Tasty Toxins?

December 13, 2005 — 58 Comments


The following is really not a fantastic defense of “abstinence” if you will, but rather a look at what the Bible says about alcohol, and the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of drinking. Enjoy.

When I think of alcohol, nothing good or holy comes to mind. Instead, I think of smoky rooms, drunk men, totalled cars, shock trauma, broken lives, broken bodies, and broken minds.

It’s my dad’s job to arrest men who drink and drive on the streets of D.C. I’m certain he can tell you story after story of how alcahol ruined people, and destroyed lives of the innocent. And what’s amazing is the fact that in our culture, drinking is made out to be glamorous. It’s not.

What I want to look at today is the Christian’s response to this drink so that will be put into many bodies this Christmas season. Unlike Christmas, this is something that God specifically talks about in His Word.

Some Christians believe that we are drink alcohol in moderation, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. Jesus and his disciples drank wine, right? God gave strong drink as a gift, right? They push the idea that not drinking would be offensive to unsaved believers, and that by drinking they can have a better impact on their friends who do drink. Many times they will bring up Christians who smoke. What do you tell them?

The other side is often portrayed as hypocritical and old-fashioned. These Christians believe that one should not drink, and believe God addresses the topic of drinking in His Word. They argue using examples of what alcohol really is and what it really does to people.

As for me, I side with Christians who believe alcohol is not for Christians. It may sound hypocritical, but I can assure you, it’s not. I am highly against smoking–it ruins your body and your lungs. We are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, and by ruining these temples, we are not pleasing God. Smoking, like drinking, is addictive. And it is also not something that comes to mind when you think of a pastor.

There are many reasons that I oppose drinking, mainly because of the fact that God speaks in His Word about strong drink. I also consider the heath issues, and the affects of drinking. What is alcohol associated with?

First, let’s take a look at God’s Word:
Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Luke 21:34

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.

Rom. 13:13

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Gal. 5:19-21)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Now, I’m certain that there are many arguments against this stand, and I am well aware of that. I’m not sure that this article not rebut every single argument against it, but I want readers of this article to examine these verses carefully, and begin to think about them.

A second aspect I want to look at is the affects of alcohol on your body:

“Alcohol acts as a depressant–it slows down brain activity. The degree of this effect depends on the dosage. In small quantities, alcohol produces a feeling of euphoria, a state of mental well being. It decreases tension by causing a disorganization of mental processes. A person who has had a few drinks cannot concentrate on his problems. One reason that people drink at social gatherings is to become “loosened up” by false euphoria. (BJU Press)”

Really, we are to be filled with the Spirit, and not with Alcohol. We are to bring our burdens to the Lord, and not push them away with alcohol.

For me, and I pray for you, I will never drink. I wouldn’t even risk taking a small step. The spiritual, mental, and physical affects of alcohol are not worth “making friends comfortable” or pleasing myself. I want to please God alone in all of my actions–and that means staying away from strong drink.

***

On a slightly different note, you need to listen to the latest Square Talk. I promise, we’re getting better every show, and the amount of prep time is increasing. Give it a try…you might like it!

Tim Sweetman

Posts

Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

58 responses to Tasty Toxins?

  1. hey Tim,
    I think that there is nothing wrong with a little bit of alcohol in moderation. Like you said, Jesus drank wine, and it was fermented.

    Now about all those scriptures…they’re wonderful scriptures. However, they deal with, too much wine or beer. It talks about drunkeness, debachaury, and things of the like. It talks about not being led astray by them. But if you can drink it without getting drunk, I see no problem with it.

    There have been various studies done by Harvard and other Ivy league schools that show that a little wine is good for you. I don’t have access to them, or time to get access to them, but I’m sure if you didn’t believe me you could look it up.

    Although, there are some people, that can’t handle even a little bit, for one reason or another. Maybe they grew up in a home where the father and/or mother abused alcohol, I don’t know, but I do know some cases where it’s not a good idea. And if it causes your brother to stumble, then Pauls says not to even do it, even if it’s not “wrong”.

    Either way, those are just some thoughts. I might come back later with more…but I’m wiped now. :)

  2. I also think it’s ok to drink a little alcohol occasionally. But, like Marshall said, we would never want to make our brother stumble. If you think it’s not good to drink it, we should not drink in front of you or ever encourage you to drink even just a little. And we hope that you won’t get offended if you happen to see us in a restaurant and we happen to have a drink in our hand. We all have to be balanced, but more importantly we must do things with the other person inmind. I respect you. I don’t hardly even like alcohol. I’d rather have a soda anyday.

    Speaking of soda, and other junk foods….Our body is a temple. Think of the effects junk food has on us. Is it really wise to eat it? It’s very unhealthy and addictive. Do all things in moderation.

    I agree 100% on smoking. It’s disgusting, offensive, unhealthy, and very worldly.

  3. Tim, thanks for the link to my site.

    I know your intentions in this post are good, and I appreciate what you intend. But you have worked pretty hard to isolate the passages on drunkenness and these aren’t anti-alcohol but anti-abuse. God is against abusing sex too (lust, fornication, adultery) and food (gluttony) but we shouldn’t stop getting married and having sex and eating because these can be abused. We should rather seek to use the gift in the way God intended. That means abstinence is not a biblical position.

    You have also ignored the passages on the gift of alcohol. That is the definition of hypocritical since you say this post is about what the Bible says about alcohol.

    You also link the idea of drinking and smoking (cigarettes I assume?). The addiction is dramatically different since many drink who don’t get addicted and most all who smoke cigarettes get addicted. The Bible doesn’t mention the goodness of smoking like it does with alcohol (Ps 104:15).

    You also seem to ignore altogether the fact that alcohol is a part of the Lord’s Supper! And this doesn’t mean drinking it in mini shot glasses.

    If you are going to tackle an important and timely issue like this, I encourage you to be sure to get the whole counsel of God and not just the part that supports your extra-biblical position.

    You should listen to St. Annes Public House audio journal on wine. It’s very helpful, especially the segment by Doug Wilson and Michael Collender.

    Steve

  4. Interesting thoughts. Very thought-provoking.

    First, let me clarify again that this post was more of a “here’s what I believe–now what do you believe, and let’s talk about it” post.

    Really, though, it comes down to health issues. Now, annalise, you brought up an interesting look: junk food. Now, let’s consider it from that point of view.

    I love chocolate–especially Reeses. Now, I can abuse that, and eat 10 reeses a day and gain a lot of weight (not that that would be bad for me) and probably not be in the best shape. It can lead to other problems as well–but, the fact is, if I eat only a little bit, it won’t hurt me. I should eat it sparingly.

    Now, we put alcohol in the place of that chocolate. I can drink 10 reeses, get drunk, and mess up my body. I can hurt other people. I mess up my liver. I mess up my skin. I get a beer belly, etc. But what if I drink only a little bit, like the chocolate? Not good for our bodies. It’s like putting in a little bit of toxins into our system. I wouldn’t call candy a toxin (I will get a person who has studied alcohol in detail and knows the facts to comment here soon to clarify this somewhat).

    I will concede the fact that abstinence from alcohol is not Biblically provable, but in reality it is best.

    I’ve discussed the “drinking one cup of wine will do you good” before, and have thought some on it. Really, it comes down to what’s best for your body. What is best is probably to NOT drink alcohol at all. Especially as a teen.

    On a final note: question for annalise (and whoever else): why did you start drinking alcohol?

  5. Alchohol is very addicting for most people so it is challenging to drink in moderation. Since it is so addicting, people take their first drink thinking it will be their only drink. Pretty soon they are drunk and completely addicted. We have to be VERY careful keeping our bodies at temples of God. Personally, I think it is best to keep away from alchohol and not to tempt ourselves with it. But I don’t think drinking alchohol is wrong as long as it is drunk in moderation. I will never drink alchohol, because it can be harmful to me. (just my opinion)

  6. Tim, I’d like to have your interaction on my points. You can give all the illustrations you like from your own logic, but I would rather listen to Scripture. And you make leaps in your logic.

    Also, you keep saying it’s best not to drink without proving it. Do you really want people to just take your word for it? If it’s best not to drink, why would Jesus institute wine in the Lord’s Supper? Why would Psalm 104:15 say that God gave wine to gladden the heart of man? Why would it be used for OT sacrifices? Why would Jesus make it in John 2 when the wedding guests were already getting inebriated?

  7. I am not trying to come off harsh, just to the point. I am happy to see a young man blogging thoughtfully (even if I think he is wrong on an issue). Steve has made great points and I will only add a few things.

    So, let me get this straight. God says drunkeness is sin, but wine itself is a good gift meant to be enjoyed, and you say it is better to abstain? Or, to be more to the point, your position argues it is better to ignore God’s gift and doubt his judgment on the issue (see Scripture below).

    I would argue that your father is not seeing the impact of alcohol, but the impact of selfishness, gluttony, drunkeness, etc. He sees the impact of sin, not simply the impact of wine/beer/alcohol. To push abstention because of drunkeness and resulting deaths would be the same as arguing for radical gun-control because “guns kill people.” Though I imagine most teetotaling Christians are gun-friendly.

    To argue from 1 Cor. 6 that our body is a temple and must be used to honor God (and not for sinful indulgence) begs the question of whether or not alcohol is a sin, it does not prove it.

    Some Scripture for your interaction:

    “You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”
    Deuteronomy 14:26

    “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.”
    Genesis 14:18

    “So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank.”
    Genesis 27:25

    “Then the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. It is holy for the priest, together with the breast offered by waving and the thigh offered by lifting up; and afterward the Nazirite may drink wine.”
    Numbers 6:20

    “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’”
    Luke 7:33-34

    “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain”
    Titus 1:7

    Of course in John 2 Jesus performs his first recorded miracle and it is supernaturally supplying wine, good wine, for a wedding.

  8. Steve and Joe,
    I will respond point by point. I am with MVB–but I do want to push the point that what is best is to NOT drink.

    You can give all the illustrations you like from your own logic, but I would rather listen to Scripture. And you make leaps in your logic.

    Yes, the leaps are there basically because I wrote that before you commented, and was addressing annalise’s comment. Hopefully my email also clarified some things in what I intended this short article to do.

    For now, I will be working on learning Spanish, but I will return, and will continue to discuss this! Thanks for coming buy and joining in!

  9. Interesting discussion. I think alcohol every once in a long while is fine. My dad will very, very, very occasionally have a beer. I think the smell is repulsive, and doubt that I’ll ever feel even slightly inclined to have one- not only because of the smell, but because I know about what it does to your body. In small amounts, though, I have no problem with people drinking. If they’re inclined to be addicted, though, of course they should steer clear of it completely. The thing is self-control, and wisdom. If you can easily just have a little bit every once in a long while, then hey, that’s fine! But if you can’t control yourself, its definitely best to not even tempt yourself at all. :) Just my thoughts- I obviously have no experience since I’m only fourteen… :)

  10. Tim,
    Just a quick question. What do you do with 1 Timothy 5:23 that says “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”? I was just wondering because that’s the only vers I can remember off the top of my head that has to do with alcohol, and no one has mentioned it yet.
    Jo

  11. Wow, Tim, you are very brave to post on such a controversial issue. I think most Christians (at least those I know) believe the same way as you. Either that or they do it behind closed doors for fear of judgment. I can definitely see the point you’re trying to make. Alcohol is wrapped up in so much sinfulness and worldliness, why would a Christian even want to participate? Personally, I don’t drink (except on very rare occassions) but I don’t have a problem with others drinking in moderation, IF AND ONLY IF they are of legal age and they have enough self-control to not drink more than they can handle. Have you read Future Men by Doug Wilson? He explains clearly the difference between drinking alcohol and smoking. That was an eye-opener for me! :) HOWEVER, and here is what is truly important!!!! LISTEN TO YOUR FATHER OVER ANYBODY WHO POSTS HERE! If your father doesn’t believe a Christian should drink, then listen to him. Then it doesn’t matter what anybody else’s opinions or beliefs are. Stand strong in your faith and beliefs and don’t let anyone try to convince you to ever do anything you feel is wrong. You answer to God and not to men.
    Blessings ~ Diane

  12. I like your production at the end. Very cute!!!!

  13. Quick question…

    Is alcohol toxic in small amounts? Or does it only become toxic in large amounts?

    Another thing, all toxins are not bad, which is why I believe the scripture in which Paul tells Timothy to drink a little wine and not just water is there. Your body has almost every kind of bacteria in it. It’s designed that way. They all do one thing or another, the reason we get sick is that they grow too large or too many for our immune system to handle. That’s aside though, but just to point out that many bacteria and things considered toxic in large amounts are present in our bodies and actually help them. Just wondering how that all fits in.

    Personally, I don’t drink. Heh, probably a good thing, because I’m only 15, and I doubt I’ll ever be attracted to beer or whiskey or something like that. But I think I could see wine when I’m older.

    Like you said, not that it matters, I just thought I’d throw that in and see if someone could fit it into the puzzle. :)

  14. Bravo!!! That is an excellent arguement. It could be argued against, but that would quickly go out of the context of the original discussion. Way to go, posting on a controversial issue.

  15. As has been previously noted, Paul encourages Timothy in the Bible to drink a little wine, and there are numerous–NUMEROUS–other Bible passages that show that there is nothing wrong with drinking alcoholic beverages responsibly. The passages Tim mentioned clearly all deal with the ABUSE of alcohol.

    There is really no basis for anyone to say that all Christians should abstain from alcohol. People who do say this are in fact arguing AGAINST what the Bible says. Of course, there are individual cases (i.e. a person with a family history of alcohol abuse) where abstaining is probably a good idea and something that should be encouraged, but forcing it upon all Christians is wrong and unBiblical.

  16. And btw, studies have shown that drinking alchohol in moderate amounts is extremely beneficial for a person’s health.

    You can take that for what you feel it’s worth.

  17. Well, the questions are piling up…and I will get to them. I may do a special podcast or a follow-up post.

    But to keep this discussion going, let me clarify: I am not pushing for some type of legalistic you can’t drink if you’re a Christian.

    But what concerns me here is 1) Seeing adults encouraging teens to drink and 2) Teens saying they can see themeselves drinking.

    I’m doing a lot of extra research on this topic, a lot of reading, and a lot of listening. It takes time, but if everyone continues to work together, we can figure out, as Steve said, what the Bible says about this. Truly, what it says…and we also need to consider the differences between todays alcohol and Jesus’ time.

    As for “drinking in small amounts to help your stomach…” For some odd reason I don’t really think that is what some here a drinking for. I really don’t think they are drinking to give them better health.

    Google time. Or you can listen to Albert Mohler talk a little bit about it on Ask Anything Wednesday. Maybe I’ll call in now…

  18. Okay, how about someone does this…

    Call in today on Ask Anything Wednesday to get Dr. Albert Mohler’s opinion? I will be busy, but if someone would like to take the time, I’d be grateful. It would be interesting to hear what he says on the spot.

  19. I agree with you 100% Tim! And don’t let anyone else turn this black/white issue into a gray one…adults have a way of doing that sometimes.

    And regardless of what the moderation crowd thinks, I would certainly hate to be a stumbling block in any way to a Christian or non-Christian. How is someone else who sees a drink in my hand to know that it’s my first drink or 10th drink? And I would hate for this to be the reason that someone who is looking at me as an example of a Christian to think “Well, she drinks just like everyone else…They’re all the same, just like me. Just when I thought they would be different from the rest of this world.”

    Stand apart, Tim.

    Marsha

  20. Hi,
    I know everyone has brought up good points on both sides of the issue, and most of you are a lot smarter than me about this, but here is what I think. I don’t think it’s a sin to drink alcohol. But from my point of view (and I’m not saying this is THE right point of view, this is just my personal choice), it’s addicting, so why would I start? I don’t have a problem with other people drinking in small amounts if they want to, but personally, I can’t ever see myself doing it.

  21. I feel ,though I don’t eat healthy, that anything not orginally what God intended us to eat is probably not too healthy. So fruit and nuts are good. He gave vegetation to the animals. He didn’t give us meat, until after the flood. I eat meat, but I don’t feel good about it. It has traces of blood and I don’t feel good about that. But God did allow it knowing that it would have traces of blood. So, moving on. All of this stuff he eventually allowed. Today, we have boxed food. Food with all kinds of added “things” in it. We have fried food. We have sweet foods. I eat all of these things. And they do indeed have toxins in them. That is part of why we are so unhealthy. Just because we can stand to gain some weight, doesn’t mean we should do it by eating unhealthy food. And it is addictive. Look at the kids who gain 100 pounds from eating McDonalds. It’s their own fault, but it is surely addictive. The difference is, if we overeat, we aren’t going to get into a wreck and kill someone. We aren’t probably going to react violently from overeating. Not that it’s a good thing, because obviously the bible warns against overeating. Gluttony. It’s a fleshly desire. We shouldn’t be fleshly. We should be living by the spirit.

    Tim, you asked why did I start drinking. Ha, that makes it sound like I drink. I don’t drink. When I turned 21 I wanted to have my first drink. I thought it would make me look cool. NO, I’M JUST KIDDING. Seriously, I had very small tastes of alcohol when I was younger, underage. But just a taste, like a sip once every few years. It was not great. Beer is the absolute worst. Nobody likes beer on their first drink. They have to drink it multiple times to force themselves to like it. Ok, there may be a few people who like it the very first time they taste it. I tried a drink once every year, maybe, after I was of age. I tried an ameretto sour, something pink and sweet, and maybe another couple drinks. I never liked them enough to try them again. I’m not the type to try new things to often. Someone once ordered a drink called Kahlua and creme. It was the most beautiful drink I’d ever seem. It was brown at the bottom and got lighter and lighter at the top. It’s a thicker drink. Like chocolate milk consistency more than beer. The colors were so pretty. I knew that Kahlua was a sort of coffee flavored drink. So I tried it and it was delicious. But I tell them to be light on the alcohol because I don’t like too much. After one drink my arms are heavy and I get tired. So I know my limit. And I don’t want to drink for fun. I only get one if I’m in the mood for that specific taste. Again, it’s only once every few months. One drink.

    As for why. Honestly, I’ve never been one to do things just because I was expected to. I made it a point not to go drink when I turned 21, because I think it’s stupid. It’s like, hey I’m 21. Let’s go get me liquered up. Yeehaw! As you can tell, drinking is not important to me. Some people do it for social reasons. And I must say, that I sometimes get a drink when I’m out with people, but I also most times do not. So I guess it started because I wanted to find something to like so that when I was out with others that I would have something that I liked. Maybe it was because, as most people do, I felt like I should. It’s the way we are raised. Alcohol is important to people. What I mean is that it’s a normal thing to do in life. Just like many men are “supposed” to like sports. Women are “supposed” to have minivans with a soccer ball sticker on it. It’s a learned thing. That doesn’t make it right though. I don’t feel that way now. I’m 27. Now I drink what I like. If I want a soda, which is almost always yes, I will get one.

    I will say that usually people don’t really control their drinking. Usually people drink a little too much. They do this on purpose because it gives them the excuse they’re looking for to behave indecently and get away with it. I hate the effect it has on most people. That’s a big reason why alcohol doesn’t appeal to me very much.

    I do think that if we are living by the spirit then we will be always doing things in moderation naturally. If we keep our spiritual life in check at all times, God won’t let us give into stupidity. So I wouldn’t worry too much. If we are giving in to heavier drinking, maybe we need to recheck our spiritualaity. When we are really spiritual, we think of God first. That’s just how it is. Again, if we aren’t thinking of God first we have a serious problem.

    If you feel that you shouldn’t drink ever, that is your conscience. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing it just because the bible says it’s ok. It’s your choice. If someone eventually wears you down to drink, then they have sinned by stumbling you into doing something that you feel is wrong. They should be very careful not to try to make you see their way with this. God would not be happy with a person who did this. Let’s just all respect each others views on this. It’s a conscience matter. Choose for yourselves and don’t judge others.

  22. Tim,

    You said, “But what concerns me here is 1) Seeing adults encouraging teens to drink and 2) Teens saying they can see themeselves drinking.”

    I might be mistaken, but I haven’t seen one adult here encouraging teens to drink. We are discussing the Bible and alcohol, which is how you started your post. If you are underage, don’t drink. It’s illegal. I’m happy to have some friendly conversation on the matter, but be careful of your accusations.

    Admin: Sorry about that Steve…what I meant to say is 1) seeing adults encourage drinking on a teen site.

  23. Al Mohler’s stance on alcohol is just plain wrong.

    At Steve Mc’Coy’s blogsite a couple of months ago there was a big discussion about this issue. Part of Mohler’s argument is that there are all these pro-alcohol people who are glorying in their drinking of alcohol and arguing that Christians MUST drink alcohol.

    Mohler’s argument is a straw man. Moreover, he’s subtely linking anti-abstinence people with these weirdos who supposedly go around telling Christians to drink and drink and drink.

    In reality, these Christians do not really exist – and even if they do they are in a minority. Every single bible-believing Christian who drinks alcohol would agree that drunkenness is bad, and that arguing against abstinence is not about glorifying alcohol but attacking legalism.

    And what is so wrong about teens drinking? If they drink and don’t get drunk, surely they’re not sinning? And if it is legal for them to procure alcohol – some places have an 18 year-old limit, not a 21 year-old limit – then what essentially is the problem?

    After all, it is a gift from God.

  24. Also, I just want you to know, Tim, that I would not encourage you to drink. Can I say that as far as it goes that some teens here are saying they can see themselves drinking when they are of age, is that really wrong? I, when I was a teen, could say that I could see myself getting married, having an intimate relationship with my husband, having a child. Those aren’t bad things. Please, don’t take offense. I’m not saying that any teen here should do this. I’m saying that it isn’t wrong to speculate how you might choose to do things when the time comes. I hope that the teens who do think about drinking will do it carefully and wisely, like anyone should. Besides, you are saying that you won’t drink when you come of age, so why shouldn’t they say that they think they will? They feel what they feel.

    (By the way, this is absolutely not an attack on you, Tim. This is a good discussion.)

  25. I totally agree with everything annalise just said. :)
    Oh, and I posted a little about it on my blog.
    Blessings ~ Diane

  26. Tim, who is advocating that teens should drink?

    Admin: See my note on Steve’s comment. Sorry for the mistype.

  27. One Salient,
    Check out what the AMA has to say about teens drinking. Sorry for the mistype everyone. It should say [I am concerned by] 1) seeing adults encourage drinking on a teen site.

  28. I don’t know if this is has already been mentioned, but John 2:1-11 is worth mentioning. There we read that Jesus is at a wedding where wine is being served. When the wine runs out, what does Jesus do? Lecture all in attendance for daring to drink, or for drinking too much? No, he creates another 150 gallons of wine! (He turned six stone water jars that held from “twenty to thirty gallons” of water into wine).

    Tim writes: _What I want to look at today is the Christian’s response to this drink so that will be put into many bodies this Christmas season. Unlike Christmas, this is something that God specifically talks about in His Word._

    Yes, God talks about it quite a bit. And he condemns abuse of drinking, just like he condemns gluttony. But over and over again, we see that there is nothing wrong with Christians drinking moderate amounts of alcohol responsibly.

    Tim, you seem to be backing off your original post, but what you originally said certainly implied that Christians drinking at all was not acceptable:

    _Some Christians believe that we are drink alcohol in moderation, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. Jesus and his disciples drank wine, right? God gave strong drink as a gift, right? They push the idea that not drinking would be offensive to unsaved believers, and that by drinking they can have a better impact on their friends who do drink. Many times they will bring up Christians who smoke. What do you tell them?

    The other side is often portrayed as hypocritical and old-fashioned. These Christians believe that one should not drink, and believe God addresses the topic of drinking in His Word. They argue using examples of what alcohol really is and what it really does to people.

    As for me, I side with Christians who believe alcohol is not for Christians._

    This view has no basis from the Bible whatsoever.

  29. Sorry for the multiple posts here, but thoughts are coming in spurts here for me.

    “They push the idea that not drinking would be offensive to unsaved believers, and that by drinking they can have a better impact on their friends who do drink.”

    I personally do not know ANYONE who defends drinking on these grounds, and this is certainly an extremely poor defense of why it’s ok to drink.

    Having said that, I wonder if this isn’t a straw man argument since I question how many Christians actually defend moderate drinking on these grounds. Even if a few people do use this argument, that doesn’t cancel out all the Bible passages that Joe Thorn listed where God allows Christians to consume alcohol responsibly.

    One other thought that I already mentioned but I want to stress again. You write: “But what if I drink only a little bit, like the chocolate? Not good for our bodies. It’s like putting in a little bit of toxins into our system.”

    Drinking too much is certainly unhealthy, but your assertion that “drink[ing] only a little bit” is still unhealthy is not accurate. Drinking in moderation does in fact provide numerous health benefits. For a short overview of some of these, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_consumption_and_health

    In a nutshell: people who drink moderately on average live longer than those who do not drink at all.

  30. Tim, your concern of adults “advocating drinking on a teen site” is curious since this blog is public, you linked to an adult blog, and brought up the topic yourself. I look forward to reading your response to all of the biblical counter-arguments offered here.

    On another note, requiring all comments to be moderated is not only frustrating for visitors, but it absolutely destroys conversation since visitors are talking all over one another beofre seeing what each other are saying. You might want to consider a different method of protecting your blog.

  31. Joe,
    The only comments that are moderated are first time visitors or people who change their email addresses. For some reason, your posts keep getting stuck in the moderation queue, which is annoying. If you want to get through with no problem, make sure your email address is the same.

    Now, as to responding to each biblical counter-arguements–I want to be perfectly clear here: I AM NOT pushing for an argument that states that the Bible says all drinking is absolutely wrong. I don’t believe I’ve ever said that, and if I have, correct me on that. If I did, then it was a error on my part. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough or perhaps some people are taking things wrong.

    What I am saying is that the best choice is to not drink alcohol. That’s what I am arguing for. That’s where I stand. And that’s what I believe I’ve said.

    It’s good to know, though, that it seems everyone here agrees on the abuse of alcohol. We know, as I stated in my post, what God thinks of this, and no one has denied it. It’s good to have something in common at least.

    As for bringing the topic up…Yes, I did ask for this…you’re right. My blog is public and not limited to teens. But I was suprised to find some adults who are talking to a 15 year old kid and telling him that drinking is perfectly acceptable thing to do, without many cautions.

    Now, I’d like to ask some questions (some of which were answered already by annalise, which I invite you to read):

    1. When did you start drinking?
    2. Why do you drink?
    3. Is my decision to not drink unbiblical?

  32. Um, just wanted to clarify this… if I sounded in my little comment that I was saying it was OK for teens to drink in moderation, that was NOT what I meant. At all. I would never, ever, ever say that. I was talking specifically about adults, and adults only. :) Just wanted to clear that up in case someone noticed and wondered…

  33. “What I am saying is that the best choice is to not drink alcohol.”

    Alright, I’m glad this has been clarified. This still isn’t a Biblical view however. It would be better if you were to say, “the best choice for ME is to not drink alcohol.”

    In answer to your questions:

    1. I started “drinking” at the age of ten or eleven, when my dad allowed me occasional sips of wine.

    2. Wine has a very pleasant taste to it and goes very well with a lot of food served at dinners. I’ve been told that beer is an extremely effective thirst quencher, although I personally wouldn’t know.
    ; )

    3. YOUR decision to not drink isn’t unbiblical, but saying that “the best choice is to not drink alcohol” is unbiblical.

    A note about teens drinking . . . there really isn’t anything wrong at all with teens drinking in small amounts as long as it is done with the approval and direct supervision of the parents . . .say, at mealtime.

  34. Hi!
    I haven’t read all of your post, nor all of these comments. I personally don’t drink, and I’m rather glad I was brought up in a family where alcohol is not consumed, only because it is one less area for me to stumble. I know that’s admitting a possible weakness, but I’d rather admit something and be made fun of (not necessarily here) than deny it and be entrapped by it.

    I don’t see it as a sin, in moderation, but along with a lot of other things I ‘could’ do, I’d rather just stay out of it for now and not have to worry about it.

    I also wanted to thank you for linking to my blog, and using the picture I posted. Much appreciated :)

    Nice blog.

    Bonnie

  35. “Now I drink what I like. If I want a soda, which is almost always yes, I will get one.”

    Soda is a TERRIBLE thing to drink!

    I don’t drink soda.

    Bonnie

  36. No problem Bonnie. Thanks for stopping by!

    Derek,
    Maybe you missed this link I gave to One Salient Oversight?

    saying that “the best choice is to not drink alcohol” is unbiblical.

    I will, as I’ve said, probably respond in a seperate post. Right now, I’m putting all of my thoughts in order.

  37. Tim, I’m assuming the link you provided was in response to my comment:

    “there really isn’t anything wrong at all with teens drinking _in small amounts_ as long as it is done with the approval and _direct supervision_ of the parents . . .say, at _mealtime_.”

    A glance at the actual document seems to suggest that the harmful consequences described in your link apply to teenagers who ABUSE alcohol, and not to those who drink it in small amounts from time to time, which is what I was referring to.

    I would like to point out these specific passages from the document in question:

    “On average, children now try alcohol for the first time at age 12, and nearly 20 percent of 12 to 20 year olds _report being binge drinkers (having 4-5 drinks in a row)._”

    “The AMA report on the effects of alcohol on the brains of adolescents takes note of a study comparing magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of 14 to 21 year olds who _abused alcohol_ with those of non-drinkers . . ”

    “Findings indicate that adults would have to consume twice as many drinks to suffer the same damage as adolescents and that _even occasional heavy drinking injures young brains_.”

  38. Okay, let’s look at teens specifically first. Later, I’ll look at Steve’s arguments, as well as some others put out there. But for now, let’s focus in on the teen drinking issue.

    First, what is alcohol? What is the definition? According to Google, alcohol is defined as “The most commonly used drug in the United States is legal for adults over the age of 21.”

    Now, are there any health benefits for teens drinking alcohol? Nope.

    WebMD:

    In younger adults, alcohol consumption provides little, if any, health benefits, according to the guidelines. Instead, it’s associated with a higher risk of serious injury or death.

    DrugFreeInfo.com states that alcohol is one of the top 3 leading causes of deaths in 14 to 15 year-olds.

    But, really, the number one reason not to drink: it’s illegal.

    Like you, this is coming in spurts, so I’ll have to continue later.

  39. _”But, really, the number one reason not to drink: it’s illegal.”_

    This is a popular misconception. Under the circumstances I described, it is often perfectly legal for teenagers to drink. 33 states “permit minors to possess alcohol in the presence of, accompanied by, or with the consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian.”

    See http://www.nllea.org/reports/ABCEnforcementLegalResearch.pdf

    _”DrugFreeInfo.com states that alcohol is one of the top 3 leading causes of deaths in 14 to 15 year-olds.”_

    By those who ABUSE it. Can’t you differentiate between people who abuse alcohol and people who enjoy it responsibly and in moderation?

    _”Now, are there any health benefits for teens drinking alcohol? Nope.”_

    Your point being?

  40. Bonnie said:
    Soda is a TERRIBLE thing to drink!

    Thanks Bonnie. You’ve successfully made me feel like a terrible person for liking soda.

  41. Soda is wonderful. Whoever invented it was an absolute genius! :-)

  42. Soda rocks! :) As does chocolate!

  43. Quite a discussion here, people. I’ve been involved in a slightly-less-popular article on the same subject at http://www.xanga.com/Hellfire_Preacherman.

    Honestly, I’m with the moderation folks but I think we all could listen to Romans 14 a little better on this sort of thing…have a look at it. :)

    David Ketter

  44. Derek,
    My point is that you continue to push the point that drinking is good for your health, and that seems to be the reason to drink. But if there are not health benefits for teens, then why are you drinking?

  45. “When I think of alcohol, nothing good or holy comes to mind. Instead, I think of smoky rooms, drunk men, totalled cars, shock trauma, broken lives, broken bodies, and broken minds.”

    What a excellent paragraph.
    You will NEVER have the problem of:
    – Drunk Behavior
    – People Killed by drunk driving
    – Children abused by drunk fathers
    – Deaths(Like my Grandfather) because of years of Drinking
    – Other Crimes commited while under the influence
    – Broken lives because of alcohol
    – Broken homes because of alcohol
    – Broken minds because of alcohol
    If you NEVER take the first drink.

    I encourage you Tim, and any other young person who has yet to take that first drink, never to do it.

    “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

    ~Sparky (a Home School graduate)

  46. _But if there are not health benefits for teens, then why are you drinking?_

    See my answer to your second question:

    2. Wine has a very pleasant taste to it and goes very well with a lot of food served at dinners.

    I look forward to seeing your response to the many points that have been brought up so far–especially all the Bible passages.

  47. I really don’t think that drinking could be good for your skin.

  48. Admin: Sorry about that Steve…what I meant to say is 1) seeing adults encourage drinking on a teen site.

    Tim, this is a silly comment. You are the one that brought up the whole subject! Is everyone just supposed to say “Yeah, you’re right.” or can they show you why they think drinking alchohol is fine? Sit down and look at all of the Biblical passages that everyone just posted. If you are saying that drinking alchohol is a sin, then we are all going to Hell, because Jesus drank wine, and we needed a blameless sacrifice. Please stop going in circles and tell us what you think about all the above biblical passages. No more asking questions! You keep focusing on everybody that drinks and interrogating them.

    I’m not saying you should drink alchohol. Don’t, if you think it is wrong. But don’t label it a sin.

    There, I’ve officially taken part in my first cyber-debate since blogging. ;)

    Coie

  49. Tim, this is a silly comment.

    I’m a silly guy…what can I say? Actually, in some ways, you are absolutely correct. Here’s what I told Joe Thorn:

    As for bringing the topic up…Yes, I did ask for this…you’re right. My blog is public and not limited to teens. But I was suprised to find some adults who are talking to a 15 year old kid and telling him that drinking is perfectly acceptable thing to do, without many cautions.

    Please stop going in circles and tell us what you think about all the above biblical passages. No more asking questions!

    It’s coming, I promise. It would be a lot easier if my computer hadn’t automatically restarted overnight–then I wouldn’t have lost so much of my original article. But, it is coming. No more comments for me until it’s done.

  50. BTW, here are some other Bible passages that I do not believe have been listed yet:

    Ecclesiastes 9:7 – “drink your wine with a merry heart, for God approves what you do.”

    Psalm 104:15 – the Psalmist writes that “wine gladdens the heart of a man.”

    Isaiah 25:6 – God will provide a feast of rich foods and choice wines.

    Amos 9:14 – God declares that His people shall plant their vineyards and drink their wine.

    Zech. 10:7 – God says that when He saves His people, their hearts shall be glad as with wine.

    Gen. 14:18 – Melchizedek offers a bread and wine sacrifice, and Jesus is the Priest in the same manner.

    Gen. 27:25 – Isaac brought Jacob wine, and he drank, with God’s favor.

    Neh. 8:10 – Nehemiah commands the faithful to drink sweet wine to celebrate the Lord and His holy day.

  51. Wow… there are certainly a lot of comments on this post.

    First of all, I’m a pastor’s daughter, so my dad doesn’t drink, or my parents, or any of my relatives that I am aware of. I have been always told from a young age that drinking alcohol is wrong. I still believe that is true. I would never drink an alcoholic beverage. I really have not studied out what the Bible says about alcoholic beverages and Christians, however, think of what drinking does to your testimony. This summer we had some new neighbors move in next door and we went to their housewarming party. I think the only requirement for that party was ‘bring a case of your favorite beer’. Think of what it would have looked like to our neighbors if my dad went over their to the party and had a drink like everone else! They know he is a pastor, and that would not speak very well of our family.

    Doesn’t Romans 12:2 say to be in the world and not of it? In the New Testament time period, Christains usually didn’t drink wine to get drunk. Wine was one of the staple drinks then. However, nowadays if you get a beer or two, it is usually so you can get drunk. I don’t think this speaks very well of the name of Christ.

    ~Nella

  52. On one of my jobs I work in an emergency room at a hospital. On a daily basis I see people who’s lives have been destroyed by alcohol. Almost every day I work I have to deal with drunken people brought in because they are too drunk to take care of themselves. I have no illusions about what alcohol can do to people.
    At the same time, however, virtually anything, even good things, can be abused and end up ruining people’s lives. In the end its not things that ruin us, it is us that ruins us.

    If you feel God has called you not to drink alcoholic beverages that is good, and its a good thing for you not to drink. However, this is not something God has called every person to and we need to becareful about putting standards and requirements on people that God has not. This is the very thing that created the problematic traditions of the pharisees.

    The argument that not drinking may offend is somewhat weak simply because truth and holiness usualy does offend the wicked. The danger is that in making alcohol consumption an issue of holiness we can begin to be judgmental about it. I believe there are many things we are supposed to judge.. but this again comes back to recognizing that God has not forbidden this and thus it is not right to judge those who consume moderately as less holy because they do not meet your personal standard.

  53. Hey Tim,

    Wow, looks like you’re stirring up a hornet’s nest! =)

    I don’t mean to be nit-picky, but I had a question about one of the Bible passages your quoted. You used 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 in reference to smoking and drinking… but verse 18 seems to (strongly) imply that the only sin that would defile this “temple” is sexual immorality:

    “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

  54. Not many people have stopped to realize the effects of an everyday toxin, caffeine. Great book just came on the market, discussing the biochemical changes caused by caffeine and why doctors diagnose caffeine toxicity and caffeine allergy, that’s right caffeine allergy—a hidden condition, as ADHD, anxiety, panic, OCD, bipolar disorder and a lot more. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1412050006/104-4999071-5460763?v=glance&n=283155
    http://www.welcometothedancecaffeineallergy.com

  55. Should the Christian ask the question, “What is acceptable?” or should they ask, “what is best?” This is where the big problem with the alchohol debate comes in. Scripture is clear that just because something is acceptible doesn’t make it wise. We are to be wise, above reproach and, last but not least, unwilling to cause a brother to stumble. Alchohol carries a much different association with our culture than it did with Christ’s. We have seen a similiar change in our lifetime with the use of tobacco. It has a different moral footprint in 2007 than it did in 1957. Because of that, we do not see smoking on tv, in movies or magazines. Therefore, a Christian who smokes may have the liberty, but responsibility says it is a bad witness and a bad habit.

    Alchohol is an intoxicant. It is associated with inumerable ills in our culture. It has no non-medical redeeming values. There are other things to drink. The temperance movement in america saw the devestation and reacted accordingly. Since then there is a new view of alchohol. The principle today is the same as Paul’s warning that women should keep their heads covered…law, no…respect and witness, yes.

    Why drink? There is no good reason. why not drink…the list is endless.

  56. I love how you wrote from your heart about this issue. It’s definitely a controversial one among the Christian community. I recently came across this article and found it written beautifully as well –
    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/TopicIndex
    /34/313_Total_Abstinence_and_Church_Membership/

    (it was a long address so you will have to cute and copy it). Take care!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Side Effects May Include… » SmartHomeschool - December 15, 2005

    [...] There has been a large discussion going on at AgentTim Online about whether or not alcohol is a good thing for Christians to drink. Tim thinks it’s not, and I’m prone to agree with him, especially in the aspect I’m about to examine. [...]

  2. VirtueBlog » Blog Archive » Is it wrong for Christians to drink? - December 16, 2005

    [...] Agent Tim Online and Smart Homeschool have both published lengthy posts on the issue of whether it is acceptable for Christians to drink alcohol. There is currently a lot of discussion and debate going on, and you might be interested in checking it out! [...]

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