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"Strong Drink"

Updated: Jan 10, 2023





Someone who read my last article asked a few questions.


"Hey Brent. I haven’t seen you in years. I hope you are doing well.

Would you mind answering a few questions for me?


I read your article and noticed you didn’t deal with Strong Drink or Shekar? What do you do with Deuteronomy 14:26?


Why did Nazarites give up wine and strong drink for a period of time if they did not drink when not under the vow? (Numbers 6:3)


Why were priests forbidden to drink when on service in the temple if it was not their practice to drink when off duty? (Leviticus 10:9)


Thank you. I’m not looking for a fight. I believe these questions have to be dealt with if we are to be honest scholars who submit fully to Scripture."



Before we deal with some of this, I want you to read II Peter 3:16.


2 Peter 3:16

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.


There is a spiritual movement in our country that seeks to upend what has historically been considered truth. We see it on every level. Political, Medical, Legal....even Spiritual.


The spiritual is what I am particularly concerned with right now. Christian people (Many of them young) who have grown up being taught certain things are finding themselves questioning those things they have been taught. One of those things is the use of alcohol as a beverage. This is a BIG discussion among church folk these days.


We should not mind people asking questions. There is much to learn and questions lead to answers. Also, we may not always be right on what we have been taught. Questions can lead us to confirm or deny our previously held beliefs.




What should be of concern though is this modern desire to question and upend seemingly everything that has anything to do with the doctrine of separation. Although there have been excesses in the past, the doctrine of separation is a biblical doctrine. It seems to me that many of these modern questioners (some bordering on sophistry) are always seeking to justify things that most Christians a generation ago would have considered "worldly." The more modern, contemporary, emergent forms of Christianity are the cauldron where, for the most part, this anti-separation brew boils, although it spills over into other persuasions as well.


What should also be of concern is this argumentative / debating spirit so prevalent today. I have seen this close up many times. This spirit is generally not wholesome and many times can cloud judgment. This spirit can be very deceptive. When a person is attempting only to defend himself and what he believes, it becomes more difficult to see the potential weaknesses and errors in what one is defending. The Bible teaches in 2 Timothy 2:24 that...."the servant of the Lord must not strive (to fight verbally); but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,"





I have had friends in my life, in the past, that loved to fight verbally. This spirit is not consistent with being the "servant of the Lord." A "servant" should have an altogether different spirit....perhaps one of humility!


Let us continue.


The Hebrew word (Lemma) for "strong drink" is written like this....


שֵׁכָר


It could be transliterated and pronounced thusly - "shay khar"



This word, in its various forms is found 23 times, all in the Old Testament. The locations for this word are



Leviticus 10:9

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:


Numbers 6:3

He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.


Numbers 28:7

And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering.


Deuteronomy 14:26

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,


Deuteronomy 29:6

Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the Lord your God.


Judges 13:4

Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:


Judges 13:7

But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.


Judges 13:14

She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.

1 Samuel 1:15

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.


Psalm 69:12

They that sit in the gate speak against me; And I was the song of the drunkards.

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: And whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.


Proverbs 31:4

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; Nor for princes strong drink:


Proverbs 31:6

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, And wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.


Isaiah 5:11

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; That continue until night, till wine inflame them!


Isaiah 5:22

Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, And men of strength to mingle strong drink:


Isaiah 24:9

They shall not drink wine with a song; Strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.


Isaiah 28:7

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, They are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.


Isaiah 29:9

Stay yourselves, and wonder; Cry ye out, and cry: They are drunken, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with strong drink.


Isaiah 56:12

Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, And we will fill ourselves with strong drink; And to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.


Micah 2:11

If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; He shall even be the prophet of this people.


Let's look today at Deuteronomy 14:26 specifically in the context of "strong drink."


Deuteronomy 14:26

And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,


First, let's consider a Selection of What Some Modern Scholars / Commentators Say About this matter of "strong drink."



1. Both “wine” and “fermented drink” were permissible here in even an act of worship to the Lord. The Hebrew word for “wine” is yayin, which sometimes means an intoxicating beverage and other times means a nonintoxicating drink. The Hebrew word for “fermented drink” (šēḵār) is often rendered “strong drink” in some translations (e.g., kjv, nasb, rsv). This is misleading because it suggests that šēḵār refers to distilled liquor. But the process for distillation was not used in the Near East until the seventh century a.d. The “fermented drink” was probably a kind of beer (this is the usual niv trans.), brewed by the ancient Egyptians and Akkadians, and therefore low in alcohol content. (However, wine V 1, p 290 [yayin] drunk in excess can be intoxicating; cf., e.g., Isa. 5:11; Prov. 20:1; and drunkenness is sin.)


kjv King James Version

nasb New American Standard Bible

rsv Revised Standard Version

niv New International Version

trans. translation, translator, translated

Jack S. Deere, “Deuteronomy,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An

Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1

(Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 289–290.


2. Wine and strong drink: wine is a fermented drink made from grapes (see 7:13). Strong drink is an alcoholic beverage such as beer; it is a fermented drink, not distilled liquor (such as “scotch” and “bourbon”). niv has “other fermented drink,” njb “fermented liquor,” njpsv “other intoxicant,” nrsv and reb “strong drink.” The Hebrew word is defined as “intoxicating drink, evidently a kind of beer.” It is often paired with wine (Lev 10:9; 1:15; Luke 1:15). So both tev and cev translate it as “beer.” In some languages readers have understood a literal translation of strong drink to mean “drink that makes you strong”; that is certainly not the sense of the Hebrew term.


niv New International Version

njb New Jerusalem Bible

njpsv TANAKH (New Jewish Publication Society Version)

nrsv New Revised Standard Version

reb Revised English Bible

tev Today’s English Version

cev Contemporary English Version

Robert G. Bratcher and Howard A. Hatton, A Handbook on Deuteronomy,

UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 266.


3. The nature of the purchases that could be made as a substitute for the man’s own tithe is summarized as oxen, sheep, wine and strong drink. The latter word, šēkār, and the corresponding verb refer to intoxicating drink. The law did not, of course, encourage overindulgence, any more than does the use of wine in the Christian communion service encourage drunkenness. In any case, the Bible contains abundant material to encourage temperance (Prov. 20:1; 23:29–31; Isa. 5:11, 22; Amos 4:1–3; Rom. 14:15, 20–23; 1 Cor. 8:9–12; Eph. 5:18; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7; 2:3; 1 Pet. 4:3).

Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity

Press, 1974), 202.



4. Jerome (c 400 AD) was near the mark when he wrote, “Sikera in the Heb tongue means every kind of drink which can intoxicate, whether made from grain or from the juice of apples, or when honeycombs are boiled down into a sweet and strange drink, or the fruit of palm oppressed into liquor, and when water is coloured and thickened from boiled herbs” (Ep. ad Nepotianum). Thus shēkhār is a comprehensive term for all kinds of fermented drinks, excluding wine.

c circa, about

D. Miall Edwards, “Drink, Strong,” ed. James Orr et al., The International

Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance

Company, 1915), 879.


There can be no doubt that shēkhār was intoxicating. This is proved (1) from the etymology of the word, it being derived from shākhar, “to be or become drunk” (Gen 9:21; Isa 29:9;_Jer 25:27, etc); cf the word for drunkard (shikkār), and for drunkenness (shikkārōn) from the same root; (2) from descriptions of its effects: e.g. Isaiah graphically describes the stupefying effect of shēkhār on those who drink it excessively (28:7, 8). Hannah defended herself against the charge of being drunk by saying, “I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,” i.e. neither wine nor any other intoxicating liquor (1 S 1:15). The attempt made to prove that it was simply the unfermented juice of certain fruits is quite without foundation. Its immoderate use is strongly condemned (Isa 5:11, 12; Prov 20:1; see Drunkenness). It was forbidden to ministering priests (Lev 10:9), and to Nazirites (Nu 6:3; Jgs 13:4, 7, 14; cf Lk 1:15), but was used in the sacrificial meal as drink offering (Nu 28:7), and could be bought with the tithe-money and consumed by the worshipper in the temple (Dt 14:26). It is commended to the weak and perishing as a means of deadening their pain; but not to princes, lest it might lead them to pervert justice (Prov 31:4–7).

D. Miall Edwards, “Drink, Strong,” ed. James Orr et al., The International

Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance

Company, 1915), 880.


5. Drink, strong—(Heb. shekar’), an intoxicating liquor (Judg. 13:4; Luke 1:15; Isa. 5:11; Micah 2:11) distilled from corn, honey, or dates. The effects of the use of strong drink are referred to in Ps. 107:27; Isa. 24:20; 49:26; 51:17–22. Its use prohibited, Prov. 20:1. (See WINE.)

Brothers, 1893), 204.


6. Strong Drink. Any intoxicating liquor. It was forbidden to Levites who were entering the tent of meeting (Lv 10:9); to those taking the Nazirite vow (Nm 6:3; Jgs 13:4–14); to kings and rulers (Prv 31:4); and to John the Baptist (Lk 1:15). The writer of Proverbs 20:1 suggests that the wise man does not become intoxicated by it. Isaiah pronounces woe on those addicted to it (5:11, 22). Strong drink was used as a libation in the levitical sacrifice (Nm 28:7) and was permitted in the menu of the feast at the time of tithing (Dt 14:26).

Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Strong Drink,” Baker Encyclopedia of

the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 2001.


Conflicting Opinions on the Definition of Shaker (Here we go again!)


The above six representative commentaries all indicate that Shaker is always an intoxicating beverage. Is this true? In reality, the whole argument hinges on this, doesn't it?

When Edwards (above) writes that, "There can be no doubt that shēkhār was intoxicating," how are we to understand his following statement?

"When the Hebrews were living a nomadic life, before their settlement in Canaan, the grape-wine was practically unknown to them, and there would be no need of a special term to describe it. But when they settled down to an agricultural life, and came to cultivate the vine, it would become necessary to distinguish it from the older kinds of intoxicants; hence the borrowed word yayin (“wine”) was applied to the former, while the latter would be classed together under the old term shēkhār, which would then come to mean all intoxicating beverages other than wine (Lev 10:9; Nu 6:3; Dt 14:26; Prov 20:1; Isa 24:9). The exact nature of these drinks is not clearly indicated in the Bible itself."


D. Miall Edwards, “Drink, Strong,” ed. James Orr et al., The International

Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Chicago: The Howard-Severance

Company, 1915), 879.

 

That doesn't sound very convincing!

 

Consider the following from the book Bible Wines.

"Shaker," the second (Yayin being the first), "is of the like tenor," says Professor Stuart, "but applies wholly to a different liquor."


 
Definition of liquor
A liquid or fluid substance. [See Liquid.] liquor is a word of general signification, extending to water, milk, blood, say, juice, etc.; but its most common application is to spirituous fluids, whether distilled or fermented, to decoctions, solutions, tinctures.

Websters 1828 Dictionary

 

"The Hebrew name is shakar, which is usually translated strong drink in the Old Testament and in the New. The mere English reader, of course, invariably gets from this translation a wrong idea of the real meaning of the original Hebrew. He attaches to it the idea which the English phrase now conveys among us, viz., that of a strong, intoxicating drink, like our distilled liquors. As to distillation, by which alcoholic liquors are now principally obtained, it was utterly unknown to the Hebrews, and, indeed to all the world in ancient times.”


“The true original idea of shakar is a liquor obtained from dates or other fruits (grapes excepted), or barley, millet, etc., which were dried, or scorched, and a decoction of them was mixed with honey, aromatics, etc.”

On page 15 he adds: Both words are generic. The first (Yayin) means vinous liquor of any and every kind; the second (Shaker) means a corresponding liquor from dates and other fruits, or from several grains. Both of the liquors have in them the saccharine principle; and therefore they may become alcoholic. But both may be kept and used in an unfermented state; when, of course, no quantity that a man could drink of them would intoxicate him in any perceptible degree.” “The two words which I have thus endeavored to define are the only two in the Old Testament which are generic, and which have reference to the subject now in question.”


Bible Wines Or THE LAWS OF FERMENTATION and the Wines of the Ancients by Rev. William Patton, D.D.


 

What do you think of Professor Stuarts observation?


 

Consider further from this book....

“Shakar (sometimes written shechar, shekar) signifies "sweet drink‟ expressed from fruits other than the grape, and drunk in an unfermented or fermented state. It occurs in the Old Testament twenty-three times”—Bible Commentary, p. 418. Kitto’s Cyclopaedia says: “Shakar is a generic term, including palm-wine and other saccharine beverages, except those prepared from the vine.” It is in this article defined “sweet drink.”

Dr. F.R. Lees, page xxxii. of his Preliminary Dissertation to the Bible Commentary, says shakar, “saccharine drink,” is related to the word for sugar in all the Indo-Germanic and Semitic languages, and is still applied throughout the East, from India to Abyssinia, to the palm sap, the shaggery made from it, to the date juice and syrup, as well as to sugar and to the fermented palm-wine. It has by usage grown into a generic term for "drinks," including fresh juices and inebriating liquors other than those coming from the grape. See under the heading, “Other Hebrew Words” for further illustrations, page 58. (45-46)



Rev. Dr. Herrick Johnson, of Philadelphia, replying to Mr. McLean, in the Evangelist, makes a complete and masterly answer to his position. We make room for the following extract:

“Wine is a mocker" (and strong drink is raging). "This is God‟s word. No one doubts that intoxicating wine is here referred to. Why is it caged of God a mocker? Surely not because when used to excess it is hurtful. Beef is hurtful when used to excess. Is beef a mocker? We must all be agreed, I think, that wine is a mocker because of its inherent quality—a something in the wine itself by which its users are lured into excess. That something is alcohol. It deceives men. Its effects are gradual—almost imperceptible. It is seductive, tripping, alas! the noblest and the best before they are aware. So it deceived Noah when he drank of the wine and was drunken. So it deceived Ephraim and Judah, priest and prophet, when they were swallowed up of wine. It is in the very nature of wine, as an essential element, this power of deceit. Hence the scriptural injunction, "It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment." Hence also the command, "Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its eye, when it goeth down smoothly." The very quality is here described that gives to wine its deceitful power. These are the signs of the presence of alcohol. No one doubts that alcoholic wine is here referred to, and it is this kind of wine that we are solemnly commanded not to look upon, for this kind is a "mocker.‟ The guile of the "serpent" is in the mixture, and at last it giveth the serpent's bite." (10)





 

It is imperative, when considering this topic that each individual passage be taken in it's proper context. Context will help one determine if the strong drink should be taken as fermented or non-fermented.


 

Here is a question for you? Why would any Christian want to justify the use of alcoholic beverage? Furthermore, in an alcoholic culture, why would anyone want to give the impression that it is ok, biblically, for someone to drink alcoholic beverage? Think about that for a moment? Even from a medical perspective, I never recommend or encourage anyone to drink!


When God says concerning Shaker (obviously the alcoholic kind)....that strong drink can make one drunk (1 Samuel 1:14-15) and causes the one who partakes of it to stagger (Isaiah 29:9), and Proverbs 20:1 warns that strong drink is raging and that whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise, and that it is not for princes to drink strong drink (Proverbs 31:4) for it is the drink of those who are ready to perish (Proverbs 31:6); and when we see that it is the ruin of men of strength (Isaiah 5:22) and will cause even prophets and priests to err and go out of the way (Isaiah 28:7), I ask again, why would anyone who claims to be a Christian, must less a preacher ever even slightly encourage the use of alcoholic beverage? PREPOSTEROUS! SHAME ON YOU!


As a way to help you see the seriousness of this matter, consider these "sobering" statistics. https://disturbmenot.co/alcoholism-statistics/






1. Alcohol sales increased by 54% in the week ending 21 March 2020 due to stay

at home orders - (JAMA Network)

2. 1 in 8 American adults fulfills the criteria for having an alcohol use disorder

(Healthline)

3. Alcohol-related deaths rose by 43% between 2006 and 2018.

(CDC)

4. 86.4% of adults admit to drinking alcohol at least once in their lifetimes.

(Evergreen)

5. Teenagers who start drinking before the age of 15 have a higher probability of

alcohol dependence. (DoSomething)

6. 56% of American adults indicated that they’d had a drink within the last

month. (Evergreen)

7. The minimum legal drinking age ranges from 16 to 21 in most countries around

the world. (ProCon.org)

8. 80% of college students consume alcohol. (Alcohol Rehab Guide)

9. 50% of the college students who drink also binge drink. (Alcohol Rehab Guide)

10. Students are exposed to binge drinking the most during the first six weeks of

their freshman year. (College Drinking Prevention)

11. Almost 150,000 college students develop an alcohol-related health problem

each year. (Ohio University)

12. 15.1 million adults in the US aged 18 and older have an alcohol use disorder.

(Alcohol Addiction Center)

13. 6.7% of all the adults with AUD in 2015 received treatment.

(NIAAA)

14. A considerable number of adolescents aged 12–17 had AUD in 2015 (623,000) (NIAAA)

15. Alcohol is a major contributor to over 200 diseases and injury-related health

conditions. (Alcohol Action Ireland)

16. Over 10% of kids in the US live with a parent that has alcohol issues.

(NIAAA)

17. Globally, alcohol abuse was the fifth major risk factor in 2010 for disability and

premature death. (Movendi International)

18. 33.1% of 15-year-olds report having had at least one drink so far in their

lifetime. (NIAAA)

19. Drinking and driving accounts for over 30% of all driving deaths a year.

(Talbott Recovery)

20. More than 15 million individuals in the US struggle with alcohol use.

(Addiction Center)

21. More than 65 million Americans report binge drinking within a month of being

surveyed. (Talbott Recovery)

22. Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 individuals annually. (HuffPost) 23. More than 5.3 million adult women have an alcohol use disorder.

(Talbott Recovery) 24. About 45% of adult women report having drunk alcohol within a month of being surveyed. (Talbott Recovery) 25. About 1 in 2 females of childbearing age drink. (CDC) 26. The fetal alcohol syndrome facts indicate that 3 children out of 10,000 have this condition, according to a study focusing on children aged 7 to 9 years. (CDC) 27. Alcohol-related deaths among women rose 76% from 2000 to 2018. (CDC) 28. About 20% of the adult population in the US drinks alcohol as a way to fall asleep. (PsychCentral) 29. The collective risk of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals who consume alcohol increased by 25%. (NCBI) 30. Patients in alcohol therapy reported insomnia rates of 25%–72%. (NCBI) 31. 7% of people with insomnia report alcohol abuse. (NCBI) 32. 27 studies from a 2013 review show that alcohol use is a contributing factor to poor quality sleep. (MedicalNewsToday) 33. The statistics about alcohol indicate that 40% of US citizens with PTSD have symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder. (Alcohol Rehab Guide) 34. Alcoholics Anonymous mentions a success rate of 50%, with 25% staying sober after some relapses. (Alcohol.org) 35. About 10% of the individuals who join a 12-step program report long-term recovery. (Alcohol.org)

Although they are relatively weak arguments, David Reagan offered the following comments on this Deuteronomy passage.


"....if they were indeed allowed to drink strong drink on the occasion of their annual tithe, how does this align with the teaching of the rest of the Bible? Please consider the following points.

  1. The full revelation concerning the dangers of strong drink had not yet been given. Revelation is progressive throughout the Bible. What is known at one age may not have been revealed at another. Paul referred to times of ignorance when God winked at certain practices (Acts 17:30).

  2. We must remember that God permitted certain things in earlier times that are not permitted today, even things that were not especially desired by Him. For instance, under the law divorce was freely allowed and even bigamy was tolerated. Deuteronomy 21:15 gives instructions to a man who had two wives. All things have not always been the same.

  3. This was a very controlled situation. It occurred once a year in the city of Jerusalem. The Levites and priests were there to keep things from getting out of hand. This was not a blanket endorsement of strong drink. It was rather an allowance to those who felt they must have some on occasion.

  4. Finally, this was in no way permission to get drunk. The evil of drunkenness is seen all the way back to Noah (Genesis 9:21). It is spoken against in the law (Deuteronomy 21:20; 29:19). Permission to partake of strong drink at an annual celebration in a controlled environment was not an okay from God to get drunk.

I realize that my answer may not satisfy everyone. However, there is no reason for us to despair because of this passage. It does not negate what the rest of the Bible says about strong drink and its dangers.

David Reagan"



Another writer pens the following.....


"Third, though it is conceded that total abstinence was not demanded under the Mosaic regime, such affords no comfort to the modern social drinker.


The Mosaic economy dealt with man in his rudimentary state of spiritual development. Witness the accommodation of the Law to slavery, concubinage, polygamy, capricious divorce, etc. The Mosaic code was a necessary preparatory system that looked forward to time of greater moral responsibility (cf. Acts 17:30).


Perhaps an illustration will help in clarifying this point. Under the levitical system, the priests were forbidden the use of any fermented beverages as they ministered in their priestly functions (Lev. 10:9).


Now, however, under the reign of Christ, all Christians are priests (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6) and we are continually functioning in the capacity of offering spiritual sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1, 2; Heb. 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:5). How ought Christians to conduct themselves as ministers of a greater priesthood?"


Jackson, Wayne. "What About Social Drinking and the Old Testament?"

ChristianCourier.com. Access date: October 23, 2021.

and-the-old-testament



Alright, now go back with me to the verses that contain the words "strong drink."

What is the overall teaching gleaned from these passages? Please view the following chart. I have provided it to you in image form, as well as pdf.









Strong Drink Chart
.pdf
Download PDF • 135KB



In conclusion, I offer to you again the previously discussed algorithm which you can use as a guide to assist you when making decisions of this kind.




Let me help you use this flowchart:


1. What is the basic Idea? - Should Christians drink alcoholic beverages?

2. Is this (Drinking alcoholic beverage) specifically declared to be the will of God? - NO

3. Is it (drinking alcoholic beverages) demanded by clear Biblical Principles? - NO

4. Is it (drinking alcoholic beverages) compatible with explicit teaching and clear principle? - NO

5. STOP


Even if you chose "yes" under point 4, and you think it is OK to drink alcoholic beverages, then you must, as a Christ-honoring Bible-believing Christian designate clearly your biblical basis/authority for imbibing, and thus encouraging others to do the same.....Notice that I did not say your preference or your right, or your liberty. I said your biblical basis and authority!



Alcohol, as a beverage, is never approved by God, for the New Testament believer!



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