By Aaron Blumer Sep 11 2019 AlcoholTotal AbstinenceChristian Liberty"I am not a prohibitionist. I believe that efforts to classify wine in the Bible as grape juice border on the silly. People drank alcoholic beverages and the Bible does not call that sin." - I Hate Alcohol 1706 reads There are 26 Comments I Don't Understand Either mmartin - Wed, 09/11/2019 - 11:47am Good piece. This quote . . . "I hate the stuff. I don’t understand the passion some of you guys have for it. I only see the families destroyed, the lives lost, the devastation, detritus, and destruction wrought in the lives of the people I minister to by this stuff. I don’t see the joy of it." Truth! If that's all he sees... Bert Perry - Wed, 09/11/2019 - 1:49pm ...maybe he needs to revisit the dozens of places where Scripture speaks positively about wine, starting with the 2nd chapter of John. Yes, the Bible speaks against drunkenness, but just about as often, it speaks positively of wine. From a ministry standpoint, it's important to understand why people overindulge--as a general rule, it's not that people get "surprised" by alcohol and all of a sudden are addicted. It is--Russia, native americans, etc..--that people find it a useful way to dull the pain, at least until persistent drunkenness results in alcoholism and the pain is far, far worse. On the flip side, alcoholism is far less prevalent in societies like the Mediterranean nations, where wine and the like is part of joie de vivre. Worth noting; there is some evidence that Russian young people are far less likely to succumb to drunkenness or alcoholism because they're drinking mostly wine and beer, much more like Frenchmen or Germans, historically, than Russians. On the flip side, many young people in Italy are getting into trouble because they've got pain to dull (25% unemployment among young people, for example), and they're drawn to mixed drinks with multiple shots of hard liquor. In other words, why you drink, what you drink, when you drink, with whom you drink, and the like are all critical questions of we really want to help problem drinkers. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Me Too Mike Harding - Wed, 09/11/2019 - 7:27pm Great Article. Fair and honest. I have also pastored for more than 40 years over a large ministry and I echo this man's observations. I have seen so many die tragic and premature deaths because of alcohol, both in my Mom and Dad's families, but also in other families. Today I spoke with a woman who wept in my office over this issue with her husband. She is seeing a lawyer tomorrow. They have five children. Destruction, absolute destruction. It is not necessary in a modern society; it does not help people to live soberly; it has enormous potential for enslavement; and it is much more toxic today than in ancient times. Drink if you will, but you might do so to your own peril or the peril of others. I hate the stuff too and always have since I grew up in a drunkard's home. Pastor Mike Harding Sobering Jay - Wed, 09/11/2019 - 8:55pm I will never understand why so many insist on making a major issue out of this. Yes, you can drink alcohol biblically. I'm not going to debate that. Whether or not you should is a different matter. A glass of wine in your home with your spouse, in private, where nobody knows about it? Sure, OK. Going to a sports game and getting three or four (financial hit aside) and drinking to the point of being unsafe to drive or otherwise impaired? Talking to your friends and arguing for the "best" kinds? It seems like way too many of our YRR friends have taken the biblical principle of "I can" and turned it into a badge to be flaunted - "I can drink but the rest of you need to grow up and get with it." It's the same principle with tobacco and/or marijuana. Yes, you can. It doesn't mean you should. There's just way, way too much danger inherent. Proverbs 23 is there for a reason, folks. It does bite like an adder at the end. So why handle the snake in the first place? "Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells We're not the ones pushing this Andrew K - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:48am Jay wrote: I will never understand why so many insist on making a major issue out of this. Yes, you can drink alcohol biblically. I'm not going to debate that. Whether or not you should is a different matter. A glass of wine in your home with your spouse, in private, where nobody knows about it? Sure, OK. Going to a sports game and getting three or four (financial hit aside) and drinking to the point of being unsafe to drive or otherwise impaired? Talking to your friends and arguing for the "best" kinds? It seems like way too many of our YRR friends have taken the biblical principle of "I can" and turned it into a badge to be flaunted - "I can drink but the rest of you need to grow up and get with it." It's the same principle with tobacco and/or marijuana. Yes, you can. It doesn't mean you should. There's just way, way too much danger inherent. Proverbs 23 is there for a reason, folks. It does bite like an adder at the end. So why handle the snake in the first place? Yes, YRRs have been immature on this issue... as they have on nearly everything else. Immaturity is practically baked into their name, so I don't know why this should be a surprise. Meanwhile, those such as the MSRs (Middle age, Staid, and Reformed) among us, for example, have been quietly sipping a lager with our mutton vindaloo for years, wondering what all the fuss is about. Not Wise mmartin - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 9:09am Like the author of this piece, I just don't understand why I should drink. Nor, frankly speaking, do I want to understand. True, the Bible does not have a direct command against alcohol, but it does say it is "Not Wise" (Proverbs 20:1). I believe "Not Wise" in the Bible carries almost as much weight as a direct statement against. O My G. N. Barkman - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 9:42am My sentiments are pretty strongly with the tone of this article. However, I now find myself defending the pro-drinking position by correcting the statement by Mr. Martin. Proverbs 20:1 does not say that drinking alcohol is not wise. (Although that is my personal opinion.) It says that whoever is deceived by wine is not wise. That is an important distinction. If one drinks but never to excess nor in such a way as to cause a brother to stumble, he has not been deceived by wine. If he thinks he can drink safely, but crosses the line into excessive drinking, he has been deceived. G. N. Barkman anecdotes Darrell Post - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 9:54am This page could go on and on for a record-setting number of posts with specific anecdotes of people destroyed by addiction to booze. I know of one young man who in his 20s was rescued out of alcohol addition. He was restored to church, marriage rescued, family restored. He grew for a while in the church, but for some reason unknown to me, left that church for a YRR church in the area. The youthful leadership of that church, knowing the man's background, encouraged him to start drinking again, you know, he was obligated to enjoy the fruits of God's creation and all that. Do I even need to tell the rest of the story? The man was destroyed. Marriage lost. Family gone. Life ruined. Concerning being deceived by David R. Brumbelow - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 10:12am Concerning being deceived by wine (Proverbs 20:1), the first thing alcohol affects is your judgment. Many a man, after committing the unthinkable, has said, “If I hadn’t been drinking, I never would have done it.” It is best, wise, safe, prudent to be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 NKJV Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. David R. Brumbelow Anecdotes Bert Perry - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:06pm I could go on and on from all the times I've prayed on Wednesday nights for someone suffering from an overdose of..... FOOD. The CDC backs me up on this; alcohol--generally meaning abuse of alcohol--kills about 88000 people per year. The abuse of food, combined with a lack of exercise, kills 678,000. It is not even close--the only thing remotely close is tobacco, really. If only our circles spent the same energy preaching against gluttony that we spend preaching against alcohol.... With regards to why one would use it, I notice that most commenters are really using anecdotes of people abusing alcohol to impugn using it at all. It is as if I looked around my church and told everyone they could never have another cheeseburger or piece of pizza because I see a number of fat people, and then when those who were not overweight or obese objected, I said that it's obvious that if you never have the first cheeseburger, cheeseburgers will never make you fat. Well, yes, true, but Scripture hardly commends starvation to us as a Biblical alternative, no? Same thing with wine. If you look at the actual usage of the word in the Scriptures, what you'll find is that wine is a regular feature of Hebrew life, used responsibly by the vast majority. In contrast, only about half of Americans use food responsibly, as evidenced by our rates of being overweight or obese. The fact that some advocates of wine don't adequately understand the realities of addiction does not change that. So why would one want to drink wine as a Christian? Well, for starters, it's a good gift of God, and going further, we might note that if indeed it was a regular feature of Hebrew life, learning about the process of making it and enjoying it serves much the same purpose as a trip to Israel; it helps immerse you in the realities of ancient life there. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Obviously Food Abuse not the same as Alcohol Use Mark_Smith - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:45pm Is gluttony a sin? Ok. But have you ever seen a person eat a Big Mac then beat up his family when he loses control due to the influence of the "special sauce"? Neither have I. Have you ever seen a person eat a bag of chips and then drive into a car full of a family, killing them all? Neither have I. One other thought Bert Perry - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 12:58pm Regarding people blaming alcohol for crime, let's keep in mind that those crimes are committed while drunk. In short, the perpetrator had already made the decision to sin by drinking to excess. If just a few glasses of wine did the trick, you'd have horrendous results in every wine tasting in the country. They'd shut them down. It's worth noting as well that responsible bartenders and restaurants cut off people when they've had too much. Again, reality is that these things generally do not "sneak up" on people. Those getting drunk know exactly what they're doing and why. They sometimes get nasty surprises about the consequences, but sometimes not--they don't call liquor "liquid courage" for nothing. And for those who want to cite the passages against drunkenness, here are some passages with speak of wine as a valued offering to God, a blessing from God, and something that rejoices the heart. Brothers, it is all about balance. It makes no sense to blame wine in general for the results of drunkenness than it does to blame cheeseburgers for obesity, guns for murders, or pretty girls for fornication and rape. The person using good gifts from God is responsible to use them responsibly. Gen. 14:18, Gen. 27:25, 27:28, 49:11 (note reference to Christ), 49:12, Exodus 29:40, Leviticus 23:13, Numbers 15:5, 15:7, 15:10, 18:12, 18:27, 18:30, 28:14, Deuteronomy 7:13, 11:14, 12:17, 14:23, 14:26, 15:14, 18:4, 32:14, 33:28, Judges 9:13, 19:19, Ruth 2:14, 1 Samuel 1:24, 10:3, 16:20, 25:18, 2 Samuel 16:1 &2, 2 Kings 6:27, 18:32, 1 Chronicles 9:29, 12:40, 27:27, 2 Chronicles 2:10, 2:15, 11:11, 31:5, 32:28, Ezra 6:9, 7:22, Nehemiah 2:1, 5:11, 5:18, 8:10, 10:37, 10:39, 13:5, 13:12, Job 1:13, 1:18, 32:19, Psalm 104:15, Proverbs 3:10, Proverbs 9:2, 9:5, Ecclesiastes 9:7, 10:19, Song of Solomon 1:2, 1:4, 4:10, 5:1, 7:2, 7:9, 8:2, Isaiah 5:2, 5:12, 16:10, 24:11, 25:6, 36:17, 55:1, 62:8, 65:8, Jeremiah 31:12, 40:10, 40:12, 48:33, Lamentations 2:12, Ezekiel 27:18, 27:19, Hosea 2:9, 2:22, 9:4, 14:7, Joel 2:19, 2:24, 3:18, Amos 5:11, 9:13 & 14, Micah 6:15, Haggai 2:12, 2:16, Zechariah 9:17, 10:7, 14:10, Matthew 9:17, 21:33, Mark 2:22, 12:1, Luke 5:37-39, 7:33, 10:34, John 2:3-10, 4:46, 1 Timothy 5:23 Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. G. N. Barkman wrote: Lee - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 3:36pm G. N. Barkman wrote: My sentiments are pretty strongly with the tone of this article. However, I now find myself defending the pro-drinking position by correcting the statement by Mr. Martin. Proverbs 20:1 does not say that drinking alcohol is not wise. (Although that is my personal opinion.) It says that whoever is deceived by wine is not wise. That is an important distinction. If one drinks but never to excess nor in such a way as to cause a brother to stumble, he has not been deceived by wine. If he thinks he can drink safely, but crosses the line into excessive drinking, he has been deceived. "Deceived"--coerced into believing something that isn't true or disbelieving something that is. It is a legitimate translation of the verse. Just because no harm happened does not mean that deception hasn't taken place. Deception speaks to purpose whether the end of that purpose is realized or not. To make a point: Fred/Wilma is a scorner. He/she is characterized in the same manner as the whore of Prov. 7 or the proverbial foolish woman of Prov 9 (the one whose goal is to seduce the simple and ignorant into all manner of wrong-doing). If you don't believe it you're a fool (deliberately not wise). There would be absolutely no discussion about the rightness/wrongness of anyone's abhorrence if Fred/Wilma was the subject because we all are crystal clear as to the proper reaction to the scorner and clamorous seductress. Mess with Fred/Wilma you're a fool whether or not Fred/Wilma accomplishes their purpose. Allow some influence from Fred/Wilma and we're legitimately spiritually arrogant twits. Allow some influence from beverage alcohol and we're of the spiritual elites. Not sure why we're so eager to defend the indefensible in the case of alcohol when we'd happily cast Fred/Wilma into outer darkness for the fools or scorners that they are. Not seeing it. Lee Because of what the Bible teaches. G. N. Barkman - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 4:24pm Christian integrity demands that we interpret the Bible accurately, not try to make it say what we think it ought to say. In the case of wine, the Bible allows moderate use, but forbids drunkenness. I cannot forbid what the Bible allows. I can and should issue Biblical warnings about the deceptive nature of wine and the sin of drunkenness. Christians often have difficulty separating personal opinion from Biblical teaching. My own personal opinion is that I choose to abstain from alcohol and I recommend that to others as a matter of safety. However, I cannot force my personal opinion upon others, nor scold them if they choose to exercise a legitimate Christian liberty responsibly. I am heart broken by those who are ensnared into alcohol addiction. I use their condition to help explain why I recommend abstinence. But I may not use their example to teach something contrary to what the Bible teaches. Integrity demands scrupulous honesty in Biblical exegesis. Drunkenness is a grievous sin. Moderate use is an allowable liberty. Bert's food analogy is helpful but is not apples to apples. Moderate eating is good. (And unlike wine, is necessary.) Over-eating is gluttony and sinful. (Although unlike wine, it does not cause a drug induced state that leads to many grievous ills.) Though helpful, it is not exactly the same. I can choose to abstain from wine as a matter of personal preference. I cannot choose to abstain from food. G. N. Barkman God blessed children who heeded prohibitions against alcohol RajeshG - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:39pm G. N. Barkman wrote: Christian integrity demands that we interpret the Bible accurately, not try to make it say what we think it ought to say. In the case of wine, the Bible allows moderate use, but forbids drunkenness. I cannot forbid what the Bible allows. I can and should issue Biblical warnings about the deceptive nature of wine and the sin of drunkenness. At least in the case of prohibitions from parents or others in authority over their physical descendants, the Bible provides a passage that shows that God blessed people who heeded a mandate from a father (Jer. 35:14; 35:18-19) that prohibited them from ever consuming alcohol (Jer. 35:6). Based on this passage, children who have been instructed by godly parents that they should never drink alcohol throughout their lifetimes have biblical basis to heed such parental instruction, regardless of what anyone else might say to them about why they should try alcohol, etc. https://apeopleforhisname.org/2013/06/is-gods-blessing-of-the-rechabites... Now see, this is my problem Andrew K - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:47pm Now see, this is my problem with this whole debate. Somehow, when it comes to this issue, theology, history, and hermeneutics go out the window, and very smart people start making silly arguments based on anecdotes, personal experience, tradition, and terrible exegesis. See above for several examples. Bottom line TylerR - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:54pm Here is where I come down: Bible teaches you may drink Bible teaches believer must be holy Drinking to excess violates holiness So: You can drink responsibly if you wish But, depending on who you are and what your weaknesses are, it may not be prudent. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? Once again.... Bert Perry - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 9:20pm People are, by and large, not "ensnared" into alcohol addiction. We really need to jettison this idea; with very rare exceptions, as we all learned in health class, and as we can all infer from CDC guidance regarding binge drinking (> 4 drinks in a few hours for most adults), alcoholism arises because the drinker drinks heavily, repeatedly. Even in populations or families genetically predisposed to addiction, this is how it happens. Really, this is one of the key mistakes most fundamentalists make regarding the issue. A lot of the "it's wiser to abstain" flows from this notion, and if it were true, we would find Scripture saying exactly that. On the flip side, if addiction flows from repeated drunkenness, we would expect Scripture to proscribe drunkenness, but support moderate enjoyment of wine. Which is exactly what it does, of course. Not that everyone must imbibe--one's free to abstain for reasons of alcoholism, taste, cost, culture, or no particular reason at all--and those who do choose to imbibe do need to consider what limits they want to have in place, just as with food. But please, let's not pretend that the only thing Scripture says about the subject is the proscription of drunkenness, or that drunkenness and alcoholism somehow "sneak up" on people. It's just not true. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Not me Mike Harding - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 8:30am Berry, The standard for being drunk in Michigan is .08. Some states are lowering it to .06. With 10% beers on the market today, wines between 14 and 21 percent today, not to mention hard liquor over 40%, it doesn't take much to be mentally and emotionally affected by this unnecessary drug, the main purpose of which is to alter a person's mental state of being. Wine in biblical times was 8-10% and normally reduced by dilution 2 to 1 (water to wine) to 2 to 3 percent alcohol. Read Randy Jaeggli's updated book on the subject regarding the Christian and Alcohol for his careful and thorough documentation on what I just said. Beer in biblical times was very low, much lower than today's beer. Distilled liquors and sophisticated breweries were entirely unknown and unavailable at that time. I understand why it was necessary to drink to some degree in biblical times. Paul's position was "not beside wine", "not much wine", "mix water and wine". This was extremely conservative considering the times in which he lived. Since alcohol is not necessary in a modern society, poses more dangers in a modern society, much more toxic in modern beverages, causes many people to stumble, causes untold tragedy in millions of lives, offends countless others, does not contribute to living soberly, and can easily damage one's testimony, prudence would suggest abstinence today. Personally, I hate the stuff for the untold damage it did in my family growing up. Nothing but death, hurt, grief, sorrow, pain, bankruptcy, abuse, hate, anger, and destroyed relationships. I saw it first hand hundreds of times. Feel free to drink if you want and encourage others to drink if you choose. Not me! Pastor Mike Harding For sake of accuracy & argument: Larry Nelson - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 9:24am Mike Harding wrote: With 10% beers on the market today, wines between 14 and 21 percent today, not to mention hard liquor over 40%, According to this source, they range from about 5.5% to 23% (with the highest percentage wines usually/often fortified): https://winefolly.com/tutorial/the-lightest-to-the-strongest-wine/ Mike Harding wrote: Wine in biblical times was 8-10% and normally reduced by dilution 2 to 1 (water to wine) to 2 to 3 percent alcohol. A question I've raised before on SI (always previously ignored) is this: Joe Christian walks into a restaurant and orders a sirloin dinner. Thinking it will compliment the flavor of the meat, he also orders a glass of wine (a typical 5 - 6 oz. serving). During the meal, he also sips from & finishes the glass of water (18 - 20 oz.) that is on his table. Here's my question: has he not therefore diluted the wine by a ratio of at least 3 to 1? If not, what's the difference if wine is diluted pre- or post-ingestion? Was it diluted? Bert Perry - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 10:03am Mike, pretty much everything you're saying is false. For starters, actual wine--as opposed to fortified (distilled spirits added) wines--tops out at about 16% alcohol because more alcohol actually kills the yeast. Was wine weaker back then? Well, brother, it was the exact same species of yeast back then that it is today working on the exact same species of grape. Hence, any increases in alcoholic % are going to be marginal. Along those lines, you'll find weaker whites at around 8-10%, and reds range from about 13-15% for the most part. It's only when you get to port (distilled spirits added) that you get up around 20%. We are not talking about night and day differences in alcoholic % here. Is it "easy" to get to the level Scripture describes as drunken, for example in Proverbs 23? Well, if you look up the symptoms there, those occur at about 0.15% to 0.2% (which is also the average BAC for DUI arrests), and to get there, you need about 3 quarts of average beer, 1.5-2 bottles of average wine (more if it's a weaker white), or ~ 12 ounces of distilled spirits if you're an "average" 200lb man. Even the legal limit for driving--about half that--is a hefty amount of liquor for most of us, so let's dispense with the notion that it's "easy" to get drunk. It's not. One rather decides to get drunk in almost all cases. Regarding the notion that the Hebrews mixed wine with water, there is precisely one reference to that in the Scripture, Isaiah 1:22, and that refers to mixing wine with water as a symbol of spiritual and physical degradation. To put things mildly, using Jaeggeli's book as a reference is a really bad idea, because BJU Press took the first edition off the market and removed everything that wasn't completely in keeping with BJU "orthodoxy". That reeks of propaganda. Regarding the notion that there is nothing but death and grief and the like, about 95% of drinkers do not experience anything like what you say, Mike, and the Bible tells record of the joy of the wine harvest, the way wine rejoices the heart, and more. We fundamentalists need to honor all of what Scripture says here, not just when it conforms to our culture. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Jaeggli TylerR - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 1:02pm Have the book. Actually, had it for several years. Need to read it. Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist? G. N. Barkman wrote: Lee - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 1:07pm G. N. Barkman wrote: Christian integrity demands that we interpret the Bible accurately, not try to make it say what we think it ought to say. In the case of wine, the Bible allows moderate use, but forbids drunkenness. I cannot forbid what the Bible allows. I can and should issue Biblical warnings about the deceptive nature of wine and the sin of drunkenness. ...Drunkenness is a grievous sin. Moderate use is an allowable liberty. ... Prov. 1:1-7 "1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:...7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Prov. 8 "1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? 2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. 3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. 4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. 5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. 6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. 10Receive my instruction...35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. 36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death." If wisdom is right and playing the biblical fool is wrong, which the Book of Proverbs gives every indication is true, then the matter of alcohol as presented in Prov. 20:1 among other places is a simple matter of right/wrong. "...whoever is deceived [errs; is lead astray] thereby is not wise [ '...wrongeth his own soul' ]." Lee For Lee Bert Perry - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 2:04pm Lee, the trick regarding your argument is whether the original readers would have read things that way--this would be the original readers who celebrated as the grape harvest was brought in, pressed the grapes into into must/new wine, and who rejoiced as the wine fermented and aged into old wine. To pose the question is pretty much to answer it, but in your first comment, you're assuming that calling wine a "mocker" (though it is an inanimate substance) is the same as calling people mockers (big stretch of exegesis IMO), and in your second, you're simply ignoring the rest of the counsel of Scripture. Again, I've provided a list of verses which show that the Bible repeatedly and consistently describes wine as a common fixture of Hebrew life, one which was used in Temple offerings, one which was a sign of blessing from God, and one for which the recipients rejoiced and praised Him. If we are going to call ourselves "fundamentalists", holding to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, we ought not be cherry-picking (and misinterpreting) the verses that rightly denounce drunkenness while ignoring the verses which praise God for His good gift of wine. Aspiring to be a stick in the mud. Main purpose of alcohol?? Steve Davis - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 7:32pm I respect Mike Harding and understand his call to "prudence." However, it's not true concerning alcohol that "the main purpose of which is to alter a person's mental state of being." That may be true for some. I'm a certified addictions therapist and have worked bi-vocationally for years with addicts of different substances. Many seek to alter their state of being due to trauma, abuse, abandonnment, etc. It might also be true for those Mike knows. It's not true for the majority of people I know who enjoy a beer with pizza or a glass of wine with certain foods in moderation. The last church I helped plant in France in 2008 had bottles of wine on the table for church meals. I don't expect that in the US and don't practice that in our Philly church plant. I neither encourage others to drink nor condemn those who enjoy God's gift of wine with thanksgiving. Steve Davis www.gracechurchphilly.org www.urbanmissional.com Why Drink Wine? Bob Hayton - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 2:27pm I follow the discussion here with interest. For me, studying Scripture caused me to actually go through the work it took to gain an appreciation of wine and alcoholic drinks. Coming from a teetotaler position (no alcohol at all) I had no knowledge or even desire to do this, but Scripture pushed me to appreciate what God praises as good. In a post summing up my position on wine, I summed up my thoughts like this: I believe that Scripture praises wine, with it’s joy-producing qualities (a relaxed, calmed mind and uplifted heart) as a good gift from God for mankind. God gave us this for our good, but like many of God’s other gifts (food, sex, etc.) we abuse it and suffer the consequences. We can enjoy the gift of wine without sinfully abusing it and becoming intoxicated (or drunk). Drunkenness is sin, not a disease; but Christians can responsibly enjoy wine without getting drunk (which is sinful and wrong). (By the way my post responds to Aaron Blumer's response to my initial post detailing my position on this.) Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.