Daniel P. Barron

You're saying there is decay in eternity?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

This log has been modified for spelling and formatting. It has been reviewed by Darwin Fish. To avoid repetition, I have left the other guy's messages only in the form of me quoting him.

davida485: I have come up with an argument against Christians drinking that I haven't heard before.

Daniel:

So far I haven't heard good rebuttals. Are there any good challenges to it?

Yes.

I believe drinking alcohol is not a sin (that is important to remember), but Christians should not drink, should actively encourage the church community to refrain from drinking, and would do well to restrict the use of alcohol as much as possible in their surrounding communities. This is the base-line belief, and I will offer a Biblically-based argument in favor of it and a few challenges to anyone who would disagree with it. Challenges welcomed!

The article I linked above should cover it all.

There is a thread in Scripture and Christian history of repudiating, for Scripturally-based reasons, certain social practices that exist in the Bible. The three foremost examples are polygamy, slavery, and drinking alcohol.

None of these three is forbidden by the Bible, and any church saying they are wrong is not in the truth. See: Polygamy and Slavery.

First challenge: is there any clear Biblical prohibition, for all believers, against polygamy or slavery, in God's Word? Or is there any declaration of either as a sin? Is there any passage or verse in the Bible that explicitly tells Christians to advocate for the abolition of either in their societies?

No. That should be all you need to know! And yet you go on...

Not only is there no verse that clearly prohibits polygamy or slavery for the general population of believers, there are clear verses where both practices are condoned by God, at least in certain instances (Polygamy: 1 Samuel 12:8i--God speaking. Slavery: Exodus 21,ii Leviticus 25:44-46iii).

Right! And yet you STILL GO ON.....

Why have Christians then come to oppose both polygamy and slavery? It is because, although both had practical reasons for their existence at a certain point in time, both looked different in Biblical times than the purely negative forms they have taken in modern times, and both were explicitly condoned by God in the Bible, there are some issues. Both have negative examples in Scriptural stories, the ideal situation given as examples of higher spiritual things are neither (marriage as between one man and one woman is a picture of Christ and the Church;

The Church is made of multiple people!

Christ frees us from the bondage of sin), and both are seen to be negative for those in spiritual authority in the church age...and even in places in the Old Testament (elders to have one wife; the treatment of Onesiumus in Philemon; various pieces of wisdom and commands given to kings and priests).

None of which is condemnation of polygynyiv in general.

Christians moved away from polygamy (Roman society was already more based in monogamy, but distant parts of the empire were not) early on. Christians actively advocated against slavery, eventually (because of the form it had taken was clearly unscriptural, and higher ideals of freedom and all men being equal began to be in conflict with it). Christians then moved to remove alcohol from their subculture and general society because of various problems associated with it in Scripture, because of negative stories in the Bible about it, because of rules and laws restricting its use with spiritual leaders in the Bible (kings, priests and elders in churches), and lastly because of the way its use had changed in our society and the disappearance of it as a practical need.

Your argument is basically, the world changed and so therefor the Bible must change too. Your care is of this world and not of Christ who is not of this world. (John 18:36v)

My challenge to drinking Christians: if alcohol is not to be actively preached against (not drunkenness alone, but drinking alcohol in general) because the Bible does not explicity state it as a sin, should Christians also refuse to preach against polygamy if it arises (which it will) or speak against it in Christian circles; or, should they have sought the abolition of slavery or spoken against such a practice for Christians?

Your logic has no foundation in scripture and you need to repent.

I think polygamy should not be practiced by Christians and society. I think slavery should not be practiced by Christians and society. I think drinking alcohol should not be practiced by Christians and society. But I think none of these are sins. I do think none of these are things Christians should do though....for Scriptural reasons.

You say they aren't sin but they shouldn't be done "for scriptural reasons." You contradict yourself.

And the Scriptural reasons against alcohol are much, much more stringent and numerous than they are for either polygamy or slavery. Its an easier argument to make against drinking alcohol than the other two practices.

It is easy to walk the path that leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13-14vi)

Thanks for reading this lengthy post, and feel free to offer a challenge.

Please return the favor.

Daniel:

Then you respond to different parts where I fleshed out the argument by saying "and yet you go on" and "still go on"...even though I had not seen your articles yet, as you had not sent them yet, and therefore would only naturally go on.

You admit that drinking is not forbidden, and yet you go on and on trying to show how we shouldn't drink anyway.

I think it was some attempt at being arrogant or something, but it just came off as responding to a section at a time without reading the whole thing.

Indeed I was replying to a section at a time. If by the end of the post you had made some revolutionary point, I would have said so. But your point was the same from beginning to end: drinking is not wrong but we shouldn't do it anyway.

Umm...no. Look at that passage above. You are looking at what is said after "lastly" and ignoring what was said before, the bulk of the point.

I use your own words against you, which is this: "it's not wrong to drink but we shouldn't do it anyway." The Bible never forbids drinking, and you say we should be forbidden to drink. You call good evil. (Isaiah 5:20vii)

The Bible clearly says priests are not to drink while performing their ministry in the Tabernacle/Temple, on pain of death (Leviticus 10viii). The Bible also says that kings should not drink alcohol (Proverbs 31ix), clearly. In Revelation we are described as kings and priestsx

And yet believers who are called kings drink alcohol, both here on earth (1 Timothy 5:23xi) and later in the kingdom of God. (Matthew 26:29xii)xiii

This truth is supported by the passage in 1 Timothy that says elders are not to be given to winexiv (a different greek word than the deacons who were not to be given to much winexv).xvi

"Given to" as in become ruled by it.xvii (Genesis 27:37xviii)

They are examples of how Christians should live. Being the husband of one wife is in there too.

You go on to say that this rule applies to all believers; the Bible says we are better off to not marry at all. (1 Corinthians 7:8xix)

Daniel:

All of these things make sense for why Christians decided to remove the practice of owning other people as their property from society.

You think it was Christians who abolished slavery? You think the "few" who believe (Matthew 7:14xx) had such power over a country?

If somebody were to own a slave now, it would not be in line with Biblical precepts or work anything like what the Old Testament laid out. The laws aren't there.

Right. It is wrong to own slaves in the U.S. today because there is a wicked law forbidding it. (Romans 13:1xxi)

So, if you owned a slave in the Deep South, it was biblically just and righteous to tell them they could no longer have those slaves. The system was evil.

Some, or even most people were not practicing slavery in line with scripture; that doesn't mean slavery should have been made illegal for everyone.

This is true of alcohol too.

Some people drink to get drunk, but that doesn't mean alcohol should be illegal.

1 Timothy 5:23, if anything, proves that Timothy was not willing to drink alcohol. Paul had to tell him to do so, for medical reasons. He was unwilling to drink alcohol even if it was just for medical purposes!

I am not saying people must drink alcohol or else they aren't saved. It's up to each person whether they want to drink or not.

This verse confirms that Timothy's understanding of how Paul wanted elders to behave was to abstain from alcohol. The context of the passage is him telling Timothy how to behave in his position of authority and how to deal with elders.

You are adding to the Word. (Proverbs 30:5-6xxii) It says no such thing.

Later in the Kingdom of God, Jesus says He'll drink it "new." How is good wine new and not old? How could alcohol even work in eternity? How could fermentation work? You're saying there is decay in eternity? Do you know what alcohol is, scientifically? How could that even exist in an eternal framework? It likely refers to a whole different kind of drink: "new." Or, fresh off the vine, although that would also be odd in eternity.

You are trying to tell me there won't be alcohol in the kingdom of God because fermentation can't take place?? Do you not know that nothing is impossible with God, (Luke 1:37xxiii) if for the sake of argument you were right.

In the end, the Bible clearly forbids kings to drink alcohol in Proverbs 31,

Surely not. King Melchizedek "brought out wine." (Genesis 14:18xxiv) Christ is king, and He manufactured and distributed wine. (John 2:6-10xxv) Our article on alcohol addresses your point about Proverbs 31; perhaps you should give it another read. The verse is referring to drinking to excess.

and instead of considering that and conforming your mind to the Word of God, you cling to your idolatry and alcoholic vice

What vice? You yourself said it is not sin! Hypocrite!

I feel within me already, it is settled, that you could not stop drinking if you wanted to. It already has you, and is in your mind, and you are its servant.

I haven't said whether I do or do not drink. As a matter of fact I go long stretches of time without drinking; it does not rule over me, and I don't use it to get drunk.

It has nothing to do with Jesus or a right reading of Scripture.

I have made only scriptural arguments with you.

I am telling you that in 1Timothy 3:3, the term used for "given to wine" is different than the deacons' "given to much wine."

It is the same. Ruled over.xxvi You can be a slave to sin regardless of how much you partake. You can be addicted to alcohol through much drinking or little drinking.xxvii

Answer the question. Why does Paul write one thing for the elders and another for the deacons. They are different words. He then goes on to say that neither are supposed to be "greedy of filthy lucre" and he uses the SAME word. Why change the word for alcohol? Why?

I don't know.

Admit it. The elders are not supposed to be drinking.

I will admit no such lie.

Lastly, you bring up my challenge to your article's reading of the elder being the husband of one wife and basically ignore It, again

You have hypocritically judged me, for I gave you an answer that you have ignored. The Bible says it is better not to marry. Combined with your assertion, this would mean it is better to disobey scripture.

  1. 1 Samuel 12:
    8 When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.

  2. Exodus 21:
    2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

    7 “And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. 10 If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. 11 And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

  3. Leviticus 25:
    44 And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have—from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.

  4. Specifically a man having multiple wives.
  5. John 18:
    36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

  6. Matthew 7:
    13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  7. Isaiah 5:
    20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
    Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

  8. Leviticus 10:
    8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: 9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

  9. Proverbs 31:
    4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    It is not for kings to drink wine,
    Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
    5 Lest they drink and forget the law,
    And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
    6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
    And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
    7 Let him drink and forget his poverty,
    And remember his misery no more.

  10. Revelation 1:
    4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

    Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

    To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  11. 1 Timothy 5:
    23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

  12. Matthew 26:
    29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

  13. I should correct this somewhat; the verse does not specifically say it is wine.
  14. 1 Timothy 3:
    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

  15. 1 Timothy 3:
    8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

  16. Different words are used, but they mean the same thing.
  17. More accurately, to become drunk.
  18. Genesis 27:
    37 Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”

  19. 1 Corinthians 7:
    8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am;

  20. Matthew 7:
    14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  21. Romans 13:
    1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

  22. Proverbs 30:
    5 Every word of God is pure;
    He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
    6 Do not add to His words,
    Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

  23. Luke 1:
    37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

  24. Genesis 14:
    18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.

  25. John 2:
    6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

  26. Again, I should have said "get drunk."
  27. As it turns out, the two examples he gave mean the same thing in Greek. In both cases it simply means "don't get drunk." What's more, I can't think of a defense to being addicted over little drinking.