Alcohol And Christianity; Strong Drink & Wine; Did Jesus Really Turn The Water Into Wine? Can Christians Drink Alcohol Socially?
For years Christian's have been forced to take a stand, in the church of all places, regarding whether it is a sin to drink alcohol in moderation. Next, the argument will shift to cursing and then sex moderation. I won't go into that in this article but both are wrong and Scripture (Ephesians 4:29, I Corinthians 6:9) plainly documents that. But for some reason the consumption of alcohol is not as plain to many Christians. Although common sense dictates that God clearly does not approve of alcohol in the Christian life, many continue to fight for its inclusion in today's modern religious society. But there are a few holdouts left including myself.
I could never condone alcohol or dancing/clubs in the life of a Christian. I still believe that our Lord left us in this world to be witnesses and that can't happen at the end of an alcoholic beverage. In fact, next time you're at a gathering holding an alcoholic beverage try witnessing (leading someone to the Lord) to someone. I guarantee someone in the group is going to call you a hypocrite and laugh in your face. You'll never ever lead anyone to the Lord or even be an example they will want to follow. There is simply no scriptural support for alcohol in a Christian's life.
Satan knows if he can get non-Christians addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc. their chances of becoming a Christian drop dramatically. Christians, Satan knows if he can infiltrate your life with worldly pleasures such as alcohol he knows you will never be useful to God to lead others to Christ. You may participate in church activities and humanitarian efforts but you won't be a soul winner.
Also see Alcohol & Christianity Part II
Take a look at this scripture verse. I Corinthians 10:31 states, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." If you are honest with yourself you know absolutely no glory can come to God through an alcoholic beverage. You may try to rationalize it, as so many have done in today's so-called Christian community, but the truth doesn't change just because some liberal thinks they've found a loophole.
It's no secret that wine in the New Testament very often meant simply grape juice. In the Old Testament, the word for wine and grape juice was the same. Today, liberal so-called Christian teachers have taken every opportunity to interpret that each instance where wine is mentioned should be interpreted as alcoholic wine rather than grape juice despite long standing Scriptural evidence to the contrary. They choose to believe a lie for the sake of conforming to the world and fulfilling their own lustful desires.
Of course, there will always be those who will bring up the story of Jesus turning the water into wine. But contrary to what many believe, Jesus didn't turn water into alcoholic wine (John 2:3-10) because He would be contradicting a multitude of Scriptures in the Old and New Testament regarding this subject. Let's analyze this passage of scripture:
"And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now."
First of all, a few things must be pointed out. Verse 10 declares that the men of the wedding had already "well drunk". I'm no genius but that tells me they had already drunk a lot of wine up to that point. When the wine ran out, Jesus was asked by His mother to provide more wine. Jesus then commands that they fill six water pots to the brim. It is estimated that those six water pots totaled between 100-150 gallons of water. One thing that you need to remember, they had already "well drunk" up to this point. Jesus had to make a decision; either contribute to the drunkenness that would surely follow with that much wine or just say no. After all, the Bible does say that no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:10). That would be a contradiction in why Jesus came to the earth in the first place…to save all of mankind.
Another violation of Scripture Jesus would have been guilty of breaking is found in Habakkuk 2:15a which states, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also". Jesus creating and serving 100-150 gallons of alcoholic wine clearly goes against this Scripture. By doing so He would either place a curse on Himself, His mother who asked for Him to turn the water into wine, the governor who served it to the bridegroom or all three involved in the process.
So why did Jesus serve great quantities of alcohol to those He came to save? The answer is simple…He didn't! Any logical person who has been to a wedding in which the wine has flowed freely (they have well drunk) would have to confess that it usually ends in a drunken brawl with far less wine. I can't even imagine Jesus agreeing to create another 100-150 gallons of wine (768; 24 oz. bottles) under the supposed condition of the recipients. With that much alcohol somebody's going to be drunk making Jesus a conspirator in this violation of Scripture.
Some may even say that weddings of that day sometimes lasted days or even weeks...but the length of the wedding has no bearing on the present. The fact of the matter is, when Mary came to Jesus, at that very point in time, they had well drunk. Meaning those who were in attendance at that point in time had drunk a large quantity of wine and had run out. They didn't sleep it off, wake up the next morning and discover that there was no wine. They drank to their fill that day and ran out. The only rational conclusion is that this was not alcoholic wine. There is also no mention of the wedding guest being drunk only that they had well drunk.
Another reason Jesus would never drink or serve alcohol (at today's alcohol level) is because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Bible scholar Carlton Rector writes, "Jesus could not have drunk alcoholic wine at the wedding feast, or He would have been disobeying the Bible commands concerning kings and princes." http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/biblecrs/alcohol/alcohol1.htm
The Bible passage Mr. Rector is citing is found in Proverbs 31:4-7:
"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."
The ultimate king is Jesus! By Him drinking alcoholic wine or strong drink He would be violating this Scripture.
The example that many use to argue that alcohol in the Christians life is okay is found in I Timothy 5:23. It states, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." Paul never said take a little wine for the sake of the party or as a dinner drink. Alcohol was and still is used today in many medicines as it was for this purpose in his day. Paul was a sickly man and had many physical problems for which his stomach ailment was one. This was nothing more than timely medical advice from a man that knew. Besides, if you're going to take his statement to mean that you should drink wine in moderation you should also follow his first statement that you should "drink no longer water". That isn't even good commonsense. What Paul is saying is don't drink water for your stomach problems but drink grape juice. Wine was a common remedy for stomach problems in Paul's day. But with modern medicine this remedy is no longer necessary, and thus, does not give Christians a right to partake in alcoholic beverages. It should also be noted that the water of that day was not pure and many times contributed to stomach problems.
Truthfully, God would never condone social drinking because it can lead to drunkenness, which the Bible says, no drunkard will enter into the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Why would God condone alcohol in anyone's life when it could lead to separation from Him? Statistically, if the Bible is correct (we know it is), one out of twelve people in this world are on their way to hell just because they are a drunkard. And it all started with one social drink!
Let me address this from a scientific research perspective. If scientists just concluded a study on Diet Coke and their findings were that Diet Coke was found to cause cancer in one in twelve of the research participants would you continue to still drink it? Also, they found that the cancer would not result in death in most cases if the participant discontinued consuming the beverage, but there still would be some physical damage based on how much they had consumed up to that point. No person in their right mind would continue to drink, promote, condone or even allow such a beverage to continue being sold in the face of such dangerous research. It would be insane! But with all the research available to so-called Christians they still continue to try and rationalize its use. It amazes me that virtually every alcohol manufacturer shares the same beliefs of many of today's Christians. Alcohol manufacturers... Drink responsibly! Today's so-called Christians... Drink responsibly! You may want to reevaluate your beliefs based on that information alone.
Jesus told us in Matthew 18:8, 9 that it would be better for us to pluck out our eye or cut off our arm if it kept us from achieving eternal life. Why in the world would He condone alcohol in anyone's life (let alone a Christian) if it could ultimately lead him to eternal hell. The stronghold of alcohol is very powerful for which no man or woman is immune and it always (every time) starts with social drinking...no exception!
Most people today don't understand that wine (grape juice) in Biblical times was greatly watered down and served to preserve the purity of water. As it aged even then the alcoholic content was microscopic at best. At that rate, you had to drink a tremendous amount of wine to get drunk. You had to start drinking with the purpose of getting drunk to achieve drunkenness.
Frankly, if you can find wine today with the same microscopic amount of alcohol that Paul suggested to drink I can't possibly see why that wine would be a problem for social, moderate or daily drinking in a Christian's life. But the fact of the matter is, you can't! Most wines today are at least ten times more potent (10 to 15% alcohol). The closest beverage made today would be Welch's grape juice. But I won't go into that since John F. MacArthur, Jr. has written a wonderful article that addresses this. You can find it at http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/wine.htm.
Here is a well known Scripture many of us know that teaches against the evils of alcohol and strong drink. "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 colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (Proverbs 23:30-31)." This passage says don't even look at wine once it has turned to strong drink. This is God's message to believer's even before they attempt to take a drink.
Imagine if you will, you're at a work function talking with a few co-workers when a waitress approaches with a tray of wine beverages. You know positively this is alcoholic wine. Based on Proverbs 23:30-31, and living in obedience to God, do you accept the wine or refuse it immediately? According to Scripture, you're not even to look upon it let alone drink it.
This poses a major problem for Christians who advocate social drinking. Sadly, many today are ignoring God's direct command to fit in with the world and satisfy the lust of the flesh.
Finally, the last great revival America had started in the late 1800s and lasted into the early 1900s. It was so powerful and changed so many lives for Christ that it lead Congress to pass a national law known as "Prohibition" that prohibited the sale of alcohol. It's not even debated why "Prohibition" came about. It was because the power of God changed the lives of so many American's they demanded that alcohol be banned. It wasn't a social issue it was a spiritual issue. That's even documented in non-Christian history books. Today, there are US counties that still remain dry due to this great revival.
It's a shame that we have to convince Christians in this day and age (but not surprising) that consuming alcohol is a sin. For centuries it wasn't even a consideration, but as the world gets a better grip on the church, look for other sins to be labeled as mere stumbling blocks...meaning it's not wrong unless you or someone else thinks it is.
Many reading this article (both liberals and conservatives) have already made up their minds regarding this issue. My advice to those who are still undecided, when researching this topic, look for those who give glory to the Lord openly. When researching this topic I came upon Carlton Rector's Bible study. His opening statement was "This Bible Course Booklet is lovingly dedicated to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, and died for us that we might be saved from all of our sins". Wow! What a testimony! Upon reading this I knew he was Spirit led and warranted further review. And that was the case with virtually every article I read from those who condemned alcohol in a Christians life. Their end motivate was to bring people to Christ.
I also reviewed a few website articles from those who condoned Christian social drinking of alcohol. They said nothing that led me to believe that they even knew the Lord. They also, made no attempt at leading anyone to the cross of Christ (salvation). Their only goal was to twist scripture just enough to persuade unlearned baby Christians that their continuance to dabble in the world was sanctioned by God. They were leading people away from the cross not toward it.
Any time you are searching for spiritual advice, your spiritual investigation on any topic should always start with a spiritual investigation on the person giving the advice. Do they line up with the Word of God, not just on the topic at hand, but with other important spiritual topics as well.
Don't let liberal preachers and teachers manipulate you into changing your convictions regarding what you know the Scriptures really say. Search out the truth diligently asking the Lord to reveal it to you and He will. Ask Him to lead you to Godly men who will teach the truth of the Gospel.
Today, liberals posing as Christians, are twisting the Scriptures on various spiritual fronts. Believe it or not, these wolves in sheep's clothing are using the Scriptures to even dare to claim that having an abortion is not murder but merely an infraction punishable by a fine (Exodus 21:22-25). Click here for the truth about this distorted scriptural claim. Unfortunately, it is working...the abortion rate for Christians (one out of every four women) is now equal to those who do not claim to be saved.
Don't let these false teachers ruin your Christian walk with the Lord. Get in the Word, seek correct and Godly council, and pray for wisdom.
One more word to teachers of this false interpretation. If indeed you are saved, you will be held accountable for helping to forward this destructive infiltration of alcohol into God's Christian church body. A lie, if statistics are correct (8% of the world are drunkards), will be responsible for sending at least 600 million people to hell for self-destructive alcohol abuse alone. The Bible is clear, not one single drunkard (those who practice it as a lifestyle) will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Not one! And it always starts with one social drink.
The shocking truth is, many who will split hell wide open will have been given assurance by the church that drinking alcohol in moderation was fine as long as they didn't get drunk. Many of these among this 600 million will even claim to be Christians but sadly will be sent away in horror to an eternal hell/lake of fire. It's a sad and horrible ending that those who teach this lie will stand in judgment and be held accountable for.
You may say, what if you're wrong! If I'm wrong, and I'm 100% sure I'm not, I'll stand before God and it won't even be a mention. I won't be chastised, lose rewards or be held accountable...it will simply be a non-issue. And if you can find Scripture to the contrary please notify me. I certainly don't want to be out of the will of God. My point is, there is no upside to teaching the lie that alcohol and Christianity mix, but you do have much to lose.
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven". (Matthew 5:19a)
UPDATE: (Boston; Feb. 14, 2013) – Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have shown that alcohol is a major contributor to cancer deaths and years of potential life lost. These findings, published in the April 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, also show that reducing alcohol consumption is an important cancer prevention strategy as alcohol is a known carcinogen even when consumed in small quantities.
Previous studies consistently have shown that alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver. More recent research has shown that alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and female breast. While estimates have shown that alcohol accounts for about four percent of all cancer-related deaths worldwide, there is a lack of literature focusing on cancer-related deaths in the U.S.
Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, from the Department of Medicine at BUSM and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute, the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, examined recent data from the U.S. on alcohol consumption and cancer mortality. They found that alcohol resulted in approximately 20,000 cancer deaths annually, accounting for about 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.
Breast cancer was the most common cause of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in women, accounting for approximately 6,000 deaths annually, or about 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths. Cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus were common causes of alcohol-attributable cancer mortality in men, resulting in a total of about 6,000 annual deaths.
The researchers also found that each alcohol-related cancer death accounted for an average of 18 years of potential life lost. In addition, although higher levels of alcohol consumption led to a higher cancer risk, average consumption of 1.5 drinks per day or less accounted for 30 percent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.
"The relationship between alcohol and cancer is strong, but is not widely appreciated by the public and remains underemphasized even by physicians," said Naimi, who served as the paper's senior author. "Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight." (BUSM)
Also, read Jesus and Wine for more great Biblical information on this subject.
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