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The Deception of Alcoholic Beverages

 

The decision for the Christian about whether or not to drink alcoholic beverages remains a controversial issue in the church. Some argue for Teetotalism which is the total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages, while others argue that drinking is no different than any other sin which gives them liberty to drink as much and as often as they wish. The "drinking in moderation" view has quickly gained acceptance among the current generation of leaders in the church, which may hinder the spread of the Gospel for years to come. Those who hold this view believe that drinking alcoholic beverages is appropriate every now and then, like at parties and other special events.


While the Bible does not explicitly forbid the drinking of alcoholic beverages, my convictions about this issue flow not only from scripture but also from my own former struggles as I wrestled against the grip of alcohol. While I have never been an alcoholic, I cannot say that I have never been drunk. I grew up in a social environment where it was widely accepted for Christians to drink, yet I tried for years to abstain from drinking. To my own hurt, the social pressures would sometimes become too difficult to resist and I would give into the pressures and drink in social settings. I discovered Mike's Hard Lemonade, which has an addicting taste to it, but contains enough alcoholic content to get someone drunk, as I got on several occasions. I would sometimes drink after a depressing moment, or when I just wanted to feel the high of alcohol. I would mostly drink at home, or at a party or special event, so by the grace of God I never drove after a drink or broke any laws.


One horrible morning I got so drunk on the stuff that my mind was completely fried, which made it very difficult to focus and reason. If I had been in a car it would have been difficult to drive, and my drinking could have not only led to a life-threatening accident, but have marred my testimony for the rest of my life. I speak from experience of alcohol's harmful effect on the body and the gripping power it holds. You may say that you drink in moderation, but what do you really mean by "moderation"? Moderation is a subjective term. Some people think that drinking in moderation means drinking only one beverage a day, others a beverage only at parties, and there are many other interpretations. While I have not sipped an alcoholic beverage since April of 2007, I pray that the Lord will continue to give me the strength to resist and will use the rest of this article to persuade you to do the same.

 

I am writing this article in order to address the serious level of confusion about the many differences between the wine used in biblical times and the wine of today which has led to many Christians justifying a "drink in moderation" view. Second, I believe that there are thousands of Christians who will find this article beneficial, as they are caught in confusion because of the "drink in moderation" viewpoint which is very popular in the church today. In this article I will be arguing for wisdom and self-control from the deception of alcoholic beverages and will explain from the scriptures, experience, and scientific research why getting drunk on alcohol is against the teachings of the Bible. (All verse quotations unless otherwise indicated will be from the King James Version, KJV.)

 

Wine in Bible Times

 

Figurative Meaning of Wine in the Bible

 

Wine is figurative of the blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:27-29); and of the blessings of the gospel (Proverbs 9:2,5; Isaiah 25:6, 55:1). Wine is also mentioned in connection with the filling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) where Paul says that we must not be drunk with wine, but must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Wine also has some negative connotations when it is connected with the wrath and the judgments of God (Psalm 60:3; 75:8; Jeremiah 13:12-14; 25:15-18). Wine is also connected with violence (Proverbs 4:17). Last of all, it is  mentioned in the book of Revelation as the abominations of the apostasy (Revelation 17:2; 18:3).

 

History of Wine in the Bible and its Scriptural Uses

 

The first mention of wine is with Noah, who planted a vineyard and became drunk from the wine he made from it (Genesis 9:20-21). The next mention is in Genesis 19:32-35 when the daughters of Lot made their father drunk with wine in order to bear children by him. Wine is again mentioned in Genesis 27:28 when Isaac blesses Jacob. Wine was produced on occasions of hospitality (Genesis 14:18), and also at festivals and marriages (such as the one that Jesus attended in John 2). Under the Mosaic law, wine formed the most common drink offerings for daily sacrifice (Exodus 29:40), the presentation of the firstfruits (Leviticus 23:13) and other offerings (Numbers 15:5).

 

Wine had a number of uses in Bible times. One important use of wine was as a disinfectant to clean wounds (Luke 10:34). Second, people drank wine in Bible times as a means of safe hydration (Genesis 14:18, Psalms 104:10-15), and third, people drank wine in order to help with digestion (1 Timothy 5:23). The water in biblical times was often filled with bacteria, viruses, and all kinds of contaminants, so without sanitation the water was very dangerous to drink. Even today those who live in third-world countries admit that their water is often unsafe to drink, and water must be sanitized with alcoholic beverages like wine in order to be drinkable. Distillation as a process was not invented until the middle ages so for the most part the water in the Bible times would not have been safe to drink on its own. Those who did not want to die of thirst would drink wine.

 

Robert Stein in his article Wine-Drinking in New Testament Times writes

 

In ancient times there were not many beverages that were safe to drink. The danger of drinking water alone raises another point. There were several ways in which the ancients could make water safe to drink. One method was boiling, but this was tedious and costly. Different methods of filtration were tried. The safest and easiest method of making the water safe to drink, however, was to mix it with wine. The drinking of wine (i.e., a mixture of water and wine) served therefore as a safety measure, since often the water available was not safe. (I remember drinking some water in Salonica, Greece, that would have been much better for me had it been mixed with wine or some other purifying agent.)


(
http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/bible/Doctrines/Holiness/Drugs%20&%20Alcohol/Wine-Drinking%20in%20New%20Testament%20Times.htm).

 

Ralph Gower in his book Manners & Customs of Bible Times writes

 

Most of the grape juice was made into wine. This was done not simply for pleasure; it was a necessity. The water was unsafe for drinking unless it came from a fresh spring, and the milk supply was limited. When Paul told Timothy that he should drink a little wine for his stomach's sake, it was not necessarily because the wine would do his stomach good, but because the water might do it harm [1 Timothy 5:23, KJV].

(Manners, Page 109).

In order to make the drinking water healthy the ancients had to mix the water with wine, which added a taste to their drink a process known as Natural Fermentation. In Natural Fermentation, 2 ingredients were involved in the mixing of wine with water and they were sugar and yeast. The normal alcoholic content was 4-7% and in the process of fermentation, the natural yeast was killed off. The wine of Bible times was very different than the wine of today as indicated by the quote below.

 

The wine of classical antiquity, however, was very different from modern wine. They . . . always diluted it with water before consumption . . . . Only barbarians drank undiluted wine.
 

(Maynard A. Amerine, Collier's Encyclopedia, 1994, vol. 23, p. 518)

 

There is plenty of evidence to prove support that the wine in bible times was very different than the wine of today. In ancient times, wine was almost the only safe beverage. Today most countries have many non-alcoholic beverages to drink and people have no excuse to drink wine or other alcoholic beverages considering their high alcoholic content in the beverages of today and its contribution to inebriated constitutions.

 

Modern Alcoholic Beverages

 

Today there are so many different varieties of drinks that were not available during Bible times. People do not drink to protect themselves from bacteria, but for the effect and occasion. Alcoholic beverages have a kick and, as mentioned, can sensationalize when consumed. It is common to serve wine at events like weddings, parties, birthdays, dances, etc. Social drinking is acceptable to many and sadly those who choose to abstain from alcoholic beverages have a hard time fitting into some environments. The alcoholic content of the most common beverages can be easily located in a Google search. Numbers may vary slightly by source. In a class I took in seminary called Issues in Church Ministry we studied alcoholic beverages and my notes revealed the following details on alcohol content.

 

 

Examining the available evidence its very clear that the alcoholic content in today's beverages is much more intoxicating than those in the Bible times. The wine in the Bible times contained an alcoholic content of 4-7%, which is much lower than the content contained in today's alcoholic beverages.

 

Pro-drinking Argument

 
Many in this camp will argue strongly for social drinking or at least "drinking in moderation" and will use verses from the Bible like those below in support. While looking on the surface of these passages they can be interpreted to support drinking in moderation, the problem lies with the absence of the application of a good solid hermeneutic in their interpretation. Those that understand the culture of Bible times will make a distinction between the wine of the Bible and the wine of today. While it technically is not a sin to drink an alcoholic beverage without the effect of drunkenness, it is simply unwise and damaging to your testimony, especially when in a professional position that requires clarity of mind.

 

According to the article Alcohol and Health, there are a number of supposed health benefits to the drinking of alcoholic beverages in moderation.

 

Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine or distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer hypertension or high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, Alzheimer's disease and the common cold. Sensible drinking also appears to be beneficial in reducing or preventing diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney stones, digestive ailments, stress and depression, poor cognition and memory, Parkinson's disease, hepatitis A, pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, gallstones, liver disease and poor physical condition in elderly

(http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/alcoholandhealth.html)

 

Another benefit to alcohol is that it kills bacteria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_beverage) as Paul urged Timothy to use it for his stomach. There are supposedly other medical benefits to the drinking of alcoholic beverages, but the issue with these sources is that they do not seem to be entirely clear on their research, and their findings may be a bit too skeptical. In addition, how can one argue for a healthier lifestyle by drinking in moderation, yet ignore the dozens of other researches that argue that alcohol is dangerous! The Bible does not condone the lack of self-control with alcoholic beverages. Jim Berg writes in his book Essential Virtues

 

The popular idea that the Bible condemns only drunkenness ignores the major effect of today's undiluted and distilled alcohol: it impedes self-control. The issue is not whether a believer can control his alcohol; the issue is that even a couple of beers controls him. Proponents of social drinking have argued for the particulars of whether the social use of alcohol is absolutely forbidden in scripture while ignoring the universal of the essential virtue of self-control, which is clearly commanded in scripture and which alcohol destroys.


(Essential Virtues, 166)

 
There is plenty of evidence in science, medicine, psychology, and sociology that alcohol is dangerous to the body, the mind, and the emotions. The problem is that many Christians are blinded by the lack of clarity, and are instead persuaded by the ungodly culture which leads to a misapplication of Christian liberty. As I learned personally, alcohol is addictive-- especially the taste. It's essential not to start a bad addiction, and the best way to avoid developing ungodly habits is to refrain from them completely (1 Thessalonians 5:22). As Christians in a foreign land, we are not to love or be conformed to this world (1 John 2:15), but are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Abstinence from alcoholic beverages is an effective way to show that we have been transformed.


Christian liberty as taught in the scripture does not give believers the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as it is not forbidden in the scripture. Liberty is given to Christians to enjoy life and not to be bound by many man-made rules and traditions but to enjoy their liberty as long as that liberty is within the bounds of what scripture commands. There are a number of sins that the Bible does not explicitly mention, however that does not mean that those sins are justified. Engaging in a gray-area activity is playing with fire. True Christian liberty is being in the world but not of it (John 17:14-16) and taking a stand for righteousness and purity. This is not legalism (as many argue) but a mark of a true Christian (Hebrews 12:14). Unnecessary consumption of alcohol is explicitly stated as being harmful and something that Christians should avoid at all costs to the glory of God.

 

Evidence that Alcoholic beverages are Bad & Harmful

 

Many today often make the assumption that alcohol in today's world is the same as it was in Bible times. This is nothing but an assumption that does not consider the culture of Bible times. With some it takes only one beer to get drunk and with others it takes many. While some people may not become "technically drunk" after 1 beer, they are playing with fire by drinking at all. Oftentimes the person indulging in alcohol has lost all judgment and does not remember what he drank. According to an article, Your Brain on Alcohol by USNEWS.com, alcohol can cause some serious side effects like impaired concentration, slowed reflexes, disrupted sleep, and high blood pressure (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/010507/archive_001356_2.htm). Also according to the article Alcohol's Damaging effects on the Brain consuming alcoholic beverages can have very serious effects.

 

Difficulty walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops. On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after he or she achieves sobriety. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today. People who have been drinking large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. Damage may be a result of the direct effects of alcohol on the brain or may result indirectly, from a poor general health status or from severe liver disease. For example, thiamine deficiency is a common occurrence in people with alcoholism and results from poor overall nutrition. Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Thiamine is found in foods such as meat and poultry; whole grain cereals; nuts; and dried beans, peas, and soybeans. Many foods in the United States commonly are fortified with thiamine, including breads and cereals. As a result, most people consume sufficient amounts of thiamine in their diets. The typical intake for most Americans is 2 mg/day; the Recommended Daily Allowance is 1.2 mg/day for men and 1.1 mg/day for women


(
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm).

And the long-term drinking of alcohol can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

Up to 80 percent of alcoholics, however, have a deficiency in thiamine (15), and some of these people will go on to develop serious brain disorders such as Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) (16). WKS is a disease that consists of two separate syndromes, a short lived and severe condition called Wernicke's encephalopathy and a long lasting and debilitating condition known as Korsakoff's psychosis. The symptoms of Wernicke's encephalopathy include mental confusion, paralysis of the nerves that move the eyes (i.e., oculomotor disturbances), and difficulty with muscle coordination. For example, patients with Wernicke's encephalopathy may be too confused to find their way out of a room or may not even be able to walk. Many Wernicke's encephalopathy patients, however, do not exhibit all three of these signs and symptoms, and clinicians working with alcoholics must be aware that this disorder may be present even if the patient shows only one or two of them. In fact, studies performed after death indicate that many cases of thiamine deficiency-related encephalopathy may not be diagnosed in life because not all the classic signs and symptoms were present or recognized.


(
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm)

 

Another article by Business Week also called Your Brain on Alcohol says that the long-term use of alcohol can be very dangerous to the brain and has very serious repercussions that many would rather ignore. Why do Christians ignore the clear scientific and Biblical evidences that show that alcohol is bad and harmful? They do so because, like the nation Israel of Jeremiah 35, they have chosen to be sinful and disobedient to God. In Jeremiah 35 God blessed the Recabites for obeying him in abstaining from wine and strong drink, but curses Israel for her disobedience. God wants his people to abstain from drinking alcohol. If you are in any doubt check out Jeremiah 35.

 

Proverbs 23:31-35

"Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. They struck me, you will say, but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink." (ESV)

 

The real issue here is not the quantity of wine, but the quality. The wine mentioned above is obviously a wine that has a powerful effect on the brain, and Solomon is strongly giving warning to his readers not to look at this wine but to stay separate and far from it, for its effects can cause negative sensations. Alcoholic-related deaths are far too common in our culture and after all the evidence in the scripture and in scientific research about alcoholic beverages, Christians need to be all the more separate from the luridness of alcohol. Below are some practical reasons why drinking is unnecessary and abstinence is a wise choice.

 

Practical Reasons Why You Should Not Drink

 

#1 Not drinking is safer for you

 

It is best not to take chances. All of us wear seatbelts when we drive to be safe. So why not play it safe with drinking alcoholic beverages and abstain from drinking completely? Would you drive your car without a seatbelt? Play it safe and do not start to drink, for you may never stop.

 

Proverbs 22:3

"A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished."

 

Many marriages have been damaged because of the use of alcohol according to the web article Alcoholism and Marriage.

 

Does alcohol abuse increase the risk of divorce?

Is alcohol abuse related to violence in marriage?



(http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/alcoholism-and-marriage.html)

 

#2 Not drinking is safer for your children

 

Your children will likely follow your example. You may think otherwise, but how many families can you name were not destroyed because of a parent's abuse of alcohol? Probably not many. So think twice about drinking, and believe me that it will not only affect you, but your children also. So do not drink!

 

#3 Not drinking is safer for your ministry

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

 

There have been many ministers who have been ruined because of their abuse of alcohol. I do not wish to bore you with stats, but I'm sure you can think of a pastor who lost his position because he drank alcohol and destroyed his testimony.

 

1 Peter 2:5,9

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

 

God's people must take this passage seriously and must live as though they are a royal and holy. Holiness is a part of sanctification and there are many passages in the scripture that speak on sanctification (2 Peter 1:2-3, Ephesians 4:22-24, 3 John 11, 1 John 1:6-7).

 

Five ways to be different from the world.

1.    Spirit - Attitude, demeanor

2.    Speech - Seasoned with salt

3.    Stewardship - Spend your time, money, etc.

4.    Sobriety

5.    Story

 

Leviticus 10:8-10

"AND THE LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 'Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean....'"

 

The prohibition against wine and other strong drink by the Lord was probably aimed to keep their minds clear and to fulfill their duties in the Lord's service. Likewise, Christians today need to abstain from drinking in order to fulfill their ministries.

 

Conclusion

While the Bible does not explicitly forbid drinking a beverage, the Bible does say that believers are royal priests (1 Peter 2:5,9), and have the Holy Spirit living inside of them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and therefore drinking would be foolish and not wise. Would you drive your car without wearing your seatbelt? Not many would, for its very dangerous and also against the law. So in drinking alcohol--even one drink is very dangerous, for it can lead to addiction and drunkenness. In Jeremiah 35 the Lord commands Jeremiah to go to the Recabite (NIV) family and invite them to come into the house of the Lord and to give them wine to drink. Jeremiah obeys the Lord and to his shock the Recabites refuse to drink the wine Jeremiah had made available for them because they chose to obey their ancestors. In response God blesses them and uses them as an example and a rebuke to the nation Israel who had chosen to defile themselves with wine and alcohol. The Lord says in verse 17, "I am going to bring on Judah and on everyone living in Jerusalem every disaster I pronounced against them. I spoke to them but they did not listen, I called to them, but they did not answer." (NIV)

Many think that social drinking or drinking in moderation is okay, but it's simply unwise. Daniel chose not to defile himself with the wine that the king drank, but rather chose to obey God instead. In response he was blessed by God for his commitment to God's word (Daniel 1:8, ESV). So do not drink; abstain from the lure of alcoholic beverages and the pressures of the culture to drink. Do not follow the poor example that many Christians set before you, but instead follow the clear teachings in the scriptures. Billy Sunday preached a sermon against alcohol, The Booze Sermon, that you can read for encouragement. Also below are 75 warnings from scripture from the article 75 Bible References on Drinking Alcohol condemning the use of alcoholic beverages. The drunkard will not enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), so take heed to the warnings below!

 

75 WARNINGS
Copied from http://www.scionofzion.com/drinking.htm

There is more Scripture condemning the use of alcoholic beverages than will be found on the subjects of lying, adultery, swearing, cheating, hypocrisy, pride, or even blasphemy.

The Old Testament

1) Genesis 9:20-26 - Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.
2) Genesis 19:30-38 - Lot was so drunk he did not know what he was doing; this led to immorality
3) Leviticus 10:9-11 - God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.
4) Numbers 6:3 - The Nazarites were told to eat or drink nothing from the grape vine.
5) Deuteronomy 21:20 - A drunken son was stubborn and rebellious.
6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 - God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness
7) Deuteronomy 32:33 - Intoxicating wine is like the poison of serpents, the cruel venom of asps.
8) Judges 13:4, 7, 14 - Samson was to be a Nazarite for life. His mother was told not to drink wine or strong drink.
9) 1 Samuel 1:14-15 - Accused, Hannah said she drank no wine.
10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 - Nabal died after a drunken spree.
11) 2 Samuel 11:13 - By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.
12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 - Amnon was drunk when he was killed.
13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 - The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated
14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 - Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.
15) Esther 1:5-12 - The king gave each one all the drink he wanted. The king was intoxicated when he commanded the queen to come.
16) Psalm 75:8 - The Lord_s anger is pictured as mixed wine poured out and drunk by the wicked.
17) Proverbs 4:17 - Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.
18) Proverbs 20:1 - Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.
19) Proverbs 23:19-20 - A wise person will not be among the drinkers of alcoholic beverages.
20) Proverbs 23:21 - Drunkenness causes poverty.
21) Proverbs 23:29-30 - Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.
22) Proverbs 23:31 - God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.
23) Proverbs 23:32 - Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.
24) Proverbs 23:33 - Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces willfulness, and prevents reformation.
25) Proverbs 23:34 - Alcohol makes the drinker unstable
26) Proverbs 23:35 - Alcohol makes the drinker insensitive to pain so he does not perceive it as a warning. Alcohol is habit forming.
27) Proverb 31:4-5 - Kings, Princes, and others who rule and judge must not drink alcohol. Alcohol perverts good judgment.
28) Proverbs 31:6-7 - Strong drink could be given to those about to perish or those in pain. Better anesthetics are available today.
29) Ecclesiastes 2:3 - The king tried everything, including intoxicating drink, to see if it satisfied. It did not. (Ecclesiastes 12:8)
30) Ecclesiastes 10:17 - A land is blessed when its leaders do not drink.
31) Isaiah 5:11-12 - Woe to those who get up early to drink and stay up late at night to get drunk.
32) Isaiah 5:22 - Woe to "champion" drinkers and "experts" at mixing drinks.
33) Isaiah 19:14 - Drunken men stagger in their vomit.
34) Isaiah 22:12-13 - The Israelites choose to drink; their future looks hopeless to them.
35) Isaiah 24:9 - Drinkers cannot escape the consequences when God judges.
36) Isaiah 28:1 - God pronounces woe on the drunkards of Ephraim.
37) Isaiah 28:3 - Proud drunkards shall be trodden down.
38) Isaiah 28:7 - Priests and prophets stagger and reel from beer and wine, err in vision, and stumble in judgment.
39) Isaiah 28:8 - Drinkers_ tables are covered with vomit and filth.
40) Isaiah 56:9-12 - Drinkers seek their own gain and expect tomorrow to be just like today
41) Jeremiah 35:2-14 - The Rechabites drank no grape juice or intoxicating wine and were blessed.
42) Ezekiel 44:21 - Again God instructed the priests not to drink wine.
43) Daniel 1:5-17 - Daniel refused the king_s intoxicating wine and was blessed for it along with his abstaining friends.
44) Daniel 5:1 - Belshazzar, ruler of Babylon; led his people in drinking.
45) Daniel 5:2-3 - The king, along with his nobles, wives, and concubines, drank from the goblets which had been taken from God_s temple.
46) Daniel 5:4 - Drinking wine was combined with praising false gods.
47) Daniel 5:23 - God sent word to Belshazzar that punishment would be swift for the evil he had committed.
48) Hosea 4:11 - Intoxicating wine takes away intelligence.
49) Hosea 7:5 - God reproves princes for drinking.
50) Joel 1:5 - Drunkards awake to see God_s judgment.
51) Joel 3:3 - The enemy is judged for selling girls for wine.
52) Amos 2:8 - Unrighteous acts of Israel included the drinking of wine which had been taken for the payment of fines.
53) Amos 2:12 - Israel is condemned for forcing Nazarites to drink wine.
54) Micah 2:11 - Israelites are eager to follow false teachers who prophesy plenty of intoxicating drinks.
55) Nahum 1:10 - The drunkards of Nineveh will be destroyed by God.
56) Habakkuk 2:5 - A man is betrayed by wine.
57) Habakkuk 2:15 - Woe to him that gives his neighbor drink.
58) Habakkuk 2:16 - Drinking leads to shame.

The New Testament


59) Matthew 24:48-51 - A drinking servant is unprepared for his Lord_s return.
60) Luke 1:15 - John the Baptist drank neither grape juice nor wine.
61) Luke 12:45 - Christ warned against drunkenness.
62) Luke 21:34 - Drunkenness will cause a person not to be ready for the Lord_s return.
63) Romans 13:13 - Do not walk in drunkenness or immorality.
64) Romans 14:21 - Do not do anything that will hurt your testimony as a believer.
65) 1 Corinthians 5:11 - If a Christian brother is a drinker, do not associate with him.
66) 1 Corinthians 6:10 - Drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God
67) Galatians 5:21 - Acts of the sinful nature, such as drunkenness, will prohibit a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.
68) Ephesians 5:18 - In contrast to being drunk with wine, the believer is to be filled with the Spirit.
69) 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 - Christians are to be alert and self-controlled, belonging to the day. Drunkards belong to the night and darkness.
70) 1 Timothy 3:2-3 - Bishops (elders) are to be temperate, sober, and not near any wine.
71) 1 Timothy 3:8 - Deacons are to be worthy of respect and not drinkers.
72) 1 Timothy 3:11 - Deacons_ wives are to be temperate and sober.
73) Titus 1:7-8 - An overseer is to be disciplined.
74) Titus 2:2-3 - The older men and older women of the church are to be temperate and not addicted to wine.
75) 1 Peter 4:3-4 - The past life of drunkenness and carousing has no place in the Christian_s life.

Sources Used

 

Alcohol and Health: available from http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/alcoholandhealth.html; accessed August 19th, 2009

 

Alcoholic Beverages: available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_beverage; accessed August 2nd, 2009

 

Alcohol's damaging effects on the brain: available from

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm; accessed August 2nd, 2009

 

Alcoholism and Marriage: available from http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/alcoholism-and-marriage.html; accessed August 15, 2009

 

Altizer, Richard A. _The Decision not to drink Alcohol._ BJU Chapel, Bob Jones University. February 9th, 2009.

 

Berg Jim. Essential Virtues. Greenville: BJU Press, 2008.

 

75 Bible References on Drinking Alcohol: available from http://www.scionofzion.com/drinking.htm; accessed August 2nd, 2009

 

Billy Sunday's Booze Sermon: available from http://www.biblebelievers.com/billy_sunday_booze.html;accessed August 16th, 2009

 

Gower Ralph. Manners & Customs of Biblical Times. Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute,1987.

 

Jaeggli, Randy. The Wisdom of Abstaining from Alcoholic Beverages. BJU Chapel, Bob Jones University. March 31st, 2009.

 

Maynard A. Amerine, Collier's Encyclopedia, 1994, vol. 23.

 

Not Addicted to Wine by John MacArthur: available from http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/wine.htm; accessed August 15th, 2009

 

Reimers, Gary. Alcoholic Beverages. Class lectures, BJU Seminary. Fall 2008.

 

The use of Wine in Ancient Times: available from http://www.salembible.org/biblestudies/alcohol_2.htm; accessed August 16th, 2009

 

Unger Merill F. New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Cedar Rapids: Laridian, 1957.

 

Your Brain on Alcohol: available from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_15/b3928128_mz018.htm; accessed August 16th, 2009

 

Your Brain on Alcohol: available from http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/010507/archive_001356_2.htm; accessed August 2nd, 2009

 

Wine Drinking in New Testament Times: available from http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/bible/Doctrines/Holiness/Drugs%20&%20Alcohol/Wine-Drinking%20in%20New%20Testament%20Times.htm; accessed August 2nd, 2009

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