The county seat of our local community has a “wet/dry” referendum to be decided this election cycle.
As always, there are sharp lines of opinion...even (especially?) among professing Believers.
Most disconcerting to me is how folk will take the Word of God and twist it to align with their preferred opinion.
Often, a truth will be extrapolated to a statement of fact which the Word does not support.
Let’s just deal with the facts.
The Word says much about wine/strong drink.
It is clear that we are not to “be deceived”, “loveth”, “tarry long”, “look into”, “run to”...
20 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
We are not to be drunk.
We are not to use drink nor food to excess.
20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:
21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.
8 He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
We are not to be drunk.
We are not to be gluttons...even be a companion with one…(I’m sorry...but I envision all the overweight methyphobians/dipsophobians I know...)
We are not to increase wealth by interest and usury...whoa!...we will discuss that some other time…let it be noted that I do not see major campaigns to close/restrict businesses/practices based upon usury…or driving usury out of the community...
We do seem to “pick and choose” our offense.
The bottom line...
Nowhere in the Word, that I’m aware, are we told that are to totally abstain from fermented drink (save for the Nazarite vow).
We are not to be given to much wine…especially leadership...
1 Tim 3:3
3 Not given to wine, ...
not given to wine, ...
1 Peter 4:3
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Folk will color having a glass of wine as sin and the open door to destruction, while many of their flock live on prozac. They forget…
1 Tim 5:23
23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
A little wine is much better for the stomach.
A little wine is much better than a pill to go to sleep then a pill to awaken.
We could ask the question, “what would Jesus do?”
Apparently, by His own testimony, Jesus drank wine.
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Now, I know. Many a tree has been sacrificed in the vast writings of folk who have sought to “prove” that the wine of Jesus’ day was non-alcoholic. This is simply not true.
Much fear-mongering takes place with statistics that “prove” this or that.
Here is my life observation. I have seen many, many more people grievously effected in a negative way by “prescription drugs” than I have by alcohol. Simple, personal observation.
I also strongly suspect that the things we ingest via McDonalds’ (love those fries), artificial sweeteners, varied “food supplements” and the like, cause far more harm than proper consumption of natural products.
Finally, we are told this...hang on…
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
We are not to get drunk.
We are to be filled with the Spirit.
Often those who equate “do not get drunk with wine” with “total abstinence” reject the understanding of being filled with the Spirit.
Certainly they acknowledge the Holy Spirit, but they get shaky on the “filled with the Spirit” thing.
I find it interesting that God mentions both in the “same breath.”
Read the balance of the passage…
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Rather than being drunk, we are to be filled with the Spirit and
- speak to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs
- make melody
- give thanks for all things in the name of the Lord
- be subject to one another in the fear of Christ
What about the local referendum?
I live outside the district...so no vote...but, I do like things the way they are.
I also realize that the majority will decide.
Whatever the outcome, it will not be “the end of the world.”
Do not be drunk.
Be filled with the Spirit.