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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : MacArthur on Beer, Bohemianism, and True Christian Liberty

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Joined: 2010/4/19
Posts: 447


Hi Chris,

You wrote:

"According to the greek dictionary, the word 'drunk' means 'to intoxicate'. Everything from beer to hard liqours are called intoxicants, because drinking them does exactly that, it intoxicates.

And the warnings that I remember hearing about drinking and driving say 'impairment' that is, intoxication, begins at the first drink."

Why are you mixing secular definitions regarding what constitutes 'impairment' with biblical truth? There is no confusion in the scripture concerning this, it's very easy to spot someone who is drunk, there's no ambiguity whatsoever.

Yes, I'm very familiar with Ephesians 5 where is says "don't be drunk with wine" notice it does not say 'don't drink wine at all' in fact it doesn't say this anywhere in the Bible. There are many scriptures that speak of being drunk and abusing wine though (Proverbs "Wine is a brawler").

In 1 Timothy 3 Paul gives the 3 different standards that Christians fall into one way or the other, here they are:

"Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

8 In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. "

Elder (overseer) = Not given to drunkenness
Deacon = Not much wine
Everyone else = No direction given except Ephesians 5 (don't be drunk with wine) and Thessalonians (nor drunkards) as well.

We would both agree on what a 'drunkard' is I think.

Additionally you wrote:

"This may be incorrect, so someone correct me if it is, but I also remember hearing that wine was consumed in place of clean drinking water also, that is as a substitute."

You are correct here, Paul told Timothy not to only drink water but to also drink some wine in what appears to be a chronic stomach ailment that Timothy was experiencing.

 2011/8/15 20:30Profile


What about the health hazards associated with smoking? I believe the scientist and the health experts have more than established the correlation between cigarette and cigar smoking to cancer and breathing problems.

What of the health effects of alcohol? Want to speak of drinking and driving? If my Christian liberty results in the causing injury to others where is this Christ centered?

I have to wonder about this new breed of Calvinist emerging?

Blaine Scogin

 2011/8/15 20:30


I went back and read the full article by John MacArthur and I have more questions for the YRR folks. What of those delivered out of alcoholism? Are you going to drink a beer in their presence. Also alcohol can be considered a gateway substance. You drink beer and wine that opens you up to the demonic. Even smoking can lead to marajuana and that to an altered state of reality and hello demonic. This price of liberty comes with a high price and franky it is a price I do not want to pay.

Blaine Scogin

 2011/8/15 20:52

Joined: 2010/4/19
Posts: 447


Hi Chris,

One more thing, you wrote:

"However, for a person in the modern World, there is no normal nescessity to drink alchol of any kind, except by choice."

Nor was there any "normal necessity" to drink wine at the wedding where Jesus turned the water into wine. It was already pure water, He's so wonderful.

"And the example of the Lord Jesus providing wine at a wedding is just that, God providing wine at a wedding. The peculiar and obvious occasion for providing wine(at a wedding) says nothing else about drinking it for recreation or for Christians in general."

Note what you said here:

"says nothing else about drinking it for recreation or for Christians in general."

What is drinking wine at a wedding? It's clearly for recreation, in fact it's almost the textbook definition of 'recreational use'. It wasn't grape juice either, look up the use of the word 'wine' there in Strongs or Vines, it means fermented grapes.

Brother, read the Word as it is, not through the lens of religious dogma.

I struggled with so much legalistic garbage that I believed due to the teachings of men who were in error and it bound me to the core, it's a curse. Thank God He did not leave me there, I had to go back to step one and let Him teach me from scratch, all of that other crap that I believed was rubbish.

 2011/8/15 20:53Profile

Joined: 2010/4/19
Posts: 447


Hi Martyr:

You wrote:

"Want to speak of drinking and driving? If my Christian liberty results in the causing injury to others where is this Christ centered?"

Most reasonable people understand the difference between drinking a glass of wine and getting into a car drunk which is clearly against the law. The book of Romans is clear regarding following the laws of the societies in which we live.

 2011/8/15 20:57Profile

Joined: 2010/4/19
Posts: 447


Hi Blaine:

"What of those delivered out of alcoholism? Are you going to drink a beer in their presence."

No, just like Paul says that would be wrong. Out of love this should never be done.

"You drink beer and wine that opens you up to the demonic. Even smoking can lead to marajuana and that to an altered state of reality and hello demonic."

Can you please do me a favor and quote me a chapter and verse for your belief here? (hint: there isn't one)

I work with medical marijuana patients that suffer from all kinds of pain, the plant helps them deal with the pain. Surely there are people who abuse the law and do it to smoke weed but there are also people who use it for legitimate medical purposes. After speaking with many of them, they feel unwelcome in ANY church due to this ridiculous fallacy. Many of them feel a tremendous amount of guilt due to their LEGAL use of a plant that God created (He created everything on the Earth and NOTHING that He created is unclean). The hypocrisy that amazes me is many churches could care less whether someone takes oxycontin, vicodin or any other hard core narcotic yet medical MJ users feel unwelcome. Amazing hypocrisy huh? Jesus talked more about hypocrisy than any other subject.

 2011/8/15 21:10Profile


No one knows what the or their future holds.

The thing with these substances is - they're Addictive.

How many people have turned to alcohol during a major problem - either in their own lives or in the world around them.

Perilous times will come and those who are already accustomed to turning to a drink for refreshment or whatever other reason, will not be able to predict how Satan could get a hold of them in that Dept..

No one sets out to become an alcoholic, but many have become alcoholics during a crisis.

No one sets out to die of COPD or lung cancer, when they light up.

The future is something we need to guard ourselves for now.
We need to build a wall of protection around ourselves as no other generation before us, and before GOD - to never cause a young person to stumble by what we call our own 'liberties'.

Young people view this forum, looking to the mature to spell "Christian Life" out for them and they must get through these last days with us as well.

We need to be Nehemiahs, building walls of protection and safety around ourselves and for our fellow human's sakes as well.

The enemy is slick - especially during duress or severe trials and we all have that chink in our armor, in some area, that he can spot a mile away, especially when we're breaking out into a sweat - so to speak.
We need to be busy about praying that The LORD would show us where we're the most vulnerable ... be it "fear", some "liberty" we indulge in, anger, etc. ... we need to be wise as serpents and as Harmless as Doves - most especially around His Lambs, that need some strong folks to lean on or learn from.

 2011/8/15 21:19

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504


The ambivalent attitude of some towards alcohol consumption just about angers me....

Like JIG said, no one sets out to be come an alcoholic when they take an occasional drink...

I get angry because of what alcohol does to a pregnant woman's child. To suggest that an alcoholic female will give up alcohol to protect her child has absolutely no sense of reality!!!!!!!!!

My BIL and his wife adopted two beautiful little girls in the Ukraine years ago. They had them for several years when they became aware they are victims of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome!!! If you do not know what this is, I suggest you educate yourself before you come back here and justify alcohol use!!! Anyhow, my BIL and his wife have spent thousands to try to help these girls. The oldest has left home and for all practical purposes will likely be homeless for the rest of her life unless she can find a man to shack up with, and she goes through men like some do a gallon of ice cream. She is also suicidal, has attacked her mom with knives...her dad told her she had to leave, that his wife does not have to live with this fear.

These nieces carry a strong resentment towards their birth mom for drinking while pregnant with them because of the problems this afflicted upon them.

The younger girl will always be limited in how she can care for herself. She is very good with animals - they are her children. But she suffers from mental disabilities ALL BECAUSE HER MOM DRANK ALCOHOL WHILE SHE WAS CARRYING HER!

AND then there is drug use and what does it do to a fetus when the mother abuses them? A month ago my nephew and his wife adopted a baby boy who was addicted because the mom was a drug abuser. He had to go through withdrawal and be drug free before he was allowed to leave the hospital!

Let me tell you, you who work to justify alcohol use, go into the gutter, and check out these victims and the pain they inflict upon their families! GO! Alcohol use has caused more grief then anything else! Men abuse their wives and children, mothers birth children with birth defects and then the state has to foot the bill to care for them!! Get your heads out of the sand and get real!

Ya hear?

Sandra Miller

 2011/8/15 21:50Profile

 Re: A New Law

A Song by Derek Webb fitting for this discussion I think:

A New Law

Don't teach me about politics and government
Just tell me who to vote for
Don't teach me about truth and beauty
Just label my music

Don't teach me how to live like a free man
Just give me a new law

I don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me

I want a new law
I want a new law
Gimme that new law

Don't teach me about moderation and liberty
I prefer a shot of grape juice

Don't teach me about loving my enemies

Don't teach me how to listen to the Spirit
Just give me a new law

What's the use in trading a law you can never keep
For one you can that cannot get you anything
Do not be afraid

 2011/8/15 21:58

Joined: 2010/2/3
Posts: 144


The level at which a person gets drunk differs from person to person as well. So, for arguments sake, lets say that someone has developed alcohol tolerance to the point that they can down a bottle of whiskey in an hour. (Maybe not possible, but this is hypothetical anyway.) Now since he can do that without getting drunk does that make it okay? From a health stand point the answer is clearly "no". If you did that often your liver would be shot real quick. So there comes a point when it doesn't even matter if you're drunk or not for it to be bad. Clearly that is abusing the body that God gave you. And ginnyrose brought up a good point about all the suffering it causes.

The thing that bothers me, is that everyone can get up in arms over alcohol and yet SUGAR does the EXACT same things to your liver. Because alcohol IS sugar. (Makes me wonder if Fetal Alcohol Syndrome could be caused by mass amounts of soda pop as well? If that's the case why doesn't anyone get up in arms over pop consumption???) And I know people who drink a 2 liter bottle of Mt. Dew EVERY DAY. THAT is ruining their liver. But that is more of a heath issue than a moral one, I guess.

I think it just boils down to addiction. You can rage all you want about alcohol addiction, but don't be one-sided. There are lots of addictions a lot of people don't even know about. Sugar being one of the main ones. IT is as addictive as COCAINE. So if we're going to condemn one addiction, lets condemn them all and at least be consistent.


 2011/8/15 22:34Profile

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