12 Jan 2009

Of Christianity and Alcohol

This post is inspired by my pal Ssemakula's note, on Facebook, which he nicely tagged me...

I grew up in a Minister's home. Both parents. Even though there was the mandatory church attendance evey Sunday, there was no pressure to gfollow in their way. But bein a kid, that is a really a catch 22 situation as you have to listen to your parents, and obey, even when they say that you have a choice. You never really have it. Because when they say we are going to church, it means exactly that. I digress.

I don't consider myself a Christian anymore, and contrary to what many believe, it is not out of vengence or revenge to the ministers called my parents. I'm not an atheist either - i believe in a Supreme Being, in God. I just don't proclaim to any religion. My research has led to me to the one conclusion that ALL religions lead to one agreement / arguement- of a Supreme Being and the need to co-exist with nature and your fellow man. Most of the tenets in all religions are common sense.. when not written in Latin and Hindu, that is. And when religions are not fighting as to whose holy book has more pages, or killing in the name of their god, they are a source of great teachings. The Muslims are the epitome of commitment, that i admire. The Christians are steadfast, Hindus are meticulous in the rituals, Buddhists ever so divinely lovely...

However, i know my Bible more than i know any other Book, hence this post.

There is nothing wrong with alcohol, after all, didn't the Son og God turn water into a wine at the wedding in Galilee? (John 2:1-11). Also, Paul instructed Timothy, because he had a stomach problem to not drink the water where he was going. "To drink a little wine..." (1Timothy 5:23).

There are also a couple of verses in the OT - as Ssema so kindly researched as to where wine / alcohol is encouraged. We are told to enjoy the fruits of our labour, and many-a-times the Lord did tell his children to enjoy and feast their harvest usually which include - grapes, wheat and whatever else makes alcohol, right?

Alcohol seems to be widely discouraged in Christianity, mostly for those who cannot control their faculties after consuming it. It is WHAT the alcohol makes you do, not the alcohol itself. When Noah first got off the Ark, he grew himself a vineyard, go so shitfaced, and lay naked. His son Ham earned himself a generational curse due to this. Now, if Mr. Noah had had only one glass, that would not have happened. The whole of Ham's clan has to live in an eternal curse due a a drink too many.

Lot's daughters, after a successful getaway from Sodom, made him drunk and raped him in order to concieve and continue their family. That might sound like a reasonable thing to do (i dont know in what world) since their family was on the verge of extinction, but surely, the Lord who delivered them from there, who gave Abraham a son in his old age, would have found away to change that...

Galatians 5:21 Lists drunken bouts and revelries among the works of the flesh which will not be allowed admittance into God's Kingdom. Not part of the "fruitages of the spirit" which all true Christians should cultivate.

In Deut. 21:18-21 the death penalty is prescribed for a son who is described as “stubborn and rebellious, . . . a glutton and a drunkard.” Prov. 23:20-21 uses the same terminology saying, “Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags.” Here we see both excessive drinking and overeating listed together. In one instance the death penalty is prescribed for the wicked son who is characterized by gluttony, among other things. Proverbs also associates gluttony with drunkenness for both are sins of indulgence, and God’s wisdom is to “not be with” gluttons. The reason is obvious, a drunk, like a glutton refuses to use self control, he indulges the flesh, he is a bad example and corrupting influence on those who are trying to maintain self-control and discipline.

Having listed the first two ; Lot and Noah, below as some excerts from the same book on acohol....

3) Leviticus 10:9-11 - God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.

4) Numbers 6:3 - The Nazarites were told to eat or drink nothing from the grape vine.

5) Deuteronomy 21:20 - A drunken son was stubborn and rebellious.

6) Deuteronomy 29:5-6 - God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.

7) Deuteronomy 32:33 - Intoxicating wine is like the poison of serpents, the cruel venom of asps.

8) Judges 13:4, 7, 14 - Samson was to be a Nazarite for life. His mother was told not to drink wine or strong drink.

9) 1 Samuel 1:14-15 - Accused, Hannah said she drank no wine.

10) 1 Samuel 25:32-38 - Nabal died after a drunken spree.

11) 2 Samuel 11:13 - By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.

12) 2 Samuel 13:28-29 - Amnon was drunk when he was killed.

13) 1 Kings 16:8-10 - The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated

14) 1 Kings 20:12-21 - Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.

15) Esther 1:5-12 - The king gave each one all the drink he wanted. The king was intoxicated when he commanded the queen to come.

16) Psalm 75:8 - The Lord’s anger is pictured as mixed wine poured out and drunk by the wicked.

17) Proverbs 4:17 - Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.

18) Proverbs 20:1 - Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging.

19) Proverbs 23:19-20 - A wise person will not be among the drinkers of alcoholic beverages.

20) Proverbs 23:21 - Drunkenness causes poverty.

21) Proverbs 23:29-30 - Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.

22) Proverbs 23:31 - God instructs not to look at intoxicating drinks.

23) Proverbs 23:32 - Alcoholic drinks bite like a serpent, sting like an adder.

24) Proverbs 23:33 - Alcohol causes the drinker to have strange and adulterous thoughts, produces willfulness, and prevents reformation.

25) Proverbs 23:34 - Alcohol makes the drinker unstable

26) Proverbs 23:35 - Alcohol makes the drinker insensitive to pain so he does not perceive it as a warning. Alcohol is habit forming.

27) Proverb 31:4-5 - Kings, Princes, and others who rule and judge must not drink alcohol. Alcohol perverts good judgment.

28) Proverbs 31:6-7 - Strong drink could be given to those about to perish or those in pain. Better anesthetics are available today.

29) Ecclesiastes 2:3 - The king tried everything, including intoxicating drink, to see if it satisfied. It did not. (Ecclesiastes 12:8)

30) Ecclesiastes 10:17 - A land is blessed when its leaders do not drink.

31) Isaiah 5:11-12 - Woe to those who get up early to drink and stay up late at night to get drunk.

32) Isaiah 5:22 - Woe to "champion" drinkers and "experts" at mixing drinks.

33) Isaiah 19:14 - Drunken men stagger in their vomit.

34) Isaiah 22:12-13 - The Israelites choose to drink; their future looks hopeless to them.

35) Isaiah 24:9 - Drinkers cannot escape the consequences when God judges.

36) Isaiah 28:1 - God pronounces woe on the drunkards of Ephraim.

37) Isaiah 28:3 - Proud drunkards shall be trodden down.

38) Isaiah 28:7 - Priests and prophets stagger and reel from beer and wine, err in vision, and stumble in judgment.

39) Isaiah 28:8 - Drinkers’ tables are covered with vomit and filth.

40) Isaiah 56:9-12 - Drinkers seek their own gain and expect tomorrow to be just like today.

41) Jeremiah 35:2-14 - The Rechabites drank no grape juice or intoxicating wine and were blessed.

42) Ezekiel 44:21 - Again God instructed the priests not to drink wine.

43) Daniel 1:5-17 - Daniel refused the king’s intoxicating wine and was blessed for it along with his abstaining friends.

44) Daniel 5:1 - Belshazzar, ruler of Babylon; led his people in drinking.

45) Daniel 5:2-3 - The king, along with his nobles, wives, and concubines, drank from the goblets which had been taken from God’s temple.

46) Daniel 5:4 - Drinking wine was combined with praising false gods.

47) Daniel 5:23 - God sent word to Belshazzar that punishment would be swift for the evil he had committed.

48) Hosea 4:11 - Intoxicating wine takes away intelligence.

49) Hosea 7:5 - God reproves princes for drinking.

50) Joel 1:5 - Drunkards awake to see God’s judgment.

51) Joel 3:3 - The enemy is judged for selling girls for wine.

52) Amos 2:8 - Unrighteous acts of Israel included the drinking of wine which had been taken for the payment of fines.

53) Amos 2:12 - Israel is condemned for forcing Nazarites to drink wine.

54) Micah 2:11 - Israelites are eager to follow false teachers who prophesy plenty of intoxicating drinks.

55) Nahum 1:10 - The drunkards of Nineveh will be destroyed by God.

56) Habakkuk 2:5 - A man is betrayed by wine.

57) Habakkuk 2:15 - Woe to him that gives his neighbor drink.

58) Habakkuk 2:16 - Drinking leads to shame.

59) Matthew 24:48-51 - A drinking servant is unprepared for his Lord’s return.

60) Luke 1:15 - John the Baptist drank neither grape juice nor wine.

61) Luke 12:45 - Christ warned against drunkenness.

62) Luke 21:34 - Drunkenness will cause a person not to be ready for the Lord’s return.

63) Romans 13:13 - Do not walk in drunkenness or immorality.

64) Romans 14:21 - Do not do anything that will hurt your testimony as a believer.

65) 1 Corinthians 5:11 - If a Christian brother is a drinker, do not associate with him.

66) 1 Corinthians 6:10 - Drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God

67) Galatians 5:21 - Acts of the sinful nature, such as drunkenness, will prohibit a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.

68) Ephesians 5:18 - In contrast to being drunk with wine, the believer is to be filled with the Spirit.

69) 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 - Christians are to be alert and self-controlled, belonging to the day. Drunkards belong to the night and darkness.

70) 1 Timothy 3:2-3 - Bishops (elders) are to be temperate, sober, and not near any wine.

71) 1 Timothy 3:8 - Deacons are to be worthy of respect and not drinkers.

72) 1 Timothy 3:11 - Deacons’ wives are to be temperate and sober.

73) Titus 1:7-8 - An overseer is to be disciplined.

74) Titus 2:2-3 - The older men and older women of the church are to be temperate and not addicted to wine.

75) 1 Peter 4:3-4 - The past life of drunkenness and carousing has no place in the Christian’s life.

Now, you will notice that wine / alcohol was condemned, drunkeness, intoxication, addiction to the drink are what are condemned. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

I view alcohol the same way i view food. God has provided it for your enjoyement, but when you misuse it, take more than you can handle, then you go against His wishes, hence the sin.

I know I shoulda become a Minister...

Now playing: 3 Doors Down - Ticket To Heaven

2 commented:

Ss said...

You certainly research too much! Given the fascination the bible writers had with alcohol it really must have riled them off they could not indulge, if only to find out why it's bad!

Ss said...

You certainly research too much! Given the fascination the bible writers had with alcohol it really must have riled them off they could not indulge, if only to find out why it's bad!