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    (Original post by King4eva)
    Sorry i just wanted to ask a quick question, is smoking and drinking really considered a sin ?
    Both alcohol and nicotine are substitutes for the real fulfilment you get from walking with God. Both pollute the body which becomes a temple of God when you are a Christian.

    People that do these things either have never received God's Spirit, so they are "nominal christians" (they believe the words but havn't received the life), or they are not using what they have been given.

    True Christians have received the infilling of the Spirit of grace, glory, power, love, a sound mind etc. the "new wine", a "new heart". They are "kings" (1 Cor.4:8, Rev.1:6), they have power and authority with God.

    "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
    Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
    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." (Proverbs 31:4-7)


    If you receive the same (see Acts 2:4, 33, 39 for details) you will begin to experience these things for yourself. Many of my friends will testify to complete freedom from their former reliance on alcohol or nicotine.

    Some will try to undermine these facts by quoting Paul's saying to Timothy:-
    "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities" (1 Tim.5:23)

    Not understanding that "wine" in the NT doesn't necc. mean fermented like it does today, the word is oinos - grape juice, fermented or not. The water in the Med. region was (and isn't) as good quality as here, and grape juice contains healthy vitamins, hence Paul's advice to take care of yourself in this way.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Both alcohol and nicotine are substitutes for the real fulfilment you get from walking with God. Both pollute the body which becomes a temple of God when you are a Christian.

    People that do these things either have never received God's Spirit, so they are "nominal christians" (they believe the words but havn't received the life), or they are not using what they have been given.

    True Christians have received the infilling of the Spirit of grace, glory, power, love, a sound mind etc. the "new wine", a "new heart". They are "kings" (1 Cor.4:8, Rev.1:6), they have power and authority with God.

    "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
    Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
    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." (Proverbs 31:4-7)


    If you receive the same (see Acts 2:4, 33, 39 for details) you will begin to experience these things for yourself. Many of my friends will testify to complete freedom from their former reliance on alcohol or nicotine.

    Some will try to undermine these facts by quoting Paul's saying to Timothy:-
    "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities" (1 Tim.5:23)

    Not understanding that "wine" in the NT doesn't necc. mean fermented like it does today, the word is oinos - grape juice, fermented or not. The water in the Med. region was (and isn't) as good quality as here, and grape juice contains healthy vitamins, hence Paul's advice to take care of yourself in this way.
    Hey,

    there is a big difference between being a slave to alcohol and partaking in it. Nicotine and alcohol are completely different drugs and are completely different in the way they can enslave you.

    The New Testament tells us that we have amazing freedom in Christ, and Jesus is very clear in saying it is not what we eat or drink that makes us unclean but what comes out of our hearts:

    17After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")

    20He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
    Mark 7:17-20

    It is not the act of alcohol that is the sin, but the enslavement to alcohol. I personally disagree with smoking because it is enslavement, of putting nicotine above God. But it is entirely possible to have a drink or two in an evening with friends and still be putting God first in their life- this is not a sin.

    With every respect, it seems entirely judgmental and non-Biblical to claim that one who drinks alcohol is not a Christian. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 explains that one is free to eat anything, as long as it has not been sacrificed to an idol. Paul goes on to say that we are free to eat and drink as we like, so long as it is for the glory of God. I have had quite a few experiences where I've had an alcoholic drink with some friends who aren't Christians, and it's actually led to a really great conversation about Jesus and has glorified Him.
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    (Original post by jmj)
    With every respect, it seems entirely judgmental and non-Biblical to claim that one who drinks alcohol is not a Christian.
    What respect?
    I never said that, I said... oh you can read it.

    (Original post by jmj)
    Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 explains that one is free to eat anything, as long as it has not been sacrificed to an idol. Paul goes on to say that we are free to eat and drink as we like, so long as it is for the glory of God.
    Alcohol & cicotine are not for nourishing the body so it's irrelevant & misleading to label them as food.

    People use them for spiritual reasions.

    (Original post by jmj)
    I have had quite a few experiences where I've had an alcoholic drink with some friends who aren't Christians, and it's actually led to a really great conversation about Jesus and has glorified Him.
    A Christian has better than alcohol, what you said may have been well and good, but you weren't fully practicing it. It was the difference in Spirit-filled people that attracted me.

    I remember years back there was a group called "the children of God" who slept around so that they could get close and witness to people.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    What respect?
    I never said that, I said... oh you can read it.
    What do you mean 'what respect'? I try, with God's grace, to be patient and respectful, to be non-judgmental in my posts. I said 'with respect' because I wanted to be respectful to you in my disagreeing with you.

    And yes, you did say that someone who drinks alcohol cannot be a Christian and does not have the Spirit in them:

    People that do these things either have never received God's Spirit, so they are "nominal christians" (they believe the words but havn't received the life), or they are not using what they have been given.
    People who have never recieved God's Spirit are not Christians. Therefore, you said that those who 'do these things' i.e. nicotine and alcohol, are not Christians. This is not true.

    (Original post by NJA)
    Alcohol & cicotine are not for nourishing the body so it's irrelevant & misleading to label them as food.

    People use them for spiritual reasions.
    Paul is talking about both food and drink in 1 Corinthians 10, and says that it is about whether we glorify God rather than what we eat or drink. Nicotine isn't glorifying to God because it is automatically enslaving the person to that drug and causing the person to put that drug above God. It might not be the same case for someone who has a drink.


    (Original post by NJA)
    A Christian has better than alcohol, what you said may have been well and good, but you weren't fully practicing it. It was the difference in Spirit-filled people that attracted me.
    Who are you to judge whether someone is Spirit-filled or not? It is for God to judge, not for you. You were not there in times I have witnessed to my friends about Jesus whilst having a glass of wine, so you have no way of judging whether or not that particular conversation was Spirit-filled or not, or whether I was fully practicing my faith. God however, was there when I was witnessing to my friends on that occassion, and He knows whether I was sinning against Him or not.

    What do you mean by 'a Christian has better than alcohol?' I have experienced the joys that being in Christ brings, and my drinking of alcohol on occassion in no way is a substitution of that. We are also completely content in Christ; but that does not mean we cannot have friends or be married. I partake in alcohol simply for relaxation and enjoyment, not as a substitute for anything.

    (Original post by NJA)
    I remember years back there was a group called "the children of God" who slept around so that they could get close and witness to people.
    That group is doing something completely different. Those individuals are doing something the Bible explicitly says is sinful. The Bible does not say consuming alcohol in itself is sinful; rather 1 Corinthians 10 says we can eat anything we like as long as it is glorifying to God.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Alcohol & cicotine are not for nourishing the body so it's irrelevant & misleading to label them as food.

    People use them for spiritual reasions.
    The quote says ""Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'?". As far as I am aware alcohol is something that is consumed (whether it has nutritional value or not) and therefore I am not sure why it wouldn't be covered by this.

    A Christian has better than alcohol, what you said may have been well and good, but you weren't fully practicing it. It was the difference in Spirit-filled people that attracted me.

    I remember years back there was a group called "the children of God" who slept around so that they could get close and witness to people.
    Clearly for Christians the feelings associated with the love of god are amazing and can't be compared to the slight high that people might get from drinking alcohol or smoking. However I don't see how that is really a reason not to consume any alcohol. There are definitely risks associated with getting drunk and when you are drunk you can make decisions to do things which are against what is recommender in the bible e.g. promiscuity however I don't see how having a glass of wine or a pint of beer once in a while makes someone less of a christian.

    Personally I don't drink, I was teetotal before I became a Christian and I am not sure that I can really see a situation where that will change.
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    (Original post by jmj)
    What do you mean 'what respect'? I try, with God's grace, to be patient and respectful, to be non-judgmental in my posts. I said 'with respect' because I wanted to be respectful to you in my disagreeing with you.

    And yes, you did say that someone who drinks alcohol cannot be a Christian and does not have the Spirit in them:
    read it again, I said either they are not, or, they are and they are not using what they have received.

    (Original post by jmj)
    Who are you to judge whether someone is Spirit-filled or not? It is for God to judge, not for you.
    God does judge - he bares independant witness with his sign of speaking in tongues - Acts 15:8-=9 (referring to 10:44-46, 2:4). I stick to this.

    It is you that uses their own judgement, not me.

    (Original post by jmj)
    You were not there in times I have witnessed to my friends about Jesus whilst having a glass of wine, so you have no way of judging whether or not that particular conversation was Spirit-filled or not, or whether I was fully practicing my faith.
    If your faith is that Christians can & should drink alcohol on occasions then it's different to mine.

    (Original post by jmj)
    . . .That group is doing something completely different. Those individuals are doing something the Bible explicitly says is sinful. The Bible does not say consuming alcohol in itself is sinful. . ..
    I disagree, evidence given above.
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    I've moved in circles where the implication was that if you were a teetotaller that somehow made you a better Christian. Heard people say "I don't drink alcohol for theological reasons" to which the best response I heard was "I do drink alcohol for theological reasons".

    In a nutshell, a Christian attitude to alcohol would be: If you can handle your drink, drink a little. If you can't handle your drink, don't drink.
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    (Original post by philjw)
    I've moved in circles where the implication was that if you were a teetotaller that somehow made you a better Christian. Heard people say "I don't drink alcohol for theological reasons" to which the best response I heard was "I do drink alcohol for theological reasons".

    In a nutshell, a Christian attitude to alcohol would be: If you can handle your drink, drink a little. If you can't handle your drink, don't drink.
    I agree with this completely.

    I am a teetotaller because I can't handle alcohol at all.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Not understanding that "wine" in the NT doesn't necc. mean fermented like it does today, the word is oinos - grape juice, fermented or not. The water in the Med. region was (and isn't) as good quality as here, and grape juice contains healthy vitamins, hence Paul's advice to take care of yourself in this way.
    That's funny, because the entry for οἰνος in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Seesemann, V:162-166) says the word only refers to alcoholic wine in koine Greek. The derivative οἰνοφλυγία means drunkenness... doesn't make much sense if οἰνος means grape juice.

    Besides, NJA, Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding in Cana (John 2) - the guests at the party comment on how good it is, saying that hosts usually serve the best wine first and then the cheap stuff when everyone's a bit sozzled. The fact that these drinkers complimented Jesus' wine suggests to me it was also alcoholic... you try serving grape juice to hard drinkers at a party and tell me if you get complimented on how good wine it is.

    Stop trying to mislead people into thinking they aren't good Christians if they drink alcohol.
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    (Original post by philjw)
    That's funny, because the entry for οἰνος in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Seesemann, V:162-166) says the word only refers to alcoholic wine in koine Greek. The derivative οἰνοφλυγία means drunkenness... doesn't make much sense if οἰνος means grape juice.
    Maybe that's true with the word oinos but this page and this show that there is a distinction between fermented & non-fermented use of grape-juice, it should be obvious from the context which sort of wine is being referred to.

    (Original post by philjw)
    The fact that these drinkers complimented Jesus' wine suggests to me it was also alcoholic... you try serving grape juice to hard drinkers at a party and tell me if you get complimented on how good wine it is.
    Again you are projecting the thoughts of modern society onto that society. Maybe they though new, tasty unfermented grape juice was better? Maybe they didn't want to get drunk unlike wedding-goers today?

    Even if it was alcoholic it doesn't prove your point becase those people were not Christians, they still had the old heavy heart.

    A true Christian has got the new wine, he/she doesn't need the old, judgement-impairing, liver-damaging stuff!
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Maybe that's true with the word oinos but this page and this show that there is a distinction between fermented & non-fermented use of grape-juice, it should be obvious from the context which sort of wine is being referred to.

    Again you are projecting the thoughts of modern society onto that society. Maybe they though new, tasty unfermented grape juice was better? Maybe they didn't want to get drunk unlike wedding-goers today?

    Even if it was alcoholic it doesn't prove your point becase those people were not Christians, they still had the old heavy heart.

    A true Christian has got the new wine, he/she doesn't need the old, judgement-impairing, liver-damaging stuff!
    Philjw interpretation is that one that I have in my study bible and the one that makes the most sense.

    You are right that these people weren't Christians but surely Jesus wouldn't have given them alcoholic wine if it was something that was forbidden?
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    (Original post by randdom)
    Philjw interpretation is that one that I have in my study bible and the one that makes the most sense.

    You are right that these people weren't Christians but surely Jesus wouldn't have given them alcoholic wine if it was something that was forbidden?
    Alcoholic wine is actually recommended to people that have a heavy heart (Proverbs 31:4-7).

    The point is, true Christians have the old heart of stone replaced with a new heart of flesh, God's heart, when they become a christian by receiving the infilling of God's Spirit, evidenced by a new tongue, speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4, 33, 39 etc), they become "kings" and priests.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Maybe that's true with the word oinos but this page and this show that there is a distinction between fermented & non-fermented use of grape-juice, it should be obvious from the context which sort of wine is being referred to.
    Those pages don't look like very reliable sources to me - the first one just selectively quotes a variety of reference sources of varying quality. The ISBE quote they use is telling - there is no justification for a distinction between fermented and non-fermented grape juice to try and get out of the fact that the NT allows Christians to use alcohol. The second page is from a ministry that denies the Trinity in their statement of beliefs page, which makes me extremely skeptical about anything they have to say about the Bible and Christianity.

    As Randdom said, the interpretation of the Bible that allows moderate consumption of alcohol for Christians is the one that makes sense. In the past century, the (misleadingly named) Temperence Movement in America pushed the view that any consumption of alcohol was a sin and even got Prohibition laws enacted from 1919-1933. In order to get support for their political agenda, they twisted various texts from Scripture and invented this fictitious divide between fermented and non-fermented wine to deal with the texts that proved them wrong. Sadly, their mishandling of the Bible has lived on a lot longer than their movement and misleads Christians even today into thinking that they must not drink any alcohol at all. I don't mind telling you that this is exactly what I used to think, and it even led me into the sin of disrespecting my Christian parents for having the occasional glass of wine or beer. I was wrong, and thank goodness I realised it, otherwise I would probably have become a very proud person at university, mentally writing-off most other Christian students as being held captive to sin because they have a pint or two at the weekend.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    read it again, I said either they are not, or, they are and they are not using what they have received.

    God does judge - he bares independant witness with his sign of speaking in tongues - Acts 15:8-=9 (referring to 10:44-46, 2:4). I stick to this.
    Right, so either they aren't Christians, or they're not using the Spirit. The Bible does not say this, and it is not for you to judge but God- and the Bible tells us this:

    1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    Matthew 7:1

    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
    1 Corinthians 4:5

    Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
    James 4:11

    (Original post by NJA)
    It is you that uses their own judgement, not me.
    I use their own judgment? I don't understand what you're trying to say here.

    (Original post by NJA)
    If your faith is that Christians can & should drink alcohol on occasions then it's different to mine.
    I didn't say Christians 'should' drink, merely that they can if they want to.

    (Original post by NJA)
    I disagree, evidence given above.
    What verses actually state that consuming alcohol, in itself, is a sin? Proverbs 31 is talking about the dangers of Kings drinking in case they forget God's laws- Israel's kings have a history of being drunk and hardening their hearts against God. The Bible, as far as I can see, does not say that drinking alcohol in itself is sinful, and it is extremely dangerous to assume something that the Bible does not actually say.
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    (Original post by jmj)
    Right, so either they aren't Christians, or they're not using the Spirit. The Bible does not say this,
    Now the works of the flesh are . . . witchcraft (greek: pharmakea: drug-taking, the use of chemical substances for mental stimulation) . . . drunkenness, revellings, and such like (Gal.5:19)

    Alcohol dulls the senses, wheras Jesus says "be alert".
    Nicotine damages the body which God says is his temple.

    Why would someone with God's Spirit need or even want to use alcohol or nicotine?

    (Original post by jmj)
    and it is not for you to judge but God
    I am sticking to God's judgement, you are following your own judgement about what a christian should use.


    (Original post by jmj)
    - and the Bible tells us this:
    1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1
    Judge here means condemn, Jesus also says: "judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24)

    Paul criticises the Corinthians for not judging!

    "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
    If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
    I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?"
    (1 Cor. 6:3-5)


    How do you explain these apparant contradictions?

    (Original post by jmj)
    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Again, that's about judging people rather than the things they do, which we can & should judge (discern) to be right or wrong.

    "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man" (1 Cor. 2:15)

    (Original post by jmj)
    I use their own judgment? I don't understand what you're trying to say here.
    Hopefully you do now, it is an important point.

    (Original post by jmj)
    What verses actually state that consuming alcohol, in itself, is a sin? Proverbs 31 is talking about the dangers of Kings drinking in case they forget God's laws- Israel's kings have a history of being drunk and hardening their hearts against God. The Bible, as far as I can see, does not say that drinking alcohol in itself is sinful, and it is extremely dangerous to assume something that the Bible does not actually say.
    Who are the kings of Israel now?
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Now the works of the flesh are . . . witchcraft (greek: pharmakea: drug-taking, the use of chemical substances for mental stimulation) . . . drunkenness, revellings, and such like (Gal.5:19)
    What nonsense. φαρμακεία doesn't mean "drug-taking" just because we get the English word "pharmaceutical" from it. That's horrendously anachronistic. In koine Greek the word means "sorcery".
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    (Original post by philjw)
    What nonsense. φαρμακεία doesn't mean "drug-taking" just because we get the English word "pharmaceutical" from it. That's horrendously anachronistic. In koine Greek the word means "sorcery".
    And why do you believe we get the word "pharmaceutical" from it?

    Does witchcraft and sorcery have nothing to do with potions to alter the mind?

    Why did Jesus deliberately refuse the wine they gave him on the cross?
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    (Original post by NJA)
    And why do you believe we get the word "pharmaceutical" from it?

    Does witchcraft and sorcery have nothing to do with potions to alter the mind?

    Why did Jesus deliberately refuse the wine they gave him on the cross?
    That's terrible logic. You can't take a later derivative of an ancient word and read that meaning back into the ancient use.

    That's like translating Romans 1:16 as "[the gospel] is the dynamite of God for salvation" because the Greek word for power, δύναμις, is where we get the modern word "dynamite" from. But Paul wasn't thinking about explosives at all!

    Likewise, was Paul in Galatians 5 thinking about pharmaceuticals? No! He was talking about sorcery and dabbling in the occult, not taking pharmaceuticals. You can't say it is sinful to take anything that can alter your mental state. Do you think it's sinful to take an aspirin (reduces pain)? Drink a coffee (increases alertness)? How about an antihistamine (makes you drowsy)? How about an anti-depressant? .... Oh, wait, you probably do because we shouldn't go to the doctors when we are ill because that's a lack of faith, right? :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by NJA)
    And why do you believe we get the word "pharmaceutical" from it?

    Does witchcraft and sorcery have nothing to do with potions to alter the mind?

    Why did Jesus deliberately refuse the wine they gave him on the cross?
    Because of what it was mixed with: gall, according to Matthew 27:34. Which I believe is a poison and in drinking it, it would have killed Jesus - so essentially it would not be the crucifiction which killed him, but the poison and so it would not have ful-filled the prophecies which claimed he would die by being crucified.
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    (Original post by philjw)
    He was talking about sorcery and dabbling in the occult, not taking pharmaceuticals.
    What do you know of such things at those times?

    Are you not just projecting your own limited knowledge of such practices today and assuming it's the same?

    Etymology online says pf pharmacy:
    c.1386, "a medicine," from O.Fr. farmacie, from M.L. pharmacia, from Gk. pharmakeia "use of drugs or medicines," from pharmakeus "preparer of drugs," from pharmakon "drug, poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment." Meaning "use or administration of drugs" is attested from c.1400

    (Original post by philjw)
    You can't say it is sinful to take anything that can alter your mental state. Do you think it's sinful to take an aspirin (reduces pain)? Drink a coffee (increases alertness)? How about an antihistamine (makes you drowsy)? How about an anti-depressant? .... Oh, wait, you probably do because we shouldn't go to the doctors when we are ill because that's a lack of faith, right? :rolleyes:
    You are completely missing the point.
    It's the recreational/social use of drugs we are talking about.
    Why do people smoke?
    Think about it.
 
 
 
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