Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I am not at peace because I know God will deliver me, I am at peace because I know God.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Drinking Alcohol



From the very day I trusted Christ as my Savior I knew that drinking liquor was wrong.  From that day forward to His praise, I have never touched a drop.  Such is the testimony of thousands.

As a young Christian, even though I knew drinking was wrong, I had a hard time proving my point to others.  I jumped the easy hurdle of explaining the sinfulness of drunkenness but they always seemed to run to the question of Bible wine.  Invariably they would say, “After all, didn’t Jesus make and drink wine?”  To this I knew of no adequate answer.  In my heart I knew, after seeing the debauchery liquor brings to people, I just knew Jesus would have no part of such.  But yet the gnawing question kept eating at me – “What about those passages that seemingly approved of wine?”

I went off to Bible College to be privileged to work on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee witnessing to many people about Christ as a part of my Christian service.  I learned immediately that every wino knew one verse of Scripture, that being 1 Timothy 5:23.  It says, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”  They knew it and used it like a club to beat me about on a Scriptural basis concerning alcohol.  I did my best to escape with the well worn adage that this spoke of medicine.  But did it really do so?

One fellow came to the preacher telling him he drank no water because of Timothy.  The wise preacher asked, “Is your name Timothy?”  He said, “No my name is John.”  The preacher then inquired, “Do you drink wine?”  To which the man said, “No, I drink whiskey.”  Then the third question “Is anything wrong with your stomach?”  John said, “No, I’m healthy as can be.”  So the wise preacher commented with wit – “Well, this passage certainly applies to you!”

Since I had never heard this subject preached upon, I thought surely I would learn some new truths about Bible wines at college.  Perhaps I missed that session, but nevertheless, I found no real help.  So I left to pastor knowing much more about God and about the Scriptures, but still confused on this business of Bible wines.  I still had no answer.

Shortly after I began pastoring, a question arose in our denomination on this very issue of Bible wine.  I did not pay much attention to the issue until a pastor asked me point blank about Bible wine.  It was then, partly because of embarrassment and partly out of desire, that I really began to study this issue and find out what the Word of God said concerning it.  What I learned simply amazed me.  God provided light from many sources.  Each was a blessing.  I hope this section will be a blessing to you.

I.               Questions That Give Us A Scriptural 
Understanding of Wine and Drink

The first thing I noticed as I studied about wine was the multitude of passages that were in conflict on the matter.  In one place, God would talk of wine being a blessing and in another place He would speak of it being a curse.  I knew Jesus would not approve of drinking liquor yet, He did turn the water into wine.  One fellow said to me, “After all, preacher, wine is wine, you can’t deny that.”  So the question came to me as follows

A.     WAS THERE ONE OR TWO TYPES OF WINE IN THE BIBLE?
The more I studied, the clearer one fact became – some Scriptures taught one thing about wine and others taught just the opposite.  Proverbs 4:17 spoke of wine with violence and Proverbs 23 spoke of it as poison and suffering.  Yet, I found Judges 9:13 which said wine “cheereth God and man.”  How could it both bring sorrow and cheer?

Isaiah 5:22 speaks condemnation of wine and drinking whereas Numbers 18:12 says wine is to be offered unto the Lord.  You could never offer that to God which He condemns!  Proverbs 20:1 is very plain in telling us that wine is a mocker and strong drink is madness.  Only the foolish partake of it.  Yet, as I read Isaiah 55:1 I found wine is used as an emblem of the blessing of salvation; a wise choice for all.  It is something all should seek.

What could all of this mean?  How could wine in Revelation be symbolic of the wrath of God yet in 1 Corinthians be symbolic of atonement?  Was God contradicting Himself?  Why would He speak evil of wine in one place and good of wine in another?  Long before I found out the truth, I concluded that all wine could not be the same.  There had to be two types of wine in the Bible.  There is fermented and unfermented.

B.     WHAT DO THE WORDS MEAN?

      I thought if I could study the words about wine I could find the answer.  What I found was both enlightening and helpful.

(1)   Yayin (Greek equivalent is oinos) – This is the most commonly used Hebrew word in the Old Testament to speak of wine.  It is used 140 times and is not a specific but rather a generic term.  It can mean – the grapes in the cluster on the vine; dried grapes or raisins; the juice in the grapes still hanging on the vine; the freshly expressed juice and unfermented juice of the grape; grape juice that is boiled, syrup of jam; and grape juice that has fermented and is intoxicating.


Fausset says, “Yayin, (concerning juice) from the word “boil up” is the extract from the grape, whether simple juice unfermented or intoxicating  wine, akin to the Greek word oinos, latin word vinum.”

So yayin (wine) refers to juice in all stages.  In the cluster, in the vat, fresh juice, boiled juice, syrup, jam, preserved, unfermented or fermented alcoholic juice.

To illustrate the point that this word does not always mean alcoholic, fermented juice, look at Isaiah 16:10.  No doubt fresh wine (yayin) here, just pressed out is not alcoholic.  Jeremiah 40:10, 12 are to the same point.  Here they gathered wine (yayin).  This refers to the juice still in the grape.

The natural question to ask at this point is, “Since the term yayin is generic, why didn’t the KJV translators translate this word wine where it was alcoholic and juice where it wasn’t?”  First of all, they translated not interpreted.  Also, you will be enlightened by the next section.

(2)   Our English Word “Wine” – When we mention the word wine today we all know it means fermented, alcoholic juice.  This bothered me for some time.  Why didn’t the English translators use the correct terms.  Wine for fermented juice and juice for fresh blood from the grape.  Then I discovered an important truth.  Our English word “wine” was also a generic term for juice from the grape.

Bailey’s New Universal English Dictionary of Words, 1730, Fourth Edition says this as a meaning for wine – “Natural wine is such as it comes from the grape, without any mixture of sophistication.”  In other words, fresh juice in 1730 was called wine as well as intoxicating, fermented juice.

Kersey’s General English Dictionary, 1708 says, “Wine, a liquor made of the juice of grapes or other fruits.  Liquor, anything that is liquid; drink, juice, etc.  Sweet wine, new, pressed from the grape.

Martin’s New English Dictionary, 1748 says, “Wine (1) the juice of the grape, (2) a liquor extracted from the other fruits besides the grape, (3) the vapours of wine, as wine disturbs reason.  Liquor – anything liquid, as water, juice, drink, etc.”

Before 1825 the English word “wine” was used as a generic term to speak of fermented alcoholic juice and fresh, sweet juice of the grape.  Only in the last one hundred fifty years has it come to mean only an intoxicant.

In 1611 when the KJV translators came to the Hebrew word yayin or the Greek word oinos, they naturally in every case used the generic English equivalent term “wine.”  It was a perfect translation of the generic terms yayin and oinos.

Through the years, our English word has changed.  Webster’s Third Edition Collegiate Dictionary says, “Wine (1) fermented juice of the grapes (2) the unfermented juice or loosely, the unfermented juice of any fruit or plant, used as a beverage.”  By the Third Edition, wine still meant unfermented juice but it was a secondary meaning.  This held true also for Webster’s Fifth Collegiate Edition.

However, by the Seventh Edition of Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “wine” has come to mean only, (1) fermented grape juice containing varying percentages of alcohol together with ethers and esters that give it bouquet and flavor, (2) fermented juice of a plant used as a beverage, (3) something that invigorates or intoxicates.”  NO MENTION is now made of the English word “wine” as fresh juice.  It was up until about 1825, but the meaning changed in the English.

It is interesting to note that in the 1922 edition of Funk and Wagnall’s College Standard Dictionary it mentions that wine is “also the expressed juice of the grape whether fermented or unfermented.”  By 1969 Funk and Wagnall defines wine ONLY as fermented juice.

The progression of change is clear concerning our English word “wine.”  It now means only fermented, intoxicating juice.  However, KJV translators did not have the luxury of looking down the road three hundred years at what the word would come to mean.  They used it in its normal, ordinary 1611 generic meaning.

By the way, this is not the only English word to change meaning over the last three hundred fifty years.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:7 we read the word “letteth” which used to mean to hinder.  It now has come to mean to permit.  This verse hasn’t changed, our English has changed.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:15 the word translated “prevent” in 1611 meant “to go before.”  It now means “to keep from happening.”  God’s Word hasn’t changed but the meaning of the English word has changed over the years.

I’ll never forget talking with an elderly couple in my church a few years ago.  They had been watching the news during the week and had seen “gays” marching in the city of San Francisco.  They said to each other, “If they are so happy, what are they marching about?”  Later, they related the story to me.  They said, “Pastor, it took us all week to find out these folks were not happy they were homosexuals.”  The meaning of the word “gay” has certainly taken on a new meaning during our lifetime.

No doubt KJV translators were right in translating yayin and oinos with the word “wine.”  It is a shame that this generic term has changed in the past years.  But God’s word has not changed and never will!

(3)   Tirosh (Greek gleukos, new wine) This word is found 38 times in the Old Testament.  Unlike yayin it does have a limited meaning.  It is not a generic term.  It never carries with it the sense of anything fermented.  It is only the fresh juice just extracted from the grape.  Hence, it is translated “new wine” or wine still in the grape.

Deuteronomy 11:14 is a prime example of the use of the term tirosh.  Here it denotes grapes in the cluster to be harvested.  Proverbs 3:10 gives us the other limited meaning of tirosh.  In this verse it is new wine, bursting out of the presses.

Keep in mind, this is a narrow term.  Once boiled, fermented or jammed it is not called tirosh.

(4)   Shekar (strong drink) This word is used 22 times in the Old Testament.  It can be used as a generic term referring to sweet sap but the general usage of this word is that of fermented juice mixed with drugs to increase its potency.

When we think of strong drink we immediately relate it to distilled beverages.  Whiskey and vodka are made from grain mash; brandy is made from distilling fermented wine, gin made by adding the juniper berry to distilled mash or rum distilled from molasses.  These range from 35% to 95% alcohol.  Fermented wines of biblical days classified as strong drink were no more than 16% alcohol.  Remember, they had no distilled beverages.  Their strong drink is to be compared with our champagne (about 14% alcohol) or sherry (16%-23% alcohol).  It is to THIS TYPE of drink Proverbs 23:29-35 was written about.  Keep that in mind and read the passage!

Reading the 23rd chapter of Proverbs in this context brings new light to God’s view on alcohol.  Any right thinking mind can figure out that if God pronounces such woe on this type of alcohol, any right minded person can see clearly God’s views on drinking distilled beverages.  When woe is pronounced upon those who would take a drink of champagne, beer, or sherry, we know God’s disdain for those who would drink worse forms of booze.

There are other words used in reference to grapes, juice, raisins, etc.  However, the above are the main words used in the Scriptures.  Understanding these words help us to get a context for what God is saying when He uses them.

C.     UNDERSTANDING FERMENTATION

As I studied this issue of Bible wine, it was helpful to me to learn some things about fermentation.  I was always under the impression that if you leave the juice outside it will become alcoholic.  What does happen to unattended juice and how is alcoholic wine made?

(1)   Acetous Fermentation – Acetous fermentation occurs when the juice is left out and unattended.  This is not how to make alcohol.  It is the natural process of souring.  This type of spoilage does not produce alcohol but acid.  This is a well known fact and was brought to my attention the other day once again as I was reading Collier’s Encyclopedia.  It stated plainly that (this type) of fermentation going unchecked would bring forth vinegar bacteria and acetic acid.  As Chaptal the chemist points out, “Nature never forms spirituous liquors; she rots the grape upon the branch; but it is art which converts the juice into alcoholic wine.”

(2)   Vinous Fermentation – To produce alcohol you must follow a process.  There are certain laws that must be adhered to in order to produce alcohol.  You must have the following:

1.      There must be saccharine (sugar) matter and gluten (yeast).
2.      The temperature should not be below 50 degrees or above 75 degrees
3.      The juice must be of a certain consistency.  Not too thick or too thin.
4.      The quantity of gluten must be well regulated.

           These are fixed laws and do not change with time.  Today great care is given by those who produce alcoholic wine to make their devilish product.  They go to great expense to insure vinous fermentation.  Collier’s said, “…cultivating and harvesting the grapes, fermenting the juice, refining the wine, and caring for it until it is ready for bottling.”  All this is necessary to produce alcohol.  Of such, Professor Turner, a chemist has said, “(alcohol) does not exist ready formed in plants but is the product of vinous fermentation.”

D.     COULD THEY KEEP THE JUICE FROM  ANY 
FERMENTATION IN BIBLE TIMES?

One fellow commented to me one day that during Bible times, since they had no refrigeration and no pressure cookers, they could not keep juice from spoiling.  Therefore, all wine mentioned in the Bible, other than fresh juice, was alcoholic.

I found as I studied this subject, quite to my amazement, that indeed during Bible days wine was kept in a variety of ways, pure and without alcoholic content.  In fact, G.W. Sampson has said, “At no age, in no land and among no people, as among the Romans under their republic, especially for two centuries before Christ, was the method of preserving wine free of intoxicating ferment so studied and practiced.”

(1)   Boiling (mustum) – Using this method, they would evaporate the water and develop a thick grape paste.  Since juice boils at 212 degrees and alcohol evaporates at 170 degrees, this method insured that there was no taint of alcohol in the end product.  They would boil the juice for four or five hours and then put this paste into jars covered with pitch or more commonly in earthen vessels covered with new skins

The testimonies of this type of wine are many.  Aristotle – 384 B.C.- said,”…the wine of Arcadia was so thick that it was necessary to scrape it from the skin bottles in which it was contained and to dissolve the scrapings in water.”  Horace – 65 B.C. – said, “…there is no wine sweeter to drink than lesbian; it is like nectar, perfectly harmless and does not produce intoxication.”  Pliny also comments about this type of wine.  He says that grape juice was boiled to one third of its bulk to secure the finest flavor.  He goes on to add that this type was called “sapa” and was regarded as the best wine.  These testimonies are also equaled by truth today.  In some hill countries of the Mid East, I am told that they still carry a flask of this paste with them to mix with water when traveling, to sweeten and enjoy.

(2)   Filtration – By this method they would run the juice through filters, taking out the gluten (yeast), destroying the ability of fermentation.  Some ancients write of this type of wine.  Plutarch – A.D. 60 – talks of “frequently filtered wine which neither inflames the brain nor infests the mind and passions.”  Pliny also talks of this wine having “all its force broken by the filter.”

There is an interesting modern story that lends to this point.  Archaeologists read on Egyptian tomb walls about this process of filtration.  The Egyptians would draw off the top of the vat and run through a strainer the sweet juice.  They would then place it at once into oiled jars covered with a film of olive oil.  In February of 1879, Columbia College tested this method used by the ancient Egyptians.  They strained fresh juice and placed it in glass tubes and covered these with a film of olive oil.  In 1881 they tested the juice and it “was not found to have the least trace of fermentation.”

(3)   Subsidence – This is a process where the temperature is held down below 45 degrees causing the gluten (yeast or leaven), being heavier, to settle to the bottom of the container, keeping fermentation from happening.  Pliny speaks of this as he describes them filling casks, covering them with pitch and plunging them into the well until winter, then using the top juice.

As I read about this process, I am not sure that the drinking of the juice wasn’t a secondary reason for doing this.  When needed, the ancients would reach down to the bottom of these containers and get a handful of gluten to use as leaven for their bread.  Nevertheless, it was a viable alternative to keeping juice fresh and producing unintoxicating wine.

(4)   Fumigation – This method was one whereby the ancients would use sulphur (usually the yolks of pigeon eggs) to render the yeast inactive.  It was not a very commonly used method.  I believe all could see why this method was not as popular as the others.  However, it was used by some.

E.      WAS THIS SWEET UNFERMENTED JUICE CALLED
“WINE?”

The answer to this question is definitely “yes.”  I will give just a few examples.  Pliny says,”…some Roman wines were as thick as honey.”  Virgil the poet who lived from 70 – 19 B.C. speaks of “unfermented paste.”  Nocander states, “…and Eneus having squeezed the juice into hollow cups called it wine.” (onion)  Aristotle talks of “sweet wine that would not intoxicate.”  Homer speaks of “cups of unintoxicating wine.”  While Horace goes even further speaking of “fumigated wine” of which he says you could drink one hundred glasses without clamour.

All of this should teach us a great truth.  Not all wine of the Bible days was intoxicating.  In fact, Collier’s quotes one of the ancients telling us only Barbarians drank undiluted, fermented wine.  The best wine was fresh and unintoxicating.  They not only could produce such wine but did do so.  In light of this, we then look at Scriptural passages.  Keeping in mind even the English word “wine” is as generic as the Hebrew and Greek, or at least it was when the KJV translators used it.

II.            Bible Passages People Question Us About

    Usually every person who wants to try and excuse his drinking will know one or two verses of Scripture.  They will constantly take you there and leave you.  I used to talk with drunks and always wind up in John 2 or 1 Timothy 5.  What are we to say to those who question us about the Scriptures?  We are to be ready to give every man an answer.

A.     THE LORD’S SUPPER

Did Jesus serve fermented wine at the last supper?  If He did so, shouldn’t we do so today?  Some churches do serve fermented wine.  Are they doing right or doing wrong?

(1)   Passages on the Lord’s Supper – Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:23-25, Luke 22:17-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

      Keep in mind that in these passages the term wine is not used.  The Greek word potesion is used meaning fruit of the vine or product of the vine.  Fermented wine is the product of corruption.  Juice is the product of the vine.  Some would say, “Yes, but they do get alcohol from the vine.”  That is like saying chocolate ice cream comes from the cow.  Sure, milk is used in making it but no one would say the cow gives chocolate ice cream!  The vine gives fresh juice.

(2)   When they took the cup – This was the Passover of Feast of Unleavened Bread.  A close examination of Exodus 12:3-9 will tell us that during this time they were to remove all leaven from the house.  Passover law would not permit anything leavened in the house.

What is leaven?  Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary says – “Leaven 1) to make light by fermentation. 2) fermenting dough or anything that causes fermentation.”  Webster’s Collegiate 5th Edition says that leaven is “any substance used to produce fermentation as in doughs or liquids.”

The reason leaven was removed from the house is because leaven represents corruption.  To begin with, Moses said nothing about wine at Passover.  However, he did say something about leaven.  If you did use wine, as they had become accustomed to do in Jesus’ day, at the time of Passover, it had to be unfermented.  For all leaven had to be put out of the house.

(3)   What the Lord’s Supper represents – 1 Corinthians tells us that we are to “Purge out therefore the old leaven…for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”  The passages dealing with the Lord’s Supper make it exceedingly plain.  The unleavened, unfermented bread represents the pure body of our Lord broken for us on Calvary.  The unleavened, unfermented juice represents His pure blood, shed for us that day.

1 Peter 1:18, 19 make it clear concerning the blood of Christ.  It says, “For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by the tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  Jesus’ blood was without any corruption.  Fermented, corrupted juice could never represent the pure blood of Christ.  ONLY the pure blood of the grape could do that!  It is just as reasonable to assume that Jesus used fermented bead as fermented wine.  Yet, no one that I know uses fermented, corrupt, leavened bread to represent His body.  Certainly only pure, uncorrupt, unleavened juice can represent his spotless blood.  It takes no scholar to understand this truth!

B.     THE WEDDING AT CANA

John 2:1-11 describes for us the first miracle of Christ; one in which he took water and transformed it into wine.  Many people take this passage as an excuse to drink alcohol.  Indeed, many people have questioned me about this passage.  Even before I had studied the passage I knew in my heart that Jesus would never add to men’s drunkenness and revelry.  What did He do at Cana?

(1)   Notice this miracle – It is indeed great.  Jesus took six water pots that were filled with water and made (oinos) the fruit of the vine.  Our understanding of this passage is enlightened when we find out what Jesus is showing.  He is showing forth His power over nature. Water provided by nature is taken up through the vine and transformed into juice.  This process takes months.  Jesus did this in an instant; thereby showing His power over nature.  Also showing His lordship over the world in which we live.
(2)   Jesus could not break His word. If we examine this passage in light of Habakkuk 2:15 some questions will be answered.  With the tragedy alcohol brings and keeping in mind the fact that God pronounced woe on anyone who would give his neighbor such alcohol, you can readily see that Christ would never do such a thing.  If indeed, as some proclaim, Christ made alcohol here, He would be in violation of the Word, His own Word!  Jesus NEVER violated any part of the Scriptures He had given.  It is silly not to see this clear point.  Jesus spoke against giving your neighbor alcohol.  There is no contradiction here.  Jesus spoke against it and did not violate the truth taught in Habakkuk.
(3)   What happened at Cana?  Drinkers tell us that (v. 10) “well drunk” means that after these were intoxicated and couldn’t tell the difference Jesus gave them more potent alcohol than they had before.  NO!  This simply means after they “were well satisfied.”  The practice was to put out the best or sweetest juice first.  (No doubt this was either fresh or freshly preserved, made from paste for this was the best).  After men had drunk plenty of juice, they would put out that which was not as fresh or as good.  No one would notice much difference then for their taste buds had been bombarded by fresh tasting juice.

Jesus came along and made the best juice.  Wine made by Christ, the Master of nature, the Creator of the vine, was no doubt better!  Oh, to taste that made of the Master’s hand!  Such heavenly drink from Christ’s hand could be noticed even by well tarnished taste buds.  They had never tasted such wonderful fresh juice in all their lives.  What took nature months to do, Christ did better in a moment.

Another key in understanding what happened at Cana is found in verse 11.  Jesus did this to “manifest His glory.”  No way could Jesus’ glory be manifested by adding to drunkenness.  He made pure, fresh, delightful juice better than any juice treaded out by man.  From mere water He made the best.  It is a miracle indeed to manifest to all His power over nature and His glory as Messiah and Creator.

C.     WHAT WAS TIMOTHY DOING?

Every wino knows 1 Timothy 5:23.  Too many people have taken this verse to say it is alright for them to drink cocktails, beer, wine, whiskey, etc.  Others have used this verse to say it is alright to have a “hot toddy” for medicinal purposes.  Both are wrong!

(1)   Timothy was an abstainer – Timothy was told in this passage to “drink no longer water” or to stop drinking water only.  In other words he was in the habit of only drinking water.  This should give us a hint as to what members of the early church did.  Timothy, brought up by a Godly mother and grandmother in the faith, KNEW that believers should be abstainers!
(2)   Timothy was having stomach problems – This problem was being caused by the water he was drinking.  Some would have us believe that Paul tells him to drink alcohol to take care of his stomach.  Alcohol for a stomach problem?  Alcohol would not help his stomach but only further irritate the stomach lining.  Alcohol does not repair but rather tears down body tissue.  Patients who have stomach problems (ulcers) are told to AVOID alcohol.  Even Pliny mentions wine without strength being given to patients.

The problem Timothy was experiencing was brought about by the type of water in Ephesus.  This water is strongly alkali and was upsetting his stomach.  The common wine (juice) of this region was highly acidic.  A little acid mixed with this alkali water would keep Timothy’s problems away.  Juice is good for the stomach.  In fact, it was a custom for a traveler to carry a skin or jar of boiled wine (syrup or paste) with him to mix with the water.  Even today, I read that in Mesopotamia they still practice this, taking this syrup and mixing it with water when traveling.

By the way, there is a passage that I believe deals directly with the medicinal use of alcohol and drugs.  Proverbs 31:6, 7 tells us of the practice of giving the dying man a drink (shekar) mixed with drugs to help him.  It was a custom to give such a drink to a prisoner at execution.  This was what was offered to Christ at the cross.  Sour wine, mixed with spices was offered and refused by our Lord.  He faced Calvary without any help dying in our stead.

Proverbs 31 seems to indicate that nothing is wrong with giving something to ease pain.  With this in mind, the medicinal use of alcohol and drugs are given for our benefit.  There is no reason not to use them as such.  Medicine on the drug store shelf or prescribed by the doctor is for our benefit.  This however, is a far cry from going down to the liquor store and buying their brew under the guise of “medicine.”

D.     NOT GIVEN TO MUCH WINE

Much has been said about this phrase that occurs twice in the Scriptures.  Some use this for a license for their drinking.  They say it is implied consent of alcohol.

To the bishop, (preacher) instructions are given in 1 Timothy 3:1-4 to be an abstainer of wine (no doubt alcoholic).  This statement is made again in Titus 1:7-9.  No doubt God desires the preacher to be an abstainer. Not of juice, but of fermented juice in any form!  These passages speak of the character requirements of a pastor.  One who drinks alcohol does not qualify to be an example to the people of God.  He does not qualify to pastor a church!

In two other passages (1Timothy 3:8-13 and Titus 2:1-7) the phrase “not given to much wine” is used.  It is used first in reference to deacons and then in reference to the aged women.  So the question is, “Does God allow deacons and old women to drink as long as they do not abuse it?”  Of course not!  This phrase is the Greek idiom “me parionon.”  “Me” meaning negative or no, “para” meaning at, nearby, or along side of and onon meaning wine.  Simply stated, they are not to be near, beside, or close to wine.  This is not an invitation to drink.  It is a directive of the kind of character these should display in their life.  They are not to be accompanied with those who drink.  Certainly they are not to do so themselves!

III. Our Testimony

                 I cannot leave this section without mentioning drinking and the Christian
                 testimony.  Certainly the Scriptures have taught us clearly that drinking
                 alcohol is not for the child of God.  The Word of God makes this very clear.

                While not drinking, we must be careful not to tarnish our testimony and that of
                 the Lord whom we represent.  We must be careful to love the sinner but not
                 fellowship with sinful practices.  We must be careful as to what company we
                 keep.  We are not to “stand in the way of sinners.”  The Christian who spends
                 much leisure time in the company of the world will find himself tainted by the
                 world and its philosophy.  Before long, most find themselves indulging in the
                 things of this world.  Taverns and honky-tonks are no place for the child of
                 God.  Your testimony does not simply consist of what you SAY but also of
                 what you DO.  Judge carefully your company.  Remember most people will
                 not respect your presence by abstaining from their sinful habits.  You must
                 decide what circumstances enhance your testimony and what situations detract                  from your stand for the Lord.  Be sure to prayerfully consider these things. 
                 make your stand for Christ with both family and friends!

                 Christians who stand with the Word of God against alcohol must also watch
                 what they support.  As a personal point, I have always tried my best to avoid
                 any restaurants and stores that sell alcohol.  I realize in the day in which we
                 live it is hard to find many merchants who have not given themselves over to
                 making money any way possible.  There are only a few places that do not sell
                 and serve alcohol.  Surely in the future there will be even fewer.  However,
                 these places that do not serve alcohol now will be even fewer if Christians do
                 not support them.  I have a good idea.  If most believers would make it their
                 habit not to patronize those places serving alcohol and tell them so, there          
                 would be more places not serving the devil’s brew!  When given a choice, I
                 would rather support that place that doesn’t serve alcohol.  Why not seek them  
                  out and patronize them!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dads in the Limelight – Author of The Father’s Love, David Moore

Dads in the Limelight Series
Our 598th Dad in the Limelight is Author of The Father’s Love, David Moore. I want to thank David Moore for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing David Moore with all of you.
David-Moore
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My name is David Moore. I am retired, a volunteer Chaplain, and married to the love of my life Dorinda. We have 3 adult sons, David, Adam, and Shane. I pray with the sick and the lost in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and jails, wherever I am called. I am also the author of “The Father’s Love” which is the true story of my cross country search for my missing son David and how I found my faith in God.
2) Tell me about your family 
My wife Dorinda is a secretary and enjoys singing in the choir, working in Helps Ministry writing encouraging cards and at times making meals for those in need. Our sons are all grown and living on their own and working hard to make a good future for themselves and their families.
David-Moore3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Without a doubt it was when my son disappeared and I went on a frantic search for him. One cannot imagine the pain and heartache of a child that has run away. Everything in your life stops. Nothing else matters, not your job, eating, drinking, even your own life becomes secondary. It is a parents worst nightmare.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Always keep the lines of communication open with your children. Really listen to what they are saying  and try to understand what they are feeling. As parents we always think we know what is best, but our children are very smart and they know better then anyone what their hearts desire is.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? David-Moore
Our children are grown and my wife and I are really just outside consultants now. We have 3 very intelligent sons and they are very capable. We try to live a life of strong faith and be an example of how God instructs us to live.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
My father-in-law is one of the greatest examples that I could ever want to follow. He is an amazing man of faith and the best listener I have ever met. He is very intent on hearing what your heart is saying, what you are really feeling. He always says that God gave us 2 ears and one mouth so we should always listen twice as much as we speak.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
My biggest problem as a father was that I was always a my way or the highway kind of parent. Also, before I starting seeing things from a spiritualDavid-Moore perspective I was a very angry person. I had an explosive anger that was dangerous to my family, myself, and others. After receiving Christ as my Savior I became a new person and with His help I have overcome many of my issues. I am not yet who I want to be, but thank God I am not who I used to be!
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Coaching our sons in sports, watching them graduate high school and college, seeing them become responsible men are all very memorable. But when they accepted Christ as Savior and were baptized has to be the most memorable and important moments in our lives. We now know we will spend eternity together!
If you have any questions for David Moore, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!
Also, do you know a Dad in the Limelight? If so, please email me their contact information so that they too can be a part of this series!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Is your Reading Club looking for an inspirational book to read? I will sign, seal, and deliver your books at a discounted rate. The Father's Love is an award winning, fast paced, inspirational, heart wrenching read that you will not want to put down until you finish! If you are in Michigan it is possible we could arrange a Q & A after your Book Club finishes their reading.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Be still, and know that I am God Psalm 46:10

Are you the center of your universe or is God?

 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015