Monday, May 11, 2015

Alcohol 1 - Should You?

           Should you? Absolutely not! It is wicked as the devil! It ruins marriages, takes food out of the mouths of little children, and kills thousands of people! Don't touch the stuff!
          Should you? Well, historically, most Christians for the past two thousand years drank in moderation you know. After all, there was no such thing as preserved grape juice prior to Thomas Welch's discovery of pasteurization in 1869. Of course, we all realize that the Scripture never forbids drinking. It only forbids drunkenness. Why, even Jesus made and drank wine! How could it possibly be wrong?
          Most of Christianity takes one of those two positions. Generally speaking, they often do so with a blithe ignorance that is breathtaking. Yet I must be careful here because for most of my life that last sentence could easily describe me. I held a position and held it firmly while having spent very little effort and time to determine why I held that position. About four years ago I made up my mind to change that. I gathered a number of books on the subject. I tracked every verse in the Scripture that mentioned anything remotely like alcohol and examined them carefully. I wanted to find what God actually said about it and I believe I have.
          The word 'beer' is in the Bible but only two times as the name of a town. On the other hand, the King James Version uses some form of the word 'wine' 217 times, 'strong drink' 19 times, and 'drunk' 68 times so it clearly speaks much to the issue of alcohol
          Beer ranges from 3-12 percent alcohol though usually it lands between 4-6 percent. Wine contains from 9-16 percent alcohol. Fortified wine, such as port, Madeira, sherry, vermouth, etc. is usually between 15-20 percent alcohol; this is usually a mixture of wine and spirits. Spirits are distilled wine. Sometimes these are called hard liquor. They range from 20 percent at the low end to an incredible 95 percent at the high end. These include brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey and others. Thus we see that an examination of alcohol will cover each and every one of these from beer at the low end to vodka at the top end.
For the next three months I am going to wade right into the middle of this debate. We will look at where the weight lies in the biblical discussion. We will examine the consequences of drinking. We will discuss whether alcohol affects you. We will look at difficult passages which those on both sides often pretend not to see. We will emphasize context. We will spend a fair amount of time examining historical evidence. We will try to do all of this carefully, accurately, and thoughtfully. Hopefully, by the end of it, you will be able to form and hold a more spiritually educated position. Then again, some of you will simply read it in order to fuss with me but that's ok too. I need all kinds of readers. =)
So join me, won't you, for the next couple of months? If you would like to subscribe to this blog you can do so by entering your email address on the top right hand side of the page. Together let us study to show ourselves approved unto God. Let us rightly divide His Word. And then let us obey it though all the weight of the world comes against us.      


  1. Back in college, I did some drinking. At my Lutheran College, they served Brandy at communion. But you will see Brother Joe breakdancing in a black hoodie before you see me going back to my drinking days!