New research shows even moderate drinking isn't good for your health

“The analysis…. found not only no significant health benefit to moderate alcohol consumption, but also that drinking a daily serving of alcohol of less than 1 ounce for women and around 1.5 ounces for men increased the risk of death.” - GMA


The sources I'm familiar with define moderate drinking for women at 1 drink/14grams alcohol per day, and up to 2 drinks/28 grams alcohol per day for men. This meta-analysis uses 25/45ounces, or about 2 drinks/day for women and 3 drinks/day for men.

So more or less, a higher dosage was selected in order to start getting clear results, and in doing so, they only managed to do so when the test sample got to some fairly serious drinking. They also don't distinguish between daily glasses of wine and weekend binge drinking. The latter has a large impact on both physiological impacts and the likelihood of deadly accidents.

To draw a picture, a man drinking 21 drinks per week can do one per meal and never get beyond 0.02BAC, or he can have five episodes of binge drinking where he exceeds the legal limit to drive, or he can have two or three episodes of binge drinking where he gets to 0.15-0.17BAC and is as drunk as Proverbs 23 describes.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

My moderation is 2-3 drinks a week:

  • A beer with a hamburger (1 night a week)
  • A glass of red wine with pasta (1 night a week)

This Sunday we will be having mimosas (OJ and sparking white wine) at brunch after church

I'm ok with the risks because I never drink and drive, I only have a drink with a meal, and at most 3 drinks a week

I'm not pushing drinking - I'm ok with my practice

No matter what studies show - whether pro or con - people (and professing Christians) who want to consume alcoholic beverages will continue to consume alcoholic beverages. The wisdom aspect of this issue takes a back seat to personal preference. The next generation almost always goes beyond the limits their Christian parents impose on themselves concerning alcohol. Very Foolish.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

Wally, not quite true. The prohibition of alcohol really only started in the early 1800's. And its focus was not on the elimination of the alcohol, but tempering its abuse. In the early 1800's people were drinking 3 times the amount of alcohol as they do today. It wasn't until the late 1800's that Methodists and other piety religious groups sought to end it entirely. The picture of no alcohol consumption was something that over the last 10,000 years consumed only 100-150 years of that history. A bit distorted if you view today as Christians sliding. You could just as easily say that many Christians are returning to a puritanical living as it relates to alcohol.

More or less, it was in 1689 that the English reduced taxes on distilled spirits so that excess grain could be used and grain prices supported. This led to scenes like those depicted in Hogarth's "Beer Street and Gin Lane". In the U.S., I suspect a major impetus was the amount of grain that was taken to New Orleans in distilled liquid form, and catastrophes suffered by those manning the flatboats carrying it. Attempts to control hard liquor were the start, and that did lead to pietistic Methodists (and bootleggers) working to ban all alcohol.

Side note; one of these days, it would be fun to see a study mapping out the safe dosage for calories, sugars, and saturated fats. The official statistics, at least a few years back, were close to 700,000 annual deaths from the standard American diet (SAD) and lack of exercise, which dwarfs the ~90,000 annual deaths from alcohol (most of which are drunkenness deaths).

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

...we should debate which era was being foolish.

But seriously, Wally, what you're doing there by saying "the next generation goes beyond what their parents imposed" is to set up a slippery slope fallacy, when what's really at stake is that many of today's Christians see passages like John 2 and say "looks like Scripture does allow the use of wine in moderation." If a slippery slope regarding alcohol were true, we'd expect a constantly increasing consumption by year since ancient times--and we might joke that by the time the Dark Ages came around, our ancestors would have been too drunk to move. Civilization would have ended before Charlemagne.

Regarding the notion that it's a "wisdom" issue, you want to be very careful with that argument, because if we say that wisdom consists of never touching alcohol (perhaps even including vanilla extract or cough syrup?), we've implicitly just accused Jesus of being unwise.

I would hope we would agree that we should not go there.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

The slippery slope has proven true more often than people like to admit. I've lost count of how many times I've seen a younger generation take a family's "Christian liberty" or "It's just a cultural choice" to incorporate behavior that the parents never practiced.

One time I went to a large grocery store chain and counted the different beverages available. Well over 200 different kinds of non-alcoholic beverages. How many did people in the 1st century have and what was the quality of their water? Not many and not good. If someone wishes to "follow Jesus", then dilute your alcoholic drinks as He did. Different circumstances than today, but I think people know that.

As far as Nyquil: I do not use that brand, too expensive. I use a non-alcoholic medicine. Medicine is the key word (Paul's advice to Timothy). Beer isn't medicine.

Disingenuous Arguments from some.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

Wally, you're noting that children are doing things their parents didn't do, but that's not necessarily bad. For example, I'm watching young and middle aged people worship with people who are racially and ethnically different from them, and that is something that largely didn't happen back in the 1960s, as many fundamental and even evangelical leaders were actually on the wrong side of the Civil Rights movement. I also view it as a good thing that these same people are learning the musical genre of the cultures they're worshipping with.

So change isn't inherently bad.

If you're going to argue that it's bad, then you have to make the case, more or less, that it's incredibly harmful or sinful. It's hard to do that when one's Savior came "eating and drinking" (and was called a glutton and drunkard), and made over a hundred gallons of wine to keep the wedding party going.

Addition; one side note is that while some scholars do believe the Israelites watered down their wine, the only unequivocal reference to this practice is Isaiah 1:22, where the clear implication is that it is a bad thing that in times of unfaithfulness to God, their wine was diluted with water. So I don't know that I can buy that Israelites watered their wine down as is commonly stated--if they did, you'd blow out your bladder before getting drunk, and the Bible does warn about drunkenness.

(to get a 210 lb guy like me to the point of Proverbs 23, it would take about 1.5 liters of full strength wine of today....water it down to 3% alcohol or less, and we're talking two gallons or more, and many trips to the loo before one even starts to feel the alcohol)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.