Alcohol in the Church Essay
Among the Christian church there are two positions commonly viewed about alcohol. The first view is that alcohol is okay if used in moderation and the second view is that there is to be complete and total abstinence from the use of alcohol, and I will explain why the Bible teaches us total abstinence. The alcohol found in beverages such as wine, beer, and whiskey is ethanol, a clear, highly flammable liquid that has a burning taste and a characteristic odor.
When a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol, enough to reach a five percent ethanol concentration in the bloodstream, which is called alcohol poisoning, death will usually occur. But even for people who consume it in moderation, there are immediate changes in behavior, and it alters a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing. Alcohol also causes bad effects on the muscular, skeletal, nervous, and circulatory systems as well. That’s exactly the same effect that other illicit drugs such as heroin, and even marijuana, have on those who use those substances.
If these narcotics are not as widely accepted as alcohol and yet have the same exact effects on our bodies than why do people view it so differently? Deuteronomy 32:33 says that wine is the poison of serpents. If you know something is poisonous, you’ll avoid it like the plague. So don’t consume alcohol, it’s poison to your body. In a study by Dr. Bacchiocchi it says: “The drinking problem in America [U. S. A. ] today…claims at least 100,000 [+]…lives per year, 25 times as many as all illegal drugs combined.
Since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, most churches have abandoned their stand for total abstinence, encouraging “moderation” instead. Unfortunately, moderation has led over 18 [+] million Americans [U. S. A. ] to become immoderate drinkers, because alcohol is a habit-forming narcotic which weakens one’s capacity for self-control. ” The scriptures are very clear that the effects of alcohol are not beneficial to our bodies or our mind. Why should we put something into our body that will end up leading us down the road to sin and death?
Alcohol inhibits our judgments and allows room for the enemy to come up against us. People sometimes try to justify drinking because they said Jesus drank wine and since a Christian is a follower of Christ, how can it be forbidden? But many people assume that the word “wine” in the Bible always means a fermented drink because in English most people think fermented when they hear the word “wine. ” But the fact is, is that there are fifteen different words in the Bible, both the Hebrew and Greek languages that can be translated “wine” and the two main words translate to either, fermented grape juice or intoxicating wine.
In English the word wine originally had two meanings also unfermented juice or alcoholic drink. You have to look at the context of the scripture before you can determine what the passage is saying. So let’s not assume it is speaking about an alcoholic drink when the word “wine” is used in the English Bible. One must go to the context verses before and after the word, to see if fresh grape juice is in question or fermented grape juice. Sometimes the wine is fermented, and we can see the difference, depending on the context.
Christians also say that we are no longer under the law but live in grace so they feel they are allowed to drink, but as followers of Christ we should ask ourselves, will this thing cause someone weaker in the faith, confusion or alarm? We want to stay away from doing anything that might offend other Christians or unbelievers that encourages them to sin against their own conscience. If I am engaging in an act, it looks as if I’m supporting it and condoning it. When we personally engage in something, to a certain extent doing it “disqualifies” us from speaking out against it.
If Christians are not of the world and we are different, why do we need to take part in the things of this world? The Bible tells us to Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We are not to even give the appearance of doing something that may be judged by someone as evil. If someone sees me at a restaurant with a glass of wine in my hand, do they know whether that is my first glass or my fifth? All they see is someone drinking an alcoholic beverage. I want people to see my good works, not my questionable behavior.
Christians need to see their lives through the eyes of others and act in a way that glorifies God. And they need to do all they can do not give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27) or do things that weaken their testimony as Christians. As a Christian I need to be the one to set an example to others, Christian or not. Matthew 5:13-14 tells me that I need to be the salt and light of the earth and what good is it if salt have no flavor, or if your light is hidden under a bushel? No one will be able to tell I’m any different from anyone else not claiming to be a Christian. The Bible says alcoholic drink is evil.
It is not just the amount one drinks that makes drinking a sin. Drinking alcohol is undeniably addictive. It says in I Timothy. 3:3, 3:8,Titus 1:7 and Titus 2:3 not to be addicted to wine. The Webster’s Definition of addiction is. – “to surrender oneself to something obsessively or habitually. ” And the only thing we need to be addicted to is God. God condemns the drink itself. When a person becomes intoxicated and drunk with alcohol you loose self-control and do things that you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. Therefore you open yourself to sin (Genesis 19:30-38).
In Proverbs 20:1 tells us what wine and strong drink can do to a man. Men can end up raging and brawling and doing things in a drunken stupor that are very unwise and that they will also regret. Alcohol makes you do things you will regret. Who wants to live a life full of shame and guilt? Alcohol should have no place in the lives of Christians. We know the woes that drunkenness, and alcoholism cause. It’s the reason so many families are broken and hurting, why there are so many deaths, due drunken driving, health problems stemming from alcohol abuse and addiction. It was never Gods plan for us.
God does not lead us into evil: He delivers us from it He does not teach us to practice evil in moderation. Jesus did not make, use, approve, commend, or tell us to use intoxicating wine. God made man to have fellowship with him. Alcohol goes directly to the brain, the communication center of the body. It interferes with God’s purpose for mankind. God created us to have fellowship with him. It’s a soul purpose for being on the earth, it is very clear that we should have not part in consuming alcohol based purely on the fact that it inhibits our main purpose of life, living and communicating with God.
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