Volume 19, Issue 17 (April 23, 2017)
Why We Don’t Drink Alcoholic Beverages
By John Isaac Edwards
Beers, wines, spirits — alcoholic beverages of every class — are just about everywhere: grocery, pharmacy, restaurant, ballpark, office party, gas station, in many homes, and the list goes on.
Portrayals of drinking, alcohol product placements, and alcohol advertising are widespread — television, film, music and music video, radio, billboard, magazine, newspaper and the like.
Drinking alcoholic beverages of every kind and in every quantity is commonplace. It is a common feature of social gatherings.
Thus, many think it strange that we do not drink alcoholic beverages (1 Pet. 4:3-4). Here’s why we don’t:
1) Makes one a fool. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).
2) Leads to poverty. “He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Prov. 21:17). “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty...” (Prov. 23:21).
3) Produces woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, wounds, redness of eyes. Question: “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?” (Prov. 23:29). Answer: “They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine” (Prov. 23:30).
4) Scripture says, “Look not...” “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright” (Prov. 23:31). The effect is —stay far away from it — don’t even look at it!
5) Bites and stings. “At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Prov. 23:32). It’s effects are horrifyingly painful!
6) Fills the mind with impure and perverse thoughts. “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things” (Prov. 23:33).
7) Brings danger and insecurity. “Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast” (Prov. 23:34).
8) Makes one insensible and is habitforming. “They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again” (Prov. 23:35).
9) Woe is to them that drink. “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” (Is. 5:11). “Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink” (Is. 5:22). Woe was pronounced to the drunkards of Ephraim, who were overcome with wine, to be cast down and trodden under feet (Is. 28:1-3).
10) Is the companion of carnal living. “And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die” (Is. 22:13). Such is the attitude of iniquity (Is. 22:14).
11) Causes one to err and stumble. “...they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment” (Is. 28:7).
12) Brings foolish optimism and vain hope. “Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Is. 56:12).
13) Is joined with immorality and takes away the heart. “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart” (Hosea 4:11).
14) Brings shame. “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 art 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).
15) We are to walk honestly. “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Rom. 13:13).
16) Is a work of the flesh, and such shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21.
17) Is a be not. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
18) We are to be sober. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night” (1 Th. 5:6-7). You can’t take 1 drink and be 100% sober!
19) Leads to other sins. Consider Noah (Gen. 9:20-26) and Lot (Gen. 19:30- 38), for example.
20) Paul said, “...I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor. 6:12). 21) We are to maintain self-control. 1 Corinthians 9:27. 22) Excess of wine and drinking parties are condemned. Read 1 Peter 4:3-5. “Banquetings” are drinking parties. Thus, the Bible condemns all forms of drinking alcoholic beverages — from social drinking to full-fledged drunkenness!
Drinking alcohol trumps reason, distorts judgment, severs the connection between behavior and consequence, lays waste to marriages, friendships and careers, and leaves children stranded.
As one writer observed, “If alcohol’s a solvent, if it’s used for antifreeze, and mixed in deadly powder to abolish bugs and fleas; if it’s a disinfectant, as experiment confirms, so strong it will immobilize the hardiest of germs; if it will burn off carbon, and will deaden muscle aches, and operate efficiently as fluid for your brakes; if it’s a prime ingredient in making poison gas, and strong enough to eat the spots from copper, tin or brass; if it belongs in varnishes, in lacquer and shellac, and makes shoe polish hold its color, brown or tan or black; if it has heat and energy for laboratory lamps and chafing dishes, backyard grills and torches used in camps; if, used internally, results can be so very rough—then why would any normal person want to drink the stuff?”
Truth Magazine 59.12 (December 2015): 32-33