Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Study on: What GOD says about drinking

WHAT IT IS:
First you have to know what “sin” is.  Sin is an “action that rebels against God” or to simply go against God’s will or commandments (Gen 3).  A willful verb; a thought, action, word, or intent that you decide to do despite what God says or feels about it (Rom 1:18-20).  This action grows selfishness, lessens your trust in God, and begins down the path of you or the thing of your choice becoming your new god (Matthew 6:24). 

Having A drink IS NOT a sin.  Drinking should be avoided because of our imperfections.  Getting tipsy, buzzed, and drunk IS A SIN.  Now you have to understand what drinking is and does; "drinking" according to God, not you and the world (1 Corinthians 1:20, 3:19, James 1:5).  It can lead people astray. And whoever it leads astray, that person wasn’t wise in choosing to drink (Proverbs 20:1). Drinking can become a passion, need, want, desire, love, and a god (Proverbs 23:28-32); it WILL eventually take away from your money, health, relationship, or overall quality of life (Proverbs 21:17).  God tells us straight up that the need of a drinking is a shallow lie (Isaiah 56:11-12).  God then gives us alternatives to drinking like being filled with his love and HIM instead of alcohol; worship, prayer, bible study, witness, and stewardship all are what he is talking about.  Why, because HE says where drinking leads to sin (Ephesians 5:18).  So what is a “drunk” according to God?  Someone who fulfills their selfish desire to no longer be sober (1 Peter 1:13) but instead get buzzed, tipsy, or drunk by excessively drinking because of their lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:5) and to fulfill their selfish desires (2 Peter 2:18).  You can also replace the substance with any other substance and God’s concept and message stays the same.


WHAT GOD SAYS:
Secondly God tells us not to hang-out with or encourage drunks (Proverbs 23:20, 1 Corinthians 5:11) for a number of reasons like being tempted and lead astray (Prov 20:1).  He also warns that being around drunks could ‘corrupt’ our godly ‘character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33).   He even says to avoid drinking with, buying drinks for, or the enabling of sin with a brother so that you are not causing or helping your brother to sin (Romans 14:21).  How come AA meetings aren’t held at bars?  In the same way can you witness to a drunk while drinking?  Obvious answers and rhetorical questions.  God even purposely and proudly pointed out that John The Baptist did NOT drink at all (Luke 1:15).  It’s almost like alcohol addiction and dependency is the wrath of God itself; it is used as a metaphor several times in a negative context of God’s fury and wrath (Revelation 14:10).  And things that are not right and sinful SEEM to feel so good and be so fun (Prov 9:17).  God does allow people have the desires of their heart, even if their desires are sinful (becoming drunks), it’s their choice that God doesn’t intervene to prevent (Romans 1:24).

THE ‘JESUS DRANK’ ARGUMENT
A common argument is “well, Jesus drank wine.”  That statement isn’t entirely true or informed (blind leading the blind).  (1) Jesus had only a couple cups of wine (wait for points 2-4) through his 3 year ministry.  Jesus never got buzzed, tipsy, or drunk.  Jesus was perfect so he could handle having a few cups of wine… we are not perfect (Matthew 11:18-20).  (2) The English word for ‘wine’ automatically assumes the fermentation of grapes; BUT the common Greek word used for ‘wine’ #3631, for example in John 1 where Jesus turns water into wine, it is in general AND includes just simply ‘grape juice’ too.  Just like when I ask for a “coke”, and then specify a “doctor pepper”.  “Coke” is the general word for ‘soft drink/carbonated drink’ just like word #3631 is a general word for a drink made from grapes; which includes grape juice and fermented wine.  SO Jesus drank “wine” but it doesn’t mean it was fermented.  (3) During The Last Supper fermentation is not specified and simply grape juice is just as possible and likely (Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:23, Luke 22:17).  There is NO assumption of fermentation UNLESS God then specifies it in literal or contextual terms.  WE, because of the culture we live in, assume 'wine' is fermented, God assumes it’s not.  We separate ‘grape juice’ from wine, God separates fermentation from grape juice.  This is seen through the understanding of the use of the original text and not the modern English language.

God then drops the loving honesty bomb; drunks aren’t saved (1 Corinthians 6:10); why? Because they are NOT born-again (john 3:3). Being born-again means your old drunk self is dead, your new sober God focused self is born (2 Corinthians 5:17).

THE WARNING SIGNS FROM GOD:
To those who do get drink, there ARE warning signs you either miss or ignore; If you want to help a friend or keep from causing a friend to stumble, notice these signs.  (1) like having a drink when you get up in the morning OR (2) staying up all night drinking (Isaiah 5:11).  When the alcohol is gone, drunks don’t know what to do.  They have a negative emotion about not being able to drink and can’t seem to have fun without it. [Evidence for Dependency](Isaiah 24:7,9).  And if those weren’t enough, (3) bragging about drinking and (4) being good at helping others drink are more red flags (Isaiah 5:22).  Even more warning signs are when (5) they make fun of those who don’t drink, like not drinking was a bad thing (Psalm 69:11-13).  Any of those 5 examples is God’s way of warning you! Now you can sit back and scoff at this or you can look up all those verses for yourself.

IN THE CHURCH:
It’s even a requirement in order to hold church office not to drink ‘much’ if any (1 Timothy 3:8).  But one of the reasons for drinking alcohol is for practical uses like illnesses but NEVER for excessive leisure use (1 Timothy 5:23).  Even the women elders are told not to drink ‘much’ if any but instead teach what is good; implying that ‘much drinking’ is bad (Titus 2:3).  Being ‘sober minded’ is the only way we can see the devil coming (1 Peter 5:8).  The use of the word ‘much’ is an easy excuse tool for people who want to satisfy their selfish desire to drink but think about how that word is used.  “Much” is less than the amount that gets you buzzed, tipsy, or drunk.

NOW WHAT:
So what do you do if you’ve been lead astray, see the warning signs, and drink to much? Get away from anyone and anything that causes you to stumble and sin.  What do you do if your friend shows all the warning signs?  Cut it off (Mark 9:43).  Quit being an enabler and do things that don’t revolve around drinking and make plans and invite accordingly.  Jesus goes on to say that it’s better to lose a friend and an important ‘thing’ then NOT to enter heaven because of something causes you to sin (drinking).  Quit going to bars, and hanging out with your drinking buddies, instead find other more godly people and things to do.  Through this, God will help you get you or your friends’ spiritual life back on track.  If drinking seems so fun and feels so good, just imagine what more God can do for you if you just pick him over the bottle.  After all, He said it and HE is the AUTHOR of salvation and decides who will enter his house (Hebrews 5:9 ASV).

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