|If you refuse the first drink...|
NB: I don't want to get into a big debate over this, as I have a lot on at the moment. So (for what it is worth) these are just a few passing thoughts:
In our Scripture class today in Clogher Valley ICS, we continued our studies in John's Gospel. We look at the whole of John 2, but concentrated our discussion stuff round in the somewhat thorny matter whether or not, professing Christians can consistently drink alcohol. Bearing in mind that the class age is around the 12-13 year old mark, great and indepth studies are simply not on. However, we noted that the NT Greek word for the wine that can make you drunk with excessive intake in Ephesians 5:18 is the exact same word that is used (x4) in John 2 about the stuff which our Lord miracously changed from water. Therefore, did our Lord make alcoholic wine? If so, then we could consistently drink it.
Why can two types of wine (i.e. alcholic and non alcholic) not share the same designation i.e. wine? This happens already in other languages, including out own. The word "drink" in English can take in anything from Vodka to lemon tea or water.
My clinching argument (as far as I can see) is that the Bible gives us a number of warnings and exhortations regarding what is clearly alcoholic drink in Proverbs. And, behold in John 2, a greater than Solomon is here. Proverbs 20:1 states:
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.Did our Lord, at a wedding where vows where solemnly made, miraculously (and to manifest His own glory) produce that which is said to mock, rage and deceive? Those who argue for the alcholic wine position must tell us why the Holy Son of God chose to do so.
Another Scripture we introduced to the discussion was the well known one from Proverbs 23:29-31
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Did our harmless Lord Jesus (who neither is tempted nor tempts any man) set before the eyes of the Bride and Groom and all the gathered well wishers (including His own mother and family and disciples) that which He said previously, they were not even to look upon? Would encouraging them to drink that which leads to woe, sorrow, contentions, babblings etc., really be a fitting contribution to the Wedding Feast from its most Illustrious Guest?
Again. those who argue for the alcholic wine position must tell us why the Holy Son of God chose to do so.
In closing, we mentioned also:
* The terrible problem in the UK with binge drinking.
* The noble fight of great Christians like General Booth, Fred Charrington and Billy Sunday against the liquor trade.
* Why abstaining from the appearance of evil in this matter is definitely the way to go.
These are just a few thoughts. I was pretty much preaching to the eight strong choir this morning. Maybe not so much in this blog.
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