WHAT WOULD JESUS DRINK? Beer, Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages
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Psalm , The first public miracle by Christ was turning water to wine John - High priest of God Melchizedek who was actually Jesus brought wine to a victorious Abraham. Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price Isaiah And in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees. Isaiah Those who wish to promote total abstinence seem to twist wine's positive references to refer to juice, and all the negative references refer to juice of the fermented kind.
The Bible, however, is consistent in its references to this beverage as having an alcohol content.
WHAT WOULD JESUS DRINK? Beer, Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages
Like food and so many other things in the Bible, the issue of alcohol is not one of total prohibition but rather of moderation. The apostle Paul, concerned about the health of his close friend and evangelist Timothy , told him to stop drinking just water and begin to partake of some wine 'for you stomach's sake' and for the sake of his illnesses 1Timothy Paul promoted a balance approach to alcohol and other things in life Philippians just like Jesus did.
The Bible does allow Christians to partake of alcohol in a responsible way. Jesus saw nothing wrong with drinking a little wine now and then. If he saw nothing wrong with it moderate use, we should see nothing wrong with doing so as well. Did Jesus drink wine or was it just quality grape juice? Does the Bible say Christians should stay completely away from alcohol? Are we forbidden to eat meat? What is the Bible diet?
Does Proverbs say alcohol is good? This influence spread to most fundamentalist chapel-goers, whether Methodist or Baptist.
How does your drinking affect you — and others?
The Salvation Army which emerged from Methodism was probably the most anti-alcohol Christian movement of all. William Booth was only too happy to re-affirm Methodism's drinking ban for members when he observed - at first hand - the dreadful suffering involved in much of the alcoholism of London's infamous East End. Apparently Booth completely lost sight of the fact that all of God's blessings to Mankind food, prosperity, sexual love etc can be abused where sinful lifestyles predominate, and he had at his fingertips a book, the Holy Bible, which while certainly warning against drunkeness, continually paints wine in a very positive color.
But a huge area of Christendom has been largely unaffected by this anti-alcohol movement; Roman Catholicism, Episcopalianism and Greek and Eastern Orthodoxy mostly continue to see the moderate enjoyment of alcohol as a very positive thing. I may also say that perhaps a majority of modern British and European evangelicals see the moderate use of wine as a blessing. Christian Ministers and the 'Nazarite' Argument Some say that if those under the Nazarite vow were not allowed to drink alcohol since they were set apart for the Lord, neither should Christian Ministers in our day.
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How about this argument? The first thing to say is that since we only read of 3 or 4 Nazarites throughout the entire Holy Bible, it is difficult to draw any hard and fast rules about them. Certainly they were barred from taking alcoholic drinks as John the Baptist was Luke , but Nazarites were apparently directly appointed by God. It is also true to say that the Levites were to ensure that they were never intoxicated when carrying out their duties under the Old Covenant.
But quite plainly Jesus did not apply the Nazarite code to Himself and He did drink as we have seen. But we don't need to be in the dark about this, or wonder whether the Nazarite 'no-drink' rule should apply to Christian ministers since the apostle Paul directly discusses the behavioural standards of ministers in the New Testament. Does Paul say there should be an outright alcoholic drinks ban for elders and deacons?
We can corroborate that there was no alcohol ban for ministers, of course not only because taking communion required the taking of a tiny amount of wine, but because Paul clearly tells Timothy the evangelist that he should drink a little wine to help his stomach problems: 'No longer drink only water, but use a little wine 'oinos': alcoholic wine, my insert for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities' 1 Timothy , NKJV A Few Occasions When a Christian Should NEVER Drink Alcohol 1.
We started this little study with the example of a Christian pastor who drank beer on Sundays. Whilst I think that this man was subsequently very unfairly treated, I must say that I think it unwise for a minister to drink beer on this day. Because beer can be quickly detected on one's breath and, as the apostle Paul shows us, we must consider the conscience of Christians of weaker understanding! As we have seen, from a biblical point of view there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking a glass of beer, but if somebody in the congregation, of perhaps weaker understanding, sincerely believes that the minister is sinful in drinking beer, that person's conscience is being seriously affected.
We must think about these things!
Benefits of alcohol
For this reason I think it unwise for any church-going Christian to drink beer on a Sunday I see no harm in a single glass of wine. If this fails, the Christian should surely leave any such meeting or gathering. Young people are always in danger of over-drinking and it is my considered opinion that Christians should NEVER encourage younger people to drink alcohol.
If a Christian has previously had a problem with heavy or addictive drinking he or she should completely avoid it. But all of God's blessings can be misused and abused.
The Bible And Alcoholic Beverages
However, the book ends with the author's finding a greater good to provide meaning in life - that man should fear God and keep His commandments. See chapter All the other experiences in which the author tries to find meaning fade in significance beside this. At least seven other Bible texts which appear to speak favorably of yayin do so merely by means of comparison; they are not speaking directly about wine itself. For example, the Song of Solomon uses a comparison with wine four times , 4; ; and to bring out the beloved's beauty.
Hosea uses the fragrance of wine from Lebanon as a comparison. Proverbs , 6 uses wine figuratively in talking about the "banquet of life" that wisdom provides. Amos and Zechariah use the merriment that wine creates as a figure of how God's people will rejoice at the time of His final victory. Wine was also used as a drink offering in the temple service, just as we have seen that beer was used in the presentation of delayed tithe. These drink offerings were poured out beside the altar; they were not drunk by the priests.
Thus most of the texts which mention wine favorably actually use it figuratively in comparisons. A few speak of its immediate physiological effects. But by far the majority describe its detrimental results - such as wicked acts committed in connection with drinking wine. Isaiah, for example, associates wine with the taking of bribes. See Isaiah , Amos combines wine with profaning sacred things.
See Amos In summary, the writers of the Old Testament raise four indictments against drinking wine. First, they recognize its immediate adverse physical effects - redness of the eyes, blurring of vision, staggering, and drunkenness in general. Second, they recognize its long-term moral effects - various kinds of immoral and unethical behavior along with the social results of such actions.
Third, they identify particular instances of such behavior and connect them with specific persons.
Fourth, because of its effects, they prohibit certain classes and specific individuals from drinking any wine. In contrast to this large negative picture, about the only positive images the Bible gives of alcohol are three texts that note alcohol can produce a state of levity certainly a valid physiological observation.
The Bible writers also occasionally use wine to draw some favorable comparisons in figures of speech. Yet they also use wine to symbolize some unfavorable comparisons as well. See the "wine of wrath" in Psalm and Jeremiah How then should we personally relate to alcohol in view of the overall picture given in the Old Testament? If one takes the whole picture into account and evaluates all the evidence, the most reasonable conclusion is that the only safe course is complete abstinence from alcohol in any form.
Skip to main content. William H. Study of the biblical passages dealing with alcohol. If distilled alcohol is not what the Bible means by shekar , what does it mean? Reprinted from Signs of the Times, November Search Search this site. Materials Topic - Any -. Adventist Heritage. Archaeology and History. Church History. Conversations with other Christians. Ecclesiology Project Great Controversy. Independent Ministries and Others.