Wine & Alcohol: Take Off from Alcohol Dinner Party Thread

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by JennyG, Jul 30, 2009.

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  1. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    I was pretty disappointed to find this thread here of all places. Sorry guys, but it really comes over like an anxiety to be just the same as the rest of the world, very cool with alcohol. But with the state of society today, I think believers do better to be total abstainers than risk causing any other person to stumble.
     
  2. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm truly sorry if I sounded bossy or judgemental -- and it never even occurred to me I was on the wrong thread!
    Of course, I don't know anyone else's heart, and I do know wine is not forbidden.
    The heart knoweth his own bitterness though, and alcohol has caused me personally enough anxiety and grief that I would be happier if every believer were a Nazirite in that respect.

    And I still think it would be well for posters always to bear in mind the non-members who are more than likely to be reading also. We are told after all that "all things are lawful for me but all things edify not" and also "to the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak".
     
  3. rpavich

    rpavich Puritan Board Freshman

    Jenny, while I understand your concern, (and don't think I'm piling on you; I'm not) it's just that we have only one anchor; the word.

    We can have our opinion of certain things; I don't like the way smoke smells, I don't like alcohol, etc...but the bottom line is that scripture is authoritative.

    I just don't see the correlation between having a glass of wine and "not edifying" other believers, or the connection to "to the weak...." verse you sited.

    it's a hot button issue but...what's the final authority? :)
     
  4. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    Jenny, if you ever come over to my house for a barbecue, I'll be sure not to serve alcohol, since it clearly disturbs your conscience.

    However, please do not try to bind mine, since, as you say, alcohol is not forbidden.
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    It doesn't seem Jenny is suggesting this bind anyone's consciousness. That is to say, to suggest that all must abstain from alcohol as a matter of right behavior before God.

    We have acknowledged the need to abstain though if it causes someone to stumble, and while I can't presume to speak for her, it seems that is what she is saying.

    Scripture does not strictly prohibit the use of alcohol, but it does qualify its use in many ways.

    Rightly or wrongly, many in the world and even some Christians will judge you based on use of alcohol. (I am not saying they have a right to do that, only that there is a wide perception among Christians that using alcohol as a "refresher" beverage is sinful because the intention is to become inebriated or toward that end ).

    In some other countries, missionaries are required to abstain, at least publicly, because the culture so identifies abstinence from alcohol and all that it represents (alcohol dinner parties, etc.) with Christianity.

    The idea of "partying with alcohol" is going to be taken as a sinful activity by some, cause some to stumble, particularly brothers and sisters who have struggled with alcoholism or a reveling lifestyle in the past.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  6. Glenn Ferrell

    Glenn Ferrell Puritan Board Junior

    If a positive mention of drinking and enjoying beer or wine is going to cause someone to stumble, so will scripture itself:

    And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,...[Deut. 14:26]​

    When I was courting my wife, she told me she could marry a man who abstained from alcohol by preference, but not one who abstained because he thought scripture required it. The latter would have indicated a defective hermeneutic in his handling of God’s word.
     
  7. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    We should make every effort to not but a stumbling block in the path of a new believer on his way to the Gospel for he is our weaker brother.

    We must not confuse our weaker brother with our legalistic brother. Our legalistic brother is running the risk of believing and propagating a false gospel. Our legalistic brother does damage to the doctrines of justificaton and grace and the synthesis of the two.

    To the weaker brother I abstain until the day that he finds all things new in Christ. To the legalistic brother, I pray that I can gently correct him while I challenge his error by drinking a beer to his health and a strengthened ability to discern.
     
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Jesus made wine. I like wine. I'm curious, did anyone get drunk at that wedding?
     
  9. nicnap

    nicnap Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I think it is the DUTY of Christians to disciple...if someone thinks it is a sin to drink, he needs to be shown plainly from Scripture that it is not wrong to drink, but to be drunk. People need to be reminded that alcohol, sex, music, etc. are not evil...it is the hearts of men that are evil, and they misuse those gifts of God. Just my :2cents:.
     
  10. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    Would you agree that legalism is often a crutch of weakness?
     
  11. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    I wouldn't characterize the relationship that way and here is why: Legalism, like selfish desire is part of our very nature. We don't have to be taught how to be selfish or autonomous. Legalism and autonomy are not opposites but rather our sense of legalism is simply our attempt to code our own laws that we believe will make us more acceptable to God.

    Legalism is what nearly every religion has in common. Because the law is written on our hearts we can find commonality with most religious people in how we should treat others and how we ought to live. When we morph our sense of how we ought to live with how we must approach God or earn eternal life, then we run into problems. The Gospel is unique among all religions and philosophies. God does the work, God, in Christ keeps the law, God accounts the sinner as righteous, God gives us the ability to love him above all others and love our neighbor as ourselves.

    So, legalism is really just human nature that is either ignorant of God's provision or unwilling to bend to God's majesty.

     
  12. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    Thank you Scott1:
    That is what I meant, though I think my first post in the heat of the moment was too emphatic. But by "disappointed" I didn't mean the schoolmasterly, rhetorical "I am disappointed in you!!!!!"
    Rather I was simply describing the emotion I experienced when I came across this thread, as a newcomer to the site. I still am surprised (not pleasantly) by the great and almost unanimous enthusiasm for alcohol.

    However I've already said everything I have to say -- maybe someone else will act as devil's advocate (!?)
    Another time I would rather not find myself starting a new thread without volunteering, and I DO feel as though there's been a certain amount of piling on!
     
  13. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Jenny, please don't feel piled on. This topic has come up many times and it is so wonderful to have someone bring it up from time to time so we can clear up the perceptions.

    You had the nerve to post the question and disappointment but you probably represent hundreds of folks you share the same questions and discomfort over 'sipping saints'. Your question could have been answered in private messages but this is a discussion that benefits lots of folk.

    I love the way Josh treats this subject. His Biblical handling of this provocative topic is awe inspiring to me. I'm glad for folks to question a Christian's liberty to drink just to read Josh's gracious molding of a reply.

    Please don't feel piled on, you are far from alone and this is an important discussion that MUST be revisited over and over. It helps us all in our walk.
     
  14. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    Jenny,

    This is one of these issues where the "strong" need to shut up already.

    Too often pro-alcohol consumers are very emphatic that "they" are strong and have to educate all those poor weak brothers and sisters.

    When in fact a better approach would be quiet respect and forebearance for what has been and continues to be an area of great struggle for many Christians.

    Dan
     
  15. Sven

    Sven Puritan Board Sophomore

  16. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor


    And that is correct, alcohol is not inherently evil any more than sex, the internet and all sorts of good things God has given us, but there are biblical qualifications on their use.

    One of the great difficulties we have with alcohol is that while there is no strict prohibition of it in Scripture, there are many qualifications on its use.

    And while history and culture are not determinative as a standard of God's righteousness, few things have been more visibly destructive because of their misuse than alcohol. That's why during the last great revival so many towns were "cleaned up" from the alcohol and related fighting and vice that literally overcame them. One can still see this in some inner city areas, on and near Indian reservations, in some border communities with Mexico where alcohol misuse is having an enormously bad effect... and in the lives of those who have and are struggling with this widespread problem right now.
     
  17. CNJ

    CNJ Puritan Board Senior

    Hey, Jenny in Scotland! If you get beat up here, go to the Tea Parlor for ladies only.

    I wrote on my blog here about the problems of having neighbors over with a BYOB where people bring their own alcohol to our house. I also teach a class for people arrested for driving after they have been drinking. See DUI Songs

    Some years I don't have any wine. This year I had a glass of wine to celebrate cutting up a lot of rhubard to freeze--it was a lot of work. Then recently my husband and I went to a winery with some Reformed friends and sampled little amounts of their wine. We then bought the cheapest one. I hate beer--never developed a taste for it.

    Recently my husband's son gave me a rare copy of God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. It can be ordered from NiceneCouncil.com and traces three views that Christians have had about alcohol. Jerry doesn't have many copies, so hurry if you want to get one.
     
  18. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    And there we have a fundamental difference, I want us all to discuss this freely and openly and Dan accuses me of heavy handed proselytizing and I should 'shut up'.

    Dan, 'quiet respect and forebearance' does not have to mean 'shut up'. Back up and give this one another go, I'll be patient this time.


     
  19. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman


    I wasn't adressing your post directly -- nevertheless, please accept my apologies.

    The phrase, "shut up already", was meant as an attention-getting dash of cold water.

    Christians have a wide variety of views on this topic, and perhaps the most gracious approach is to guard certain opinions more closely, in my humble opinion, and not trot them out as proof of "strength" vis "weakness."
     
  20. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    And what if Scripture calls our brethren with extra-sensitive consciences to certain things "weaker brothers?" Is it wrong to say exactly what Scripture says on the topic?
     
  21. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    But Dan, this IS a discussion board where we gather to discussion these very kinds of issues. We need to improve our thinking through challenging and logical interaction and we need to improve our ability to defend what we believe. I agree that we ought do this graciously but not everyone has learned that art yet and need to be exposed to vigorous and even aggressive defense.

    Christian may have a wide variety of views on this topic but we here are concerned with what the biblical view is. It's not a difficult question when we get past our own sentiments and bias. Good and godly folks disagree on this issue but we must be able to defend our application from the scriptures.

     
  22. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    Oops. I didnt' meant to thank your post. I was trying to scroll down and hit my thanks button Apologies.
     
  23. wallingj

    wallingj Puritan Board Freshman

    Now your in trouble! :eek::smug::lol:
     
  24. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    Yep, I'm kicked out for sure now.
     
  25. DanMcCormack

    DanMcCormack Puritan Board Freshman

    I couldn't agree more.

    But (I know, another qualifier) far too often alcohol is used as the test case for "strength."

    "Well, I can drink, those people against it are just weak..."

    My thoughts can be summarized thusly: Be careful with that reasoning -- it's deadly.
     
  26. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    I would say we do not have liberty to totally abstain, as the cup we drink at the Lord's Supper is to be wine. The church does not have the authority to change to grape juice.
     
  27. Glenn Ferrell

    Glenn Ferrell Puritan Board Junior

    It is good to gently point out, we should not call something sin which God in his word has not called sin.

    WCF XX:2- God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.​
     
  28. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    My dad was a drunk. He was usually a nice drunk but now and then he got abusive.

    I remember once we went to a drive in restaurant. He drove but was so drunk that when we got there he ordered 'four humbuggers and a fried frenchmen'. We laughed ourselves silly.

    One night he got drunk at my uncle's house and had my sisters with him. My sisters were 14 and 11. After 5 miles of a 60 mile trip he realized he was too drunk to drive. He had my 14 year old sister drive the rest of the way. My mom wasn't very happy when they pulled in but the marriage had been severely weakened by drunkeness and adultery and didn't last much longer.

    Before my dad left he took a sledge hammer and destroyed everything we owned. Tables, chairs, tv, stereo, lamps. We ate on a picnic table in the dining room for over a year. My mom went on food stamps and took an awful job in a tool crib at a factory. My sisters got into so much trouble, one ended up a cocaine addict who tried to sell her baby.

    This is all to say that I have no doubt of the destructive power of alcohol abuse. It destroys families and lives but it's the abuse that we must argue against. Alcohol abuse is a direct violation of the 6th commandment but it's not the drinking of alcohol that is a sin. Our Lord drank alcohol. We can argue about the percent of alcohol by volume but we dare not call it sin.

    Alcohol, drug, food, people and animal abuse are all sins and we should all share an equal revulsion and a responsibility to teach against abuse.

    In all honesty, alcohol abuse brought about some of my most painful memories but fellowshipping over a mug of beer or a glass of wine has resulted in some of my most treasured memories, the PB meet-up of two weeks ago not excluded - THAT was a foretaste of Heaven.
     
  29. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    Jenny - I do hope you don't feel "piled on" by the arguments presented here. I know they may seem personal, but they're really not. I will admit that I myself saw your post and had a knee jerk reaction of "legalism!" but after reading through the thread again, I can see where you are coming from, though I do disagree. If you do need a break, please join us in the Tea Parlour. :) We would love to see you there. :)
     
  30. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    I am NOT malnourished!
     
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