The Saint and the Bottled Spirit.

Hello there. 

I was asked a questioned recently and I thought to share it with you.

Enjoy.

​Q‬: Hello, I have one question.what does God really say about ALCOHOL SHOULD WE DRINK IT OR NOT DRINK IT? 

See Deut 14 VS 26 – says drinking 

Jesus himself turned water 2 wine….

And I know in the bible wine and alcohol are the same…

 Or is it drinking alcohol n don’t b drunk?? …… or don’t  drink at all
PD: What is the objective for asking this question, please?

Meaningful contributions on such a topic comes when one knows what the seeker’s objective is. A discussion might be better than a monologue so that the web of questions can be navigated.
Q‬: When people ask me this questions about alcohol I do shake and not know what to say….

There are so many scriptural verses which support drinking alcohol but not being drunk and that’s why I wanna know because most youth use that as legal backing 4 drinking anything …..

Check 1st Tim 5 vs 23

Check 1st Tim 3vs 3

PD: Indeed, the Bible doesn’t say to not drink alcohol. The word “alcohol” does not even exist in the Bible. When the Bible was being written, alcohol had not been discovered as an entity although it was in existence. The the word of God is clear about staying away from “strong” drink. It is with our modern science we have come to find out that it is Alcohol that makes a drink strong.

Furthermore, in the language of the Bible, there is a distinction made between wine and strong drink

Prov 20:1 Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

The word “wine” here refers to the essence of the vine, as fermented. And “strong drink” means strong intoxicant. And the scripture follows that only fools would think they would not be mocked by it or that would be able to control its rage. So, in this text, whether it is wine or strong drink, the instruction is to avoid it except one is intent on folly.

In the case of the new testament, the word “wine” is used as a generic term with reference to the essence of the vine and does not specify alcoholic or strong drinks as opposed to the nonalcoholic type but it is suspected that the origin of the word is drawn from Hebrew word used for wine so, perhaps they are the same.

But Christ turned water into wine, didn’t he? Yeah, he did. But again, the Bible language could not describe non-alcoholic wine because the words of those days could not relate to the agent called alcohol. And because Jesus, the God-Man being good, He would not give to man something that could hurt him so right off the top, I can confidently state that the same God who said to avoid intoxicants in His book would not come on ground and serve the same at a wedding and make the celebrants commit foolishness.

Also, Timothy was told, nay, instructed by the Holy Apostle Paul to take a little because of his stomach. People have proposed ulcers as Timothy’s diagnosis but being a doctor I can confidently tell you that there are many stomach maladies and none of them, including ulcers, is relieved by Alcohol. Some are even caused by alcohol and if a genuine ulcer patient takes alcohol, the consequent pain is enough to inform him to refuse it next time. There is the other common to alcohol as a cause known as Mallory-Weiss Tears. It is very painful and should alcohol come into that stomach, the patient would be dancing in pain. On the other hand however, these stomach conditions mentioned and several others are, at least temporarily, relieved by taking fluids. The weakest in this regard is water including water, and before the advent of antacids, the strongest was milk. Non-alcoholic wine is somewhere in between. 

Putting something in the stomach to coat the raw areas (otherwise known as ulcers) was the basic mechanism of action and is still so even in modern day antacid suspensions. Water does not last long in coating and some people being lactose intolerant might have developed other gastro-intestinal symptoms, some of which worsen the abdominal pain accompanying these stomach conditions. Wine was easier to come by on a larger scale than milk could have been more available and perhaps cheaper and gives some coating/soothing effect that lasts longer than water.

I can therefore assert that the wine recommended to Timothy by Paul was free of alcohol. Not just because it was spiritually wise but also because it made common sense to not take something that would worsen your pain.

Now, since the Bible says to not get drunk with wine … to not get intoxicated with wine; this means that there is a clear recognition that something must be present in that wine that makes it capable of intoxication and if that agent is absent, if one drank a lot of it, would be labelled greedy, gluttonous and a lover of drinks but the adjective “drunk” would remain incorrect and out of place. That is to say, no matter how much non-alcoholic wine you took, you can’t get drunk.

So the issue is with alcohol. 

And thus, though the Bible language could not refer to Alcohol directly, it recognises Alcohol by its effects. It is the same way with Bacteria; they are not specifically mentioned in the Bible but the they are recognized in the Bible by their effects and the word gives directives on how to handle them. Therefore, to say “in the Bible, Alcohol and Wine are the same” would be incorrect.

Of course, I can tell you, as a doctor, that alcohol is a culprit in many cancers and diseases of the human body, some of which either have no cure or the cost would leave people penniless and praying for death to come soon. But, that would mean I am basing my stand on human science based arguments of risk versus benefit. However, we are sons of God and the basis for our lives is not what science can prove or disprove but on the word of God. Simple!

So, let’s look to the Bible.

The Bible contains the word of God passed across in different styles of writing: some are direct clear instructions leaving no room for misinterpretation; some are  teachings (ranging from concise to elaborate) that require skill to correctly understand and apply and yet others are coded revelations that use word pictures or visions, dreams and trances to convey a message that can only be accessed with the aid of the Holy Spirit. No matter what the style is, there are two things that are clear: 

1. Without the Holy Spirit and a godly conscience, you can not get the truth out of the Bible even if it is written a language you understand implicitly. It is actually possible to take the Bible and mislead yourself if you approach it without the Holy Spirit.

2. Literalism with the Bible for every single aspect of our daily lives is not possible and therefore wrong. If the Bible were to cover every single detail of our lives with a literal directive by saying to do or not to do, it would be impossible to go through it all, to say the least. 

Concerning the life of Jesus alone, the Bible says this

Jn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

That means if the whole world could not contain a book that details all of Jesus actions, how many worlds would it take to detail everything every human would need to walk through life? And who would read it? … Who could? And who could keep up with the many revisions that would become necessary as mankind pushes his boundaries into new experiences of existence (e.g. air travel, space travel, robotics and nano robotics, pharmacology and so on).  Only God could contain, read that much stuff and stay ahead of all that man could ever come into … and that is why He is God and seeks to guide us all the time.

Now, back to literalism and the issue at hand, to say that anything the Bible does not say is wrong is automatically right simply because it not written in the exact words is, sadly, folly and short sightedness. 

Let’s look at some examples. There are things we do all the time that not “stated” yet we do them without doubting God’s intentions. 

We have on record that Jesus wept but no record that He laughed so why do we laugh. Does that not make laughing sinful? There is no record that Jesus went to the toilet but we do so everyday. The only meals on record that Jesus took were the Passover which is made of unleavened bread and harsh wine, why do we bother with three square meals and ice cream? Contrary wise, there are things that are documented in the Bible but we do not do. Someone danced till his clothes fell off but we don’t do that and it doesn’t bother us. Jesus said we should lay down our lives for our friends and then he took to The Cross and died for His friends; when was the last time anyone of us died for anyone?

When you look at the above examples, you tend to shake your head and laugh, right? You think it’s stupid thinking. Well, that is how stupid it is to wait to see it written down before you believe the Bible takes a stand on some subject. It is equally as unwise to take everything for face value. You could destroy yourself … this was the basis of the “second temptation” of Jesus after his first 40 day fast.

Learn to draw a line between what the Bible says and what the Bible teaches.

So, does the Bible say to not drink alcohol? No. Does that mean as a son of God, I should? No. Why? Because the Bible teaches me to avoid intoxicants, and anything that could potentially take control of my senses and make me act contrary to my divine nature. Alcohol is merely one of such drugs.

And as for the actions of people we respect in religious circles who have beliefs and lifestyles that contravene the scriptures on this and any other matter, if it is based on ignorance, God will educate them and if it is based on an excuse they have adopted to shut their sense of right and wrong as well as the Holy Spirit, God will attend to them. Leave them alone. Look to Christ in all things.

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