Christians who faithfully oppose the consumption of alcohol are sometimes asked how one can harmonize the argument of total abstinence with the fact that the Bible allows for the use of wine for medicinal purposes. This instruction is found in First Timothy 5:23 – “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” The argument posed by some is that since the Bible allows wine for one’s stomach, then no one can say that the Bible condemns the moderate consumption of alcohol.
The Bible does not condemn the practice or use of medicine. The inspired penman of two books of the New Testament (Luke and Acts) was a physician (Col. 4:14). The Bible also mentions a number of natural products that can be used for medicinal purposes: aloe, anise, balm of Gilead, cumin, figs, fitches, gall, mandrake, myrrh, ointment, olive oil, rue, saffron, and wine.
It cannot be denied that wine was used, and even prescribed, for medicinal purposes in the Bible. However, this fact is in no way an allowance for the social or recreational use of alcohol, which is the unfortunate application that some desire to make of First Timothy 5:23. Continue reading » The Medicinal Use of Wine
The word “teetotaler” means someone who abstains completely from alcoholic beverages. The Bible calls on Christians to be teetotalers. Continue reading » Teetotalers
Where do you draw the line?
That is the question that confronts many people as they think themselves wandering somewhere in between righteousness and iniquity. How much is too much? When do we go too far?
So many believe that the answers to those questions will always be a matter of personal conviction and that each person’s answer is as valid as the next. Yet in many cases, God has drawn lines for us and inching closer and closer to iniquity is like the moth flitting nearer to the flame. While it is imperative that we resist any urge to draw our own artificial, arbitrary lines and impose them on others, it is equally vital that we learn to respect the lines that God has drawn in his word.
When God Has Drawn A Line
In creation, God enacted certain lines, limits and boundaries for this planet on which we live, and in all the years since, it has not added an ocean or a continent (Proverbs 8:25-31). In Proverbs 8, personified wisdom respects the authority of the Lord to set limits and draw boundaries, and when those limits are pressed, as they are in storms and floods and droughts, there is great conflict and injury that follows.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Drawing Lines
There is no question but that alcohol is one of the foremost factors in the destruction of the society, the family, human lives, and many other precious things. Alcohol kills, maims, and destroys the lives of millions of people yearly around the world. It is odd, then, that so many people, including those whose lives have been ruined by alcohol, still work hard to support alcohol. The Bible has much to say about alcohol, and Christians should be familiar with God’s truth on drinking.
II. The Facts at Hand
1. A clear reference to fermented beverages (not just the assumption that they are fermented!).
2. The clear consumption of fermented beverages by humans.
3. The clear approval of God.
A. Just about every professing Christian would agree that abject, total drunkenness is immoral and condemned in the Bible. It is not difficult to see that a staggering, smelly, unkempt drunk yelling out obscenities is sinning.
B. Yet, there are many Christians who argue that mild drinking, or social drinking, is not forbidden by God. Many brethren make a distinction between social drinking, and abject drunkenness. The question must be asked: “What does the Bible teach about alcohol?”
C. It is the contention of this sermon that the intake of fermented beverages in any amount is forbidden by the Bible, both in precept and in principle. This shall be accomplished with five basic arguments. First, it shall be demonstrated that the wine of the Bible is not the same as modern wine. Secondly, it shall be demonstrated that the Bible contains two distinct evaluations of the word wine. Thirdly, specific passages which condemn the intake of fermented beverages will be examined. Fourthly, some biblical principles which forbid the intake of fermented beverages will be examined. Finally, the most common arguments in support of social drinking shall be critically examined.
D. In order for the consumption of alcoholic beverages by Christians to be approved, one would have to find the a passage of scripture with the following characteristics:
Continue reading » Alcohol and the Christian
If you were to look out your window and see your neighbor run full speed and smash his head against a tree, you probably would be shocked. If he knocked himself unconscious against the tree periodically, your shock would probably escalate to questioning the neighbor’s sanity. What is wrong with this guy? Why does he harm himself repeatedly? He is acting like a fool! This is the same reaction that God has when commenting on those who get drunk. “They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not hurt; They have beaten me, and I felt it not: When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again” (Proverbs 23:35). From the more serious spiritual viewpoint, God also reveals that becoming drunk will cause one to forfeit his or her inheritance in the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21).
The Greek noun, methe, is akin to methu– wine, and is translated “drunkenness” in the list of the works of the flesh. The Greek word ties together strong drink and its effect of intoxication. The noun, methe, occurs two other times in our New Testament, besides Galatians 5:21. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Drunkenness