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Doctrine of Drinking

July 15, 2010

Doctrine of Drinking

1.    The importance of objectivity in dealing with drinking:

A.    In dealing with a subject such as drinking we are interested in what the Bible has to say.

B.    Those who have personal problems because of drinking or are related to those who have drinking problems have a very difficult time approaching the subject of drinking with objectivity.  But it is imperative to stick with the principle rather than your own personal background.

C.    Those who have been reared in the atmosphere of Christian legalism are often shocked when they discover the overall teaching of the Word of God about alcoholic beverage.

D.    Those who are looking for an excuse to get off the wagon use the overall teaching as their excuse.

E.    No subject has more prejudice and less reason than the subject of drinking alcoholic beverage.

F.    The objective of teaching the Doctrine of Drinking is not to get believers on or off the wagon.  It is to teach the subject from the Biblical viewpoint.

2.    Categories of alcoholic beverage available in the 20th century:

A.    Medicinal alcohol:  used in medicines.

B.    Whiskey:  distilled from cereal grains; classified by geographical location:  Scotch, Irish, American.

C.    Vodka:  a Russian drink distilled from wheat, rye, potatoes.

D.    Gin:  distilled from the juniper berry.

E.    Wine:  fermented grape juice:  table, fortified, sparkling, aperitif.

F.    Brandy:  fermented grape juice with other fruits added and aged in wood.

G.    Liqueurs:  perfumed in flavored spirits, and sweetened by the addition of sugar.

H.    Beer:  the oldest form of alcoholic beverage; fermented from malted cereal to which hops have been added; Babylonian beer is documented to 4,000 B.C.; Ramses III of Egypt consecrated to the gods of Egypt 466,303 jugs of beer.

Historians like Heroditus, Pliny, and Tacitus comment on beer in the ancient world and the art of brewing was known in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because the supply of beer and food on the Mayflower had been prematurely exhausted.  A manuscript of 1622 says, “We could not take time for further search or consideration.  Our Victuals were almost spent, especially our beer was about gone.”

In 1637, the Massachusetts Bay Colony licensed a certain Captain Sedgewick and gave him the exclusive right of brewing beer.

William Penn, a believer and famous for his asceticism, set up a brewery in 1683 in Pennsbury Manor near Philadelphia.  Investors in the business were Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Israel Putnam, and Benjamin Rush (some of our famous patriots).

3.    The Bible condemns drunkenness as a sin:  Isaiah 5:11, 22; 28:7-8; Proverbs 20:1.

Isaiah 5:11  Woe to those who rise up early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may enflame them.

Isaiah 5:22  Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink.

Isaiah 28:7-8  (Reversionism and drinking)

Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker.  A strong drink is a brawler.  Therefore, whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

Proverbs 23:20  Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine or with gluttonous eaters of food.

Romans 13:13  Let us walk properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in strife or jealousy, promiscuity and sensuality.

1 Corinthians 5:11  Now I wrote to you not to associate with any member of the royal family if he should be immoral, covetous, an idolater, a reviler, a drunkard, or a swindler.

Ephesians 5:18  Stop being drunken with wine…

Proverbs 31:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:3,8; Titus 1:7  Excessive drinking destroys one’s judgment and therefore is to be avoided.

Genesis 9:21; 1 Samuel 25:36-37; Genesis 19:32-36; Isaiah 28:1  Drunkenness is condemned in certain Bible characters respectively:  Noah, Nabal, Lot, Tribe of Ephraim.

4.    Drunkenness, or the excessive use of alcohol, leads to crime, suicide, divorce, traffic accidents, economic and industrial losses, loss of health, miserable circumstances, poverty, and national disaster.

Alcohol is not a stimulant,  It is a depressant.  It dulls reflexes, lowers inhibitions destroys common sense and good judgment, and stimulates mental attitude sins.  A drunken driver kills, a drunken lover abuses, and the drunken leader loses integrity.

Drunkenness produces certain diseases:  death, from chug-a lugging; brain disease; and liver disease.

The Bible gives no encouragement or no excuse for excessive drinking.  While drinking in moderation is permitted, there are many believers who cannot do so and should avoid alcohol except as prescribed in medicine.

5.    The proper and improper uses of alcohol:

Proverbs 31:4-7  (Wine attacks authority in leadership)  4) It is not good for Kings, O Lemuel: it is not good for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, 5) Lest they drink, and forget policy, and pervert judgment to the afflicted.  6) Give strong drink to him who is dying, and wine to him to whom life is bitter (the correct use of medicinal alcohol).  7) Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his trouble no more.

1 Timothy 5:23  No longer be a water drinker but be making use of a small amount of wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

Benefits of wine in small amounts:  1) Depressant producing sedation; 2) Stimulates appetite; 3) Increases circulation in elderly.

Psalm 104:15  And the wine that makes man’s heart glad makes his well nourished face radiant and food sustains man’s right lobe.

John 2:1-11  Jesus attended and stayed at a wedding where alcoholic beverage was being served.

7.    Drinking and the divine laws of function:

Under the law of liberty every believer has the right to drink moderated amounts of alcoholic beverage.
Under the law of expediency, it is expedient not to drink under certain circumstances where witnessing might be an issue and drinking becomes a form of antagonism toward the gospel (not frequently encountered).  Under the law of love it becomes necessary to refrain from drinking when it means leading astray a weaker believer (causing drunkenness in the weak believer).  Under supreme sacrifice, drinking is forbidden when it hinders some special leadership function in life.

8.    Alcoholism is a part of national disaster:  Jeremiah 13:12-17; Joel 1:4-6; Isaiah 28.

Jeremiah 13:12-17  12) Therefore you are to speak this word to them.  Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, every jug is filled with wine.  Consequently, when they say to you, do we not know that every jug is filled with wine?  13) Then you say to them, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I am about to fill the inhabitants of this land, the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all
the citizens of Jerusalem with drunkenness.  14) And I will dash them each against the other, both the Father and the sons together, declares the Lord.  I will not show them pity, nor will I be sorry, nor will I have compassion, but I should destroy them.  15) Listen and give heed,  Do not be arrogant for the Lord has spoken (excessive drinking is often a sign of arrogance in the soul).  16) Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness and before your feet stumble upon the dusky mountains, and while you are hoping for light he makes it into deep darkness and turns it into gloom (5th C.O.D.).  17) But if you will not listen to doctrine, my soul will sob in secret because of your blind arrogance.  And my eyes will bitterly weep and flow with tears because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive (5th C.O.D.).

9.    Common sense and drinking:

Alcohol is wasted on young people.  They often pick-up the pitfalls and never derive the benefits.

1)    Never drink with strangers in strange places.

2)    Never drink on the job–any job.

3)    Never drink alone.

4)    Never drink while driving, flying, operating machinery.

5)    Never mix hunting with alcohol.  Never mix any form of gunpowder with alcohol.