The Bible Doesnt
Justify Drinking as We Know It
drink or not to drink. This has been an age-old
debate among Christians for centuries. I am well aware of the
fact that the Bible describes people using wine. I realize that
Jesus turned water into wine. I know the verse where Paul told
Timothy to use a little wine for his stomachs sake. There
is absolutely no need for anyone to tell me what the Bible says
about the issue of drinking, because in most cases, I can probably
show them where the scripture is found before they can remember
what it says. However, if you know the facts, you will realize
that the Bible will never justify drinking as we know it in the
21st century. The kind of alcoholic consumption that is done in
our culture is foolish and wrong. Please allow me to explain why.
First of all, drinking in our culture is not the same as the drinking
described in the Bible. This is because the drink in our time
is not the same as the drink described in the Bible. In the vast
majority of cases, the wine of the Bible may be described as slightly
fermented grape juice and probably in some cases non-alcoholic
grape juice. The wine used by common folk in biblical times had
very little alcohol as compared with the wine of modern times.
Such wine would usually taste more like pure grape
juice than wine. Most grape juice would develop a maximum of perhaps
2 to 3 % alcoholic content (what we would call 4 to 6 proof)
before it was consumed. Such fermentation was allowed only to
preserve the grape juice, to keep it from souring. It is true
that some wines got much stronger, but they were only used by
the wealthy, and the very few who could afford to keep and age
the good wine (as it was called in John 2:10). However,
the general wine described in the Bible had so little alcohol
in it, one had to drink a great deal, quickly, to get drunk. In
comparison with the ancient biblical wine, wine in
modern times is a minimum of 24 proof. In other words, our wine
has at least 4 to 6 times as much alcohol as the ancient wines.
The very least amount of alcohol in drink that is available today
is found in beer which is 10 proof, with at least about twice
as much alcohol as the commonly used biblical wine. One can get
drunk much faster on anything he drinks in modern times. Justifying
drinking by the Bible is comparing apples and oranges. It is not
the same thing.
Secondly, drinking is wrong because alcohol does damage to the
body. Few people know the physiological facts behind what causes
drunkenness. It is a little known fact that alcohol, as a chemical,
causes a clotting of the blood. Such clotting keeps blood from
flowing through the capillaries of the brain, starving the brain
cells of desperately needed oxygen. Whenever brain cells are deprived
of oxygen for longer than 8 minutes, they die. Brain cells, unlike
most other cells in the body, never grow back. Every time a person
gets even a little tipsy it will take more than 8
minutes for the alcohol to filter out of his system and at least
a few brain cells will die. Such medical facts also explain why
drinking is associated with cirrhosis of the liver and other physical
maladies. I dont know about you, but I need what few brain
cells I have. It is a sin to harm the body (Romans 12:1).
Thirdly, drinking is wrong because consumption of alcohol sets
a terrible example. I could rant about the fact that if anyone
ever came to my house and found a six-pack in my refrigerator,
I would be fired as pastor of my church (which would be the right
thing for my church to do, in such a case) but such ranting would
impress very few people. However, there is absolutely no way I
could justify drinking in front of my kids after telling them
Never, NEVER take drugs! After all, alcohol IS a drug.
Parents who consume alcohol and tell their kids not to take drugs
are hypocrites, and their kids know it.
Fourthly, it is dangerous and foolish for anyone to drink because
there are those who will not and cannot drink responsibly, because
they can get addicted on the first drink. When my wife was a little
girl, she was beaten badly by her alcoholic father, on many occasions.
There has been another member of our family who was raised to
never take the first drink. For some reason unknown to us all,
that person became an alcoholic, simply because of having taken
that first drink. Now a career has become shambled and a marriage
is on the rocks, all starting with that first drink of alcohol.
Before my lovely wife married me, she made me promise I would
never take my first swallow of alcoholic beverage, a promise I
have gladly kept. There is absolutely no good reason to ever take
even the very first drink.
We, here in Decaturville, have made a terrible mistake in opening
up our town to alcohol. Parsons has not yet done this. I would
urge the good people in Parsons, please, for the sake of your
families, for the sake of your children
the sale of alcohol. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging:
and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Proverbs