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Tests show that after drinking three bottles of beer, there is an average of 13 percent net memory loss. Another powerful argument for modern Christians to abstain from alcohol is our royal and religious spiritual heritage.
Leviticus 10:9, 19 a€” a€?Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. After taking only small quantities of alcohol, trained typists were tested and their errors increased 40 percent. I hope the following study will assist you in forming your own biblically based conclusions on this important subject. The first group argues that Jesus Himself drank wine, and since a Christian is a follower of Christ, how can it be forbidden?
In this short work, I cannot possibly address the whole spectrum of perspectivesa€”so using the Scripture and common sense, I will attempt to stay within the core principles. I believe that scriptural references to Jesusa€™ use of wine are of the grape juice variety. I come from the perspective of one who grew up frequently drinking wine or beer with dinnera€”I even brewed my own beer and made wine once. Well, death usually occurs if the concentration of ethanol in the bloodstream exceeds about five percent! The translators never used the term a€?grape juice.a€? In the Hebrew text, the writers use different words to distinguish between the two. In the next few sections, we will address some of the verses that are sometimes construed to condone fermented wine, when in fact they do nothing of the sort. Rather, it is addressing how they were to transport offerings to present to the Lord when traveling long distances. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdoma€? (Matthew 26:28a€“29, emphasis mine).
Because of this incestuous act, he lost his life at the hands of his enraged brother while intoxicated (2 Samuel 13:28). From liver disease to ulcers to dementia, an almost endless list of health problems have been linked to the drinking of alcohol. If you have them blindfolded and have them taste various beveragesa€”for instance, water, vinegar, or milka€”you will find that they are incapable of distinguishing one from another. So why would any Christian want to gamble like thisa€”risking their health, witness, family and eternal life to argue in defense of this destructive substance?
Indeed, even if the Bible were silent on the subject, the object lessons of devastation from a thousand years of history would still be crystal clear. How true is this in our own countrya€”with advertising directed at our youngest and most vulnerable citizens?
There is strong evidence supporting widespread alcohol use and the surge of crime committed by young adultsa€”and even children. Because one out of seven people who drink wine will become problem drinkers or alcoholics, how can a Christian support an industry that encourages more people to stumble than any other legal substance?
Would you even step one foot on an airplane if you knew there was a one in 16 chance that it would crash and end your life?
The Greek word here is gleukos, which was either new unfermented wine or a€?must,a€? a sweet boiled non-alcoholic grape juice. Paul was telling him to use a little grape juice, which has a very soothing effect on the bodya€”indicating that Timothy abstained and needed to be urged to take even a little new wine. The apostle would not have encouraged Timothy to drink alcoholic beverages when he had, earlier in the same letter, forbidden their use by church leaders (1 Timothy 3:8), which leads us into the next topic. This text addresses those who are a€?perishinga€? (obed) and those in a€?bitter distressa€? (marei naphesh). With this understanding, the only logical conclusion is that Paul is admonishing deacons to be moderate in partaking of the good, unfermented wine. But I have never been an alcoholic, so my position is not the result of overreacting from a clean and sober victory.


However, there is no mistaking that all of them are classified as poisonsa€”toxins to the human body.
But even for those who use it sparingly, immediate behavioral changes, impairment of vision and unconsciousness can occur at lower concentrations. The word tA®yrA?sh is used for new unfermented wine, and yayin is generally used for fermented wine, but there were some exceptions (Isaiah 16:10). And he said to him, a€?Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior.
Moses was recommending they carry money with them rather than to haul the offerings of beasts, grain, and wine long distances. There is no arguing that Jesus used wine at the Last Supper, but it is a mistake to assume that the wine was of the fermented variety.
If the bread was to be free from leaven, which is a type of sin, then we can be sure that the wine, a symbol of Jesus blood, used at the Last Supper would also be free from the poison of alcohol. Babylon was identified as a place a€?with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornicationa€? (Rev 17:2). If Jesus refused this beverage even as His body was tormented with extraordinary thirst, why would He have drank wine normally (Matthew 27:34)?
The sad record is that Noah drank and stumbled around naked and shamefully exposed himself to his sons.
And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arosea€? (Genesis 19:33). Truly, when one considers the Biblical record of fermented drink, you have to wonder why would any genuine Christian argue in its defense! The Bible is found using the word in many different places; not surprisingly, the use of alcohol is often the reason why the word is used!
This experiment proves to a certainty that alcohol is not only a violent irritant, but also a narcotic.
Paul said he would neither eat flesh or drink wine or do anything that caused offense to a brother (Romans 14:21). Many men and women have awaken after a night baptized by a few glasses of wine or bottles of beer to discover they have violated the Seventh Commandment and forever scarred their lives and reputations. But when a Christian begins to drink alcohol, they show that they are not separated from worldly things.
These onlookers were mocking the devoted disciples by saying, a€?They are drunk on grape juice.a€? This indicates that the disciples were known for their abstinence of alcohol! Yet this is a false assumption for several reasons: First, the word oinos is used, and as wea€™ve already learned, it can denote either fermented or unfermented grape juice. We must further remember that one of the duties of deacons was to visit the homes of the believers. The alcohol found in beverages such as beer, wine, and brandy is ethanol (C2H5OH), a clear, highly flammable liquid that has a burning taste and a characteristic odor. However, in the New Testament, only one Greek word is used to describe both fermented and fresh grape juice: oinis . If we approach this passage relying on the whole of Scripture, we must surely come to the conclusion that Jesus made unfermented winea€”and the governor of the feast complimented the groom on its pure quality. And Isaiah pronounces a woe upon those who a€?run after strong drink(shekar)a€? (Isaiah 5:11). Jesus also calls wine the a€?fruit of the vine.a€? However, after wine goes through the process of fermentation, it is no more the fruit of the vine than yogurt is the fruit of a cow.
The perfect, sinless blood of Jesus would never be symbolized by corrupt and putrefying old wine. So if these things are not true, why should we assume that our Lord was a drinker as indicated by the Pharisees, a group of Jesusa€™ most-outward adversaries well known for their questionable theology? This first experiment with a new drug ended with a scathing curse falling on Noaha€™s posterity. The offspring of this relationship became the nations of Moab and Ammon, the mortal enemies of Goda€™s people.


With so many alcoholics struggling to be saved from their addictions, we must never cause them to stumble again by being even slightly inconsistent in our example.
With the redemption of the planet hanging in the balance, He would not risk His judgment being impaired by receiving even a mouthful of wine, which might have made His suffering for us a little more bearable. In addition, there are historical references attesting to the use of unfermented wine for medicinal purposes in the ancient world. In other words, this is describing a situation in which a person is dying in painful agony. And then there is Belshazzar, king of Babylon, who was slain in his last drunken exploita€”pouring fermented wine into the sacred cups from the temple of God (Daniel 5:2-5). Thata€™s exactly the same effect that other illicit drugs such as heroin, and even marijuana, have on those who use those substances. Those who support the intake of alcohol suggest this must have been alcoholic winea€”after all, it was a wedding, and every wedding has winea€”right?
The animal sacrifices could be eaten but they were commanded to pour the drink offerings on the ground. And there is no shortage of evidence today that alcohol often leads to sexual immoralitya€”such as adultery, rape, and incest. For example, Athenaeus (AD 280) counsels to use unfermented grape juice for stomach disorders. This was practiced by the Jews, and we find that a€?wine mingled with myrrha€? (Mark 15:23) was offered to Christ on the cross, but He refused to take it. Deacons were to show their moderation in drinking grape juice so that the charge of gluttony would not be brought upon Christians. The church should never condone or allow that first step by teaching ita€™s permissible to drink a little wine.
I doubt there are any Christian churches that would ordain the use of these drugs in even a casual social settinga€”or even to a€?calm the nervesa€? before bedtime. By simply understanding the context of the word in a passage, the appropriate meaning will usually surface.
So how could God so clearly condemn the use of a€?strong drinka€? in one place in the Bible, and yet approve of it in another place? This passage, while not approving of the general use of alcohol, does provide for the medicinal use of alcohol as a narcotic in the specific situation of those who are in terminal misery. Therefore, the most plausible interpretation of this verse is that Paul was forbidding deacons from drinking unfermented grape juice to excess.
Rather, the church should uphold the clear position of the Word of God, knowing that Jesus is the Word made flesh and come to dwell among us. So unless the passage says old or new wine (as in Luke 5:37a€“39), the context will often tell us what kind of grape juice is being described. Like the word yayin (a€?winea€?), shekar is a generic term that could refer to either an alcoholic beverage, as noted above, or to a sweet, unfermented drink as is indicated in Isaiah 24:9. Shekar is also defined by the The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia as: a€?Sweet Wine or Syrup. 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. Shechar, luscious, saccharin drink or sweet syrup, especially sugar or honey of dates or of the palm-treea€? or a€?Date or Palm Wine in its fresh and unfermented state.a€? In fact, a€?sugara€? and a€?cidera€? are derivatives from shekar.
Therefore, since shekar could mean either a sweet unfermented drink or an intoxicating drink, we must interpret the word according to the context of the verse. Would God encourage the use of tithe money to purchase a beverage that causes intoxication, health problems and diminishing of moral capacities? The only reasonable conclusion is that this verse is referring to the sweet palm-wine beverage in its fresh and unfermented state.



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