Baptist Kids Learn Exciting Account Of Jesus Turning Water Into Grape Juice

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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He laughs but I have yet to hear a solid counterargument to the following:

  • Inebriation is forbidden in Scripture (and yes, buzzed socializing is drunk socializing)
  • An inebriating substance in a beverage is a defect
  • Yes, wine in NT times usually had this defect (except when it was fresh out of the press--which is also called "wine," by the way... which is grape juice, by the way)
  • Jesus would not have any need to create a defective beverage
G. N. Barkman's picture

Is a weight gaining substance in food a defect?  Is a cholesterol inducing substance in food a defect?  Isn't calling an inebriating substance in a beverage a defect an assertion which is highly contestable?  Isn't the overuse of food and alcohol the "defect," not the moderate use?  (Spoken by one who voluntarily chooses to abstain from alcohol.)

G. N. Barkman

Ron Bean's picture

There goes blue cheese, sour cream, kimchi, and vinegar.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

David R. Brumbelow's picture

The Bible says Jesus made wine, it does not say Jesus made alcohol. 

The Bible refers to alcoholic wine, as well as nonalcoholic wine (grape juice), with the same word, “wine.” 

In the same verse (Matthew 9:17) Jesus called both unfermented wine and fermented wine by the same name - “wine (oinos).”  Scripture often calls unfermented wine / grape juice by the name, wine (Proverbs 3:10; Isaiah 16:10; 65:8; Joel 2:24).

The Bible says Jesus made wine.  If you believe that wine was intoxicating, that is your interpretation, not you just taking the Bible for what it says.  

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

....makes very clear the Hebrew (and Greek) preference for a beverage that would stretch wineskins, and got better as it got older.  Good luck making that case with a yeastless grape juice.  Verse 10 moreover clearly establishes that the wine they'd been drinking would dull the senses.  

Keep trying to torture the historical data, David, but it's not going to confess.  

Regarding "buzzed" vs. "drunk", it seems to me that the Old Testament does use the term (in the KJV) "merry" to describe a place where the person was sociable with wine, but not necessarily drunk as defined in Proverbs 23.  Think Boaz in Ruth 3:7.   I think it's often "good heart" or something like that in Hebrew.  Keep in mind that to get to the symptoms described in Proverbs 23, you're really talking about an amount of wine (especially if mixed) that will quickly have someone "standing against the wall", to paraphrase the Hebrew/KJV idiom.  So I don't think we can view alcohol as an inherent defect that way.  If we did, bread is defective, too.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Jim, Bert,

You believe it is permissible to use a recreational, mind-altering drug (alcohol) in moderation. 

Do you also believe it is permissible to use another recreational, mind-altering drug (marijuana) in moderation, in the states where it is legal? 

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting, to build on Aaron's point, that fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), many minerals, and commonly used intoxicants like caffeine and sudafed become poisonous in excess.  I know of a case where drinking too much water killed a girl--she was at a rave and thought she'd sweated a lot more than she had.  But since many of these substances are necessary to life or are a huge blessing to enjoyment of life, I cannot call them bad substances.  They are just, like a lot of things, harmful in excess.  

Plus, Scripture tells us to give wine to the perishing so they can forget their trouble--this appears to be almost an endorsement of drunkenness in certain contexts.  So the long and short of my response to David is that at least in certain cases--cancer, concussions--I don't fault the person who smokes a bit of dope to cope with chemo or deal with concussions.  My own mother took Marinol during chemo (which includes synthetic THC), and had a morphine drip on her deathbed--I actually calculated the flow rate to make sure it wouldn't run out, since I'd seen how she suffered when it merely ran low.  That's Biblical in my view.

The point where the use of any substance becomes sinful is really when (a) you're using it just to get drunk/stoned and (b) you don't have an issue like "perishing" that would make it legitimate, Biblically speaking.   We've tried prohibitionism in churches the same way we've tried prohibitionism in government, and all it leads to at the church level is the old joke:

Protestants don't recognize the Pope, Jews don't recognize the New Testament, Catholics don't recognize the Westminster Confession, and Baptists don't recognize each other at the liquor store.

It's time to try a better, more Biblical way.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Bert,

I was not asking about the medicinal use of marijuana. 

You and Jim have justified the recreational use of alcohol.

So, do you also justify the recreational use of marijuana, in states where it is legal? 

David R. Brumbelow

Jim's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Bert,

I was not asking about the medicinal use of marijuana. 

You and Jim have justified the recreational use of alcohol.

So, do you also justify the recreational use of marijuana, in states where it is legal? 

David R. Brumbelow

I do not advocate the "recreational use of alcohol". I do not subscribe to your view that moderate consumption of beverages with alcohol "alters the mind".

My view is that:

  • There are passages that speak of beverages with some alcohol positively
  • The Bible does not prohibit moderate consumption of beverages with some alcohol 
  • It is a tertiary issue
  • Probably best for the majority of Christians to abstain
  • No one who moderately consumes should use their liberty in a way to cause another to stumble
  • While you like to link marijuana with this issue, I do not

I am not advocating sitting around in bars getting buzzed or getting buzzed after a hard day of work!

The Craig Muri view earlier in this thread [on the other thread] comes close to my view

Bert Perry's picture

12:12 pm, third paragraph.  Use of any substance is a sin if the practice is intoxication and there are no extenuating circumstances.  Like Jim, I don't view the drinking of a couple glasses of wine, or the drinking of a few cups of coffee, as drunkenness.  

So for dope, the question is simply whether a person can use it recreationally for a purpose besides getting stoned.  This article suggests that smoking one joint with "typical" dope will get one to about 4x the legal limit for driving, and here's a video of people smoking and driving--in a controlled course.  The officer is saying that they'd be pulled over when they hit about 10x the legal limit on a rainy day.  Sure didn't take much for them to get there.  For comparison's sake, DUI arrests are made at an average of about .17% BAC, a bit over twice the legal limit in most states.

So unless they're sharing one joint with a bunch of their friends, their chances of remaining legally and ethically sober are remote.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Steve Davis's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Jim, Bert,

You believe it is permissible to use a recreational, mind-altering drug (alcohol) in moderation. 

Do you also believe it is permissible to use another recreational, mind-altering drug (marijuana) in moderation, in the states where it is legal? 

David R. Brumbelow

I know this was addressed to Jim and Bert for whatever they are advocating. I just wanted to say that whenever the marijuana argument is introduced it appears to show up when the arguments for total abstinence seem weak. I have to confess that BC (forty years ago) I smoked a lot of weed and now work with ex-cons in drug therapy (mostly for opiates) among whom are many weed smokers. I think it's safe to say that when someone smokes a joint recreationally it is for one reason - to get high (or buzzed). I don't know that I've ever met anyone who smoked for any other reason. Now of course one can get buzzed wih drinking wine although it's less likely in moderation (a typical glass) with food and depending on one's metabolism. Most people I know who drink wine do not do it to get buzzed (with some exceptions). This should not be taken as an encouragement for anyone to drink wine who doesn't. Neither is it condemnation to those who do (in moderation of course). 

BTW, I'm not sure when "recreational" began being attached to drinking wine in moderation. If in the sense of enjoyment then yes pairing a red wine with red meat for an enjoyable meal might be called recreational.

 

 

G. N. Barkman's picture

In my early years, I taught and defended "the Bible teaches abstinence from alcohol" position, just as I was taught it growing up.  It seemed to make sense, and it seemed the safest position to avoid abusing alcohol.  Like many of my early positions, this one began to unravel as I continued to study the Bible.  It just does not hold up to careful exegesis.  If one takes the abstinence position (or prohibitionist) as a starting point, and filters all Biblical evidence through that lens, you can almost convince yourself that this is truly what the Bible teaches. 

That is, until you begin to notice the passages that do not fit into this mold.  If you goal is to understand accurately what the Bible actually says, instead of forcing it to say what you think it ought to say, you will eventually discover that the abstinence position cannot be honestly supported by Biblical teaching.  Then you will realize that it fits into the category of things indifferent, about which Christians have liberty to take differing positions.  It also allows you to forcefully prohibit what the Bible actually prohibits, namely drunkenness.

G. N. Barkman

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that if we are going to speak against all "recreational drug use", we not only need to start cracking down on coffee, tea, and soda, but as foods also interact with the brain, we then need to talk about the uses of "recreational foods".  More or less, any meal that you don't just eat, but rather also enjoy, is "recreational food use".  Sorry, folks, chocolate is right out, and if you eat meat, you'd better boil it instead of grilling or barbecuing it.  We might have something of an outlet for "social eating" where the enjoyment of good foods can be done only when in the company of others who will stop you before you enjoy it too much and get fat.  Maybe. 

Reality here is that speaking of "recreational" drug use is just plain silly.  Doesn't God tell us in Ecclesiastes 9:7 to eat our bread and drink our wine with joy?  Wouldn't that be a form of recreation--re-creation and being made new?  Why would we take a Biblical concept like recreation and make it into a bad thing?

Let's get back to brass tacks.  Gluttony and drunkenness are bad.  Recreation within Biblical norms is good.  Let's not confuse them.   

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Suppose your teenage daughter is driving down a dark lonely two lane road after dark. 

A car is coming toward her. 

Would you rather that driver coming toward your daughter had just finished a chocolate bar, or a bottle of alcohol? 

David R. Brumbelow

JBL's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

He laughs but I have yet to hear a solid counterargument to the following:

  • Inebriation is forbidden in Scripture (and yes, buzzed socializing is drunk socializing)
  • An inebriating substance in a beverage is a defect
  • Yes, wine in NT times usually had this defect (except when it was fresh out of the press--which is also called "wine," by the way... which is grape juice, by the way)
  • Jesus would not have any need to create a defective beverage

 

I think the argument that you made on 10/01 goes like this:

Since use of Item A (alcohol)  CAUSES  Sin B (drunkenness)
Then God/Jesus would never create Item A (e.g., at the wedding at Cana).

Could this logic apply to eyes and hands in Matthew 5:29-30?

That is:

Since hands and eyes CAUSE adultery/sin,
Then God/Jesus would never create hands/eyes?

Clearly non-sequitur.

 

How do you feel about these arguments?

  1. Hands and eyes are created.
  2. Hands and eyes can be used in a godly and ungodly fashion.
  3. If hands and eyes perpetuate unrepentant ungodly behavior, it is better to cut them off.
  4. Not everyone has to cut off their eyes and hands.

And similarly,

  1. Alcohol is created.
  2. Alcohol can be used in a godly or ungodly fashion.
  3. If alcohol perpetuates unrepentant godly behavior, it is better to abstain from it.
  4. Not everyone has to abstain from alcoholic consumption.

John B. Lee

Bert Perry's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

Suppose your teenage daughter is driving down a dark lonely two lane road after dark. 

A car is coming toward her. 

Would you rather that driver coming toward your daughter had just finished a chocolate bar, or a bottle of alcohol? 

David R. Brumbelow

Nice dodge, David, but I was addressing the fact that you're assuming that the recreational use of anything that affects the brain is wrong.  The fact of the matter, scientifically speaking, is that various substances in our foods, not just alcohol, do affect how we think, and therefore if we speak of "recreational drug use", we can by the same logic speak of "recreational food use", and that very phrase, in the context of Ecclesiastes 9:7, is ludicrous, Biblically speaking.

Really, phrasing the drinking of wine as "recreational drug use" is an attempt (as you've done here) to lump in the person who has a glass of wine with marijuana users and heroin addicts. I think it's safe to say that the 60% of Americans who drink alcohol without getting drunk would, if they read your comments, tell you "that's not appreciated, Mr. Brumbelow", in no uncertain terms.   I certainly do.

And the person coming towards me, or someone I love, on the highway?  Well, what is the dosage of either substance, and tell me about their age, driving record, and medical history.  As I noted on the other thread, medical events do appear to kill up to 4000 people on the highways every year, so it's not a gimme that the kid with the chocolate bar is a safer driver than the middle aged man who's had a glass of wine with his dinner.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Rob Fall's picture

were regular events during the summer growing up.  We'd tour the cellars and dad would stop in the tasting room.  He'd try then buy some of their zinfandel.  Mom of course drove home.  Wine was drunk at the table as an accompaniment to Italian food, steaks, roasts, and salmon.  Full glasses were not poured. Any wine remaining in the glasses at the end of the meal was poured down the kitchen sink.  Why? Wine was treated as another spice not as a drug.

My father disliked drunkards and alcohol was not viewed as a relaxer.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Bert Perry's picture

....if we would claim that God would not have created anything that is a temptation to sin, please explain why He created pretty young women.  

I mean, seriously....

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

G. N. Barkman's picture

Whom the Bible describes in more than one place as beautiful in face and form.  Hmmm

G. N. Barkman

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Food or gluttony is a weak argument in favor of recreational or moderate consumption of alcohol. 

You have to eat. 

You do not have to drink alcohol. 

Also, most who drink alcohol will admit it is for the drug effect.  Otherwise, you can consume nonalcoholic drinks that are made to taste like the alcoholic drinks.  But, they have never been overly popular; maybe because they don’t give you a buzz. 

Be sober.  -1 Peter 5:8

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

Regarding David's claim that nonalcoholic wines are just as good:  I found a review of "some of the best ones", and this is what they warn:

If you are not expecting an exact replacement of alcoholic wines, you may be pleasantly surprised by how their non alcoholic counterparts measure up. Alcohol plays a critical part in bringing all the flavors of wine together, and when that is critical piece missing, it’s very difficult to come up with exactly the same profile. 

I'm sorry, David, but wine drinkers (and craft beer drinkers) have some of the most sensitive taste buds and noses out there.  They are not, as you insinuate, trying to get drunk, but they simply enjoy the taste and the experience of having a glass with friends.  And there is a reason that good vintners and brewers don't make nonalcoholic versions of their products--they would quickly trash their reputation, because the flavor profile is indeed damaged by distillation.  (all those smells and tastes are volatile compounds....do the math, they go bye-bye in distillation)

Maybe...talk to someone who's tried "near beer" or NA wine before making such absurd claims?  Just a hint, brother.   Or look at your Bible--"the old wine is better". 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

“Since the first commercial production in 1985, ARIEL has gained recognition from the world’s leading wine critics and connoisseurs. 

Before ARIEL’s debut, non-alcoholic wines were widely believed to lack the quality of traditional wines. But at the 1986 Los Angeles County Fair, ARIEL Blanc went up against wines with alcohol and was awarded the Gold Medal. Since that moment, ARIEL has gone on to earn critical acclaim and numerous awards in competitions throughout the world.

ARIEL began to see tremendous growth in the early 90’s when celebrity chef Graham Kerr, star of the hit television cooking show The Galloping Gourmet, took notice of ARIEL and called it ‘remarkable… a wine of our time, a light-hearted celebration and a gracious gift of hospitality.’”

http://www.arielvineyards.com/our_history.html

David R. Brumbelow

Steve Davis's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

 

Also, most who drink alcohol will admit it is for the drug effect.  Otherwise, you can consume nonalcoholic drinks that are made to taste like the alcoholic drinks.  But, they have never been overly popular; maybe because they don’t give you a buzz. 

Be sober.  -1 Peter 5:8

David R. Brumbelow

David,

It's comments like this that do not serve you well. How do you know that "most" people will admit they drink alcohol for the drug effect. Do you know that many wine drinkers?  Have you done some polling and statistical analysis. Even if it were true (and it's not) you would be hard pressed to have them "admit" it. You would be safe with "some" but when you say "most" you betray your ignorance in the matter (not that you are ignorant in all matters). I could claim that "most" wine drinkers  I KNOW do not drink wine for the drug effect or at least do not admit it. But I know only a limited number of wine drinkers. I also know "some" wine drinkers who drink for the drug effect and do admit it. I've been their therapist. I don't know if you ever drank wine and are speaking from past experience. If you haven't I'm not encouraging you to try it. But you are claiming what you cannot know. You do better when you stick with your attempts at historical and biblical arguments (although I don't find them convincing I respect you for them). There may be some non-alcoholic alternatives as you mention. I can't imagine they compare to the great variety found in a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Chianti, Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc. but I'm open to try if you would like to send me a bottle. 

Steve

 

 

Rob Fall's picture

to know the wine used at the EC-B church I sometimes attend is too sweet fro my taste. CVome to find out, they buy kosher more than likely Mogendavid wine.  Mogendavid is based on Greman desert wines.  I would prefer they used a good California red table wine.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

JBL wrote:

 

Aaron Blumer wrote:

 

He laughs but I have yet to hear a solid counterargument to the following:

  • Inebriation is forbidden in Scripture (and yes, buzzed socializing is drunk socializing)
  • An inebriating substance in a beverage is a defect
  • Yes, wine in NT times usually had this defect (except when it was fresh out of the press--which is also called "wine," by the way... which is grape juice, by the way)
  • Jesus would not have any need to create a defective beverage

I think the argument that you made on 10/01 goes like this:

Since use of Item A (alcohol)  CAUSES  Sin B (drunkenness)
Then God/Jesus would never create Item A (e.g., at the wedding at Cana).

Could this logic apply to eyes and hands in Matthew 5:29-30?

That is:

Since hands and eyes CAUSE adultery/sin,
Then God/Jesus would never create hands/eyes?

Clearly non-sequitur. ...

My argument is far simpler than you have tried to make it. Your analogies don't answer the argument because they are not actually causes.

The argument is extremely simple:

Other things being equal, A is better without potentially harmful substance B included. Premise 2: Jesus would have no difficulty accomplishing the "other things being equal" and making A without B.

Bert Perry's picture

Probably the best question to ask is one I've already asked; why bother with the extra work and expense to get an inferior product?  To David's link, I've learned that that one ought to take a company's own marketing materials with a grain of salt, and if the most recent accolade the company can point to is a county fair in 1986--even that for LA County--the nicest thing that can be said is that the company is pointing to rather faint praise.  One decent vintage in over three decades?  

And really, what's the purpose?  Really, the reason one ought to consider abstaining is that drinking might cause alcoholics to fall off the wagon--but if you share something that's indistinguishable from the real thing until the second or third glass, you've done the exact same thing, really.  You've encouraged them to drink.  So it's a solution in search of a problem.  

Also, if I became aware that a church was using Mogen David (aka "Mad Dog") wines for communion, I would send a note of concern.  While I'd guess the church Ron mentions is NOT using 20/20, an infamous fortified "bum wine", their wines are made with concord grapes and blackberries, and therefore are going to have similar smell and flavor hints as 20/20.  I'm OK with real wine for communion, and think kosher wines may send a good note for the same, but using MD just really shows a lack of concern for people who struggle with alcohol.

(there are some very drinkable kosher wines out there, but as far as I know, MD does not make any of them)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Bert Perry wrote:

I'm OK with real wine for communion.....

While I was visiting Israel several years ago, our tour's guide at the Garden Tomb (which is overseen by the Anglican Church) asked our group midway through our visit if we would like to take communion while there.  Certainly, we all agreed; and we had three Baptist pastors among us who were happy to officiate.  

After a few-minute wait at one of a few seating areas scattered within the grounds [ http://www.panoramio.com/photo/39954638 ], our guide returned with a tray holding wafers & small communion cups for our group of 28.  Also on the tray was an opened bottle, from which the communion cups had been filled.

Well, a woman near to the tray saw the label on the bottle, and burst out with this: "I'm not getting drunk!" (verbatim).  I believe it happened to be a merlot.  Our guide, appearing startled, and after a further exchange of words with her & others in the group (not all of which I overheard), walked away with the tray.  He eventually returned with grape juice instead.

Here's what I gathered from this incident: there apparently are abstainers and/or prohibitionists who think that any amount of alcohol consumed results in drunkenness, even the contents of a tiny plastic communion cup. 

Bert Perry's picture

David, I was thinking of going line by line in your assertions there, but I think it's better to ask a simple question.  Given that about 60% or more of Americans have used alcohol without ever getting drunk, let alone becoming alcoholics, it's extremely likely that people who you've taught are going to go on to learn that many of the things you're teaching about alcohol are just plain false--that fermentation is not rotting, that doctors do recommend red wine for various reasons, that one sip is not intoxication, and the like.  

Now if you're repeatedly saying false (and often inflammatory) things about wine, are your hearers more, or less, likely to believe you on other topics?  Like, say, the Gospel?

Lot more at stake here than just whether someone has a drink every now and then, David.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

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