Alcohol Is Of The Devil

At least this is what some people in Georgia including Governor Sonny Perdue would have you believe. And that is what I would have believed years ago as well.

I grew up in a household where both parents had grown up Southern Baptist. Not a drop of alcohol was to be found in our home. And so I grew up believing that drinking beer or wine was a sin. I never really questioned this perspective until I got older and started to re-read the Bible and began questioning some of the things that I had always been taught.

There are, in fact, numerous mentions of alcohol in the Bible, many of which are positive mentions. Jesus turned water into wine (not Welch’s grape juice) and even used wine during his Last Supper as a sacrament for his followers to remember him.

A few years ago I had a conversation with my grandmother and this topic came up. My grandmother had always been very vocal about the evils of alcohol and I wanted to understand why. I’m not sure how I had never known this, but her father had been an alcoholic and had physically abused his family. Being in the rural South with a strong Christian cultural milieu, the interpretation of alcoholism and abuse became a Christian one, hence the “alcohol is of the devil”.

Unfortunately, this cultural preference has become ingrained in many Christian cultures and churches over the years to the point that many Christians have difficulty separating the essentials of their faith from cultural preferences that really have no basis in the Bible.

In a pluralistic society, there are certainly difficulties and hard questions when we talk about legislating certain beliefs. While I disagree with those who say that we can never legislate morality (in fact that is the only thing we can legislate), it is even more disturbing to push a policy agenda based upon a supposed Christian belief that is in actuality nothing more than a tradition.

I can certainly see why most non-Christians in Georgia would be disturbed by blue laws. Hopefully, more Christians will become disturbed by blue laws as well. There is nothing Christian about blue laws or abstaining from alcohol.

33 comments

  1. bowersville says:

    Jesus turned the water into wine and used wine in the sacrament at the Last Supper, however the Lord didn’t have to run for political office in Georgia.

  2. Old School Politics says:

    The wine was unfermented. It was “NEW” wine which equates to grape juice. “Old” wine equates fermented wine and the Bible is very clear on avoiding strong drink. I think you need to spend a little more time studying Gods word.

  3. David says:

    With all of the real problems that plague this state I cannot believe that anyone is focusing on something as stupid as whether to be able to legally buy beer on Sunday. Of course we should be able to buy alcohol on Sunday. I detest laws that limit our freedoms like this. Why don’t the snake-handling, religious nuts mind their own damn business and if they don’t want to buy the dreaded alcohol, the don’t buy it. Hell, most of those who preach against this stuff are closet drinkers anyway. Laws that try and regulate “sin” never work in the first place. People will always find a way to do what the want. Morality laws (drinking smoking, drugs and prostitution) of this nature are a waste of legislative time. You obviously have seen the stories of the high class whorehouse in Gwinnett? There will always be an outlet for the supposed sins of man. I say legalize it and tax it! It might help with our ballooning fiscal worries.

  4. Jmac says:

    The wine was unfermented. It was “NEW” wine which equates to grape juice. “Old” wine equates fermented wine and the Bible is very clear on avoiding strong drink. I think you need to spend a little more time studying Gods word.

    This is complete historical revision, and it’s borderline irresponsible. There is no mention of what type of wine Christ transformed the water into.

    … and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.

    If anything, this passage suggests that the wine did indeed have some kick to it.

    The Bible cautions against drunkenness repeatedly, but it does not explicitly forbid drinking. It also cautions against gluttony and sloth, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat or sleep.

  5. Donkey Kong says:

    “The wine was unfermented. It was “NEW” wine which equates to grape juice. “Old” wine equates fermented wine and the Bible is very clear on avoiding strong drink.”

    John 2:10:
    “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

    This verse implies first that the original wine used was alcoholic. If you have too much to drink of nonalcoholic wine, nothing happens but you feel sick and you stop drinking. These guests did not stop drinking, so I’d conclude that when the verse says “too much to drink” it’s referring to inebriation. Furthermore, it would be an insult to provide nonfermented wine at a wedding in those times. Even the cheap wine was at least alcoholic to some degree.

    In fact, Paul encourages Timothy in I Timothy 5:23 to drink some wine for medicinal purposes. Let’s not forget that the same Greek word for wine is used when referring to wine that can make you drunk, so as to distill any dissenters that claim this wine was nonalcholic. The Old Testament FREQUENTLY mentions wine positively. I can give you many references if you want, but for brevity’s sake I’m choosing not to unless you ask.

    Even great American Baptist preachers like Charles Spurgeon believed that it was ok to drink: “I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame.” While he hardly ever drank, he still didn’t think that alcohol was inherently evil.

    “I think you need to spend a little more time studying Gods word.”

    Gimme a break, Old School. The Bible mentions drunkeness as wrong many times, but not drinking, and I’ve found that those who condemn drinking altogether like to stand on their stage and scream ad hominems while avoiding expositional discussions. You are reading an old anabaptist opinion into the Bible, an opinion that is primarily American, relatively modern, and, quite simply, not derived from the Bible.

  6. spaceygracey says:

    Another Sunday School post at Peach Pundit! I’m going to start a drinking game: shots all around whenever a PP writer show us what a total culture geekoid he really is. We’ll be roaring drunk and laughing our as*es off in no time. Keep it coming, boys.

    And how many of you children does it take to maintain this one blog?

  7. DeacfromGA says:

    How is keeping Blue Laws on the books a part of Daddy Perdue’s promise to keep “moving Georgia forward?”

  8. Old School Politics says:

    Donkey Kong- The Devil knows the Bible backwards and forwards and anything can be twisted to accomodate your own understanding.

    My whole issue with this is I have never heard anyone say, “Man alcohol has changed my life!”

    Has it ever helped to improve mariages?

    Has it ever helped to grow families closer together?

    Has it ever helped people drive better?

    Has it ever led to the betterment of society.

    The answer is no. I dont care how you want to discuss moderation, The Bible, legislation, local control, Republican, Democrat. Whatever, at the end of the day it contributes to the downfall of society.

  9. Mike says:

    Old School– It’s none of your damn business what alcohol may or may not do for me. It’s my life and you have no claim on it. God help us if people like you ever take over.

  10. jsm says:

    I’m not quite sure how the topic of whether drinking is sin has anything to do with blue laws. However, the Bible is clear about drunkenness and drinking strong drink.

    In Proverbs 20, Solomon gives the most quoted verse Bible verse on alcohol, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

    In chapter 23, he also says, “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.” and “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, [when] it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 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. 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.”

    In Leviticus 10, God told the priests not to drink “wine nor strong drink” so that they could judge between holy and unholy and teach God’s laws to the Israelites. There are many more references, but I won’t make this post a book.

    First, let’s not debate whether drinking is a sin. Second, let’s work to keep government doing what it was intended to do–protect us. Blue laws aren’t necessary to achieve that purpose.

  11. Jmac says:

    Has it ever helped to grow families closer together?

    My mother has one drink every day and has done so since every day since I was a child. Now that I’m in my 20s, when I go home and visit, when 5 p.m. rolls around we each have that one beer and discuss friends, memories, plans for the future, politics and, shockingly I know, religion. It’s part of a tradition that has been passed down. It’s something which is a shared experience that is part of our memories and identities.

    You don’t want to discuss moderation? You accuse us of contorting the Bible to suit our own views (despite the fact that both Republicans and Democrats come down on the same side of issue on this)?

    You’re guilty of the same thing and in doing so are completely ignoring the messages here. It isn’t as if we’re putting a spin on the turning water into wine story, but instead are repeating it verbatim.

  12. kingmaker says:

    Hey Old School, here’s one for you.

    “Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” Sir Winston Churchill

    Boy, he sure contributed to the downfall of society…

  13. David says:

    Oldschool, not to jump in with the folks who are busting your chops but if we talk about the contributing to the downfall of society, how many deaths have been directly caused by religious followers in the last 2,000 years? Whether the deaths be in the name of Christianity or today’s suicidal ragheads, the numbers are truly staggering. So, it could rationally be argued that religion has caused more damage to societies than the millions of kegs of beer and bottles of wine consumed in the same time frame. Just something to think about…

  14. MountainThinker says:

    A personal favorite of mine is that staircases cause more injuries every year than alcohol. I want to see our Governor and the hard-liners step up and speak out against an uneccessary cause of death and injury inside our very homes: BAN Staircases in Georgia!

  15. buzzbrockway says:

    The problem as I see it is if drinking is wrong then does it really matter what day people drink – or to be more specific, what day people purchase alcohol? Either repeal the no Sunday purchasing laws or outlaw alcoholic beverages altogether.

    I don’t drink, but that’s a personal choice I’ve made according to my own conscience. Others can do as they please.

  16. David says:

    Buzz, what’s your point? That atheists can kill just as easily as believers? Of course they can. Death is death. Is religious based death more palatable? I’m just pointing out that the militant practitioners of any of the world’s religions have done far more damage to “societies” than any alcohol consumption.

  17. Jmac says:

    Is religious based death more palatable? I’m just pointing out that the militant practitioners of any of the world’s religions have done far more damage to “societies” than any alcohol consumption.

    As this conversation continues to veer in all sorts of directions, let me only offer this caveat to what you’re saying David … it must be noted that those ‘militant practitioners’ are not necessarily fairly representing their religion.

    That is to say, if a Christian decides it’s OK to kill innocent people to further a political and/or personal agenda, then quite obviously that person isn’t Christian. Same for a Muslim or Jew or other religions which denounce the taking of innocent life.

    Doing it the name of religion is different than actually being a member of said religion.

  18. grabbingsand says:

    The wine was unfermented. It was “NEW” wine which equates to grape juice. “Old” wine equates fermented wine …

    No. And I’ll tell you why.

    In an arid climate, without refrigeration, fresh juice of any kind will not be drinkable for very long. It will spoil. Like it or not, the fermentation is going to occur, leaving you with two finished products: wine and soured juice.

    Yes, the wine might intoxicate you, but the soured juice (loaded with various kinds of bacillii) just might kill you.

    This isn’t a matter of whether alcohol is or is not evil. Instead, we’re talking about practicality. Wine can be stored in urns or in barrels. Grape juice cannot.

    Now, if our Lord and Savior somehow manifested a holy Frigidaire to hold this so-called “unfermented” wine … that would be a different matter entirely.

  19. RandyMiller says:

    Wait a sec: Let me quote some scripture.

    Isaiah 25:6-9 “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

    Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go, eat your bread in joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

    Ps. 104:14-15 “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man.

    Dear God, please save us from Barrone Phillipe de Rothschilds’ 1992 Bordeux!!!!

  20. Jen says:

    My whole issue with this is I have never heard anyone say, “Man alcohol has changed my life!”

    Well here ya go then, man alcohol has change my life! It made college fun and work bearable.

  21. Old School Politics says:

    There is an issue brewing under the Georgia Gold Dome that is coming to a head. There are those seemingly intoxicated with power and staggering around with money from special interests and have been noticed legislating under the influence (LUI). They are promoting legislation to repeal certain Sunday laws and are once again in the wrong lane headed straight into Georgia citizens who are the sober, innocent victims of this erratic behavior.

    If you see any of those legislators clearly LUI and supporting SB26 please notify the Georgians Against Misguided Decisions (GAMD) and give their House or Senate District Number. One legislator was seen swerving and opposing local control when it came to posting the Ten Commandments in a previous session and then crossing the legislative road to support local control, when alcohol interests were involved, in the current session. In both legislative incidents he was in the wrong lane heading right at his oncoming constituents. Fortunately, in the first incident other legislators kept the Ten Commandments in the right lane and preserved all Ten. In the current session the legislative incident team is still assessing the damage and it appears only the 4th Commandment would be damaged based on their initial findings. GAMD is a network of concerned citizens dedicated to keeping our existing laws safe from irresponsible legislating. The number for GAMD is 1-GIV26-A-REST.

    Those LUI legislators willing to voluntarily attend Legislator Anonymous (LA) meetings to correct their destructive legislating behavior may contact GAMD for a listing of local support groups in their area. Others who refuse to correct their LUI habits will be distilled at the polls.

    Disclaimer: This is a parody and the telephone number is not real.
    SB26 is very real and needs to be taken off the legislative road permanently.

  22. ispeakout says:

    MountainThinker – If you are drunk navigating your staircase you are not a threat to innocent drivers on the road. Old School Politics – Funny parody, says it all.

  23. Green Death says:

    A famous philosopher once said: “Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

    I think that pretty much sums up this argument…

  24. gatormathis says:

    Beer is catorgized into three basic groups:

    1) Cold beer (may or may not be your fav kind)

    2) Free beer (may or may not be cold, nor your fav kind)

    and then, my most favorite kind of all;

    3) FREE…COLD…BEER….(goes down good , regardless who makes it)

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