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Can We Drink In Moderation

In light of Proverbs 20:1," wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise". Can a person still drink in moderation without condemnation?

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 ---mima on 5/16/06
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To date, in previous blogs along this line, any proponents of consuming alcohol have refused or failed to explain the difference between the use of alcohol and drugs like pot. (Legalities aside.)
---Bruce5656 on 4/16/08

For those who teach that the Bible commands total abstinence please go and read Deut. 14:26. There, you will find that God says you can live it up once in a while. And if you are a tither you can read the whole chapter and compare that to what they are teaching in your church.
---john on 6/12/07

HI Jerry,In 1 Timothy 3 (KJV) it says1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;1Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
---Dianah on 7/21/06

Mac, if guests were so drunk they couldn't discern good wine from bad, then Jesus wine would not have been so good after all. Truth is neither the wine which ran out nor Jesus' was fermented wine. They were clearly and sensibly able to do an accurate wine taste test and Jesus' was the clear winner!

Jack, what is the word used in the Bible for grape juice?
---Geoff on 7/18/06

Ralph ... Is that your experience? What you have seen among your firends? What you have read?
Please give the evidence for your statement.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/17/06

Most people do not have enough self control to drink in moderation without getting drunk, where the sin comes in.
---Ralph on 7/16/06

Jerry ... what does "given to wine" mean?
I don't read it as saying he must not drink any wine. "Given to" implies something like ... dependent on, controlled by, needing.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/16/06

Has anyone looked at the qualifications of a deacon and bishop, 1 Timothy 3:1-13? A deacon is not given to MUCH wine (vs 8). The bishop however is NOT given to wine. One littleword changes a lot. As for Proverbs 20, you have to look at the context of the whole passage before and after that one verse.
---jerry on 7/16/06

Jesus turned water into wine, but some who claim to be His followers turn wine into grape juice.

How dishonest.
---Jack on 7/16/06

Geoff ... You comments to me and to Carla do not require a reply.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/16/06

John 2:10 is worded slightly differently in various versions but the impression is given that the good wine is served until people are drunk and then, when they are no longer quite so discerning, the cheaper wine is brought out. This is why some were surprised at the quality of the wine brought out later. If it were only grapejuice they would not have been drunk after having much but would probably have had diarrhoea, and certainly would not have wanted more.
---Mac on 7/16/06

Carla, Timothy is talking about grapejuice since fermented wine would only make a bad situation worse.

Alan, the master of the feast would have made the compliment if the first wine was also unfermented and especially if it was starting to get a little old. Jesus' new wine/grape juice was fresh (instantly made) and good too!
---Geoff on 7/16/06

In Timothy it states that one can have a little wine for the stomache sake, or for ones infirmitives, depends on how bad ones infermitives are!
---Carla5754 on 7/12/06

Yes Geoff, immediate consumption is a way of stopping grape juice fermenting, although I had been talking about ways of preserving grape juice (as had you previously)
The wine at the feast may have been new unfermented grape juice, but I do not think then that the master of the feast would have compared it to the wine ordinarily served.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/12/06

Alan, there are several other ways you missed. One in particular is consuming the new wine/fresh grape juice before it ferments. At the wedding feast, the wine Jesus provided was very fresh and it was good too. He got compliments.
---Geoff on 7/12/06

Geoff. Why do you say "even you"? What a reputation I must have!
There are two main ways of stopping grape juice from fermenting. One is by heat to kill off the natural yeast. The other is by chemical means, & I doubt whether the Jews knew about these.
As you say, everything "goes off" eventually. The most effective and long lasting way of keeping grape juice is to allow it to ferment ... then the alcohol preserves it.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/9/06

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Alan, even you stated there are ways to preserve grape juice. They were able to preserve things in Bible times too. Ultimately, all foods expire, rot, ferment, putrefy (even petrify). There is a difference. We are better off with the fresh.
---Geoff on 7/9/06

Tofurabby, "to stumbleth" is not English.

Following this same reasoning, we should not set food before our neighbor or eat before him lest we tempt him to gluttony.
---Jack on 7/8/06

Grapes on the vine have natural yeast which will turn them alcoholic. I have a grape vine in my garden, and when the grapes ripen, the birds eat them. It is often amusing to see them acting in a drunken way. It is virtually impossible to store grape juice without it ferminting of its own accord, unless you boil it to kill the natural yeast.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/8/06

Geoff - "There's a difference between grape juice/fresh grapes on the vine-Isaiah 65:8 and alcoholic wine-Pr 23:29-32."

Isa. 65:8 makes reference to Israel as a vineyard that had produced bad grapes but the good grapes are the remnant of God.

About the only people you will convince that people drank grape juice in those days are the uneducated and those that want to believe that. I would be careful as you may find yourself being laughed at for such an unwarrented belief.
---lee on 7/7/06

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Lee, let me help you out here. There's a difference between grape juice/fresh grapes on the vine-Isaiah 65:8 and alcoholic wine-Pr 23:29-32. We still have the evidence today. Can you tell the difference?
---Geoff on 7/7/06

We also had a bottle of champagne for our wedding but when the proprietor asked what we wanted to drink, I had to tell him that no one drank as we had one Buddhist, a couple of Pentecostals, and some Baptists. He commented that the latter usually drink their beverages at home. We took the Champagne back to our motel room and drink it. The stuff does wonders in putting one in the mood for some of the benefits of married life.
---lee on 7/6/06

The Bible condemns drunkiness; not the mere responsible drinking of wine.

The problem we see in our society is that too many people are not responsible for their actions causing over half the deaths on the highways, alcoholicism, etc.

I generally do not indulge because it may interfere with my medication.
---lee on 7/6/06

Geoff - Lee, are you saying that there was no grape juice in Bible times?

Fermentation occurs almost immediately in all fruit juices.

Microsoft Encarta tells us that the ancient Greeks often flavored their wine with spices, herbs, flowers & perfume and always diluted it with water before consumption.

There is no reason to believe that Jewish people merely drank unfermented wine as there are injunction against wine drinking by priests that serve at the tabernacle.
---lee on 7/6/06

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Remember, we are told that we shouldnt because it can cause our brother to stumbleth. Even if we can control it we cant control others perceptions. If it is ok for them, then it must be ok for me.
---tofurabby on 7/6/06

Jesus turned water into wine that according to scripture it was the best and in my own opinion I would not give my lads the chance to drink while under my roof, but on special occasions once they are married and living their own lives that would be their own decision because they are sensible. Neither of them drink by the way.!
---Carla5754 on 7/6/06

It is a scripture warning of what strong drink can do to you and therefore one should avoid it as a every day beverage.

However I would not advocate drinking as a past time some people have different levels of maturity so it depends on own ones ability to judge for yourself, either for an occasional glass of wine for medicinal purposes or a Special occassion, My husband and I had Champagne at our wedding, neither of us drank, but we had a glass.... or two, Hiccup! oop's
---Carla5754 on 7/6/06

The Bible tells us that Jesus made water into wine... it does not say that he drank it.
---tofurabby on 7/6/06

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Lee, you seem to be saying there is going to be the serving and drinking of fermented wine in heaven even though the Bible says it won't be there-1 Cor 6:10, Gal 5:21. Not even in "moderation." Jesus, our example, refused it even in dieing-Mat 27:34. There is a difference between old, fermented wine and new wine which had no time to ferment-Mat 9:17. We will drink new wine in heaven-Mk 14:25.
---Geoff on 7/6/06

Lee, are you saying that there was no grape juice in Bible times? You will notice that the same word is used for both grapejuice and fermented wine. You will notice the same thing with food. Meat is used for flesh food as well as non-flesh food.
---Geoff on 7/6/06

Geoff - according to Ecclesiastes 3 there "is a time for every matter under heaven:... there is a time to weep, laugh; mourn, and dance;..." etc. Maybe Christ had those verses in mind when he provided all that wine.

Perhaps at a wedding, this would be a time to get drunk? Remember what happened to Jacob when he found Leah in his bed the next morning instead of Rachel?

At the marriage supper of the lamb (Rev. 19:9, Mt. 26:29) when the wine comes around what are you going to do?
---lee on 7/6/06

Geoff - Your implication that wine during the times of Jesus was mere grape juice, reminds of the time when I had a discussion at a luncheon stand with a Salvation Army lady. I told her the story about Lot getting his daughters pregnant after they gave him wine. After telling her that if that wine was mere grape juice, it sure packed a punch. She got mad at me and threatened me with the wrath of God and left after those at the counter laughed at her.
---lee on 7/6/06

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Lee, you said Jesus drank wine. I'm assuming you're talking about fermented wine because you also suggested He facilitated drunkenness. It's ironic that some would have Jesus practicing lawlessness, breaking the Sabbath (without sinning), and aiding drunkards. This is unfortunate.

Tell me what word does the Bible use for grape juice?
---Geoff on 7/6/06

There are those that believe Jesus should be our guide and He not only drank wine, but provided enough of it (120 to 180 gallons) for wedding guests to stay drunk.

John 3:10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the best wine first. When people are drunk, the host serves cheap wine. But you have saved the best wine for now."

I would, however, not advise anyone to drink alcoholic beverages due to the social problems involved.
---lee on 7/5/06

Jesus's first miracle was making several hundred gallons of wine--not grape juice.

It was FERMENTED wine, about 20-22 proof, and anyone who tries to say otherwise is simply not being honest, projecting the 19th century temperance movement on first century Jews.

The grape harvest was around August-September. Passover was in March or April. What will grape juice do without refrigeration, pasteurization, or preservatives?

There's only one of two things it will become: wine or vinegar.
---Jack on 7/5/06

Mima, Prov 20:1 is not to be taken lightly. I'll add Prov 31:6. I'm not ready to die. I would leave it alone. I think the idea of using a little wine comes from 1 Tim 5:23, but a little background will help us understand that drinking fruit juice instead of water is a healthier choice in some regions. Please note that the same word is used in scripture for grape juice and wine. It is important to know the difference.
---Geoff on 7/5/06

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Eric you say "the soldiers gave Him gall to drink, it alcoholic" Is gall alcoholic? Does not say so in my (Oxford University Press) dictionary, but Websters may say something else
---alan8869_of_UK on 6/26/06

We are called to "come out from among them and be separate". Drinking Alcohol is an abomination and smacks of the world. Why do you want to drink alcohol anyway --- does it taste absolutely delicious? If not, then why not drink something you are really truly going to enjoy!
---Helen_5378 on 6/23/06

One is two many and a thousand is never enough.
---Lynn_E._Bedford on 6/22/06

I have found that if you give the devil an inch he becomes a ruler. I am sure that some people could drink alcohol in moderation but from my experience, I have never seen good come from it, the devil always shows up somewhere. It always becomes a problem and a slow spiritual death.
---exzucuh on 6/22/06

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Jesus drank the same wine as the people he sat at a table with thats why they called him a wine bibber, a drunk. even water was laced with wine to kill bacteria and the second time they offered Jesus the vinegar wine he drank it and gave up the ghost.
---exzucuh on 6/22/06

When in doubt, follow Jesus. He never drank wine. He drank the grape juice which is unfermented wine.

On the cross the soldiers gave Him gall to drink, it alcoholic, and Jesus tasted it and then spat it out as soon as He knew what is was.
---eric on 6/22/06

Whatever you do, dont tell an alchoholic that one drink never hurt. If they never took the one drink, they would not have taken the many that came after it and would not have the problem. We as Christians need to set the example. If we tell our brother that one is ok, why do we assume that it will not lead to a problem? We cant know that and do not want to cause our brother to stumble.
---chris on 5/18/06

I would not recommend it to any one, mainly because many have died from just drinking one. Besides, when you really have the Holy Spirit to lighten you, then you don't need any alcohol for a substitute.
---Eloy on 5/18/06

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This sin of gluttony has been mentioned. I am six-foot tall 245 pounds and guilty of the sin of gluttony. Now is my belief that usually only the skinny people want to talk about gluttony and it is for this reason that I'm going to drop the subject, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
---mima on 5/17/06

Sorry, Dan, I meant Dan not dan
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/17/06

dan ... you make a bold condemnation of most people. Of the people that I know, there is only one whose dinking became excessive ... she is an alcoholic who no longer drinks. But of the others, I know of none who drink to excess
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/17/06

1 Corinthians discusses our freedom in Christ. Chapter 10:31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
---Madison1101 on 5/16/06

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Proverbs 31:6-7 "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more." Is this passage condoning drunkeness in certain circumstances?
---ralph7477 on 5/16/06

Most people have no self control. They think they can control their drinking, but then they get drunk, then drunkenness is the sin!
---dan on 5/16/06

Part 2. Our Lord's first miracle (worked at the intercession of His Mother, btw) was making several HUNDRED gallons of wine. Any commentator who tries to make this into simple unfermented grape juice is being dishonest.

IN any case, the fermentation of grape juice into wine starts immediately with the crushing of the grapes.

Without refrigeration or pasteurization, grape juice will become one of two things: wine or vinegar. Both are natural processes that start and stop on their own.
---Jack on 5/16/06

What Proverbs here is talking about is drunkedness and possibly alcoholism. The Bible actually says more about gluttony (a very popular sin in evangelical churches). But just as every bite of food is not necessarily an act of gluttony, so every sip of wine or alcoholic beverages is not an act of drunkedness.
---Jack on 5/16/06

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We are saved by grace which is truly a liberty and have our sins forgiven, but we are warned: Galatians 5:13
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (also see: Rom. 13:13,14; Titus 2:11-15)
---chris on 5/16/06

I think it can be consumed in moderation but we shouldnt. What example does it set? We need to set examples that strengthen those around us. If someone sees you drinking (even just one) they may think it is ok for them to get drunk because they do not know exactly how much you consumed. Romans 14:21
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
---chris on 5/16/06

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