I WONDER WHY?
I wonder why anyone would urge others not to drink even one glass of wine (or whiskey, gin, rum, brandy, vodka)? Well, if they thought God was opposed to it that might lead them to urge non-use. Of course, if that notion couldn’t be proved from scripture then each person would be utterly free to drink intoxicating drinks as often as they wish as long as they don’t drink until they’re drunk. Wouldn’t they? Hmmm.
These drinkers would know the Bible condemns drunkenness so they wouldn’t need lectures on that and they might simply insist on exercising their right to drink intoxicating drinks (why should it be confined to “wine”?) since the Bible doesn’t forbid it. It’s just like food, isn’t it? What God condemns is not eating food—it’s gluttony. Likewise he doesn’t condemn drinking wine or brandy or whiskey—it’s drinking it to drunkenness he condemns. After all, the Bible does say he gave intoxicating wine as a gift to humans to make their hearts glad (Psalm 104:15). Hmmm.
So you see, in the end, it’s all a question about our freedom. As long as we use our individual freedom “responsibly” we can drink intoxicating drinks (“strong drink” of whatever kind we chose).
I don’t know many who would encourage another Christian to drink intoxicating drinks (I hear many of them saying they wouldn’t) and I know many who say that although they don’t touch the stuff they defend the freedom of others to do it. I confess I wonder at such speech. If it’s manifestly a freedom we have, why not encourage others to exercise it—responsibly, of course? Furthermore, if God gave intoxicating drinks for the express purpose of making human hearts glad why not urge our fellows to engage in and rejoice in the gift?
I suspect that in the back of their minds they take into account the ruinous nature of the booze industry, of the multiplied millions in every generation who’ve suffered as a result of the booze industry. I suspect they’re afraid of the seductive nature and power of the judgment-stealing ethanol and don’t want their friends or family to get caught up in the addiction that millions upon millions have become captives to.
Maybe we should encourage our children to drink alcoholic drinks and show them to handle them responsibly. No? I know that a number of government advisory groups in the UK have urged that—in the past. [They don’t talk that way much now, what with the ruin booze is bringing to society in the UK. Now government advisory groups are telling women not to drink even a single glass of wine in a day and children under—(I forget the age) should not be offered any alcohol. The government in Scotland several days ago announced a vigorous attempt at bringing down the Scottish intake of booze. They intend to raise prices yet again and the booze industry people have mounted a protest. The government at Westminster climbed all over the supermarkets last week for their “three for the price of two” sales. They accused them of hurting the country by making booze cheap and too easily available. (Isn’t it almost humorous?) Anyway, if God gave alcoholic wine to humans to make them feel glad and millions are finding it anything but glad-bringing maybe we should teach our children while they're young how to take advantage of God’s gift “responsibly”. That might keep them from becoming one of the multiplied millions of ethanol addicts.]
It’s the non-addicts who drink booze that mask how booze ravages a nation, generates violence, cheapens womanhood, and drives nations into near bankruptcy in the health realm (a third of a million hospital entries in England a year are booze-related) and in the realms of policing, courts, traffic accidents and more.
Because the non-addicts enjoy their whiskey and wine, their brandy and vodka the booze industry is able to say, “See, the problem doesn’t lie with us—it lies with those who aren’t mature enough, who aren’t emotionally stable enough, who aren’t content or happy enough or securely employed. They are the problem, the ones who can’t handle our product which even Christians will tell is a gift from God to make humans glad! We’re the instrument through which God gives his gift. You ought to be thanking us instead of blaming us in the wrong!” [I notice believers always end up talking about “wine” and “beer” when they talk about their “freedom” and the freedom of everyone to imbibe. They never speak of whiskey and the other “strong drink” options. Why do you suppose that is? Is it because it’s easier to get drunk on the “hard tack” than on wine and beer? Millions in Germany are alcoholics via beer and millions in France are alcoholics via wine. But why should the strength of the drink be an issue if I am in control? Whiskey, brandy and gin drinkers galore never get drunk—or at least so seldom that it’s almost never. Does Psalm 104:15 not protect them? Are they not covered in the “strong drink” of the Bible?]
This morning (or was it yesterday?)—6-3-09, the news told us of another study (!) that has shown, they tell us (as if we didn’t already know it), that people who see booze consumed or hear it favourably talked about a lot, they drink a lot more than those who don’t. Fancy that! Two of the most watched programmes in UK television (Eastenders and Coronation Street) are built around bars/pubs. In the thirty minute segments, we’ve been told, that typically there is nearly fifteen minutes in which booze is being drunk either in the foreground or in the background. It’s all so normal, it’s all so pleasant and one thing you never see in either programme is someone drunk! The subliminal message is—whether purposed or not—booze isn’t the problem it’s stupid people—(multiplied millions of them). The stupid people in their millions are the vulnerable people—but what the heck; we’re free to drink what we want as long as we avoid drunkenness.
“All I know is, Jesus made gallons of fermented wine in John 2 even after the people had drunk all the alcohol up.” Hmmm. Are you sure you know that? “He made wine and that’s alcoholic!” Are you sure of that?
And supposing he did make alcoholic wine does that mean he’d approve of the modern booze industry and the bars? And supposing he did make alcoholic wine does that mean you and I should sustain the modern booze industry?
Jesus’ making some alcoholic wine leaves us free to note the carnage that’s connected with the product of the modern booze industry and then go ahead and buy its product, exercising our freedom and encouraging our people to do the same? Hmmm.