Jesus drink wine?
Did Jesus drink wine or just some quality GRAPE JUICE? Does the Bible say Christians should not drink at all? Is it true that alcohol and believers do not mix? Some churches teach that since Christ drank wine that we should as well. Is this hypothesis true? Did Jesus and his disciples, at his last Passover, drink JUICE?
GRAPE JUICE at a wedding?
Some teach that what is referred to as wine in the Bible is actually grape juice that is unfermented. Or they teach that while wine in the Old Testament had an alcoholic content the New Testament kind does not. Clearly, Noah or Lot did not get intoxicated on unfermented drink (Genesis 9:21, 19:32-35). Biblical evidence shows a consistent reference, from cover to cover, that wine is an alcoholic beverage able to make a person drunk with its overuse.
Jesus very first public miracle was turning water into WINE (John 2), not water into grape juice, at a wedding feast in Cana. Jewish custom required they drink REAL wine at such a joyous celebrations - especially when there was highly likely LOTS of people in attendance. What Jesus miraculously produced HAD to contain fermentation for it to receive the rave reviews it got from guests!
JUICE at the Passover?
During what is referred to as Jesus' Last Supper, which occurred in the Spring of 30 A.D., he took a cup of wine and gave it to his disciples to drink. At the time of the Passover the usual Palestine grape harvest had already occurred half a year earlier. Since juice, whether from a grape or other fruit, had no way of being preserved in the first century, Jesus and the apostles HAD to ingest something that was fermented.
When it refers to wine, the New Testament consistently refers to it in its alcohol content state. If nothing but juice was used in the early church, then it makes no sense whatsoever why the 120 disciples on Pentecost are accused of drunkenness on a Holy Day (Acts 2:1-4, 7, 13).
Alcohol's negative consequences
Those who wish to uphold the teaching that NO alcohol of any kind should be used by a Christian usually use ONLY Bible verses that show (sometimes only on the surface) a negative reference to wine. One popular example of alcohol's ill effects is found in Proverbs 20.
Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It's stupid to get drunk. (Proverbs 20:1)
Yes, the Bible does not condone drinking to the point of drunkenness. That said, there is no prohibition from taking a little alcohol so long as it is not over-indulged in. Another section of Proverbs, the 23rd chapter, also condemns drunkenness and alcoholism, but in no way prohibits or even discourages the moderate use of wine.
"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. 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 23:29-32)
The "red" liquid that swirls around smoothly is liquid that is still fermenting. One should not "look" upon it to lust after and drink it as doing so before it is fully fermented can cause illness and death.
The references to the "wine of the wrath of God," and "the wine of her fornication" (See Revelation 14, 16, 17 and similar references) merely use it as a pictorial vehicle. They in no way condemn the moderate use of a fermented drink any more than similar word pictures condemn other things. If such "unfavorable" references of this type constituted such a message, a Christian would then sin by wearing a cloak (1Peter 2:6), partaking of water (Numbers 19:9; Jeremiah 8:14), using an oven or heat or fire (Deuteronomy 29:24), etc. etc.
Benefits of alcohol
The Bible contains many positive examples and commands about alcoholic beverages. Some of these are below, which helps balance the scriptures that are negative.
Wine as made by our Creator for man's rejoicing!
"Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great . . . And (God makes) WINE that makes glad the heart of man, . . ." (Psalm 104:1, 15)
Alcohol can help those in pain or near deathforget their troubles for a while.
"Give STRONG DRINK to him who is perishing, and WINE to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more" (Proverbs 31:6-7)
The first public miracle by Christ was turning water to wine (John 2:1-10).
High priest of God Melchizedek (who was actually Jesus) brought wine to a victorious Abraham.
"Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and WINE; he was the priest of God Most High" (Genesis 14:18)
Our Father will someday offer man alcohol for free.
"'Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy WINE and milk without money and without price' " (Isaiah 55:1)
A fabulous feast will be made by God for those who love him.
"And in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of WINES on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined WINES on the lees." (Isaiah 25:6)
Those who wish to promote total abstinence seem to twist wine's positive references to refer to juice, and all the negative references refer to juice of the fermented kind. The Bible, however, is consistent in its references to wine as having an alcohol content.
Like food and so many other things in the Bible, the issue of alcohol is not one of total prohibition but rather of moderation. The apostle Paul, concerned about the health of his close friend and evangelist Timothy, told him to stop drinking just water and begin to partake of some wine 'for you stomach's sake' and for the sake of his illnesses (1Timothy 5:23). Paul promoted a balance approach to alcohol and other things in life (Philippians 4:5).
The Bible DOES allow Christians to partake of alcohol in a responsible way. Jesus saw nothing wrong with drinking a little wine now and then. If he saw nothing wrong with it moderate use, we should see nothing wrong with doing so as well.
| 2016/8/11 11:16|
| 2016/8/11 11:31|
| Re: brother Jeff|
Agree with sister Brenda in sayin well said as I appreciate and share your position.
Also, tho I had suspicions, I was not aware just how much we have in common but this (the peek into your life) makes it very clear to point that it's almost weird ha!
Blessings brother to you and your fams~
| 2016/8/11 12:24||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
It is from all my reading of Church history that all state run churches allowed the use of alcohol in communion and otherwise, while almost all remnant churches (not state run or large) would not condone the practice of consuming alcohol especially not encouraging social drinking or private consumption even in small quantities.
Some of the early Church fathers would some allow for very small quantities but with great warnings of the dangers of drinking.
In the end the allowance in evangelical, spirit-filled circles of drinking socially or privately is a new occurrence especially since the 1980's. So we have to question is this the right thing?
Along with this divorce and remarriage has changed, head-coverings lost and many other strong views on Scripture. Is it not possible that the Church is slipping from its sure place into apostasy as even homosexuality is allowed in many churches and acceptance or (not judging) is condoned in many seemingly biblical churches?
It is without argument that wine was used in the Bible days but it is "not exactly" the same as what is used and promoted in our day. When I was a child going with my dad into the beer store I always had a sense of "wrong" in my conscience, I still do to this day.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2016/8/11 12:38||Profile|