Convictions and Complexities about Drinking

Today I am going to take a stab at applying convictions and preferences to the subject of drinking. Let’s begin with convictions.

Convictions in General

A conviction is a belief or value we embrace as a crucial part of what we stand for and who we are. It is very different from a preference—or merely assenting to a belief or value.

For the believer, there are two levels of conviction. The first level—the deepest level—involves biblical conviction, although some deep convictions may extend beyond the Bible (e.g., a soldier surrendering his life for our country’s freedom). Our biblical convictions should be first and foremost. Where the Bible is emphatic, we must be clear and take a firm stand. This does not mean we must demand others to take that stand, but we certainly must urge fellow believers to follow what the Word actually says. This is not necessarily what we think it says, but what it actually says.

The difference between a biblical conviction and a preference is that we would suffer loss rather than disavow our biblical convictions. It may mean we lose a job, flunk a class, or be ostracized. In some nations, it means imprisonment or even death.

A preference, however, is something we prefer, but would not suffer for. For example, if we preferred to attend church Sunday mornings but lived in a culture where Friday was the national day off (as in a Muslim country), we could adjust and conduct church on Friday.

As our society becomes more aggressively anti-Christian, we are often disappointed to see supposed believers who (we thought had convictions) cave in. We discover that their “convictions” were actually preferences.

A lesser level of conviction involves beliefs that are not emphasized in the Bible; these are matters of conscience. Paul mandates we respect one another’s consciences in Romans 14:1-23 and I Corinthians 8:1-13.

Use of Alcohol, the Bible, and Evangelical/Fundamental History

Many Christians suggest that the Bible teaches moderation in drinking, while many others have concluded that the Bible teaches total abstinence. My suspicion is that the younger generations are more likely to embrace drinking, while the older generations oppose the idea.

Some of us choose to avoid alcohol—not because we believe it is wrong in moderation—but because it would be wrong for us. Take my case: I hail from a long line of alcoholics, including my father, uncles, and both grandfathers. I may have a genetic predisposition, so I am better off not getting into the habit.

How did abstinence and conservative evangelical/fundamental Christianity become paired together in the first place? In 1750, no Christians (to my knowledge) were against drinking in moderation. The Puritans, for example, would discuss theology while drinking ale. All churches used fermented wine for communion. How did things change?

Change began with the temperance movement. Evangelical Christians have a heritage of supporting the temperance movement of the early 20th century (that resulted in Prohibition). Because of the push against alcohol, a company named “Welch’s” began bottling unfermented grape juice—for communion use!

In addition, conservative evangelicals started rescue missions over 100 years ago—before the current secular “soup kitchens” caught on. People who have an alcoholic background are often brought down by just one drink, so our spiritual forefathers’ attempts at helping these people meant across-the-board abstinence for all church members. Some church covenants still require church members to totally abstain.

Today we battle all sorts of drug abuse, making substance abuse one of America’s premiere issues. Most people have concluded that Prohibition was a drastic mistake, and few of us are working with rehabilitated alcoholics. Like it or not, many Christians in America are now drinkers, at least on occasion. At the same time, we are completely free to abstain. We do not need to start drinking to prove with are with the times, free, or flexible!

When it comes to the Bible, alcohol use (in moderation) is the biblical example. The Greek word for unfermented wine (trux or trugia) is never used in the New Testament. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how someone could stumble over using grape juice (if that is what “wine” meant, as some claim) in Romans 14:21. A natural interpretation—and all Bible versions agree—tell us that Jesus turned the water to wine, not grape juice. We must pursue a biblical (rather than historical and agenda-driven) ethic.

Many Christians believe drinking alcohol is wrong, even in moderation. Others choose to abstain because of a logical argument (alcohol does more harm than good). Others take a moderation approach. But all of us need to be sensitive to others.

We do not allow alcohol at church events for good reason. Romans 14:21 (ESV) reads:

Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Sometimes we need to adjust our habits based upon those around us, but only at the time. Otherwise we would all be abstainers and all vegetarians! Consideration for those who have sincere beliefs is a good thing; this is not the same as letting people with legalistic bents bully and impose their rules upon us.

Paul is talking about “weaker brothers” who would not be upset they didn’t get their way—but would be truly hurt—and perhaps emboldened to do things that bothered their consciences.

Moderation and Christian Alcoholics

Alcoholism within the Christian world is a genuine problem. Some people are typically driven toward excesses. Others (like Native American Indians) have a biological factor that makes alcohol highly addictive.

Drunkenness is a sin. Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (NASB). The problem, though, is that most alcoholics (or occasional drunks) live in denial. One time, I knew a man who became so drunk he got in a fight with a fire hydrant. He lost. But he would talk about being able to “hold his liquor” and “not being drunk a day in his life.” The denial factor is strong.

Because we seem to have two polarized camps—drinking is always wrong or drinking is okay—we have failed to give real guidance to those who do drink.

So here is my attempt to do so. If you do drink, do you have to drink every single day? Or do you generally drink more than two or three drinks in a given day, or more than ten drinks a week? Are you safely within the boundaries of moderation? (For more information on defining moderation, see www.moderatedrinking.com.)

If you have a problem, you should elicit the prayer support of discreet members of our church family (like our elders, for example). There is no shame about enrolling in a treatment program or seeking Christian counseling.

All of us have our struggles; we all need the Holy Spirit to work within us through the Word, prayer, and relational involvement with our church family. Sometimes the best way to overcome sin is to focus upon loving God and loving others.

Ed Vasicek Bio


Ed Vasicek was raised as a Roman Catholic in Cicero, Illinois. During his senior year in high school (1974), Cicero Bible Church reached out to him, and he received Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Ed earned his BA at Moody Bible Institute. He has served as pastor of Highland Park Church since 1983. Ed and his wife, Marylu, have two adult children. Ed has written many weekly columns for the opinion page of the Kokomo Tribune, published articles in Pulpit Helps magazine, and posted many papers at his church website. Ed has also published the The Midrash Key and The Amazing Doctrines of Paul As Midrash: The Jewish Roots and Old Testament Sources for Paul’s Teachings.

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I was going to post a few thoughts on my own perspective on the topic, but soon realized I had more than 500 words, so... I think maybe I'll just post as a short article tomorrow.

But I want to say that I appreciate Ed's tone here and the emphasis on helping believers who have come to the conclusion that some alcohol consumption is permissible for them.

I also think Ed's summary of the history of how total abstinence became status quo among most of the old-time evangelicals and later fundamentalists is correct. Billy Sunday era revivalism along w/the temperance movement (and, interestingly, early feminism) were all part of the mix.

Rom. 14, Greek words for "unfermented wine," wisdom angle, etc..... tomorrow.

josh p's picture

Thanks for the article. My understanding was that the support of prohibition from "Christians" was largely coming from the modernists. Is that not true?

JNoël's picture

Is all oinos fermented?

Is "new wine" a translation of "[new] oinos" - i.e. a beverage from newly squeezed grapes, which would have very little fermentation - certainly not even enough to give a person a buzz?

Point being that I agree the Bible does not declare 100% abstinence, but there was a preference for juice from grapes that were freshly squeezed. Why settle for what is okay (fermented) when we, in the 21st century, have access to what is best (unfermented)?

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Bert Perry's picture

See Acts 2: 13 for whether "new wine" was alcoholic or not.   Reality is that unless extraordinary measures are taken to prevent fermentation, grape juice ferments quickly.  That white powder on the skin of grapes is yeast, which occurs naturally in the air and feeds on whatever sugar is available.  (this is how you get sourdough, properly--a true sourdough is not started by adding a packet of Fleishman's to flour, water, and potato peels--you just leave the flour & water exposed to the air and it will start to bubble in a few days....it's actually a different type of yeast that works with lactobacilli to give it that characteristic taste)

So new wine is not completely fermented--that's why it's also called "sweet wine"--but it definitely contained alcohol.  And which was better?  Well, look at Luke 5:39.  The ancients preferred fully fermented ("drier") wines, according to our Savior.  Part of the attraction for old wines was also that it was pretty completely fermented and would not become vinegar if exposed to air.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Sean Fericks's picture

Music, wine, dance, sex, food, wealth, and power are all celebrated in the Bible.  They are all counted as blessings from God.  We should seek out and enjoy all of the above, but in moderation, within God's plan, and in worship of the Creator (rather than the creation).

It is true that the world, flesh, and Devil twist each of the above to abuse it, worship it, and throw it back in God's face.  It is a sin to take a blessed provision of God, and worship it, abuse it, or twist it.  We all struggle with sin, but the answer is not to necessarily reject the blessing outright.  The answer is to use the blessings of creation to worship the Creator (as is done in communion with wine).

There is a subgroup of Christians who, out of noble motive, attempt to distance themselves from excess and abuse by viewing some of the above as sin.  Although they take this view in an effort to avoid sin, they go beyond what the Bible plainly says.

 

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that Romans 14 is specifically talking about food and drink sacrificed to idols, not just some arbitrary "stumbling block" out there.  So those who would use it as a reason to compel others' abstinence ought to be asked what idol that wine or steak was sacrificed to, and why they're objecting to wine per Romans 14 but not that hamburger in their hand.

Sorry, but most of the time, "Romans 14" means "I am blackmailing you into giving up your freedom in Christ to support my Victorian cultural views."  It's way past time for that to end.

Regarding the alcoholic, are we to believe that the alcoholic can drive past multiple bars, liquor stores, beer trucks, billboards, vineyards and restaurants serving/advertising alcoholic beverages every day on the way to work, but cannot handle a brother in Christ enjoying a glass of wine?  Seriously?  

It certainly isn't what I've seen.  A good friend of mine is an abstinent alcoholic, and he works as a Lutheran pastor--serves real wine every week to his congregation.  He will eat meals at bars with his family--no problem.  Other friends of mine noted that when they go to Mass, they tell the priest with a simple hand gesture that they are alcoholics, and the priest will provide them grape juice at Communion.  They also went to company events where liquor was served with no problem.

Really, the same logic that is used to justify compelled abstinence could be used to tell a pretty young lady to disfigure herself so that her beauty would not be a stumbling block.  Sorry, but that is simply not what the Scripture tells us to do. It tells us about moderation and self-control.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

It's worth noting that Romans 14 is specifically talking about food and drink sacrificed to idols, not just some arbitrary "stumbling block" out there.  So those who would use it as a reason to compel others' abstinence ought to be asked what idol that wine or steak was sacrificed to, and why they're objecting to wine per Romans 14 but not that hamburger in their hand.

 

 

Absolutely not true, Bert. Where on the passage is idolatry mentioned? Nowhere! It's only assumed by interpreters who want to see it there. There are similarities with 1Cor 8-10, where idolatry is the issue, but the differences make it clear that the subject in Romans is not connected to idolatry at all.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert Perry's picture

Don, historians note that the traditional sacrifices to Zeus were meat and wine, and that the temple markets were where the poor could actually afford these items.  Now you can ignore this, and the obvious parallels with the passages in 1 Cor. you mentioned, but reality is that we are supposed to exegete Scripture in its historical and Biblical context.

Which means that, absent evidence to the contrary, our initial estimate ought to be that Romans 14 is talking about food offered to idols.   Sorry, Don, this is really, really basic exegetical method here.  

Besides, given that wine was used in Temple worship and was spoken of as a blessing from God, as was meat, and given that the Holy Spirit said "take, Peter, kill and eat" with regards to this issue, we have to assume that for Paul to even entertain the notion of abstinence from these good gifts of God, there must be a very emphatic reason.

Idolatry fits.  Victorian social gospel does not.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

The burden of proof is on those who claim idolatry is the issue in Rm 14. There is not one word in the chapter that leads to that conclusion. In 1 Cor, a specific word is used that clearly designates the issue as idolatry. Romans, written layer, probably in Corinth itself, makes NO mention of any connection to idolatry. You actually have no exegetical foundation to make the connection. What you have is eisegesis, not exegesis.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jim's picture

Helpful article from the ESV study Bible:  "Biblical Doctrine - An Overview"

(click on image for larger)

  1. Absolutes define the core beliefs of the Christian faith
  2. Convictions, while not core beliefs, may have significant impact on the health and effectiveness of the church
  3. Opinions are less-clear issues that generally are not worth dividing over
  4. Questions are currently unsettled issues.

Where an issue falls within these categories should be determined by weighing the cumulative force of at least seven considerations:

  1. Biblical clarity
  2. Relevance to the character of God
  3. Relevance to the essence of the gospel
  4. Biblical frequency and significance (how often in Scripture it is taught, and what weight Scripture places upon it)
  5. Effect on other doctrines
  6. Consensus among Christians (past and present)
  7. Effect on personal and church life.

These criteria for determining the importance of particular beliefs must be considered in light of their cumulative weight regarding the doctrine being considered. For instance, just the fact that a doctrine may go against the general consensus among believers (see item 6) does not necessarily mean it is wrong, although that might add some weight to the argument against it. All the categories should be considered collectively in determining how important an issue is to the Christian faith. The ability to rightly discern the difference between core doctrines and legitimately disputable matters will keep the church from either compromising important truth or needlessly dividing over peripheral issues.

 

Jim's picture

  • The drinking in moderation vs total abstinence would fall into the "opinion" category
  • Take for example the criteria of: is there a "Consensus among Christians (past and present)" 
  • Fundamentalists tend to collapse the concentric circles and make everything of utmost importance. 
Bert Perry's picture

Don, exactly why should we ignore the fact that Paul further defines why he might, or might not, eat meat or drink wine in 1 Corinthians?  Or why the possibility of abstaining from meat or wine would be counter-intuitive to those who understood them as a gift?

The exegesis of difficult passages is always supposed to occur in light of other passages on the topic, and with an understanding of the culture to whom those passages were written.  For example, let's try to parse out 1 Tim. 2:15 without appealing to our knowledge of history and that culture.  Do we conclude that we need to keep our wives barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, or else they be damned?

If we exclude parallel passages and a reference to their culture, that is exactly what we ought to conclude.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Jim wrote:

  • The drinking in moderation vs total abstinence would fall into the "opinion" category
  • Take for example the criteria of: is there a "Consensus among Christians (past and present)" 
  • Fundamentalists tend to collapse the concentric circles and make everything of utmost importance. 

I would have to say that not only do we tend to make everything of utmost importance, but in doing so, we often undermine what is truly important.  For example, if you ask many fundamentalists for an explanation of the Trinity, you will often get the ice-water-steam explanation that is actually a better explanation for Modalism, which is a heresy.  In the same way, when one makes questions (should we dance, should we drink, should we eat meat) pretty much a criteria for fellowship, we undermine grace alone and faith alone.

"Majoring on the minors", as it were.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Don, exactly why should we ignore the fact that Paul further defines why he might, or might not, eat meat or drink wine in 1 Corinthians?  Or why the possibility of abstaining from meat or wine would be counter-intuitive to those who understood them as a gift?

There is a lot of information to deal with in comparing the passages. I am preaching through Romans 14 just now. Well, I finished it last Sunday. I started on January 11. I also did a side bar on 1 Cor 8-10. A lot of material to cover, really not time to do it here, but if you are interested you can check out my sermons at gbcvic.org, pdfs are included for each message.

 

Bert Perry wrote:
The exegesis of difficult passages is always supposed to occur in light of other passages on the topic, and with an understanding of the culture to whom those passages were written.  For example, let's try to parse out 1 Tim. 2:15 without appealing to our knowledge of history and that culture.  Do we conclude that we need to keep our wives barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, or else they be damned?

If we exclude parallel passages and a reference to their culture, that is exactly what we ought to conclude.

1 Tim 2.15 is irrelevant to this discussion.

Romans 14 is not difficult. Paul is very specific about the kinds of things he is talking about. He is not talking about idolatry. Do you think that someone who spent three chapters dealing with idolatry amongst the Corinthians would not specifically mention it if he was dealing with the same issue with the Romans? Especially seeing as where he is writing from?

My point in this is not to take up the wider point of this thread, but to address the errant interpretation of Romans 14 that many people accept without dealing with the text. There is no way you can read Rm 14 as dealing with idolatry without reading that into the text. You have to leave your presuppositions aside and let the Bible speak.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Jim's picture

What I find compelling: The Corinthians, among their many problems, had an issue with people getting drunk at communion (I Corinthians 11:21):

  • Yet Paul, provided a golden opportunity to expound on the need to abstain from intoxicating beverage (that which caused their drunkenness), said ... 
  • "eat and drink" at home (1  Corinthians 11:22)
  • It would seem that the immediate context would equate "drink" in vs 22 with the drink that caused their drunkenness in vs 21.

There is a plethora of advice in the Scripture about

  • Drunkenness being sin
  • Habitual drunks not entering the kingdom
  • The dangers of abuse of intoxicants
  • The love rule of not offending 
  • Et cetera

I find the above sufficient without mandating a ban that the Scriptures do not. 

Further ... there are many good things (moral advice or safety advice) to take positions on. Like:

  • Save to have an emergency fund
  • Or prepare for retirement by having a lifetime of savings
  • Or wearing a seatbelt
  • Or not speeding 
  • Or voting conservatively (which would generally mean for a Republican)

Yet somehow drink has become the focus. I think that fundamentalism married itself to the  temperance movement in a way that dilutes the gospel by taking the focus off what is truly important. 

Don Johnson's picture

Jim wrote:

What I find compelling: The Corinthians, among their many problems, had an issue with people getting drunk at communion (I Corinthians 11:21):

  • Yet Paul, provided a golden opportunity to expound on the need to abstain from intoxicating beverage (that which caused their drunkenness), said ... 
  • "eat and drink" at home (1  Corinthians 11:22)

Interesting point. However, the issue then and the issue today are different. I don't think that you can argue strict abstinence from the passages of Scripture or deny that Christians in Bible times actually drank fermented beverages. However, I think you can argue from the Scripture based on the nature of fermented beverages we have today. The substance and the culture is vastly different and there are sufficient Scriptural reasons for prohibition of today's beverage/culture that we don't need an explicit Scriptural prohibition to make the argument.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

GregH's picture

I just don't get it. Everyone knows that the church has historically not a problem with drinking in moderation. Israel clearly drank in moderation.  We all know that prohibition is a very new thing in history. A completely abstinent position is just a blip on the radar of history. Are the total abstinence people saying that it took the church this long to get it right? Thank goodness for America in the 1800s because we finally figured out what God really meant about alcohol.

FWIW, I have no problems at all with a total abstinence position out of preference or conviction. I think it is wise in probably many cases. I am a non-drinker myself. But a mandate for all Christianity? That is just indefensible.

Jim's picture

One may join. Details here: 

http://www.wctu.org/wctu.html

Take the pledge: 

I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain  from all distilled, fermented and malt liquors, including wine, beer and hard cider, and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of and traffic in the same.

And pay dues:

We invite you to send your $10 enrollment dues to:
Mrs. Dorothy Russell, National Treasurer
PO Box 3140
Salem, OR 97302-3831
Ph 503-589-1046
Fax 503-370-7365
email: russell0569@comcast.net

David R. Brumbelow's picture

For those who insist the Corinthians used alcoholic wine for the Lord’s Supper:

(1) It never says they did.

(2) “Drunk” is contrasted with not having enough to eat, and the passage is only speaking of eating, not wine.

(3) The word “drunk” can obviously mean intoxicated, but it can also simply mean filled or satiated. Notice it contrasts being drunk (or filled with food), with others being hungry (1 Corinthians 11:21); not with others having no wine.

(4) Even if the Corinthians were using alcoholic wine for the Lord’s Supper, Paul is not complimenting them but reproving them.

(5) Should we use what may be the most immature church in the New Testament as our example in this regard?

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-we-dont-use-alcohol-for-...

David R. Brumbelow

Jim's picture

Don Johnson wrote:
However, the issue then and the issue today are different

The "That was then and this is now" argument: Goes like this:

  • Wine then is not wine now
  • Because wine now is different, the Scriptures cited do not apply

The "That was then and this is now" argument:

  • The argument invalidates and eviscerates the Scriptures! 
  • And ... whatever they were drinking in 1 Cor 11 was enough to get them drunk! 
GregH's picture

That PBS special about the prohibition movement is well worth watching. It is fascinating how we have been groomed to think the way we do about alcohol.

Jim's picture

The overseer is to "not given to wine" (1 Tim 3:3) while the deacon is to be "not given to much wine" (1 Tim 3:8)

What I deduce from this:

  • The wine is most certainly intoxicating else why would the overseer need to eschew?!
  • I see a higher standard for the higher office (the teaching office) 
  • For the overseer (and I would see this as the pastor-elder-bishop): Abstain
  • For the deacon: OK in moderation. 

Of course the "that was then .. this is now" would again invalidate this text. It would have no relevance to the current discussion. 

Jim's picture

 "Should we use what may be the most immature church in the New Testament as our example in this regard?"

Actually I am not using them as an example but rather making the very cogent and unanswered point that Paul in that case did not call them the abstain. 

To make "drunk" = to "satiated with food" is laughable! Find another place where μεθύω = "satiated with food". Next you will be equating it with sleeplessness (1Th 5:7)

Bert Perry's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

 

Jim wrote:

 

What I find compelling: The Corinthians, among their many problems, had an issue with people getting drunk at communion (I Corinthians 11:21):

  • Yet Paul, provided a golden opportunity to expound on the need to abstain from intoxicating beverage (that which caused their drunkenness), said ... 
  • "eat and drink" at home (1  Corinthians 11:22)

 

 

Interesting point. However, the issue then and the issue today are different. I don't think that you can argue strict abstinence from the passages of Scripture or deny that Christians in Bible times actually drank fermented beverages. However, I think you can argue from the Scripture based on the nature of fermented beverages we have today. The substance and the culture is vastly different and there are sufficient Scriptural reasons for prohibition of today's beverage/culture that we don't need an explicit Scriptural prohibition to make the argument.

Actually, apart from distilled liquors--whiskey, brandy, vodka, fortified wines-- the beverages we have today, and the processes used to make them, would be recognizable to Pharaoh and Jacob.  Beer is limited in strength by the amount of maltose that can be coaxed from the barley (same stuff you use for a chocolate malt, BTW), and wine is limited in strength by the fact that yeast dies at about 20% alcohol.  That hasn't changed since Noah become the world's first vintner.  

And the culture?  Same as it ever was, really. I looked up the U.S. data back to 1850, and it's about two gallons of pure ethanol per capita ever since then.  50% beer, 40% distilled spirits, 10% wine, more or less.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JNoël's picture

Sean Fericks wrote:

Music, wine, dance, sex, food, wealth, and power are all celebrated in the Bible.

 

You may want to throw violence/war into that list, too.

 

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

JNoël's picture

GregH wrote:

I just don't get it. Everyone knows that the church has historically not a problem with drinking in moderation. Israel clearly drank in moderation.  We all know that prohibition is a very new thing in history. A completely abstinent position is just a blip on the radar of history. Are the total abstinence people saying that it took the church this long to get it right? Thank goodness for America in the 1800s because we finally figured out what God really meant about alcohol.

FWIW, I have no problems at all with a total abstinence position out of preference or conviction. I think it is wise in probably many cases. I am a non-drinker myself. But a mandate for all Christianity? That is just indefensible.

But, there's an awful lot of caution in the Bible about alcoholic beverages. So it isn't prohibited, but it is very strongly cautioned, more so than Music, Dance, Sex, and Food. Could it be that all of those cautions are there to warn of something dangerous enough that one would be foolish not to abstain when we live in a time that the preservative nature is irrelevant?

Ashamed of Jesus! of that Friend On whom for heaven my hopes depend! It must not be! be this my shame, That I no more revere His name. -Joseph Grigg (1720-1768)

Sean Fericks's picture

A blessing from God that is so dangerous that we should not partake of that blessing from God?

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