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Displaying 1–61 of 61 comments

Miriam Nard

December 29, 2013  11:45am

Audrey Ruth, you've set up a false dichotomy from my comment. I'm not saying sitting in a bar is the only way to have community, simply pointing out that there actually are some fair comparisons that could be made between the wedding at Cana, and people hanging out in bars. One of those is community. I really don't disagree with much of what you've said, I am merely pointing out that there are ways to think about the topic other than the simplistic way. My main concern in this discussion is that conservative Christians do a disservice to their teens when they teach abstinence at the expense of temperance. How many abstinent Christian teens go off into the world and stay abstinent? With absolutely no understanding of what it means to drink responsibly? Let's be realistic, not to mention true to the Biblical record. The Bible advocates temperance, not abstinence when it comes to alcohol. Christian parents need to model responsible drinking. Which is the point of this article.

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Rob Vandiver

December 26, 2013  7:36pm

If Jesus didn't turn the water at the wedding feast into wine containing alcohol, then the whole story doesn't make any sense. "Most people save the best wine until after the guests have had too much to drink" is the response of the people in charge of the wedding. We all know people who have already "inbibbed" care less about the quality of the next glass, so long as it contains alcohol. Moreover, NOBODY is concerned about the quality of grape juice. Not now, not then. People have judged the quality of wine for thousands of years. Great and appropriate article.

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Sandi Caton

December 25, 2013  6:21pm

I really cannot believe what I'm reading and I abhor the excuse "Jesus turned water into wine" (please do an indepth word study on the different variations/root words of the word "wine" used in Scripture - it is definitely not what we know as "wine" today). There is absolutely no good reason for going to a bar and drinking. We are admonished in scripture to NOT be stumbling blocks for weaker brothers/sisters. What may be "okay" for you could actually push a weaker Christian into the throes of alcoholism. While the Bible does not say DO NOT, it says that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that EVERYTHING we do should bring honor & glory to His name. Also, as a youth leader and as an adult child of an alcoholic, there is no way that I can condone even a "tiny" glass of wine as I feel called to lead by example.

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Dan from Georgia

December 24, 2013  2:06pm

Good comments Daniel Klaehn. I for one don't abstain from alcohol, but will have maybe 2-3 glasses of wine per month tops. I have never been drunk in my life, but have been "buzzed" a few times before I came to Christ. I soon gave up that pursuit and abstained from alcohol ('cept for the small SMALL glass of wine at Easter dinner) for much of my adult life (until the last few years). I also don't have a problem with going to a restaurant and having a glass of wine, or if someone at the table orders a beer, I won't judge him/her. I personnally won't go into a stereotypical bar because of the temptations there. I think (and this is my opinion on what the Bible says) that when you take the full context of the Bible, there is no prohibition against having a drink, and there are examples of good wine use and bad wine use in the Bible. But what Paul stressed is of upmost importance, and that is acting in love towards others!

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Daniel Klaehn

December 24, 2013  12:59pm

Thank you, Audrey, I believe you are the real voice of common sense here. You have the maturity and wit to understand that we direct immature American young people, in their formative years of independence and adulthood, in the way they should walk, i.e. away from bars. To direct young ladies to hang out in the bar, like this article does, among their friends drinking beers or wine to jazzy music is just crazy. Jesus may have drunk wine (alcoholic) at weddings and other occasions, as did that entire culture, Pharisees included, but that hardly precludes him as having gone to places like bars intended to encourage drunkenness, fornication and plain worldliness. Men go to bars looking for women like the one pictured above: sexy, loose and willing to have a one-night-stand (with hopes she'll forget him in the morning). I doubt Jesus would have been discussing theology and ways to be holy in a bar with the Pharisees over a Guinness. And he probably didn't look to hit on sexy girls either.

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audrey ruth

December 24, 2013  12:00pm

Thank you, Dan from Georgia. It is always encouraging to see thoughtful comments and responses. :)

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audrey ruth

December 24, 2013  11:59am

Miriam, are you seriously saying that the only way to 'have community' is to drink at a local bar each evening? There are MANY ways to enjoy the community of believers without resorting to that. The Lord tells us in Ephesians: "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." That's a completely different scenario than sitting around a bar 'having community' with the world. We are not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. God made us for so MUCH MORE than sitting around a bar. It is biological fact that women get drunk more quickly, and on less alcohol, than men. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and the results of that are documented in news stories every day, often/usually directly involving women. I truly believe the best thing to do is to focus on the positive things of the Spirit of God.

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Miriam Nard

December 24, 2013  7:29am

Also, sitting in a bar drinking as described above is about community. There's quite a few similarities in that to the wedding where Jesus created the miracle that enabled community, Audrey Ruth. Go read Kate Fox's chapter on bars in Watching the English if you doubt me.

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Miriam Nard

December 24, 2013  7:22am

We do our teens a huge disservice when we teach abstinence, not temperance.

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Dan from Georgia

December 24, 2013  6:34am

Thanks Rick! Audrey, thanks for your comments, one of the few comments here that actually appeals to Biblical standards instead of their personal opinions. This is an issue I do want to further look into.

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audrey ruth

December 24, 2013  2:18am

I don't see much comparison between Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, and people these days spending evenings at the local bar drinking alcohol. This article is directed at women, and it is biological fact that women get drunk more quickly, and on less alcohol, than men. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and the results of that are documented in news stories every day, often/usually directly involving women. People typically lose sight of the point of what Jesus did at Cana anyway - that miracle was for the purpose of showing the people there that He was not just a man. And since nothing is too hard for God, it is totally probable that the new wine He prepared for them did not intoxicate them. That would be totally consistent with His love and power.

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Rick Dalbey

December 24, 2013  12:33am

Dan, my artist buddy. You are one of the lone voices of common sense here. People just do not read the Bible. They don't read the whole Bible and consider how it comments on itself. I give up. Folks don't want to hear what the Bible says.

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Dan from Georgia

December 23, 2013  5:43pm

...And Christ himself probably provided that first drink of wine at the wedding!

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LEE MASON

December 23, 2013  2:27pm

I read this while shaking my head and thinking how wrong this whole thing is. The last paragraph says that "we still need to be careful not to cross a line." Once that first drink is had a line has been crossed. Why is it that people want to see how close they can get to the world instead of how far they can stay from the world? And we wonder why Christianity is getting weaker.

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audrey ruth

December 21, 2013  1:18pm

Ladies, who NEEDS an alcoholic drink? Nobody. We can all live just fine without alcohol, and scientific studies show that even "safe" alcohol like beer kills brain cells. When people get to the point that they think they need alcohol, that's a danger point. When a woman says, "OMG I so need a glass of wine or I'm gonna kill my kids", even in jest (not to mention taking God's Name in vain), she has become dependent on wine.

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Stephanie Strnad

December 20, 2013  8:22pm

Well written, well rounded view of an issue that doesn't get discussed often enough in young adult Christian circles. Like it or not, social drinking is definitely on the rise in the young adult "Christian" culture, especially in "trendy" urban areas. Drinking can be a very tough subject for many people who have been hurt by the misuse of alcohol. However, just because something can be misused does not mean that particular substance or activity is a sin in and of itself. Many good things (eg. food, sex, even certain relationships) can become addictive if we misuse them or choose to use them to fill an area of our life where only God can truly fill us. A healthy theology of drinking (or enjoying any of the blessings God has given us) starts with figuring out what His purpose is for those blessings in our life. I think Ashley did a fine job with basing her views on drinking from this perspective and encouraging moderation and thoughtfulness in all of our indulgences.

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David Stafford

December 19, 2013  10:52pm

I've been reading your articles about the benefits and cautions of drinking alcohol and the unwitting ugliness of sexual snobbery articles and wondering about how chapter 31 of proverbs emerges in light of your teachings. Since no-one knows of a historic personage by the name of king Lemuel, is chapter 31 to be regarded as some erstwhile, tacked on, lesser addendum to the right doctrines of the rest of the proverbs? It reads to me like the whole chapter contradicts what's said in those CHRISTIANITY TODAY articles. Even Rev. Tom Fall believes that contrary to what chapter 31 says; the virtuous woman will, logically, not ACTUALLY BE rewarded in time to come because...(you must know to understand) she doesn't ACTUALLY exist. Just like we sons of God who cannot sin; spoken of in first John. I guess the lesson is: Don't be hasty. Patience.

Dan from Georgia

December 19, 2013  8:18pm

Jesus turned water into wine, which was served at a wedding. So Jesus was guilty of condoning getting drunk, tripping up weaker brothers, encouraging debauchery, and the like. Jesus was sinning by golly! Or, was he?

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HUW THOMAS

December 19, 2013  7:48pm

Having spent 30 years as a drunk I can honestly say I recognise her words. They are the words of an idiot who seems to think they can resist alcohol when they feel like it.

Thomas Frens

December 19, 2013  5:01pm

Great article! Thank you for getting this out there, Ashley. I just forwarded it to my 22-year-old daughter who is living out the very approach endorsed above ("thank you, Lord!"). Awesome to have this kind of reinforcement, coming from a professional Christian woman in the editorial field. (And, how cool is this, with a focus of church and tax law!).

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e 8305

December 19, 2013  12:50am

to all who are shocked, or appalled by the thought of Christians consuming alcohol... what was the first miracle Jesus performed? fear-driven rules, do not = faith..

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chris wright

December 18, 2013  10:12pm

I heard about this website, and just went on to most likely sign up for a subscription. After reading this article, I definitely will not be signing up! What a great way to get young woman to become more worldly and start hanging out at bars and drink more. Aside from the issue of drinking, anyone trying to be a disiciple of Christ should stay away from the ole watering hole in the first place. In a world where being set apart is hard enough, let's hope this article doesn't detract too many people : )

Cathy Grey

December 18, 2013  12:43pm

The scriptures are clear that we are not to get drunk ("Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery." Eph. 5:18). However, if someone wants to enjoy alcohol in moderation, that is up to them. One person can abstain and honor the Lord, while another person can partake and honor the Lord (Romans 14:1-7). What matters is our motives - are we doing it in faith? We are to be fully convinced in our own minds, for if we doubt (think it may be wrong), then to partake of it is sin. What bothers me in this article is the following line: "a culture of drinking regularly to cope with life.". If you turn to alcohol in order to 'cope' with life instead of turning to the Scriptures and to the Holy Spirit, then I don't think that you are doing it out of faith. And if you are not, then Paul says that is becomes sinful.

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Dan from Georgia

December 17, 2013  11:48pm

BTW, cheers and Happy Holidays!!!!!

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Dan from Georgia

December 17, 2013  11:47pm

Much ado about nothing in my opinion. Each article on drinking on CT.com engenders that same ol comments on either side of the issue. The apostle Paul addressed the so-called "gray areas" (things not expressly forbid in Scripture) in several areas, and his main point was that these issues are not black or white, but what is most important is to not be mastered by anything, and to act towards others in love. I believe one can drink alcohol withouth being mastered by it, and if they have trouble, then don't partake. I occasionally drink wine, and I am not in any ways mastered by it. I have been more in trouble with sugary drinks than alcohol, and I have trouble saying no to Coke and Mountain Dew (its the caffeine!). I don't expect my opinion to change anyone's mind. I also am aware that Jesus himself served wine (not grape juice for you Southern Baptists) at a wedding, so either he was in the wrong, or we are in the wrong.

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F. R. Silverson

December 17, 2013  6:13pm

I am shocked by the author’s stance. I have a simple question for her: Is anything wrong with anything? Let’s set legalism aside -- when we can present articles like this and get people to agree -- is it any surprise why we are wilting candles in an ebony-coloured world desperately crying for light? Most people full of the Holy Spirit will read an article like this and twitch or have their eyes moisten by the position presented. And what about the picture? What is the author glorying about/in? The flesh or the Spirit? In a more appropriate setting and time, I shall present my position on the issue. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14 KJV) God help us all. Amen.

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KPASTOR LARRY HAKE

December 17, 2013  4:44pm

It's the old adage. the church is no different than the world, it is just two steps behind. Maybe one day it will get out front & be light it was intended to be.

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Jonathan B

December 17, 2013  2:45pm

I got into a conversation about this a long time ago with my dad. He ended up asking the question, "well could it have been Jesus was drinking non-fermented wine?" =) Which might actually be worth looking into. I'm no history buff, but i thought it would be interesting to put out. I do wonder why socialization has to revolve around alcoholic beverages anyway? Why not have a night out at a coffee shop? Now i understand about the positives of alcohol as medicinal in some ways. My wife and I have a remedy for cold/sinus issues that require a teaspoon of bourbon, but that's as far as it goes for us... and it's a last resort before we go to the doctor. As far as stress goes, exercise does well for that too. The answer doesn't have be alcohol. But it seems like this article is stilll stretches toward it being more social and finding balance, finding that line. My question is, is it even necessary to even search for that line?

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Daniel Klaehn

December 17, 2013  12:52am

How the mighty have fallen, CT, how the mighty have fallen. Enjoy your liberty and your drinks and your hip new Xtian culture. But don't ask why no one takes you seriously anymore.

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Dave Costilow

December 16, 2013  9:27pm

Drinking, smoking was one those things others (the unsaved and Catholics) did and we could feel superior as we drove to church to feast at a pot-luck dinner and gorge ourselves with fried chicken, gravy, and all manner of pies and cakes. Thank God were not like those people was what I heard from the pastors, deacons, and others. Somehow a sip of wine or beer was anathema, but gluttony was OK. Of course no one ever said anything about gluttony, just a comment about all the starving children in some Third World country. Anyone notice the hypocrisy here.

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Jim Ricker

December 16, 2013  8:19pm

Carol Anderson - Your question is a good one. Personally, I loe the taste of a well-crafted beer (preferably on the darker side). There is no need for alcohol outside of beer being alcoholic. I enjoy many other non-alcoholic drinks like juices but they do not have the same taste. Since there is no difference for God or me between alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks (all are permitted) and I have no issue with getting drunk or tipsy, drinking alcohol is like drinking anything else. In a very real way, your question is a puzzle because it assumes a barrier that is not there. That may be different for you (and many others who cannot partake for whatever reason) but for me, it makes no difference except in taste and body (non-alcoholic beer tastes terrible and has no endearing qualities body-wise).

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Bill Grandi

December 16, 2013  2:02pm

In the effort of time and space i wrote a blog as my response. It can be found at http://billgrandi.ovcf.org/wordpress/?p=10693 beginning 8:00 pm on 12/16.

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Carol Anderson

December 16, 2013  1:12pm

I don't condemn anyone for drinking but I do find myself wondering why we choose an alcoholic beverage over a non-alcoholic one? I grew up in a home that was laden with alcohol and it was my rebellion of choice as a teen. I know I have alcoholic tendencies too so I'm cautious about how I speak for or against alcohol and choose to abstain as a needed personal choice. But I still wonder what the point is of drinking alcohol? Most non-alcoholic beverages are quite tasty and certainly quench one's thirst - really the only two reasons we need to drink anything (taste and thirst), so I just wonder why we need to add alcohol to it? It's a question I'm posing, not a condemnation. However, given the potential destructive nature of alcohol, I do have a certain leaning in my position. But honestly, I'm curious for answers on this one.

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J HENRY Allen

December 16, 2013  12:38pm

"Et church" was going in the line I was when first finding this piece. Why the bimbo-look pose of the low-neck dressed young lady chugging an alcoholic beverage here? Are we talking about drinking responsibly and in moderation (i.e. according to Scripture)? Or are we talking about younger Christians joining the boozer/party animal/decadent barroom/Mardi Gras scene that pervades much of empty Western culture? I would argue that Christians today who do partake of alcoholic beverages (I'm one of them) nevertheless will have a different ethos here..A different mindset..A different practice. For example, try hanging out at a typical "bar" across America, and it's quickly obvious that the alcohol-fueled conversation and behavior there is anything but edifying and healthy for the soul of a Christian. We can't escape the tension of being lights in the world but not of the world. Scripture paints this tension when alcohol can be BOTH a gift from God to cheer the heart AND a brawler/mocker.

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Paul Van Allen

December 16, 2013  8:28am

Comments I hear about alcohol within younger evangelical circles are often alarming. A flippancy about drunkenness signals not just a reckless foolishness about alcohol but a disregard for God's word (Eph 5:18). The attitude towards Scriptures directives often feels like I might have responded to advice from a grandparent...its irrelevant and outdated. Sharing a drink with a friend is a great way to experience solidarity with that person. In our desire to experience solidarity not only with our brothers and sisters but also with those outside the confines of the faith we need to remember that alcohol can be a great place to fellowship but drunkenness and escapist dependency is not a place we want to experience solidarity with anyone. Our culture has become more shame based than guilt based and having any sort of old fashioned or prudish stance on anything can be a source of shame these days...even within the church. Like the author points out...its a heart thing.

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Melanie Springer Mock

December 15, 2013  3:11pm

I appreciate the nuances of your article, and resonate with much of what you've said. I find myself in a particularly complex role as someone who is married to a teetotaler, but with many friends who drink. I've decided to abstain mostly to honor my husband, but also because I'd rather expend calories somewhere else. But when every book group, night out with the girls, afternoon on the back porch visiting includes liberal pours of wine, I feel somewhat alienated, wondering why every social occasion now seems to need the lubrication alcohol provides. How do we honestly call into question whether something has become more than a "casual habit" without coming across as judgmental and holier-than-thou? How do we make space for those in our community with alcoholism in their families, or who do feel the need to abstain for moral reasons? Do we make space for them? These are questions with which I continue to struggle.

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et church

December 15, 2013  3:01pm

This must be a commercial break; a pretty lady is seductively sipping whatever. Wine/alcohol makers would be more than pleased with CT's promotional work.

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KC H

December 14, 2013  11:14pm

I appreciate your perspective as well as your call to caution. Thank you!

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Tim SUMRALL

December 14, 2013  10:48pm

I find it easy to move our moral compass just one degree thinking no big deal it's only one degree. It's not in the here and now that consequences happen but over time. Like setting your GPS coordinates off one degree no big deal until a 100 miles has passed and then you say wait I didn't intend on ending up there I started off only one degree off. Is drinking a salvational issue, probably not but it can lead to consequences down the road we never intended to head for. Mr. T.

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et church

December 14, 2013  8:44pm

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost... It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall... For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.… [Rom. 14:17, 21,7-8]

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Matthew Haller

December 14, 2013  9:39am

Good perspective here. Like most things on earth, alcohol has the potential to be safe and enjoyable (it was even an essential part of daily life in Jesus' time). It also has the potential to be very destructive. This duality is strongly backed by scripture as discussed here. Let's not forget either of these things, and seek to be loving and and responsible in what we say and do regarding booze.

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Ray Schwartz

December 14, 2013  8:55am

There is no debate: He lived among among us and 'ate and drank" in places that drew Him scorn. I am not condemning anyone for holding a glass of anything (except for gasoline...) if their conscience is not condemning them before God. But, after working with youth for close to 20 years - I cannot think of a response that is more "wow" than this one. Always seeking to find a higher 'spiritual' 'me first' platform - the discussion on alcohol goes back and forth. I commend the author for exhorting ladies to watch the line, to not cross it. A deeper need exists. The "need" true need is more of Jesus - and the reflection of Him to a younger, watching generation who are already being led by narcissists at every twist and turn. It is not a matter of what you think of alcohol or not (hey, marijuana is now legal in my state, come on down for some chardonnay and a toke ... ). This article disturbs me for creating the false need of it - really? "Seek first the Kingdom ..."

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Wendy Willmore

December 14, 2013  12:29am

Why we single out alcohol for condemnation, I'll never know. It's just like nearly every one of God's other gifts: beautiful if appreciated appropriately, horrific if abused. Think of food, think of music, think of the herbs in the field and the medicines made from them, think of friends, think of the church - doesn't matter what it is. God gave them to us for beauty and we must wisely nurture them that way, otherwise we can follow the devil into twisting just about anything good. Admittedly he is a smart tempter, he's been at it a long time, with a lot of success. So we need to be singly and corporately on our guard, however, (working in the third world where such things are commonplace), I can tell you that the presence of guards need not mar the feast.

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Sheila Warner

December 13, 2013  10:08pm

I was raised in a strict fundamentalist home. I was five when my parents came to Christ. They quit smoking, and then my dad stopped drinking beer. His sister died of alcoholism, & he was concerned about the example he was setting, esp. since alcoholism runs in our family. This was his stance for years. Then, mysteriously, when I was in my early 40s, my parents decided drinking was suddenly ok. No explanation. They started enjoying wine and beer. I was very confused, & wondered why something that was condemned as a sin, and as a potential addiction, could suddenly now be just fine. It still bothers me that they drink because of the strong condemnation they had throughout their lives. I don't see drinking as a sin, but something made my parents compromise. That's why the debate rages. People are confused when drastic changes occur in the church.

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  7:09pm

Rose, I would urge you to click on http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/december/why-so-many-christians-ar e-relaxing-over-drinks.html. There are 85 comments and I would urge you to start at 1 and work your way up. The topic was talked to death and every objection and point was addressed. I don't have the energy to do this again. It is so discouraging when people don't take the time to read others comments, so much miscommunication and rancor could be avoided.

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Rose Colquitt

December 13, 2013  6:34pm

I knew someone would bring up legalism. How about the Love factor; Love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. To bless Him at all times, pray without ceasing, meditate on His Word... the Bible says in His presence is fullness of joy. And, like Paul said, all things are lawful for me but not all are expedient. Furthermore, if the grains and the fruit were used to meet hunger versus getting intoxicated there might not be as many sick and dying people from a lack of nutrition. As you can tell, this subject stirs a passion in me. I did not drink or do drugs when I was not a Christian simply by seeing the destruction of it. The word "need" in the title of the article, raises a warning flag. For what is a need? Most of us, do not know the difference between a "want" and a "need." God's Word said, we are not ignorant of the devil's devices. Let us not see the snare and let a "feel good" lead us there. What type of example are we? When times get hard...I take a drink? God forbid. Yet, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

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Rose Colquitt

December 13, 2013  6:15pm

God forbid. Besides being a preacher of the gospel, I am a Substance Abuse Specialist and the ignorance displayed here is heartbreaking. There are several passages of scripture dealing with the consumption of alcohol. If you study the passages, you will find that getting high on substances is not necessary. There are medicines to help settle the stomach if need be. Besides, there is no high like being filled with the Holy Ghost. The book of wisdom, Proverbs 20:1 says Wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging and whoever is deceived by it is not wise. There are so many, I do not have the time and space to relay them to you. Personally, my family has resolved to be as the Rechabites in Jeremiah 35:5-6, when it comes to alcohol. I have lost so many family members due to alcohol... it is painful to hear Christians - who suppose to have the greater one on the inside; succomb to alcohol like you are ignorant of its destruction. Think about your liver and kidneys...

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M MARCZEWSKI

December 13, 2013  5:52pm

The real issue here is "what is wise" instead of "what is permissible". As long as we focus on that, then we will reach the correct conclusion. There are 3 different words that are translated into the English word "wine". For example, the New Testament Greek word "oinos" means "fruit of the vine" and describes both fermented and unfermented grapes, thus, the same word refers to fermented wine AND grape juice. This dual definition was common until the early 1900's. For example, I have a 1916 Webster's Dictionary that defines wine as fermented drink or unfermented drink. My newer dictionaries describe wine only as fermented drink. Therefore, to firmly conclude that "wine" only means fermented drink would be a clear error in scholarship. The best scholarly books that I have found are Bible Wines by William Patton (1881) and Wine in the Bible by Samuele Bacchiocchi (2003).

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  5:41pm

Exactly GK. It is a non-issue. We've got more important things to do, like fulfilling the great commission.

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G k

December 13, 2013  5:22pm

Don't care if you drink-God probably doesn't either. However, the underlying issue of this article isn't drinking. It's actually the veiled one-upmanship that I find disturbing. A mock humility, that they (drinkers) are just being "real" and "relevant" people. (Which is code for "cool" and "with it ".) As opposed to the ecclesiastical non-drinking fogeys There is an overwhelming feeling of titillation and forbidden fruit here. In a passive aggressive way,the Lady doth protest too much. Why this need to self justify? She wants you to notice . At best the whole thing is very adolescent. There are MUCH bigger fish to fry in the Kingdom of God than whether or not you tipple. Grow up and do what God is calling you to do, if you have a glass of wine along the way-do it without feeling the need to broadcast it with a brass band.

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  3:03pm

Bill, let me break it to you. Jesus taught theology with wine on his breath. I find this degree of fear strange and quaint. Even John’s rule about fearfully nursing that one 5 oz glass of wine all night is amusing. I never face this issue in the Northwest. Fundamentalist evangelical Pastors drink wine and beer. Fundamentalist Christians give each other bottles of wine for the holidays. My friend who has a masters in theology from a Conservative Baptist seminary hosts a scotch tasting gathering on Wednesday afternoons. Christian authors Donald Miller (Blue like Jazz) and Tony Kriz wrote their books in a Portland tavern. Christianity Today Editor Mark Galli brews beer at home. Ashley Moore, who enjoys a cocktail, is on staff at CT. I have a martini or a beer with staff at the advertising agency when we win an account and I've never seen a Christian turn down a glass. I am 63, have known the Lord for 43 years and it has never been an issue. If you have an allergy to alcohol, don't drink.

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  2:57pm

No, Kerwin’s comment makes no sense and is dangerous. It is the quiet drinkers who drink in private that worry me. Jesus drank publicly for everyone to see. And this “cause a brother to stumble” nonsense is a red herring”. Paul was talking about eating meat and wine offered to Idols. “For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?” 1 cor 8. “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons... But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?” 1 cor 10. His reccommendation to the Evangelist Timothy, the one who appointed elders in every city, was to take up drinking wine for health reasons.

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Bill Renje

December 13, 2013  2:39pm

This is just more of the Body of Christ becoming so much like our permissive culture that the 2 are almost indistinguishable. No, drinking is not a sin, only drunkenness. But the furthest step is from abstaining to Beer #1. It's a quick step from Beer #1 to #2 and then #4,5, and beyond. I see a lot of rationale in this column along the lines of drinking to unwind, "we're also drinking to...unwind, have a nightly ritual, stop anxiety", "We quip about how working in an office makes us need to drink. Or about how motherhood forces us to the bottle."...I see nothing in this piece about the Biblical need for prayer to deal with life's stressors. It's no wonder the Body has grown so anemic in impacting our culture...And I haven't even addressed the carnage the alcohol industry wrecks upon our American culture. Death, mutilation, unwanted pregnancy, rape, disease, addiction, devastating families. Why as Christians would we spend $1 of what God has blessed us with to support such an industry?

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Stephen Swihart

December 13, 2013  2:32pm

Kerwin and Stefan - wise words. Thanks for stating what I think but struggle to express verbally. Ashley Moore - I appreciate the article and your transparency. I wonder , however, why Christians who understand their freedom to use alcohol feel the need to write articles in regard to their use. It appears to me that it has become a greater priority in their life than it should be. Anyway, Kerwin makes a good comment:"enjoy a glass of wine where it doesn't offend or cause someone to stumble, but do it quietly as unto the Lord."

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Geoffery Bennett

December 13, 2013  2:26pm

This is a classic debate and one that divides many. it's unfortunate. I appreciate Rick's comments on the slippery slope. One could make the arguement that alcohol invites a slippery slope into sin. However, Rick makes an excellent point as well in that there is another slippery slope one can fall from and that is legalism

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Stefan Stackhouse

December 13, 2013  2:01pm

Jesus and all early Christians drank wine - in moderation, with meals. It is hard to see the biblical basis for any sort of blanket condemnation and prohibition of even that one glass of wine with meals, unless one is going to pretend to be holier than Jesus himself. On the other hand, there is indeed a slippery slope, it is all too easy to go way overboard, and most of us are well aware (and all should be) of the huge human wreckage that results from alcohol abuse and addiction. It makes me really nervous when I see Christians at any sort of gathering where drinking becomes the central activity rather than being something incidental, like that glass of wine during a meal. It also makes me even more nervous when they start hitting the harder stuff instead of limiting themselves just to wine. Limiting oneself to a single glass of wine, incidental to the occasion, is a useful guideline that might keep many from serious trouble.

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  1:51pm

Herbert, priests were tithed wine. They in turn tithed wine to the high priest. It's common sense not to go into the Holy of Holies under the influence. The first priest Melchizidek served Abraham wine and bread. John the Baptist may not have drunk wine, but his Savior did. Paul urged Timothy to begin moderate drinking of wine for his frequent infirmities. Paul discouraged drinking wine or eating meat offered to Idols. Scripture is clear drunkeness is sin...as is gluttony. Let me save everyone time who feels they need to inform us DRUNKENESS IS SIN. Ok we get that. But wine is a gift from God, Psalms 104 says it cheers God’s heart and man’s. No matter what you say Herbert, you can’t get around Jesus creating 180 gallons of fine wine, He enjoyed wine as a dinner guest, Jesus gave wine to his disciples at Passover, He said He was looking forward to sharing wine with his disciples in Heaven and Isaiah tells us fine, aged wine will be served in Heaven. Wine is even a symbol of His Blood!

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Rick Dalbey

December 13, 2013  1:18pm

Ah the slippery slope. Next thing you know she'll be reading the Sunday comics before going to church (which I was prohibited), going to movies (which I was prohibited), wearing pants, and dresses above the knee (which my sister was prohibited). Men will have hair over the collar (which I was prohibited), women will have nose rings. When Paul passes the carafe of fine wine to my Baptist ancestors at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in Heaven, they'll say, "no thanks, we're Christians."

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HERBERT MORGAN

December 13, 2013  1:12pm

The popular tide is certainly expressed in this article. What does the Bible say? Quite a bit if you WANT to look for it. 1) In Mosaic law priests were not to enter the Tabernacle if they had alcohol in their body. 2) Nazarites, filled with the Holy Spirit, were never permitted to use alchol. 3) John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and not permitted to use alcohol. 4) Paul admonished us to "not be drunk with wine but filled with the Holy Spirit." Being drunk is not being promoted - most Christians are not totally controlled by the Holy Spirit - rather enough of the HS to get to Heaven and enough wine (spirits from a bottle) to make us feel good! 5) Any good feeling you get from wine can also be provided by the Holy Spirit. Using wine to provide something the HS can provide is Idolotry. 6) Paul was very concerned about weaker brethren. Meat isn't a factor today but alcohol is. 7) Self Control is a vital fruit of the Spirit. Alcohol hinders that gift.

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Kerwin Borntrager

December 13, 2013  1:03pm

Alcohol has a place but can very subtly and quickly lead one to a harmful place. I see this daily in the city jail where I work. As a clnician the medical benefits is clear at one serving for women and one for men = beer 12 oz, 8 oz malt liquor, wine 5 oz, 1.5 oz liquor. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#standDrink In my experience if you hold to these standards you will face constant peer pressure. When engaging with something that has moderate benefit but pontentially much harm both physically and spiritually it is imperative to have very specific personal standards about amount and context. I would not even joke about using EtOH to cope because that statement reveals that it has become an idol that must be destroyed or sacrificed. God is the only one by which we can face life's problems. Enjoy a glass a wine where is doen't offend or cause someone to stumble, but do it quietly as unto the Lord.

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Bronwyn Lea

December 13, 2013  12:33pm

"My theology is simple: God gave us wine to remember, not to forget." What a profound summary. It has been interesting to observe and participate in Christian-women-drinking-culture in the USA, as someone from a country where attitudes towards alcohol differ significantly. I agree that there has been a loosening of the teetotaling mindset, which is not necessarily a bad thing - if wine is kept celebratory and communal rather than private and palliative.

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