Sunday, March 19, 2006

Can We Argue Against Alcohol Without Quoting Scripture?

I think this is a pretty good argument against drinking alcohol. I'll concede that the analogy breaks down at points, but they all do. Ironically, the strength of the argument is based largely on the fact it is grounded in wisdom and prudence, not a forced exegesis or application of Scripture. Such arguments are counterproductive because they make the debate more about deconstructing bad "biblical" arguments than about making good choices. Sometimes it seems as though many Christians' desires to make all choices black and white for everyone cheapens biblical and historical decision-making processes that emphasized wisdom and prudence.


Billy Bob said...

Is it biblical to demand abstinence from alchohol? To go beyond merely advocating abstinence or suggesting the wisdom of abstinence and declare that any consumption is sinful?

If you want a biblical reason for drinking alchohol, read Deuteronomy 14:26. As part of the tithing ceremony, you were supposed to buy wine and strong drink and whatever else you wanted and have a feast with the priests, aliens, widows and orphans to celebrate the goodness of God.

Drunkenness and the related style of partying is clearly forbidden in scripture. But moderate drinking is also commanded and accepted. The Recabites of Jeremiah 35 are the oddballs.

Ben said...

Well thanks for that, but somehow I think you totally missed the point of both my post and the original post. No one is demanding anything.

fr'nklin said...

Ben...I think I got your point..and/or Bob's. The argument from Bob was basically that the wisest course of action was to abstain. You were saying you felt this was a good way to approach the topic rather than debate about "deconstructing bad 'biblical' arguments".

I read Bob's post and appreciated his thinking. Of course, one can easily slip back into the mindset that says, "do the wise thing...and what I think is the wise thing...IS the wise thing."

Obviously, Bob thinks what he thinks is the wisest way to think or else he wouldn't think So, much thanks to Bob for giving us his thoughts and seeking to drive home his point. Oh, and I agree with you that Bob's approach is much better than debating Biblical texts.

Ashley said...

Frank says, "Of course, one can easily slip back into the mindset that says, 'do the wise thing...and what I think is the wise thing...IS the wise thing.'"

And this is exactly the implication that Bixby would have you to grasp from his post.

Ben said...

fr'. . .,

I think your second paragraph reveals the "pitfalls" of leaving sanctification in the hands of the Spirit (horrors!) rather than preaching as doctrine the commandments of men. Will some people be unwise? Certainly! We all will—on many points, in fact.

That reminds me of some great things Tim Jordan had to say on the subject recently. I'll try to post a link soon.