Saturday, April 1, 2017

What Does The Bible Say About Consuming Wine?

  • All Food And Drink Has Been Declared Clean By God:
          -Issues pertaining to food and drink are of secondary importance according to New Testament teaching (Romans 14:1-14). These were all given to us by God so as to nourish our bodies and are to be received with thanksgiving.
          -If we are going to view professing Christians who dogmatically condemn the consumption of certain meats as being legalistic, then the same must also be true of those who dogmatically oppose the consumption of wine under any circumstances. Anything can be misused and abused.
          -Just as consuming too much of any food is morally wrong, the same is equally true with wine or any other drink. Addictions are sin, which includes alcoholism (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21). Becoming an alcoholic can be fatal and ruins good morals.
          -We should take measures to prevent becoming a stumbling block to fellow brethren in the church (Romans 14:15-21). Moreover, there is nothing wrong with refusing to drink wine for the sake of conscience.
  • Should Churches Use Wine Or Grape Juice In Communion?:
          -Either wine or grape juice is acceptable for use in communion, since both are derived from the same source: grapes (Matthew 26:26-29). The Mishna's Seder spoke of the "fruit of the vine" as intoxicating wine.
          -The juice extracted from the grapes is a part of God's creation. So is the fermentation process of that juice. All things created by God are to be received with thanksgiving because they are good (Genesis 1:31; 1 Timothy 4:4).
          -The ultimate question that needs to be answered is not whether the contents of the communion cup are grape juice or wine. Rather, are we as individuals partaking of that cup in a worthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)?
  • Drinking Wine Is Acceptable By Biblical Standards:
          -Jesus Christ Himself turned water into wine during the wedding feast at Cana (John 2). If the act of drinking wine in and of itself is sinful, then Jesus would be sinful just like we are and thus disqualified from redeeming us from sin.
          -The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to drink some wine to help with his frequent stomach illnesses (1 Timothy 5:23). It served for medicinal purposes. The biblical view of wine is that it has been given to us by God as a gift to enjoy (Psalm 104:14-15; Ecclesiastes 9:7).
          -Wine in biblical times was generally consumed by the wealthier members of society. This accounts for the warnings to kings against being addicted to such beverages in Proverbs.
          -The only group of people whom God forbade (in the Old Testament) from consuming alcoholic wine were those who took the Nazirite vow (Numbers 6:1-21).
  • Is The Greek "Oinos" To Be Translated As Wine Or Grape Juice?:
          -It is obvious that this term carries with it connotations of intoxicating drink. This accounts for biblical texts that warn against drunkenness. The Jewish Encyclopedia says the following, "There were different kinds of wine. "Yayin" was the ordinary matured, fermented wine, "tirosh" was a new wine, and "shekar" was an old, powerful wine ("strong drink"). The red wine was the better and stronger (Ps. lxxv. 9 [A. V. 8]; Prov. xxiii. 31). Perhaps the wine of Helbon (Ezek. xxvii. 18) and the wine of Lebanon (Hos. xiv. 7) were white wines. The vines of Hebron were noted for their large clustersof grapes (Num. xiii. 23). Samaria was the center of vineyards (Jer. xxxi. 5; Micah i. 6), and the Ephraimites were heavy wine-drinkers (Isa. xxviii. 1). There were also "yayin ha-reḳaḥ" (spiced wine; Cant. viii. 2), "ashishah" (hardened sirup of grapes), "shemarim (wine-dregs), and "ḥomeẓ yayin" (vinegar). Some wines were mixed with poisonous substances ("yayin tar'elah"; Ps. lx. 5; comp. lxxv.9, "mesek" [mixture]). The "wine of the condemned" ("yen 'anushim") is wine paid as a forfeit (Amos ii. 8), and "wine of violence" (Prov. iv. 17) is wine obtained by illegal means."

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