Archive for January, 2012

So this whole thing is called I AM SECOND

You maybe wondering “Whats first?”

Come on out to Average Joes in New Albany this Monday Jan 23rd at 730p. As we start our next series in our IAS group, “Whats First”

Just because there is no more football on monday nights doesnt mean you cant still come out to hang with the guys.

The Blue Jackets play at 8pm and its wing night!

Or you can stay at home with your wife/girlfriend etc. and watch “The Bachelor”

Your choice…..

See ya there!

Advertisements

Jesus drank wine? Isn’t that a sin?

Posted: January 21, 2012 by donaldsonta in Doctrine
Tags: , , ,

Jesus drank wine.  It’s okay for us as Jesus-loving Christians to enjoy wine, or other alcoholic drinks.  This post explains a couple ideas on the subject and gives some helpful scriptural references to validate key points.

First we have to determine where alcohol was in the Bible.  The alcoholic drink most common in the Bible was wine.  Unfortunately the word wine could theoretically refer to the juice of grapes in either a fermented or unfermented state.

“Grape Juice” It sounds reasonable if you don’t put hardly any thought into it.  But bearing much examination this theory really falls apart.  Historically we know Beer was around at this time.  By other mention we also know ‘strong drink’ was available in this time.  But flying in the face of this is a bunch of adults celebrating at every turn with ‘grape juice’.

Grape juice is good.  But not that good.  All kinds of celebrations in the Bible have “wine” served.  If we are to assume that people love juice SO much, at least one mention would have been made of another type of juice. In 1400 years no one thought “Let’s serve apple juice for this one!”?  Of course not.  People celebrate with wine.  They always have, and probably always will.  God made wine for us as a blessing.  This is spoken of in Psalms 104.

and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. (Psalms 104:15)

John tells us how Jesus makes some wine for a friends wedding.  A man then comments about the quality of the wine, and the generosity of the host stating “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10 ESV)  This passage only makes sense in the light of the wine being more than grape juice.  After the celebrators tongues are numbed, a less generous host would serve a poor vintage wine.  The term ‘drunk freely’ in nearly every interpretation means ‘drunk’.  No one gets drunk on grape juice.

In Acts the Apostles find themselves understood by travelers from all over the world when they are teaching the Gospel.  They know this is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but others make fun of them in the passage: But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” (Acts 2:13 ESV)  Have you ever witnessed someone with garbled speech as a result of too much juice?

In Isaiah 25 we see Jesus with wine again. This can be interpreted as literal wine, or as a representation of Jesus buying our Salvation.  Neither interpretation lends itself well to the belief that alcohol is sinful.  Further, it is described as ‘aged’.  Grape juice that is aged is interpreted in English as ‘wine’.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples. a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

(Isaiah 25:6 ESV)

No one would believe every verse in the Bible that refers to wine is actually referring to grape juice.  Legalists totally believe wine refers to alcohol so long as the verse in question supports their point of view.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
  and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
(Proverbs 20:1 ESV)

Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
  he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
(Proverbs 21:17 ESV)

Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
as wine inflames them!
(Isaiah 5:11 ESV)

Have you ever heard someone tell their child they couldn’t have grape juice so close to bedtime because they won’t be able to sleep if they’re enflamed?  Do you worry that you’ve been led astray by grape juice, or that grape juice, and not riverboat gambling may be the cause of your current financial crisis? Of course not. None of those verses tell a person to not drink alcohol, but they do give us several examples of how God expects us to be led by Him, loved by Him, and have a passion for Him, not for alcohol.

There’s actually a lot of passages in the Bible where God refers to wine being a blessing, or mentions a lack of wine as a sign of Gods blessing NOT being upon his people. For example God blesses his people in these verses:

Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.

(Isaiah 55:1)

They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
and they shall languish no more.

( Jeremiah 31:12)

Sometimes God’s blessing is not upon a people, and lack of wine is used to illustrate that fact:

Gladness and joy have been taken away
from the fruitful land of Moab;
I have made the wine cease from the winepresses;
no one treads them with shouts of joy;
the shouting is not the shout of joy.

(Jeremiah 48:33)

They cry to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like a wounded man in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers’ bosom.

(Lamentations 2:12)

As a grasping at straws retort some might make the accusation that drinking is sinful by way of “making your brother stumble”. By this same logic should all women be forced to wear a burka? A young lady walking down the street in normal clothes might cause a man to stumble. What should we do? Burkhas? House restrictions? Should women only be moved at night in cargo vans?

Do I advocate taking a recovering alcoholic to a bar? No.

Do I recommend making prayerful and considerate decisions? Yes.

Is it okay for person with a history of alcoholism to drink alcohol?  Maybe?  Are we talking ticky-tacky more than 5 alcoholic beverages per week USDA/insurance quoting definition, or are we referring to a person who has a genuine problem with alcohol?  Is the alcohol damaging to the persons relationship with God?  Does the alcohol cause the person to treat others in a way that Christ does not advocate?  In the case that the person has a genuine problem with alcohol it becomes Biblically wrong for the person to drink.  Not because the alcohol is wrong, but because the person places the alcohol in a place of more importance than their relationship with Jesus.

Overall, there just isn’t any scriptural basis for not drinking alcohol. Legalists will continue splitting hairs about Greek and Hebrew words for fermented and unfermented wine, but reading the actual Word of God makes the answer clear. Alcohol, like many, many other things in this world is a blessing that God has given us that can be abused.  Money, cars, food, children, travel, homes, or sports are some other examples of  ‘idols’ that a person might put before God.  Alcohol is a beverage.  It shouldn’t be a lifestyle.

Keep God first in your life, pray before making decisions, and make a daily commitment to strengthening your relationship with Jesus.  Through prayer and  Bible study each person can make determine the Will God has for them.

God Bless,

Terry

Ya the Holidays are over but come finish the season out strong with I Am Second on Jan. 9th at 7PM.

And dont forget we will be watching the BCS National Championship Game LSU vs Bama rematch! Kickoff at 830.

We will be checking out the last series in “Hope For The Holidays” with star MLB OF Josh Hamilton. Probably one of the best comeback stories ever!

We will again be at Average Joes in New Albany at 7PM on Monday Jan. 9th. Come on out for a good time, great story, wing night, and the BCS Championship game!  See ya there!