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Alcohol

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By Barry Cameron -January 26, 2017
For years, well-meaning, sincere Christians have debated the subject of drinking. Let me be clear by saying there isn’t a single verse in the Bible that says a Christian cannot have a drink; although
Proverbs 20:1 ESV
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Proverbs 21:17 ESV
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
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Proverbs 23:29–35 ESV
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. 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.”
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Romans 13:13 ESV
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
Gal.
Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 4:3 ESV
For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
Hab.
Habakkuk 2:15 ESV
“Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink— you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!
1 Corinthians 5:11 ESV
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
Romans 14:21 ESV
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
Proverbs 31:4–7 ESV
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
-and cannot be given to drunkenness
1 Timothy 3:3 ESV
not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
1 Tim.
Titus 1:7 ESV
For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
Titus 1: 7
For years, well-meaning, sincere Christians have debated the subject of drinking. Let me be clear by saying there isn’t a single verse in the Bible that says a Christian cannot have a drink; although the Bible clearly warns about the destructive and addictive nature of alcohol (; ; ; ) and is very clear that drunkenness is always wrong (; ; ; ; ).
and that leaders ought to avoid drinking alcohol () (, 8Titus 1:7.)
I have yet to hear from anyone who drinks how alcohol enhances anything or blesses anyone.
Max Lucado said, “One thing for sure, I have never heard anyone say, ‘A beer makes me feel more Christlike… Fact of the matter is this: People don’t associate beer with Christian behavior.”
‘A beer makes me feel more Christlike… Fact of the matter is this: People don’t associate beer with Christian behavior.”
I’ve yet to see how it improves someone’s testimony or makes anyone a more effective witness for Christ. Quite the contrary, like Shaun White mentioned above, or Richard Roberts, Oral Roberts’ son, who was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, driving under the influence, the result doesn’t enhance your testimony. Rather, it takes away from what testimony you had.
Not surprisingly, a number of people responded to John’s article and some called him to task for taking such a strong stand against drinking. In response to the responses, my good friend Ken Idleman, former President of Ozark Christian College and now Pastor of Crossroads Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., wrote these words, which are among the very best I’ve ever read on this issue. I asked Ken for his permission to share them here.
“OK, I am conscience bound to weigh in on this one… For a minute, forget about making a definitive case for or against ‘drinking’ from the Bible. Here’s the truth from logic and real life. No one starts out to be an alcoholic. Everyone begins with a defensive attitude saying, ‘I’m just a social drinker and there is nothing wrong with it!’ no one says, ‘It is my ambition that someday I want to lose my job, my health, my self-respect, my marriage and my family. Someday I want to be dependent on alcohol to get through my day.’ Yet, this is the destination at which several millions of people have arrived. Why do you suppose that is? It is because alcohol is promoted and elevated as a normal/sophisticated activity in life… It is also expensive, addictive and enslaving. People get hooked by America’s number one legal drug. And just like all illegal drugs, alcohol finds it way into the body, the bloodstream and the brain of the user/abuser.
One of my most memorable conversations in the state penitentiary in Jefferson City, Mo., was with a young man facing a 28-year prison sentence for the brutal sexual assault of his own 8-year-old daughter. I will never forget the image. The tears literally ran off his chin and splashed on his shoes as he gushed, ‘I guess I did it. I don’t know. I was drunk at the time.’
Listen, some of those who are defensive in response to Dr. Caldwell’s thoughtful and courageous article will want to revise their text if, in a few years, they discover that they were able to handle their drinking just fine, but their son or daughter could not. Answer honestly. Could you live with the knowledge that your dangerous exercise of Christian liberty factored into your children’s ruin? Or, if your loved one is killed some day in a head on collision by a driver under the influence who crossed the center line, will you still be defensive of drinking?
A good friend during my growing up years was the only child of social drinking parents. When his folks were away, he would go to the rathskeller [German for tavern] in the basement where he developed a taste for alcohol. I won’t bore you with the details. He is 65 today. A broken life, broken health, broken marriages, a broken relationship with his only son, a broken relationship with his only grandchild, a broken career and a broken spirit that…tragically…he tries daily to medicate with the alcohol that led him to this tragic destination.
We ought to set the bar high for Christian leadership [especially] when it comes to aesthetic holiness.
Personally, I’ve yet to have my first beer and have no desire to start now or to drink alcohol of any kind. At the same time, I don’t judge those who believe they have freedom in Christ to drink. But when asked, I always tell people I don’t believe it’s the best choice.
The bottom line is this: The question really isn’t CAN A CHRISTIAN DRINK? Rather, it is: SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DRINK?
The bottom line is this: The question really isn’t CAN A CHRISTIAN DRINK? Rather, it is: SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DRINK?
1 David Faust, Voices From The Hill, (Cincinnati, OH: Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, 2003) 252.
2 John Caldwell, “To Drink or Not to Drink,” Christian Standard 11 August 2012, 18 September 2012.
TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK John Caldwell
http://www.christianstandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/31_caldwell_JN.jpgBy John Caldwell
Let me be blunt! I see absolutely no positive argument for something that will make you act like an idiot, smell like a brewery, fight like a fool, impair your motor functions, drain your bank account, give you a hangover, scare your kids, alienate your spouse, make you a danger to your fellow man, and has the potential to enslave you.
“Alcohol has many defenders, but no defense.” - Abraham Lincoln
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