The Holy Bible, written by men with direct guidance from the Holy Spirit, is the source of all standards of morality, ethics and decency. If those who profess atheism, gnosticism, unbelief, skepticism, or whatever else they may claim, have any of the above standards, they got them from the Holy Bible. They try and deny that but it is clearly shown that man does not have those standards unless they are taught them. There is no other source.
With that as an introductory statement, let us consider what is taught in the Holy Bible concerning intoxicants and mind altering drugs. If any responses are forthcoming from this article, it is suggested that you read them all. Some always attempt to circumvent any degree of criticism toward these things and although some are innovative, most show nothing other than the individuals own created justifications.
It is a truth that the Holy Bible does not say "thou shalt not drink intoxicating beverages or use any mind altering drugs". But there are numerous indications which, when taken in the proper context, will cause one who is attempting to live a life as prescribed by Jesus Christ our Lord, to avoid them.
We are not supposed to spend our lives attempting to see just what things we can do and still get by the Lord's prohibitions. We should rather, spend our lives trying to follow Jesus' doctrines and example, just as closely as we possibly can. Read these admonishing remarks by the New Testament writers:
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Romans 11:22 KJV)
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV)
One comment in response to an article opposing intoxicants quoted the following verse of scripture in defense of drinking intoxicants:
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (Colossians 2:16 KJV)
Reading the above scripture, not having studied the scriptures enough to understand, one might obviously be misled by it, especially if the reader is attempting to justify drinking intoxicating beverages. But read it again. The drinking is only one of several items mentioned. So what was the writer explaining? Carefully read the true explanation following.
Much of the writings in the New Testament are striving to guide those who had become persuaded that Jesus was the Messiah and desired to follow him, but were having a difficult time in dropping the requirements of the Mosaical Law. All of the things here that the writer mentions are things which were contained in the Old Testament law of Moses. Some were becoming disturbed because others had dropped all of those things and
were causing confusion. The above mentioned verse is the inspired apostle Paul who was writing to the Christians at Colosse to show that there was no longer a requirement to follow those old requirements under that
law. He is advising them they were free to observe those things or not. Paul describes it another way when writing the church at Rome.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:6 KJV)
So it becomes obvious the comment was of no importance when trying to justify drinking of alcoholic beverages. Another matter which is often used to try and show there is nothing against the drinking of intoxicants is that of the use of "wine" in both testaments. A number of places refer to wine when it does seem to appear that fermented wine might have been intended. And truly, there are a few places that do so. But those are usually referred to in a negative manner. Let us look at a few.
In the second chapter of Acts, the first Pentecost after Jesus had risen from the dead, the Holy Spirit here ascended and entered into the twelve apostles and they miraculously began to speak in languages which they had never been taught. They were able to speak in every language of the people who had gathered there and the people were puzzled. And some even ventured that "these men are full of new wine". (Acts 2:13)
The apostle Peter corrected them however. But this one verse does, without doubt, refer to intoxicating fermented wine.
Even the first miracle which Jesus performed was that of turning water into wine at a wedding feast. Many take the approach here that it would have been fermented since the host was commended for saving the best wine until last. But this cannot be shown to be accurate. There is no indication in the Old Testament that devout Jews used intoxicating drinks at their feasts, as we will notice more a little later. It is perhaps worthy of note also to see that Jesus, only a boy and his mother who was a very devoutly religious Jewess, were in attendance there which is highly unlikely if there had been intoxicating wine being served. Read the passage concerning this miracle and you will see that there is no evidence that it was fermented. Click here.
No passage is given in the Bible which indicates that any of the devout Jews, or Christians under the New Testament law, ever drank or indicated that drinking, of fermented wine was acceptable.
Another case where some have indicated that Jesus himself, used fermented wine as the drink to represent his blood when he instituted his Supper to his apostles on the eve of his death. This however, can be shown to be absolutely untrue and is one of the only cases where a distinction can be proven.
Keeping in mind where Jesus and his apostles where when they partook of the feast of the Passover in an upper room where the feast had been prepared for them. The items to eat and to drink were explicit throughout the ages as they were instructed to eat under God's command each year to commemorate the Passover feast. This was to mark the time when God slew the firstborn males in all Egypt, both man and beast, in order to convince Pharaoh to let the people go from being under bondage. And by obedience to his command, the households of the Jews were passed over and those firstborn were not slain.
Now, the reason we can tell that this wine was not fermented, was the fact that each household was required to clean every trace of any thing which would ferment or cause fermentation from their homes and destroy it for this celebration. The Jews kept that custom, and they still do observe it. The only exceptions are those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah and became Christians. Observance of the Passover Feast is not required under the New Testament law.
The last supper the Lord had with the apostles, as stated above, was in observance of the Passover Feast and it was from the bread and wine that was used there that Jesus used to institute the Lord's supper which was to be taken in remembrance of his death, burial and resurrection. It would definitely not have been fermented wine.
There are also some passages of scripture which condemn strong drink. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1 KJV)
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. (Luke1:15 KJV) An angel of the Lord speaking to Zacharias, concerning the coming miraculous birth of his son, John the Baptist.
There are other considerations to be made. There are numerous Christians who would be offended if they learned that some fellow Christian drank intoxicants, and there are many more non-Christians who would point out the drinking of a Christian. Much of a devout Christian's influence will be sacrificed by those who insist upon drinking strong drinks. And the same goes for mind altering drugs.
A knowledgeable person who desires to inherit heaven as their eternal home, certainly would not jeopardize that opportunity in hope that God would over look their drinking. The evidence is far too strong against it. Just settle for a good cup of coffee.