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Future of the SDA on Alcohol Consumption.

  

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wendys

Alcoholic beverages are being consumed by SDAs.  My wife belongs to our church's women's singing group (SDA) and every year they get together at a fancy hotel by the beach here in California and have a meal while planning their Christmas party.  The first time they did that my wife came back and mentioned to me that of the 10 women present, 7 ordered alcoholic drinks with their meal and of those, several ordered unclean meats as well.  My wife did not do these things, one other SDA woman did not either and there was a woman who was studying to become an SDA who also did not do these things (I have to wonder what she thought of this set of events?)  The next year, it was mostly a repeat of the previous year's drinking and eating behaviors.  Never mind that the pastor has preached against this and given good reasons as to why they should not be doing these things.  The last time they met I think the behaviors were repeated again.  So, I guess we all learn rather slowly! 

 

Its true that in Old Testament times there was the permission to buy strong drink at one or two of the feasts.  But only for that occasion were they permitted to do that.  In no other instance that I can think of were they given permission to do this at any other event or time.  I rather think this was permitted just as divorce was permitted, though it was not what God really wanted in them. 

 

In regards to the case of Nadab and Abihu, had they not been drinking, they would not have gone on and brought strange fire into the temple.  And I agree that this fire was not that which God had commanded them to bring before him.  But the drinking itself also was a problem for God because if you read Leviticus 10:9, God specifically told Aaron that he (and by extension, all who worked in the tabernacle) was not to drink strong drink before coming in before him or he would die.  So, the alcohol was an issue independent of the issue of the strange fire.  Thus, even had Nadab and Abihu not offered strange fire, they would have died because of being under the influence of strong drink in the presence of God.  If you notice the next two verses, God tells them to put a difference between that which was holy and that which was not holy.  Drinking alcoholic drinks is not a holy behavior, which God makes clear by these verses.

 

There are several health reasons not to drink alcohol in any quantity at all.  It is known to scientists that a number of cancers are caused by alcohol.  If you want to run a higher risk of getting cancer, then drink up!  But if you want to reduce your risk of cancer, then don't drink alcohol at all.  You'll be healthier for it, your friends and neighbors will be safer, your family will be safer, and you'll run a much lower risk of ending up in jail for a crime that you did while under the influence of alcohol.  Yes, getting hammered may be fun, but in the end you have a reasonable chance of being put in the slammer.

 

I recall reading a few years ago of a study that was done by a group of scientists.  They thought that since alcohol helps the heart (this is true only if you eat meat and is a relatively small effect), then it ought to help the brain. Ah, yes the wonderful human brain.  Protect it at all costs because it is YOU in there, after all, and there is only one brain for you.  You do not grow an extra replacement brain if the first one drops dead, unlike growing adult teeth after your childhood teeth fall out.  You also do not reside in your gut, your heart, or your spinal cord.  No, that brain is all you.  So, you have got to protect it.  Therefore, the scientists decided that since protecting the brain is such a high and valuable goal, they would do careful research into proving that alcohol protects the brain just as it does the heart.  BUT, they discovered, very much to their dislike, that THERE IS NO SAFE DOSE OF ALCOHOL at all.  Period.  Any amount of alcohol kills brain cells, no matter how low the dose, which very much surprised the scientists.  And enough DEAD brain cells means that you are no longer home in that skull of yours.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  Better think about that for a while before you consider taking that next drink!  Maybe getting hammered isn't so attractive after all!

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Guest Edwin

We are christians and follow the Bible , and in Poverbs 20:1 , it teaches that we should not be drinking. Its wrong , and the church cannot change it.

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Gregory Matthews

AWHN:  You are welcome to come to this forum to fellowship with us and to dialogue with us.  However, as I review your extensive presence on the Internet, it suggests to me that your main purpose on this forum will be to  attract people to your understanding of Scripture.  In actuality, I consider much of your understanding to be correct.   But, this forum does not exist with the purpose of getting people to agree with you.

As to your statement that this thread is a foolish question, and you do not promote such, it is not for you to proclaim that such is a  foolish question.  If you do not want to promote it, simply do not participle in a discussion in this thread.

 

 

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Lone Ranger

In my understanding, the consumption of alcohol is neither condemned nor prohibited by Scripture. It was an accepted part of Jewish/Hebrew life throughout their history, and Jesus himself consumed alcohol. Several passages may be referenced to support this position.

It does, however, teach moderation and control of your drinking. This is not to be interpreted as total abstinence, although that may be the best route for some (but by no means all) people.

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phkrause
3 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

Even "negative thinking" kills brain cells :)

Interesting statement! The statement about alcohol killing brain cells has actual scientific support, but I've never come across any evidence that says negative thinking kills brain cells? or is there?

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Lone Ranger
On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2015 at 7:01 AM, wendys said:

  Any amount of alcohol kills brain cells, no matter how low the dose, which very much surprised the scientists.  And enough DEAD brain cells means that you are no longer home in that skull of yours.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  Better think about that for a while before you consider taking that next drink!  Maybe getting hammered isn't so attractive after all!

With a little (internet) research I learned:

1. Brain cells die regularly for all kinds of reasons, natural and otherwise.

2. The list of things that "kill brain cells" is quite extensive.

3. Alcohol does in fact NOT kill brain cells. (Technically it damages the dendrites.)

Hmmm..Interesting

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Lone Ranger
On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 9:25 PM, Guest Edwin said:

We are christians and follow the Bible , and in Poverbs 20:1 , it teaches that we should not be drinking. Its wrong , and the church cannot change it.

While Proverbs 20:1 does say that one should not be "led astray" (controlled??) by "wine and beer" (and presumably, by extension, any alcoholic drink??) it does NOT teach that "we should not be drinking."

"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise." Proverbs 20:1

On the other hand, Proverbs 31:6, 7 DOES teach that one SHOULD allow drinking, especially among poor and those in stress, not so much amongst rulers (those in positions of responsibility?).

"Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more." Proverbs 31:6, 7

(As an aside, how much must one drink to "forget" or "remember...no more?")

Just sayin".

* Comments in brackets are personal interpretation.

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Guest wendys

I read the information about neuronal cell death in a scientific article years ago.  The article detailed how a group of scientists thought that if alcohol helps the heart (it does, but its a very small effect and more than outweighed by all the damaging effects it does to the body, including causing at least 5 different kinds of cancers), then it might help the brain.  So, they got brain tissue and studied the effects of varying doses of alcohol on the brain tissue.  What they said they found is that there is no safe dose of alcohol, that all doses killed brain cells.  I don't have time to find that article again, but it was a legitimate scientific article reported by a legitimate scientific medical web site that was expressly designed for doctors. 

I don't have time for an in-depth review of the scientific literature on this issue as I am doing research into other things right now, but you can go to the National Library of Medicine and type in the words "alcohol and brain cell death" in the search box and nearly 1900 articles will come up for you.  I did a quick review of just the first page of articles and they  had a number of articles about the fetal alcohol syndrome, one of which directly mentioned that it caused neuronal cell  death even into adulthood after having fetal alcohol exposure.  It not only killed neurons, but also killed the microglial cells, resulting in a long list of problems. 

Now, if you want to be a fool and drink alcohol, you can do so.  But you will have to answer to God for doing so when there is plenty of evidence that it is not good for you nor is it good for your brain.

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Lone Ranger

Please try to understand the difference between "it's not good for you" and "Scripture forbids it." These two statements do not equate to the same thing.

You (Wendys) are absolutely correct to say that alcohol has health issues, but one cannot extrapolate from there to say that Scripture forbids it. It does not. Therefore there will be no "answering to God" on that account.

Point the second, correctly exegeting Scripture does not equate to "I drink alcohol." Please keep this point in mind.

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Lone Ranger

All of which is no doubt true, Wanderer, but the fact remains that Scripture does not outright ban or condemn the consumption of alcohol.

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Lone Ranger
2 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

 I believe there is enough depth and width in scripture to make a solid case against saying "its OK to drink booze." 

Quite possibly. However, for me, at this time, the weight of evidence does not indicate such. (Thank you 8thdaypriest for the excellent quote.)

 

 

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Lone Ranger
11 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

I suggest this is a CONCLUSION you have reached, and I appreciate you sharing this with us; yet, I do not yet see any empirical evidence from scripture that your CONCLUSION is a fact.

It is neither CONCLUSION nor fact; simply my opinion.

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Lone Ranger
7 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

...there is a bigger picture ...

Oh, yes. There is a much bigger picture.

We are far to provincial in our view of Christianity, and religion generally.

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JoeMo

Didn't Jesus make wine for a bunch of people who were already drunk at the wedding feast in Cana?

"They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (John 2:9-10)

Sounds like Jesus thought it was okay to get a buzz on at a party.

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phkrause
9 hours ago, Lone Ranger said:

With a little (internet) research I learned:

1. Brain cells die regularly for all kinds of reasons, natural and otherwise.

2. The list of things that "kill brain cells" is quite extensive.

3. Alcohol does in fact NOT kill brain cells. (Technically it damages the dendrites.)

Hmmm..Interesting

That is interesting!!

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B/W Photodude
8 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

I think it is possible to mount a vigorous defence for or against alcohol, and it depends on HOW a person chooses to interpret scripture. In my mind, (which is usually really radical) I think of drinking alcohol as being about the same as drinking anti freeze. You booze, you lose. 

Perhaps you know that alcohol is given in the case (as in a continuous IV infusion) of those who have consumed antifreeze?!

Yeah, alcohol can do serious damage to someone misusing it, but I have seen people deathly ill and even die who abused herbal medicines. You can die from drinking too much carrot juice, although you will have a warning as you turn orange! You can get into serious health situations from many many things that we think are perfectly normal and see nothing wrong with them. It seems that Paul was writing that moderation was important. However, FWIW, I do not really endorse drinking alcohol on a social basis or for feel good reasons.

And what do you do about all the things that have alcohol in them such as vanilla, mouthwash, even rubbing alcohol (it does go thru your skin)?

I do think there is something to be said for the use of alcohol in the preparation of tinctures, however, if a dose of your medicine results in a buzz, you did something wrong in making it. So, tinctures are something I look at for a couple of reasons. People always say that cooking destroys some good things in a food. But they dump their healing teas into boiling water! How much of the healing effect is destroyed by the boiling water? And why not just cold soak your herbs? Some properties of an herb may not be water soluble. And some may not be alcohol soluble. So, about an 80-100 proof (40-50%) solution is listed by some tincture makers as the ideal alcohol concentration. And you should be concentrated enough that you are down to a table spoon or so in volume. Also, once made, tinctures will keep for a long time.

For the survivors of organic chemistry, you know that there are probably many different organic chemicals that could be used as a solvent to prepare tinctures (capable of dissolving certain substances), but the most "benign" of them would be ethyl alcohol. 

 

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