Because of the title of this webpage, I automatically lost readership of some teetotaling, throw-the-controlled-alcohol-ingestion-baby-out-with-the-excess-ingestion-drunkenness-bathwater baptists.
Dam shame. They would have benefitted with the quasi-exhaustive Biblically-based exposition following.
So what the ell can be done about it?
God knows, and cares.
How about a few ROUGH paraphrases!?
Romans 14:2 One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables, and the inferior gender is somewhat weaker.
Romans 14:21 It is right to not eat lamb or pork chops or bacon or beef or bat or rabbit or fish or shrimp or oysters or clams or squid or snake or drink wine or guzzle grape juice or sip tomato juice or eat vegetables or drink milk or pop or urinate or defecate or yawn or smile or breathe or do anything that makes your brother stumble.
First Corinthians 8:9 Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
First Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat Passover-lamb meat, lest I cause my brother to fall. In fact, I will starve to death for his sake, whether he wants me to or not, and whether he likes it or not.
First Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful but not all things are helpful, including running red stoplights. All things are lawful, including reading Hebrew backwards, but not all things build up.
First Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Do not urinate nor defecate nor sleep nor breathe for your own good, but let your neighbor urinate and defecate and sleep and breathe for his own good.
First Corinthians 10:29 Why should my liberty be determined by another man's scruples? Even less, a woman's scruples?
Does it REALLY say all THAT in the BIBLE?
Last night, at the Sunday evening service, I heard the theological Baptist pastor at the church I attend berate drinking alcohol with all sorts of concocted innuendos and overbroad presumptions misassociated with Bible passages in both Old and New Testaments.
OK, I do understand the hatred against drunkenness with anything - not merely alcoholic beverages, but especially narcotics of various types (particularly those used by younger and older druggies), the show-off obnoxious worldly stench of lungs-pollutive smoking, the flippant attitude many have about getting drunk, the prevalance and dire myriad anti-social consequences of drunkenness, that some try to escape reality by getting drunk, and that imbibing in moderation is not easy and rather impossible for some to not cross the line into excess -- exhibiting itself in various descriptive manifestations of how Scripture describes drunkenness.
Amidst his continuous negative diatribe against drinking (and I assume that by the term "drinking" he meant drinking ALCOHOLIC beverages even though he did not always specifically state that), the quasi-young Morrell did - near the end of his total-abstinence-against-alcholic-beverages lecture - briefly slip in the statement that: "it is not a sin to drink a glass of wine, but it is sin to get drunk with it."
Before anyone from the congregation blurts out an "Amen!" to that, it does seem that wine drinking in church is a no-no according to:
Leviticus 10:9 Drink no wine nor strong drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
Sorry about that, all you Lutheran, Catholic, Anglican, Episcopalian, perhaps even Methodist and Presbyterian sippers of wine in communion cups. Just don't get so dizzy and unstable because of the phenomenally-tiny amount of wine you ingest at the communion rail that you stumble on the steps on your way back to the pews.
And woe are you if you choose to become a hairy teetotaling Nazirite who would rather be a connoisseur wine-taster:
Leviticus 10:8 And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:
Leviticus 10:9 "Drink no wine nor strong drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations."
Glad the LORD ordered such teetotaling only for in-church-residing Aaron and not for Timothy, who Saint Paul instructed to drink a little wine now and then for medical advantages (read First Timothy 5:23).
Want to be a super-hairy funeral director or embalmer who never shaves?
Then do not choose to become a Nazirite!
Numbers 6:1 And the LORD said to Moses:
2 Say to the people of Israel: "When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD,
3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.
4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.
5 All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy; he shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.
6 All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body -
7 neither for his father nor for his mother, nor for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean; because his separation to God is upon his head.
The same if you are the mother of who God wants to be a Nazirite:
Judges 13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her: "Hey, you are barren and have no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.
4 Therefore beware, and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean,
5 for, wow, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, because the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth, and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
Pro-wine-drinking Bible verses were somewhat-deviously downgraded or downplayed by the Baptist pastor last evening, such as him perhaps suggesting that Jesus made the best-tasting non-fermented grape juice instead of wine for the marriage of Cana, and maybe had the same grape juice (instead of potentially-intoxicating wine) during the Last Supper which likewise supposedly was the exact composition of the medicine of wine Paul told quasi-bishop/quasi-deacon/quasi-elder young Timothy to drink a LITTLE of for the sake of his stomach and frequent ailments.
So WAS the steward of the Cana wedding feast referring to something similar to kosher Temple or Mogen David or Manischewitz Jewish wine?
...or INSTEAD something like Welch's Grape Juice?
John 2:10 [The stewart said to Him]: "Every man serves the good WINE [Gr. oinon] first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor; but you have kept the good WINE [Gr. oinon] until now."
The Greek word oinon ALWAYS and ONLY means: wine. It does NOT, NEVER has, and NEVER WILL mean: "grape juice." Normally, grape juice is never fermented, and will NOT cause drunkenness - no matter HOW much of it is ingested within ANY period of time. Grape juice CAN BECOME fermented, but then it is no longer non-fermented grape juice.
The Greeks were not dumb nor stupid, knowing the obvious difference between wine and grape juice, and had precise different words for both of them.
Moreover, it is NOT from MERE grape juice that Noah made himself drunk and immodestly lay naked, nor MERE grape juice that made Lot so drunk that he did not recognize his own two daughters having sex with and getting impregnated by him on consecutive nights inside their cave.
The pastor at Fourth Baptist also left out the following Scripture reference:
Jeremiah 35:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
2 "Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak with them, and bring them to the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, then offer them wine to drink."
3 So I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites.
4 I brought them to the house of the LORD into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold.
5 Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them: "Drink wine."
6 But they answered: "We will drink no wine, because Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us: 'You shall not drink wine, neither you nor your sons forever;
7 you shall not build a house; you shall not sow seed; you shall not plant or have a vineyard; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you travel.'
8 We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters,
9 and not to build houses to reside in. We have no vineyard or field or seed;
10 but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father commanded us."
It behooves the reader to note that proto-baptist Rechabites not only drank no wine, but they also were commanded by their strangely-legalistic father to not build houses, nor plant seed, nor have a vineyard, but to always and only live in tents.
Baptist offspring imitating some of the precepts of the Rechabites have obviously violated that by building houses, becoming farmers growing crops, and not always living only in tents.
Consider Proverbs 31:6-7 which Reverend Morrell did not mention:
Proverbs 31:3 Give not your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for rulers to desire strong drink;
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.
An admonition to get drunk as a hospice sedative? Better than morphine?
Some explanation is due here.
DOES "give not your strength to women" in the Proverbs 31 quotation mean do not get married and certainly never have sex with the opposite gender if you accidentally do get married to one "who destroys kings?" Hmmm.
Does one ALWAYS "forget" what has been decreed and always "pervert" the rights of afflicted by drinking a LITTLE wine now and then? So taking a SLIGHT SIP of wine ONE TIME during one's life causes one to get the equivalent of Alzheimer's disease and even die thereby? Hmmm.
...all in stark contradiction to:
Ecclesiastes 10:19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.
And WHAT TYPE of alleged "grape juice" is meant by that: burgundy, port, chablis, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, riesling?
Admittedly, it does seem that "gladdening" life IS contrasted with being "merry" and that being "merry" sometimes appears associated with drunkenness:
First Samuel 25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, wow, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, because he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light.
Second Samuel 13:28 Then Absalom commanded his servants: "Notice when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you: 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant."
But being "merry" is NOT ALWAYS associated with drunkenness:
Ruth 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and lay down.
Esther 1:7 Drinks were served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king.
8 And drinking was according to the law, NO ONE WAS COMPELLED, because the king had given orders to all the officials of his palace to do as every man desired.
9 Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served King Ahasuerus as chamberlains,
11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, because she was pretty to view.
12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (because this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment,
14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom):
15 "According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed by the eunuchs?"
16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the princes: "Not only to the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also to all the princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus,
17 because this deed of the queen will be made known to all women, causing them to look with contempt upon their husbands, being that they will say: 'King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.'
18 This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's misbehavior will be telling it to all the king's princes, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.
19 If it please the king, let a royal order go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is to come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.
20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, vast as it is, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low."
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your WINE (and the Hebrew word is NOT "grape juice") with a merry heart, because God has already approved what you do.
The obvious indications of drinking too much wine at one time, overindulging in excess to the state of clearly being drunk, are numerous and easily detected -- such as weaving in and out or swerving back and forth between lanes on the highway, failing to properly determine distance pertaining to traffic lights ahead, and more:
Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light; and He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
Isaiah 19:14 The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all her doings as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
Isaiah 28:7 These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are confused with wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.
Isaiah 29:9 Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor, blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink!
Jeremiah 25:16 "They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword which I am sending among them."
Obadiah 1:16 As you have drunk upon my holy mountain, all the nations round about shall drink; they shall drink, and stagger, and shall be as though they had not been.
Habakkuk 2:16 You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and stagger! The cup in the LORD's right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory!
When the Bible says "drink" relating to wicked intoxication, TWO vital things are LOGICALLY assumed (so as to be rightly interpreted in context):
(1) what is ingested is not water nor obviously not non-fermented grape juice, and
(2) the potentially-intoxicating beverage one drinks containing consummable alcohol causes drunkenness because too much is ingested in too short a period of time.
EXCESS is what makes OVER-consumption of alcoholic beverages SIN, per:
Luke 12:45 But if that servant says to himself: 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk...[the Master will punish him]
Acts 2:15 ...these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day;
First Corinthians 11:21 ...in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk.
Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk with wine, because that is DEBAUCHERY [synonyms = dissipation, degeneracy, corruption, vice, depravity]; but be filled with the Spirit...
First Thessalonians 5:7 Those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
Revelation 17:2 [I saw the woman on the scarlet beast] with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on Earth have become drunk.
Revelation 17:6 ...and I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly.
Revelation 18:3 ...all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness.
Proverbs 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who delay long over wine, those who go to try mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.
32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind utter perverse things.
34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35 "They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink."
Besides perhaps enabling persons to "see" or at least sense (in an unusual way) normally-invisible ultraviolet light, the medical benefits of rather-relaxing, somewhat-"depressant", quick-reflex-slowing alcohol are legion: