Sunday, May 22, 2011

Is It Ok Biblically To Drink Fermented Alcoholic Beverages?

Is It Ok Biblically To Drink Fermented Alcoholic Beverages?

Q: The Book of Deutronomy Chapter 14 verse 26 says, "Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice".

In this reference there is option of fermented drink (Alcohl). Can we drink alcohol according to this reference? Please help me. Because New Testament teaches us that "drinker can not enter in the Kingdom of God".

A: Proverbs 23:29-35 describes the dangers of being drunk with wine, it says being drunk with wine causes, woe, sorrow, contentions, complaints, wounds without cause, redness of eyes (v. 29), it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper at the last (v. 32), eyes will see strange things and the heart will utter perverse things by losing control over your own self (vv. 33-34), it takes control in such a way that it will make insensitive to realities of life and brings the drunkard in to its bondage (v. 35). These above things are the negatives of being drunk with wine and losing control over one's own self.

You see it is not wrong to drink fermented wine, in fact many Israelites used to drink that for all festivals
(Ps 104:15; Eccl 10:19; Deut 14:26). If drinking alcoholic beverages is a sin, God could not have authorized the Israelites to drink and be merry before the Lord by using it (Deut 14:24-26). If God did not want man to get merry he would not have created wine to have a fermentation effect which produces certain percentage of alcohol in it (Eccl 9:7). So it is not wrong to drink fermented drinks or wine, but it is absolutely wrong to get drunk with wine and get out of control (Pro 31:4-7; Eccl 10:17).

In fact Jesus created a superior quality wine which the master of the feast spoke as the good wine
(John 2:9-10). Good Wine are stored in wine skins and preserved usually underneath the ground or in store house for a long period of time. There is a reason that wine has been stored in wine caves and underground cellars for hundreds of years - the ideal storage conditions can be consistently met: cool, dark, humid and still surroundings. The more older the wine is, the tastier and fermented it becomes. So the wine in the Cana of Galilee which Jesus made miraculously must have been equal to the best fermented and oldest stock available at that time and even better than that. In fact in John 2:9-10 it is called ‘wine’ (oinos) and ‘good wine’ (kalon oinon). These are the same words used for fermented wine elsewhere in the New Testament.

As for proof, in John 2 the Bible says wine, not juice. The primary dictionary definition of wine is “the fermented juice of grapes, made in many varieties, such as red, white, sweet, dry, still, and sparkling, for use as a beverage, in cooking, in religious rites, etc., and usually having an alcoholic content of 14 percent or less.” The Greek word John used appears 32 times in the New Testament and is translated wine every time. On the two occasions when the Bible refers to wine that hasn’t had time to ferment, it always adds the prefix “new”. Even the "new wine" when drunk in excess must have had the effect of being drunk rip-roaring, as we see the people who did not understand the phenomenon of being filled with the Holy Spirit said of the apostles and disciples who were loudly speaking in tongues
(Acts 2:5-6, 13).

New Testament teaches
"drunkards.....will not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:10). Drunkards are those who get fully drunk with wine and get out of control to destroy their own lives by it. These are those when drunk will start to abuse their wives, do injustice to people, get in to immoral acts of perversion and waste money by gambling, etc..... The same thing has been emphasized by Apostle Paul in Eph 5:18 and a better solution given by him for overcoming drunkenness, he says, " not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit". In other words Apostle Paul is saying, if we get filled with the Holy Spirit continuously, we will not be in want to get drunk with wine. Why? The Holy Spirit gives a high feeling that does not dissipate with time. Surely Holy Ghost filling is a bondage breaker to all drunkards.

Certain people say that Jesus never took fermented alcoholic wine, instead he drank only grape juice. Jesus Himself said about his own life and the false accusation of the religious pharisees by saying,
" 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber [i.e. a person who drinks a great deal of wine], a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”" (Matt 11:18-19). In other words, these religious people who saw Jesus lovingly moving with all sinner and tax collectors by eating and drinking with them, immediately these so called holy men started accusing Jesus of being given to much wine and gluttony. My question to you is, if Christ did take grape juice instead of fermented wine, he could have never been accused of being a drunkard unless He drank alcoholic wine, for the simple reason that grape juice does not make a person drunk.

A godly man like Noah himself stumbled without self-control and became rip-roaring drunk when God blessed him with abundant supply of wine after the flood. We know what happened to him and his sons because of this one act of drunkenness. One son stumbled nearly in to perversion and for the two other sons he did not set a godly example
(Genesis 9:20-29). So any of us like Noah might be tempted to go without self control and lose our good testimony in a single bad day. So let us be careful not to play with it when we really do not have self-control over it.

We must also be careful to not become a stumbling block to our brethren in this matter
(Rom 14:21). For example, say you start to freely drink to the limit regularly without getting drunk and you have the self-control over it. One day a brother who has been freed from being a drunkard sees you in a wine shop to buy some wine. Then he asks you sincerely, whether it is right to drink wine and you teach him your accurate theology. Then one day after much thought he decides to buy some little wine and drink without getting drunk. By the way as he uses it regularly he gets out of control in this matter and causes much shame to the name of Jesus. Then again his family get much affected due to his regular drunkenness. We must accept that we have made the Brother to stumble and made him weak because of our theology of liberty which has been without love. If we really have been concerned about his life, we would have avoided being seen regularly to buy wine. This can also happen to another bother who believes that drinking wine is a sin and he sees you and stumbles. After that he loses faith in godly people and his faith becomes weak and unfruitful. Again if we would have walked in love, we would have been careful to cause our liberty in Christ to become a stumbling block to our brethren.

May God help us all to be an example and bring more and more people to Christ, walk in love and store eternal riches in heaven for eternity ahead.



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Anonymous said...

I like this post. But drinking opens people up to evil spirits. So I never advise it for anyone.
Many alcoholics use the excuse that "it's in the bible so it's OK." drinking is unhealthy in so many ways, and should be avoided for those seeking the Lord.

Abraham said...

Anna thanks for Sharing this message, pls try to post in tamil as the same.

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