Beverage Alcohol – Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher

The drinking of alcoholic beverages is a national problem in the United States. This has been the case for many decades, and at present does not seem to be getting any better. The advertisements say this will make you successful, attractive and that it’s the only way to have a good life. The peer pressure to conform to what others do helps to continue the problem. The Bible speaks loud and clear concerning drinking. Notice a few of the many passages of Scripture. In Leviticus 10:8-11 Aaron and his sons were not to drink while rendering service to God lest they die.

According to God’s law, if a child is a “glutton, and a drunkard” (Deu. 21:20), he was to be stoned to death. Notice what Solomon says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Pro. 20:1), “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babblings? 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. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Pro. 23:29-32). He continues by teaching that it fills men’s mind with impure thoughts, brings on danger, causes insensibility and is habit forming in verses 33-35. He says in Ecclesiastes 10:17, “Blessed are thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” Some of our Congressmen, Senators, and Presidents should take notice. Solomon was a man speaking from experience for he gave himself to wine (Ecc. 2:3) but came to the realization that it was vanity (Ecc. 2:11).

Isaiah writes, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!…Who unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink” (Isa. 5:11,22). In Isaiah 22:13 he places drinking wine with carnal living. Not only is a woe placed upon the drunkards of Ephraim but Isaiah also says they will be destroyed (Isa. 28:1-3). Part of the reason is that wine has led them to err and thus, they are no longer able to lead others (Isa. 28:7). Daniel tells us of the tragic example of King Belshazzar who lead his people in drinking wine (Dan. 5:1-2) and the disastrous results (Dan. 5:25-30). Hosea teaches that immorality and drinking go together, “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart” (Hos. 4:11). Joel tells of the depravity of those who drink, “And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink” (Joel 3:3). It will cause people to oppress others according to Amos 4:1, so God places a woe upon those that drink wine (Amos 6:1,6). Habakkuk says that pride and arrogance are inflamed because the people transgressed by wine (Hab. 2:5). Later he says, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Thou are filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory” (Hab. 2:15-16).

After taking this stroll through the Old Testament, to see what God had to say concerning drinking at that time; God’s attitude has not changed on the subject, as we observe from the New Testament. In Luke 12:45-46 Christ warns against drunkenness and says those who are such will be appointed with the unbelievers. Again in Luke 21:34 Christ cautions that drunkenness causes one not to be prepared. With all this evidence it is unbelievable to me that some would teach that our blessed Lord, who did no sin, would make beverage alcohol in John 2. All our Lord did was to make grape juice that was nonalcoholic.

Paul says we are not to walk in drunkenness but to walk honestly. Christians are encouraged that if a brother drinks, then we are to withdraw ourselves from him and not keep company with him (1 Cor. 5:11). Later, Paul shows the evil of alcohol by saying, “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:10). Paul repeats this teaching to the Galatians in chapter 5 verse 21. In writing the Ephesian letter he contrasted being filled with the Spirit with being drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18). Obviously, you cannot be both; there is a decision you must make as to which way you want to live your life.

If we want to do that which is right why would anyone engage in drinking? The person who tries to do right will, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 The. 5:22).

That which goes along with drunkenness is always evil. Thousands each year are killed by drunken drivers. We still lament the tragedy of the lost lives from Vietnam, yet each year there are more deaths from drunk drivers than we lost in that tragic war. We should go back to prohibition!!! While we often hear that prohibition did not work, the facts do not bear that claim out. In 1920 the 18th amendment to the Constitution was passed; in 1933 Congress repealed that amendment commonly called prohibition. When prohibition came into force 177,790 saloons were closed and 1,755 breweries were closed. Associated with these closings 77 of 98 alcoholic clinics were closed. The death rate due to liquor decreased by 42%; and insanity by 66%. In ten years of prohibition our crime rate decreased by 54%. After Congress repealed the law drunkenness increased by 350%. The major St. Louis Hospitals alone recorded a 400% increase in alcoholic patients. No, prohibition worked the first time and it will work and be profitable again if we would support it. Whether or not alcoholism is banned, Christians will not engage in drinking alcoholic beverages.

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