Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Alcohol? Godly? Christlike?

My Friends, I Thank God Always for the opportunity,to once again Place "Pen to Paper"! On a issues that faces us all today, in the Church, and outside of the Church. For this "Food For Thought" has been inspired by many thru out the world, for on my recent visit to the South African People, I had time to reflect and experience this issue first hand in so that after much prayer, I now would like to share my thoughts,with all of you, in the hope you too, may take time out to reflect and examine yourself, and your life choices, and to ask the question.

Alcohol? Godly? Christlike? And Me!

My Friends, the church is facing many challenges, both externally
and internally. One of these is the ever increasing
problem of alcohol consumption among the saints.
The influence and effectiveness of the church will be
diminished and compromised, if this situation is not
remedied. Therefore, the issues with which this "Food For Thought"
will deal is whether one is prepared not only to put his
own life at risk, but also his family’s, and whether he
is willing to compromise the influence which he exerts
on this world as a Christian. Values are caught more
often than they are taught; accordingly one should ask,
“How influential am I going to be in teaching the Gospel
to my family and others in the community and around the world? What type
of example am I setting, and what kind of legacy am I
leaving behind? Is it worthy of emulation?” Are thoughts; that one might want to be mindful of, at every moment, when the temptation arises.

My Friends,the Latin word “vinum,” from which the English
“wine” derives, was used to refer to both fermented
and non-fermented grape juice. In our older English
dictionaries, it refers to the juice of the grape whether
fermented or not. The words used for wine in the biblical
languages do not indicate whether it was fermented or
not; consequently there is the problem. There are those
who use this “apparent discrepancy” to justify their
consumption of alcohol, even though many scholars agree
that the words oinos, tirosh, and yayin are generic terms
used to describe the grape and the juice of the grape in all
its various stages.
Alcohol is created when grains, fruits, or
vegetables are fermented, a process that uses yeast or
bacteria to change the sugars in the food into alcohol.
Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream as soon as it
is consumed. From there, it affects the central nervous
system, which controls virtually all body functions. This
then alters a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement,
vision, hearing, judgment, and reasoning.
My Friends,the abuse of alcohol contributes greatly to
the break-up of marriages and families, to emotional,
physical, and sexual abuse, and to the moral decay of
our communities. With all these potential pitfalls, is it
really worthwhile to drink and to expose our children to
its dangers? A turning point in this writer’s life occurred
when his son, while playing an innocent game with his
friends said, “Come and sit down, let me pour you a
drink.” He realized that his son (now a Christian) was not
only looking at his father’s lifestyle, but also imitating the
way he was living, talking and interacting with others.
Yet, some try and justify social drinking by saying
the Bible does not condemn it, or that they do not ever
over indulge, and that they can handle it! But I submit to
you that everyone does not react to drinking alcohol in
the same manner. If one considers that from the moment
one starts drinking wine that one puts oneself and others
in danger, is it really worth the risk? Drunkenness is a
process which starts the moment one consumes the first
drink and the body begins to be affected immediately.

My Friends, there are many Scriptures condemning the
consumption of alcohol because of its side-effects.
Here are just a few. 1. It promotes violence (Pro. 4:17).
2. It leads to poverty (Pro. 23:21). 3. It leads to lust and
perverse things, and can be addictive (Pro. 23:31-35). 4.
It can destroy the drinker (Nah. 1:10).

The condemnation due to the effects is in addition to the general prohibition against the Christian’s drinking alcohol (Eph. 5:18, Rom.
13:13, Luke 21:34; Gal. 5:21).

Some argue that when Jesus turned water into
wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-10), He endorsed
the consumption of fermented wine. The master of the
banquet made the comment that the good wine was
kept for last. Some say this was because of its high
alcohol content. However, this is not correct because in
the Roman world of the New Testament, the best wines
were those whose alcohol content had been boiled and
filtered away. The Greek verb methusko translated “well
drunk,” refers to the fact that they were drinking the juice
liberally, or freely, and not that they were intoxicated.
Therefore, it can be concluded that Jesus did not make
alcoholic wine. It begs the question: How influential
would Jesus have been, as the Savior, if He were known
not only to condone the drinking of fermented wine,
contradicting the inspired Scriptures (Hab. 2:15), but also
were known to have used His divine power to produce
fermented wine? How would this have impacted how
men viewed His deity and His mission to seek and to
save the lost (Luke 19:10)?

A Christian should exert a positive influence on
this world. To include this writer, for a Christian should be the salt and the light (Mat. 5:13-16). As the salt, one must have a purifying,
preserving, and flavoring effect. As the light, one leads
the lost through this dark world into the wonderful
light of Jesus Christ, by being visible and reflecting
the one true light; thus, glorifying God.

So my friends, a question for you to ponder: Will
consuming alcohol hinder or help one in carrying out
the Great Commission? The obvious conclusion is that
one’s influence is hindered when no visible difference
is seen in his lifestyle as compared to someone of the
world. Christians are sanctified, set apart for God’s
purpose, unto every good work (2 Tim. 2:21). Therefore
the exhortation for all Christians is: “Be ye holy; for I am
holy” (1 Pet. 1:16)

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Pro. 20:1).

My Friends, its my prayer this day for you and me, to ensure we strive daily, to be what God would have us to be! "Sober, Wise, Well Pleasing to Him, Thankful For All Things, Humble, Honest, Sincere, Loving, kind, forgiving, of one another, all the days He gives You and Me!

Question of the Day: Will You?