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2008.02.13

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J.C. Thibodaux

Redness of eyes, spoken of in verse 29 is a symptom of drunkenness, which the avoidance of is Solomon's intent here. It is written specifically to those who 'they that tarry long at the wine,' i.e. drunkards. That much is clear from the context.

volfan007

peter,

you are spot on with this post. only those who refuse to see it would disagree.

have any of yall drank moonshine? or jack daniels? well, this verse describes a drink of these very well...v.32 "At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper." before i got saved, i was stung many times!

drinking alcohol is foolish, according to proverbs. getting high on alcohol, or buzzed, or drunk, is sinful according to eph. 5. it's really very plain and simple...if you want to see it.

david

bill

David: I think the case that Peter is trying to build here is that drinking alcohol is not just foolish but in fact sinful.

Chris Johnson

The father is teaching his son how the perils of living in drunkenness and glutony. These are wise words. It is extremely important to read the entire proverb to really get an idea of the importance of the last few verses dealing specifically with wine.

Proverbs 23:17-19 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the LORD always. (18) Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off. (19) Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct your heart in the way.

He who has ears let him hear,

Proverbs 23:22-23 Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. (23) Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Gain wisdom and understanding,

Proverbs 23:25-26 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you. (26) Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways.

Paul echoes the same exact warnings and remedy,

Ephesians 5:17-18 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (18) And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,


Good stuff,
-Chris

jasonk

It is my opinion that you are reading this passage backward, Peter. You have already drawn the conclusion that drinking is sin, so you say that this passage in Proverbs is only backing up that assertion. Unlike David's opinion that only those who refuse to see it would disagree, I see it, but still disagree, respectfully.

Solomon is describing someone here who is obsessed with wine. He is enamoured with it. It is his passion. This is descriptive of a drunk. It is not descriptive of a person who enjoys a glass of wine with their dinner, or who has a beer after a basketball game. It is a person who buys a 30 pack of beer on Friday after work, and drinks the entire thing before 60 Minutes is over on Sunday night.
For me, this passage is proof that a moderate approach to consuming alcohol, if one is so inclined, is not sinful.

It reminds me of another verse I was brought up hearing. "Money is the root of all evil." Of course, when I actually read it for myself, I realized that it is not money that is the problem, it is the heart of the one who has it. It is not the money, it is the love of money that is the root of all sorts of evil. Solomon says here that it is not the wine that is the problem, it is the obsession with it that becomes a problem. Of course, the same could be said of anything with which we can become obsessed.

volfan007

jasonk,

how much beer or wine does one have to drink before they are biblically drunk? i'm not talking about our system of what's drunk, or not....but, biblically. if i believed as yall do, i'd want to know how much would be too much...thus committing the sin of drunkeness. cuz, i wouldnt want to sin against God by getting drunk. so, where in the bible does it tell how many glasses of wine is too much? how many modern day fermentation process glasses of wine is too much? how much beer? how much moonshine? can you give me the scripture and verse where we see how much is too much.....cuz, if i accept what you're saying, then i dont wanna get buzzed and sin against God.

david

Timotheos

You would probably have to follow the Spirit's leading, David, and exercise discernment, self-control and good horse-sense, much like one discerns the difference between eating to the glory of God and gluttony. Sorta what Solomon says, "Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat..."

jasonk

I agree with Timotheos, David. You are revealing a tendency toward legalism. I know what I am capable of drinking (which isn't much, by the way). Others are different. So you will not find Scripture and verse, per se, to tell you how much wine or beer will get you drunk. You will find many verses, as Timotheos points out, on self control, discipline, etc. And you will find many verses on freedom. And legalism. That's why I worry that we are living under a system we don't have to live under. Namely, a system of legalism, where spiritual freedom is replaced with following a strict set of rules.
Let me say this, too. I'm not talking about Jack Daniels, or moonshine. Personally, I draw the line between wine, beer, and strong drink. I don't drink diesel fuel either :>)
I believe that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, and not in wine, or beer, or legalism, or food, or work, or anything else, He will give us the desires of our heart.

peterlumpkins

JasonK

Unless you can demonstrate my interpretation of these verses is "backwards" making an assertion it is remains only that: an unproven assertion.

What claim did I make in the post that is incorrect? What verse did I misuse? If you disagree, that's fine. But to suggest someone is reading "backwards" without the least demonstration of such, is ridiculous.

What I did suggest is the very same as did you, in fact. I did not at all fail to mention Solomon's description similar to your "Solomon is describing someone here who is obsessed with wine. He is enamoured with it. It is his passion."

On the other hand, you suggest, JasonK, "this passage is proof that a moderate approach to consuming alcohol, if one is so inclined, is not sinful." There is not one word positive about drinking in this passage but you insist it's there? Please.

Nor is there even the first hint of moderation--"Do not look on the yayin". Period.

With that, I am...

Peter

peterlumpkins

Bill,

Who do you think the unwise is in Proverbs? Is avoiding wisdom, as wisdom is employed in Proverbs, sin?

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peterlumpkins

JasonK & Timotheos,

JasonK writes: "So you will not find Scripture and verse, per se, to tell you how much wine or beer will get you drunk." O.K. How about Scripture and verse not per se? The absolute most difficult moment for a moderationist is not stepping over the threshold into excess, but Scripture gives no clue as to what that is?

God has created this lucious, steamy brew for you to drink and enjoy and to make merry but offers no such guidance on how much to enjoy except don't enjoy too much? God creates a wonderful product but rejects the natural results of the product's enjoyment? Sorry. Not in my view, guys.

With that, I am...

Peter

Bill

Peter: I think the unwise is the drunkard. But my point was that David seemed to be stopping short of saying that any alcohol consumption was sinful, and yet seeming to agree with you. I was just pointing out that on your view, drinking alcohol is not just foolish (david's word) but sinful. I was just trying to ascertain whether he was agreeing with your premise. I myself don't equate foolish with sinful. I think it's foolish to root for the Yankees but I (reluctantly) can't say it is a sin.

bill

I think the question still stands: How much before eating becomes gluttony? How much money before it becomes greed? How long before a healthy interest in sports becomes an idol? Are the answers the same before everyone?

David R. Brumbelow

Peter,

Still enjoying your posts on beverage alcohol.

Isn’t it strange how intensely some folks argue that the Bible condones the use of mind altering drugs for recreational use?

Perhaps some should step back and take a long look at just what they are so passionate about. Will the world be a better place if they win this argument for the recreational use of such a dangerous drug?

Don’t even look at it, treat it like a venomous snake, is 3,000 year old advice. But advice that is God inspired and as relevant today as ever.
David R. Brumbelow

peter lumpkins

Bill,

Thanks for the repsonse. Unfortunately, you did not answer my question. I did not ask if you equated foolishness with sinfulness. I ask "Who do you think the unwise is in Proverbs? Is avoiding wisdom, as wisdom is employed in Proverbs, sin?

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

David (volfan),

Thanks for the contribution. You will be a minority here, friend. Expect that. What is interesting is, while I have seen those denying the interpretation put forth here of Proverbs 23.29-31, the usual method thus far is to head somewhere else.

David (Brumbelow),

Thanks my brother. It is a bit long series but I think a much needed one. At minimum, I hope to show that abstentionists wed their belief to the Rock of the Word.

Nor do those moderationists that have logged on here seem to grasp that their argument works just as well on virtually any drug imaginable and for any reason you wish--just as long as you take them in proper dosages so as not to cause drunkenness.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Timotheos

It's not that we don't grasp the many possible ways the argument might be redirected, Peter - the topic here is "wine" in the Bible, not every silly exaggeration to which the argument could be pressed. It's hard enough to sufficiently deal with the specific biblical topic at hand, much less such fabricated (and baseless) fallacies as you suppose. Give us poor brethren a break, aye? Or I'll have to concede by virtue of death by a thousand...um, implications. :^(

Peace

jasonk

Peter,
I respectfully disagreed with you. No need to call my opinion ridiculous. All I am saying is that you are going about this backwards, not saying that you are reading the verses backward, but that you have formulated an opinion, and are reading this passage from that perspective. I spent years and years believing that there was no other way to see it. I believed strongly that it was a sin to drink, period. And I believed that this proverb proved it. But when I stepped back, and tried to see it without the context of the way I was raised, it made sense. This proverb is talking about people who linger over wine, not people who enjoy it as a regular part of their lives.
You go on to say that God would give us this brew to enjoy, but not tell us how much we should drink. Perhaps that is because He gave us a brain, and a consceince, to know how much to drink, or even whether to drink at all.
You are right that the same argument I am using could be used on any drug, with one single exception. Drugs are illegal. If we follow Scripture, we submit to the laws of our government, and the last time I checked, the kind of drugs you speak of are illegal. Of course, someone has already pointed out that the same argument you use could be used of anything--food and gluttony, work and overwork, sex and abuse.
Freedom and wisdom is a wonderful gift from God. And it is a good thing to enjoy.

peter lumpkins

Timotheos,

You write: "Peter - the topic here is "wine" in the Bible, not every silly exaggeration to which the argument could be pressed." I'm sorry, my brother, I do not know what you mean. Who is exaggerating what?

Also, you further note the "fabricated (and baseless) fallacies as [I] suppose" but unfortunately do not offer me an example of these horrid little creatures. It is unlike you, Timotheos, to be so vague. Your argumentation is usually quite invigorating.

Grace, my friend. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

To the contrary, my brother, I have not called your position ridiculous. Again you appear to misread. What I wrote was "to suggest someone is reading "backwards" without the least demonstration of such, is ridiculous." If you want to level a charge such as misreading the Biblical text, fine. Offer, however, at least some proof of it. To not do so, again I say, is ridiculous.

JasonK, I have not disputed the context of these sayings. Instead I have carefully noted the characteristics, both internal and external of drunkenness.

What is ignored repeatedly which you nor any moderationist will receive a free pass about is totally avoiding what Solomon specifically says about the intoxicating wine itself. This wine is not to be looked upon; it is a mocker, brawler, not fit to be given to Kings or rulers. It's a snake with a deadly bite. He's talking about the wine--the product--not the person who drinks it. Now you can say as you wish that I am "reading backwards", etc. The difficulty at hand that I see is those such as yourself who insist on drinking will not address Solomon's horrid description of the yayin he condemns.

So, the only answer to Scripture's complete silence as to how much wine to imbibe is "He gave us a brain, and a consceince,[sic] to know how much to drink"? The most significant aspect of partaking of this powerful drug that God gives as a gift to us to enjoy and the answer of Scripture is He gave us a brain?

Frankly, if we were speaking of gluttony, that is not a bad response. My belly spills out over my britches and reason would say "perhaps I'm eating too much." O.K. That makes some sense.

What is missed here is that imbibing intoxicating wine is not at all like eating food. No one drinks wine out of necessity. Everyone eats of necessity. No one who overeats endangers other peoples' lives when they get behind the wheel. Ever hear of a "Mothers Against Fat Drivers" group?

Moreover, when it comes to eating, there is a rather tight correlation between how much activity one does and how much food one needs. Intoxicating wine, however, is totally different. One 5 oz. glass of wine can put certain people on their rears.

By the way, JasonK, am I to understand that this wonderful, God-given gift from Heaven for which we should be thankful every day of our lives, a sweet taste of the Kingdom to come, is limited to a tiny glass of wine each day, else we'll fall over threshold into sin against God? Moderation is making less sense to me each time we address it.

As for the illicit "drugs are illegal" I wondered how long it'd before we got around to hearing that:

You are right that the same argument I am using could be used on any drug, with one single exception. Drugs are illegal."

You are correct. But so is beer and wine at certain times. Why not rise up against those unjust laws that keep us from thanking our God? Plus, to put laws in place that prohibit our kids from thanking their God for His bountiful blessing are cruel and against the first amendment. Why do we not stand up against such injustice in our land?

Even more, JasonK, just because something is legal or illegal has little bearing on establishing that which is moral. One may argue from our Biblical obligation to the State that that which is moral and that which is legal must not be separated. Granted. But one must ever distinguish between the two. That is, we must first establish what is moral by the Word of God, not by the laws of the state. If the laws of the state equaled the laws of God, Christians have absolutely no basis whatsoever to question abortion. It is legal, therefore it is moral.

Similarly, just because Cabernet is legal and Crystal is not does not make one moral and the other immoral. Your concession that "you are right that the same argument I am using could be used on any drug" is devastating for your position, JasonK. You are effectively saying

"My argument is a moral argument for the recreational use of all drugs--in moderation, of course. While some drugs may be illegal, no drug--moderately used--is immoral."

Sorry, my brother. I am uninterested in going down that path.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Timotheos

Come now, Peter - surely you will not put a specious conclusion about drug use on the lips of those arguing about the Bible's view of wine, and then...deny you know what is being protested? You are slipping into obfuscation, my friend.

To foist such a conclusion on those who of no necessity hold it, is baseless fabrication, and in a very real sense, incidental to the topic - not to mention a little fishy smelling. I hope that this is a little less vague than my previous comment.

Peace.

jasonk

Doesn't the New Testament say that God places governments and leaders in place? And therefore would it not make sense that if He put those leaders in place, He would also expect us to follow those laws? Drugs are illegal for a reason. You said that at one time beer and wine were illegal, and you are right. In the context of time, they were illegal for about thirty seconds. Most of America realized that prohibition laws were a joke, had no basis in history or historical context, and were repealed. Your argument that beer and wine were once illegal is laughable, from a historical perspective.
How much wine is too much wine? I don't know, ask Paul, who told his understudies to not drink too much of it. Man, how could he do that? How could he not tell Timothy and Titus to only drink 3 ounces? Maybe because he trusted your own conscience, and your own God-given intellect.
As for your contention that no one else is hurt when a person commits the sin of gluttony, what a typical legalistic attempt to justify one's own sin. If I overeat, it doesn't hurt anyone. Really? Isn't heart disease the number one killer of adults in this country? I don't know if you have any children, Peter, but how upset would they be if you were to die prematurely because you did not know when to push away from the table? I've heard this argument from pastors, fat ones mostly, who want to justify their own sin by saying no one is hurt by their gluttony. But how hard is it for a church family when their pastor dies of heart disease?
You said that I made a comment that is devastating to my position. My position? Brother, I'm not trying to win an election, or a debate. I appreciate your position. What troubles me is that you are firmly camped out in the Old Testament, trying to justify a lifestyle that you personally have chosen, and you're trying to make it prescriptive for everyone else. If you do not choose to imbibe, fine. You are free to drink or not to drink. Nothing wrong with that. I will get up on your box and stand with you to condemn drunkenness and gluttony and everything else. But you are taking a position that says it is always wrong to do something, when the Bible does not seem to support such an argument.
You have spent so much time focusing on the words translated "wine," but what about the words translated "look?" What about the contextual interpretation of these passages? I still maintain that Solomon's point was not that we are never to drink, but that we are not to linger long over it, or to gaze long upon it. In other words, we are not to drink too much. You have provided no explanation for what Solomon means when he talks about that. You have determined somehow that to look at a bottle of wine is automatically to have crossed the line.
Be free, Peter. Be free to drink or not to drink. But don't condemn those who use their freedom in a different manner that you have chosen to.

volfan007

jasonk,

most of the people i've known who have died of heart disease were skinny, supposedly healthy joggers and walkers. in fact, at one time, and i was keeping up with it due to the very insane arguement that you bring up about overweight people, i counted about five or six people in a row who had heart attacks, or who died of some heart related issue, who were thin people. most of them either walked or jogged every day.

a lot of heart disease is genetic. if you had a lot of your relatives to have heart troubles, you're probably gonna have heart troubles. and, it doesnt matter if you're fat or thin. so, give those fat preachers a break.

btw, jasonk, my great grandmother was chubby her whole life. she cooked with meat grease. she fried most everything. the first time she ever went to a hospital, she was 94 yrs old. she died when she was 96. i guess we should all study her diet so we can live longer.

david

peterlumpkins

JasonK,

Unfortunately, my friend, you simply cannot read my words without placing on them not only unnecessary meanings but totally wrong meanings, JasonK. I was not refering to Prohibition. Not even close. I was refering to the here and now. I do not know how it is where you live, my friend, but I can tell you in the state of Georiga, just try and go to your local grocery store and pick up a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer on Sundays. It is against the law to purshase spirits on Sunday.

Again, JasonK, rather than deal with the specific words Solomon employed--"do not look on yayin", "a deadly adder's poison", "a mocker", "a brawler" "not fit for leaders to consume" period--words and descriptions perfectly consistent with an abstentionist view, you simply create you own by suggesting those words mean "we are not to drink too much". Could you please point to one word there that speaks to quantity?

Interesting that this discussion began with "there is no Biblical warrant for abstinence". Now the complaint is "What troubles me is that you are firmly camped out in the Old Testament..." apparently, trying to justify my own lifestyle. What a Georgia hoot. It started with I have no scriptural support and has moved to a complaint that I have not discussed the NT. It's really hard to respond to that.

For the record, if being a legalist is taking all the words of Scripture seriously, I stand proud and I refuse to stand down. Sorry, JasonK, the further you comment, the less attractive your brand of moderation becomes.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peterlumpkins

Timotheos,

You're really becoming illusive. Are you refering to the last comment I offered to JasonK?

With that, I am...

Peter

Timotheos

Peter,

Here is your comment to which I was referring and to which I responded:

"Nor do those moderationists that have logged on here seem to grasp that their argument works just as well on virtually any drug imaginable and for any reason you wish--just as long as you take them in proper dosages so as not to cause drunkenness."

My subsequent comments were related to the above comment. Is that less illusive?

Peace.

jasonk

So you are saying that being a legalist is okay? Just trying to clarify.

Also, the fact that you (or I, in Oklahoma) cannot purchase beer or wine on a Sunday has its roots in the prohibition movement, which took thousands of years of history, and said, "we do not agree with what has always been, we believe it is wrong to drink, therefore it is wrong for everyone to drink." If you choose not to drink, that is fine. I respect your choice. But when you say that it is wrong for every person to drink, I have a problem with that, because it is not a position you can support with Scripture. My pastor is as theologically conservative a Southern Baptist as you will find, and he says that there is no Scriptural basis for total abstinence. John MacArthur, whom I respect on a number of levels, says the same thing. I am not alone in my views, nor am I failing to take Scripture seriously.
I have said on several occasions in this thread that the words Solomon used do not indicate that he is telling people to never drink, ever. I asked you to do a more indepth word study on what it means to gaze on the glass of wine, to look at it, to remain over it. Have you done that?
When I say that you are firmly camped in the OT, I am merely saying that if you cannot adequately support your position in the OT, you're going to have a tough time doing it in the NT. Of course, I don't want to push you into the New Testament.

peterlumpkins

JasonK,

I have done the work. To the contrary, you do not accept the results. I have no problem with that. Frankly, I am not expecting you too. But to state I have inadequately dealt with these verses simply because you don't like what I found is really funny.

And, I meant every word of what I said:

if being a legalist is taking all the words of Scripture seriously, I stand proud and I refuse to stand down.
.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peterlumpkins

Timotheos,

Thank you. At least now I know that to which you refer. I can only point you to other comments I addressed dealing with the same point.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

J1

Peter,

Two posts ago I asked you kindly to exegete Joel 1:5-10. You deleted my comment and asked me via email if I was serious about joining this conversation. I am, though I do not have much free time. Could you please exegete Joel 1:5-10 for us, distinguishing good yayin from bad yayin?

jasonk

Yeah, its hilarious, isn't it? All I am saying is that you are so willing to deal with one word, and so unwilling to deal with all the rest of the words. That's partial exegesis, and amounts to no exegesis at all.

Legalism is a sin. It is just as deep a sin as drunkenness. Or gluttony. You can try to justify it by saying that you are legalistic for the right reason, but it is still sin. Christ died on the cross to set us free from the law of sin and death, and you are dragging us back to it, as if you had the right to. It is a form of taking the Name of the Lord in vain, because you are calling something a sin, when God has not. You are trying to be God, because God is not going far enough for you. That's typical of Southern Baptists, and it is typical of a legalist.

Chris Johnson

now, now jasonk; take it easy on the Baptist brethren. I don't think that the legalist position is the direction that Peter is driving.

He is trying to take a systematic view of wine in scripture. It's good and instructive to hammer through these passages.

Moderationist's would do well to bring a sober understanding to how to love those that abstain.

Blessings,
Chris

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson

Sorry, my vision blurred on the Blessings.

-Chris

jasonk

Chris, I just thought you were giving me double blessings. Very nice of you.
In all seriousness, I totally understand and appreciate the view of the abstentionists. Trust me, I was one for a very long time. In fact, I drink probably 1/10th of 1 percent more than an abstentionist does.
What I read here is not just a hashing out of wine in the Bible, but a defense of a position that drinking, even in moderation is sinful. I do have a problem with that, because it is simply not contained in the Bible.
I do, however, love those that abstain. I also respect them. After all, I was a total abstainer until I was 35 years old. No one ever gave me trouble over that. When I do enjoy a glass of wine or a beer from time to time, no one ever questions why I only drink one or two. I just want you to know that it is not the abstentionists that I have trouble understanding, it is those who say, "abstain, for there is no other logical and defensible position from Scripture." I have trouble with those who say, "If you disagree with the abstentionist view, you are not a true Southern Baptist, or a true lover of Scripture, or you are a watered down believer."
Just some thoughts. Double blessings on you, brother :>)

Chris Johnson

I have never really thought about it….but I don’t think that abstinionism (from wine) is a Baptist distinctive.

But, I do like the content of Peter's discoveries so far….it makes one examine the scripture to bleed out a little wisdom.

-Chris

peter lumpkins

J1,

Two responses. First, I deleted a series of comments either yesterday or day before for spam--a horrid site. Unfortunately one of yours was in the mix. I deleted the other because of a link totally unrelated to this post as I recall, and addressed to no one. In fact, neither comment consisting of a total of about 4 or five words apiece was addressed to me or anyone else.

Secondly, yes I did email you. If you want to contribute, the ndo so. We don't need to clog the thread up with comments no one knows what it is about.

Third, no. I will not do the exegesis now.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

After this, I am through with our exchange on this thread. First, to date, I have posted--if I include the 3 I posted after our Greenville SBC--20 posts on this issue.

I do not know this as fact, but I think it is so: no other Baptist blogger has attempted this. Hopefully, I am at least half way through. I say that to say, JasonK, I do not fear someone suggesting I superficially dealt with either the text or the subject.

Secondly, for the most part, you've degenerated from argumentation to name calling--even suggesting I am sinning against God.

You have also accused me of blaspheming the Lord's name. For me, that is unacceptable of any dialog whatsoever. I have neither accused others and especially not you of blaspheming our Lord. I'm sure you have your reasons but as far as I am concerned, they are insufficient ones.

There have been some tense moments on this thread, but, in my view, you are alone in that type of rhetoric.

On top of that, your smear of SBs is unacceptable: "That's typical of Southern Baptists, and it is typical of a legalist."

So this is the way moderationists such as yourself will dialog? Sorry, brother. I simply have not enough time to deal with inflammatory rhetoric, not to mention accusations of taking the name of the Lord in vain.

Were I you, I'd take a nice long break. This is more than you can right now handle and keep your integrity.

Grace to you, my brother. Maybe in the future, you'll be able to dialog once again about this without losing control. I trust you find your way.

With that, I am...

Peter

J.C. Thibodaux

Peter, your position still remains untenable, in that you are hijacking a proverb directed at those who tend towards drunkenness and trying to apply it universally. Your ideas cannot square with the context of this passage or the rest of scripture.

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