Social Drinking

by Dick Ward

Did You Know the Word of God forbids the use of intoxicants for pleasure drinking? The faithful Christian will not keep “company” with nor “eat” with the drunkard who is a brother “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” (I Corinthians 5:11). Friend, the sin of drunkenness prevents one from being saved (Galatians 5:19-22). Paul wrote, “nor DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, not extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Corinthians 6:10).



The defenders of social drinking make attempts to justify a “little drink, but not to excess.” Granted, there is a difference between one or two “drinks” and “drunkenness" just like there is a difference in stealing one apple and robbing a bank. But, let us be quick to point out the difference is not a question of sin or not sin - the difference is that of “degree” of sin! Yes, the Bible speaks of some SINS as being worse than others (I Timothy 5:8) “he that denied the faith and is WORSE than an infidel.” In 2 Timothy 3:13, it speaks of men “waxing worse and worse.”

In I Peter 4:3 there are two words of special interest to this study of drinking! The first word (oinophlugia) is translated in the King James Version, “excess of wine.” Thayer defines this word as “drunkenness.” The second word (potos) is translated “banqueting” and is defined by Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon as, “a drinking, carousing.” It might do well to examine what Mr. Trench, (Synonyms of the New Testament) has to say: “the drinking bout, the banquet, the symposium, NOT OF NECESSITY EXCESSIVE. . .but giving opportunity for excess.” Thus, in I Peter 4:3, the inspired writer condemns BOTH “the excess - drunkenness” and the “little drink - a drinking not of necessity excessive.”



The Palestinian wines used contemporary with the time of the writing of the New Testament could only reach a maximum fermentation of 5% to 8 % alcohol. Since the distilling process was not discovered until the 13th century, the natural fermentation process arrested itself because higher fementation began killing the yeast cells producing the alcohol. The modern fortified wines are usually 20% alcohol and whisky, gin, brandy, etc., are much higher (40% to 95%). The slogan, “Don’t Drink and Drive,” is a good one - we have an even better one - “Don’t DRINK at All!” Remember, if you drink one drink you are one drink drunk!
- Dick Ward

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 El Dorado East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; (205) 556-2407).

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