What the bible says about drinking wine and alcohol part 2

Last week I started a series of letters between myself and a former pastor on the subject of wine and alcohol.  This pastor grew up in the home of an alcoholic father, and as a result he let his experiences colour his theology.  This is a very dangerous position for any believer to be in.

What if we discover that Jesus really did drink, and serve, alcoholic wine?  Would we then abandon Him, because He does not conform to our ideas?

We need to stand on the Word of God regardless of whether or not we agree with every jot and tittle.  In the end we will see that God was right all along.

This section starts with his response to my first letter and then continues with my response.  I have tried to differentiate between his writing and mine, with the use of different fonts;

Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson’s ad campaign using “I Am” is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don’t believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I “launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries.” Webster’s Dictionary says a Tirade is “,.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue.” The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn’t even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your ‘facts’ on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it’s use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the ‘glory of God?’ All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can’t drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don’t feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”

Pastor Roy, Heritage Church, Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.

I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I apologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.

When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:

Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.

Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” – when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!

Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:

Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink “wine or strong drink” why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul “lusteth after” strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

Strong drink is today the same as it always has been…alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!

Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)

It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.

By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.

As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following…

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;

I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!

I found I had to look up the word “given” – “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.

Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.

In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;

1) ” No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger (1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired.”

2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph. 5:18!

  1. “The Bible does not forbid priests to drink; only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it saysthey are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!”
  2. “No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  3. “No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!
  4. “No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.
  5. “No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.

Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!

It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion; that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.

Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.

As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.

The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.

A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!

Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.

I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.

If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, however, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.

There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)

After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.

I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I ha

Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson’s ad campaign using “I Am” is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don’t believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I “launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries.” Webster’s Dictionary says a Tirade is “,.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue.” The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn’t even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your ‘facts’ on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it’s use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the ‘glory of God?’ All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can’t drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don’t feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”

Pastor Roy,

Heritage Church,

Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.

I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I apologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.

When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:

Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.

Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” – when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!

Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:

Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink “wine or strong drink” why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul “lusteth after” strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

Strong drink is today the same as it always has been…alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!

Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)

It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.

By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.

As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following…

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;

I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!

I found I had to look up the word “given” – “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.

Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.

In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;

1) ” No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger (1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired.”

2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph. 5:18!

  1. “The Bible does not forbid priests to drink; only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it saysthey are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!”
  2. No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  3. No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!
  4. No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.
  5. No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.

Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!

It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion; that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.

Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.

As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.

The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.

A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!

Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.

I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.

If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, however, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.

There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)

After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.

I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I haven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.

Your brother in Christ,

Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson’s ad campaign using “I Am” is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don’t believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I “launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries.” Webster’s Dictionary says a Tirade is “,.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue.” The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn’t even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your ‘facts’ on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it’s use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the ‘glory of God?’ All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can’t drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don’t feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”

Pastor Roy,

Heritage Church,

Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.

I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I apologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.

When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:

Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.

Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” – when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!

Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:

Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink “wine or strong drink” why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul “lusteth after” strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

Strong drink is today the same as it always has been…alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!

Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)

It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.

By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.

As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following…

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;

I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!

I found I had to look up the word “given” – “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.

Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.

In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;

1) ” No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger (1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired.”

2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph. 5:18!

  1. “The Bible does not forbid priests to drink; only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it saysthey are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!”
  2. No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  3. No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!
  4. No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.
  5. No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.

Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!

It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion; that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.

Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.

As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.

The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.

A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!

Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.

I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.

If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, however, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.

There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)

After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.

I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I haven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.

Your brother in Christ,

Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson’s ad campaign using “I Am” is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don’t believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I “launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries.” Webster’s Dictionary says a Tirade is “,.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue.” The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn’t even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your ‘facts’ on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it’s use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the ‘glory of God?’ All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can’t drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don’t feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”

Pastor Roy,

Heritage Church,

Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.

I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I apologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.

When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:

Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.

Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” – when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!

Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:

Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink “wine or strong drink” why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul “lusteth after” strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

Strong drink is today the same as it always has been…alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!

Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)

It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.

By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.

As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following…

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;

I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!

I found I had to look up the word “given” – “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.

Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.

In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;

1) ” No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger (1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired.”

2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph. 5:18!

  1. “The Bible does not forbid priests to drink; only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it saysthey are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!”
  2. No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  3. No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!
  4. No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.
  5. No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.

Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!

It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion; that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.

Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.

As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.

The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.

A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!

Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.

I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.

If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, however, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.

There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)

After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.

I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I haven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.

Your brother in Christ,

Dan Knezacek

Dan Knezacek

Dan Knezacek

ven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.

Your brother in Christ,

Dear Brother Knezacek:”

Thank you for your letter of Dec, 6, received recently, I appreciate your concern that I be biblical in my statements from the pulpit and I assure you that is also my priority.”

Like you, I also agree Molson’s ad campaign using “I Am” is indeed blasphemous and I have in the past, written the company as well as letters to the Editor about this.”

You have done a good study on wine in the Bible, however, I don’t believe you have gone far enough. Please read the following information taken from The Way of life Encyclopedia and listen to the tape of a message I preached on the subject. This information will answer many of the concerns you have expressed in your letter. If you still feel your concerns have not been dealt with, let me know and we can discuss this subject further.”

1 have listened to the tape from the message on the Sunday you said I “launched into a tirade against Molson’s breweries.” Webster’s Dictionary says a Tirade is “,.a long, vehement speech, esp. one of denunciation; harangue.” The total length of time spent on making that comment was 57 seconds, which hardly qualifies as a tirade, This wasn’t even a sub-point in the message, but merely a comment and was not intended to be an in- depth study on Wine in the Bible.”

You mention that the Pharisees were not stupid and would not have accused Jesus of being a winebibber if he were not drinking alcoholic beverage. Does that mean they also would not have accused Him of having a Devil, or could not have bribed false witnesses against Jesus at His trial. Oh, yes, these men were very capable of telling vicious lies.”

Not only has your study on Bible Wines not gone far enough, but your ‘facts’ on the problems of alcohol abuse in countries where it is in regular use has not gone far enough. The problems of alcoholism in Russia is well documented. Also the problems of obesity and heart disease may be less in those countries, hut problem of liver disease and other alcohol related problems are rampant. This is to say nothing of the mountain of social ills that come with such a society.”

After listening to my message on wine and reading the material l have included, I think you will agree that I have a sound biblical basis for standing where I do on this subject. I have not tried to answer all your concerns in this letter, since I deal with most of them in the message that is on the tape.”

I also know that I will report to God someday about what I have preached and what I had done as a pastor of this church. I know that I can stand before God with a clear conscious on this subject. Even the unsaved agree the biggest drug problem in the world today is the drug of alcohol. How could we as Christians promote it’s use, even responsibly? Does your position also hold true for moderate use of marijuana, or cocaine, or tobacco? Do you really believe you can drink a beer to the ‘glory of God?’ All that we do should be done to His glory.”

I also have a hard time understanding the inconsistency of your position that a pastor can’t drink alcohol, but Jesus could. Certainly you don’t feel the position of the Pastor is of more importance in testimony and example than that of our Saviour.”

I know of one Christian lady who was unfaithful to her husband, because her inhibitions were lowered and her thinking clouded because of alcohol. Had she abstained, this situation would never have happened, I could go on an on.”

If you really want to be safe on this subject, you will abstain entirely. Any other position cannot be responsibly defended for the Christian who believes and practices holiness. The heart, here, is the issue, The heart will determine what kind of testimony we are to the world.”

I am glad you wrote, for it gives me an opportunity express to you what I believe on this subject. I am not angry with you for not agreeing, but do hope you will prayerfully consider this information.”

Sincerely, for souls,”

Pastor Roy,

Heritage Church,

Ontario, Canada

01/15/2000

Dear Pastor Roy,

Thank you for your quick reply to my letter. I was actually surprised at the speed of your response. You did read all of the verses I brought to your attention? The reason I ask is that you did not tackle Deuteronomy. 14:26 at all. I have listened to one of your tapes (the other two were blank!), and I must agree with much of what you said, however I must disagree with your ultimate conclusion. Many times you said yourself that the problem was drunkenness. This I agree with. You also said many things that I believe are half truths and even twisting of scripture. Please let me prove my point. Furthermore what you said in May of ’97 was essentially a word for word copy of the article on the Way of Life web site, which I have already read, and in fact was attempting to answer with my first letter.

I do hope you will find this to be constructive criticism and not destructive. It is not my purpose to tear you down, but to show that we can trust the Lord even when he says things we don’t like. I’m afraid my first letter may have been too antagonistic, and I apologize for that. I do hope that you don’t find this hostile or boring.

When someone asks you if you drink. You will automatically answer “No”, won’t you? You understand the word drink to mean alcohol. This is exactly the same context that Jesus said in Matthew 11:19 ‘The Son of man came eating and drinking”. So we have from his own lips that he drank wine. He was not disobeying the Old testament Laws if he drank a little alcohol. Please consider the following:

Lev. 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

Ezekiel 44:21 Neither shall any priest drink wine, WHEN they enter into the inner court.

Please note that this was a temporary ban on alcohol, only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. It was not a lifelong ban! The little word “when” is a part of the word of God! Please don’t ignore it. Don’t stop with “nor thy sons with thee”, surely God intended for us to read the whole verse? I notice that in the section from the Way of Life encyclopedia that you gave me, that this phrase is removed. This verse is a complete thought, they do wrong to take a part out of it! Let’s see what Websters says about the word “when” – when adv. at what time.—conj. AT THE TIME! Sometimes when people participate in “higher learning” they forget what little words mean. I hope you just forgot what what it meant, or just missed the point, because if you purposely ignored it I would call that deceitful! By the way when Jesus was at the wedding in Cana or associating with drinkers he was not in the tabernacle of the congregation nor in the inner court!

Of course he does not drink wine now that he is our high priest, not even unfermented wine: Mark 14:25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Numbers 28:7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

Please note that the Lord required STRONG WINE to be poured unto the Lord as part of the drink offering. How could it be called a drink offering if it wasn’t consumed as a drink? You say wine is unclean. Are you saying that the Lord required an unclean thing on his alter? Strong Wine is alcoholic wine! I can only echo the Lord in this case:

Acts 10:15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Since you didn’t respond to Deuteronomy. 14:26 I will repeat what I said, but first I must ask; Was the Lord commanding the Jews to partake of something unclean in their worship of Him? It is my belief, (given 1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.) that wine is a holy thing, or at least a clean thing that should be treated with respect and not abused. Certainly everything that exists belongs to the Lord, and nothing should be abused, including food or wine.:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

This verse brings to mind some questions which I think are quite relevant:

1) If the Lord told his people to drink “wine or strong drink” why should we think that the Lord Jesus didn’t drink these beverages when he partook of the Jewish religious ceremonies?

2) Why would their soul “lusteth after” strong drink if they never had any exposure to it? If strong drink is such an evil thing why does the Lord tell them to rejoice when they partake of it? (lust in this context simply means “to have a passionate desire”)

3) Did the Lord tell them it was OK to partake of wine and strong drink and then later change his mind? Could you trust such a fickle God to save your soul? Maybe a million years into eternity he might say “I’m tired of all these glorified believers, I think I’ll just toss them out into utter darkness”! If God gave permission for one group to use it and then turned around and called it a sin for another group we would never know where we stood. He might say one day that salvation is by faith, and the next say it’s by works!

4) Did the Lord expect the Jewish believers to buy their strong drink from unbelievers or from believers?

Strong drink is today the same as it always has been…alcohol! Please note also that the money referred to here is their tithe money!

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You also quoted 2 Cor. 6:17 out of context. Lets look at the context:

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

What God is calling unclean is idols and unbelievers, not alcohol! We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and believe me, I know the pain that results from this!

Jesus said: Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Paul also said: Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Nothing means NOTHING! If God wanted to say “something” he could have. What is it to be defiled? Is not one who sins defiled? Jesus said that something going in the mouth will not defile a man! Do you believe Jesus or not? I’m asking you to trust him in this, even though it goes against the grain. No man was ever defiled by drink, it is what comes out of him after he has had too much that defiles him. Yes that also applies to caffeine, marijuana and even cocaine. One cc of pure caffeine will kill you, yet you drink it on a regular basis. (My mistake; pastor Roy does not drink coffee, cola or anything that has caffeine in it, though his Church does serve it after the service on Sunday mornings. He is consistent in this.)

It also causes health problems in some of us! Did you know that chocolate, besides caffeine, has a chemical in it that is a close relative of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? No wonder chocolate is addictive! Are you defiled when you eat chocolate? Caffeine is a drug, and an addictive substance, this is a proven fact, why do you think the soft drink makers put it in their pop? Are you saying that you can decide which drug is OK to use and which is not? People who smoke don’t get any more effect than people who drink coffee, so why is one OK and one not? I know some Christians who don’t drink alcohol or coffee, tea or cola or smoke. While I don’t agree with them, I have much respect for their consistency. I don’t believe you are consistent! You said in your tape that you wouldn’t eat food that was cooked in wine, even though the alcohol would have dissipated. I suspect that if you look in your closets you will find some vanilla flavoring or lemon or almond or perhaps some other flavor. You may even find a bottle of Scope or Nyquil. All of these things also contain alcohol. If it is a sin to touch even a little alcohol then I think it is likely that you have some confessing to do.

By the way I think that what Paul meant in Romans 14:14 is that if you think that the Lord commanded you not to do something, even if you are wrong and he really allows it, you would be sinning to do it because you are rebelling against your own understanding of God.

As for me being inconsistent with my statements on the following…

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to MUCH wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to MUCH wine, teachers of good things;

I think you are accusing the Lord of being inconsistent, it’s what He says, not me!

I found I had to look up the word “given” – “naturally disposed toward.” usually followed by “to”. So, it doesn’t mean he can’t partake of wine or strong drink, only that he can’t be naturally disposed toward it. I don’t have a problem with pastors having a little wine at the Lords supper, even alcoholic wine. I think pastors could have a little wine on occasion, but not as a regular thing, isn’t that what this passage says? It also makes a distinction between a pastor and one of lower position. Since this is the Word of the Lord we must conclude that, while we are all priests, there is a difference in the requirements for some priests than others.

Let me give an example of what I think it means by “not given to wine”: A few years ago I read in the introduction of a book about cartooning techniques an account of a dinner given to honour the cartoonist Charles Schultz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The author, an unbelieving journalist, noticed that Mr. Schultz barely touched his wine. He had a few sips but didn’t even finish one glass. This behaviour was quite perplexing to the author, to the point that he even made mention of it in a book. I don’t know if it did but it’s the type of behaviour that could lead to witnessing opportunities. Mr. Schultz was not given to wine, in my opinion.

In your letter you passed on a part of the Way of Life encyclopedia, which I am already familiar with. (I’ve had correspondence with David Cloud, his ministry is partly why we are attending Heritage). In the section titled “IS IT ALRIGHT FOR A CHRISTIAN TO DRINK MODERATELY?” it says;

1) ” No, even slight drinking impairs one’s thinking and lowers alertness to spiritual danger (1 Pe. 5:8,9). When I looked at this verse it does not say what he just said it says. It says “be sober, be vigilant”. It does not say in the least that one should not have any alcohol! What is sober to one person may be two or three drinks to another. When a man drives to Toronto, works a 12 hour shift or more, and then drives home, he is already impaired (by fatigue) without drinking any alcohol! He is sober, yet slightly impaired.”

2) “No, Christians are not to be controlled by liquor (Eph5:18)” This is true but he forgot the phrase “wherein is excess”. Only those who drink to excess are controlled by liquor. It says that in Eph. 5:18!

  1. “The Bible does not forbid priests to drink; only “WHEN ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation” In Isaiah 28:7 The priests did err through wine but given the above it was either because they drank it while on duty or more likely that they became drunk since it saysthey are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” This is not describing one who drinks moderately, is it? These were people who were stoned!”
  2. No, Christians are not to touch the unclean thing.” “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself” Here you and the author add to scripture as well as take it out of context. Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
  3. No, Christians are to abstain from every form of evil” Here he quoted from the NIV, the actual word is “appearance” not “form”. Is there an appearance of evil when you take a glass and put it to your lips? Don’t forget that drinking juice or wine or ginger ale looks exactly the same to an observer. You appear evil when you act drunk, even if you’ve had no wine, like the “Toronto Blessing”. He is also assuming that drinking is a form of evil. Given Deuteronomy 14:26 and all the verses quoted here this assumption is just plain wrong. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on!
  4. No, Christians who drink cause others to stumble: Romans 14:21” It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. So what does verse 22 mean? Does it mean “you have freedom but don’t exercise it? Or does it mean that one who has faith and freedom must exercise the utmost caution so he doesn’t cause a weaker brother to stumble? I think the latter is most likely true. Why do you, and they, only use verse 21? Isn’t the rest part of the word of God? To say that Christians who drink cause others to stumble is only the opinion of the author, and is also an assumption that it must always be the case. The verse in question leaves it up to the judgment of the reader. It is not saying that drinking will always cause a brother to stumble, otherwise it would also be saying that about eating flesh. We know the apostles didn’t have a problem with eating flesh, but some did: Romans 14: 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: The whole of Romans 14 deserves much study, but since we haven’t the time I just wan’t to briefly point out that this doesn’t mean that one should never eat meat, but to be careful and wise when one does, the same goes for wine and strong drink. I submit to you that IF ONE IS ABLE TO DRINK ALCOHOL WITHOUT OFFENDING A BROTHER THEN ONE IS FREE TO DO SO. Romans 14 also talks about keeping days. Are you aware that some Christians are offended when you keep Dec. 25 as the Lords birthday? Is their faith going to be made weak if you keep Christmas? Is your faith going to be made weak if a brother has a little wine? I know that some brothers will be made weak, specifically former alcoholics. So clearly one shouldn’t drink when he doesn’t know the spiritual condition of his companions.
  5. No, wine is a mocker and a deceiver(Proverbs.20:1)” Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Is one who has one glass of wine “raging”? Only one who is drunk is mocked by wine.

Regarding Phil. 4:5 Mr. Lackey implies that the KJV translators were wrong to use the word MODERATION in this instance. He says that since the same word was translated differently in other places that it really can’t mean MODERATION. So here we have an instance of “higher criticism” showing it’s ugly head even amongst fundamentalists, the hour indeed is late! Obviously MODERATION is another meaning of the word and the Lord led the translators to this particular translation. If the KJV isn’t perfect then we may as well use the new translations. The Catholics use the same tactic when they say that the word brother can also mean cousins, and Jesus is really an only child, and Mary died a virgin! I think I’ll trust God’s book rather than a man who hasn’t even lived 100 years yet!

It seems to me that you are very careful to pick and choose the verses you will use. If you use all the verses that contain wine and strong drink, you can only come to one conclusion; that wine and strong drink are acceptable when used in moderation and care.

Regarding the problems in Russia and the social ills that come with such a society. Where does it say that the church is to concern itself with the problems of this world? Those problems would be there whether or not alcohol was present in that society! As you said their problem is a heart problem not an alcohol problem. The alcohol ABUSE is a symptom, not the root cause. Not only this but if all the problems in society were solved no one would ever think they need a saviour. How many “moderate drinkers” ever come to you for help? I expect the answer is none, or very few, but they are in the majority of drinkers. Only those that come to the end of themselves realize that they need a Saviour.

As for the woman who committed adultery when her inhibitions were lowered due to alcohol use. It reminds me of Flip Wilson in the 70’s saying “da devil made me do it!”. I don’t believe the devil ever “made” anyone sin, and neither did alcohol make her sin. I think adultery was already in her heart before she had the first sip. What was she doing drinking without her husband present anyway? Why was she drinking in the presence of another man? Did she have no regard for the warnings about wine in the bible? Though moderate drinking may be acceptable, those warnings are still there. I think you have oversimplified the situation. I think she is looking for someone or something else to blame instead of bearing the responsibility herself. Yes too much alcohol will lower ones inhibitions, but it is that which is already present that will come out. If a man has anger or hate in his heart he may beat his wife or children when he is drunk. If they can’t take one drink without having another they shouldn’t have the first. But this doesn’t mean that no one should drink, only those who have a problem with it.

The author says that “Christ did not come to cause others to stumble!” Please look at the following verses:

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

So, many were predicted to stumble over Jesus, yes they stumble over the cross but this does not rule out other things that they might stumble over. I don’t think the author is being totally honest.

A few years ago my son’s Sunday school teacher (at Emmanuel Baptist) told the class that drinking is a sin. He went home and told his mother that drinking was a sin (he was 5 years old at the time). My ex-wife and her husband were offended and told him that if I took him to church again that they would come and physically remove him from the premises. This caused such a big problem (and many sleepless nights) that we ended up going to a counsellor over it. The unbelieving (I think) counsellor convinced them that it was OK for Alex to go to church with me. The sad thing is that it was totally unnecessary. I also believe that it has permanently prejudiced two people against ever darkening the doorway of a Baptist church!

Many Great Christian leaders over the centuries had no problem if a brother had a little alcohol, including, but not limited to, John Huss and Martin Luther. The Primitive Baptists also use fermented wine in their Lord’s Supper services. I disagree with their Calvinism but not to this particular practice, they have sound reasons for doing it. I have recently read a book that identifies the teaching, that drinking wine is sinfull, as a part of the Great Apostasy. At first I was a little offended, but I looked in the scriptures and found that it seems he was right. I don’t believe that this teaching is much over 100-150 years old. Yes preachers of old did preach against drunkenness, but I have not seen any evidence that it extended to alcohol itself. I suppose it’s possible that a few did, but as seen above it was and is unscriptural.

I don’t have a problem if you say “I don’t recommend anyone drinking”. Neither does it bother me if you say that “drinking alcohol is risky”. If you want to preach against drunkenness I’ll back you 100%. But when you make a blanket statement that “we are commanded not to drink liquor” this is not true. When you say drinking is sin you are missrepresenting the bible, and inducing contradictions to scripture. Maybe it is if one “drinks with offence”, but this does not mean that it is always a sin. When you say that priests were commanded not to drink wine or strong drink you have only spoken a half truth. Don’t be afraid of the whole truth.

If you really believe Christians shouldn’t drink, there are some verses you could use without saying drinking is sin, for instance:

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So for some people self denial probably does mean abstaining from drink. I don’t think it is required of the Lord for everyone, but perhaps he will honour those who give up alcohol, of their own free will, as a sacrifice to him. In the Old Testament they did not sacrifice unclean things to God, but clean. Perhaps it is reasonable to ask the Lord’s people to make a sacrifice of something that’s a legitimate right. I don’t think it’s right to demand it, however, since the Lord himself doesn’t do so.

There are a couple of verses that neither you nor the Way of Life Encyclopedia have brought up, and even I forgot about, but I believe they bear strongly on the topic at hand:

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

One who is drunk is clearly under the power of alcohol, but these verses don’t say specifically alcohol. Since it doesn’t specifically mention any substance by name I believe it is up to the individual believer which ones apply to him. (Just because one may do something it doesn’t mean one must do it) I think the principles here can be applied to a number of substances. If I have coffee in the evening I will not sleep that night, or maybe I’ll get a couple hours of sleep, so I would be under the power of caffeine. Therefore I rarely drink regular coffee and if I do it shouldn’t be after six in the evening, otherwise I suffer consequences for some time. One who is a drug addict is also under the power of drugs, and should avoid them. The problem is that some people can live an entire lifetime drinking a little wine, and never get drunk. These people are never controlled by alcohol and they know it. They may not commit adultery, rob or commit murder. Their only sin may be covetousness or impure thoughts. When you say that drinking is sin they know from their own experience that they are self controlled and not sinning, and they may end up rejecting the entire message. I believe this is a tragedy, although the Lord did predict it himself when he said “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

I have not brought into the discussion the health benefits of drinking that science has discovered. If alcohol were the most healthy drink in the world, but the bible said not to drink it, one would be a fool to do so. But I think I have proved that the bible does not command abstinence. And there are health benefits to moderate consumption of alcohol. If the doctor prescribed one pill a day and you saved it up and took them all on a Saturday night, would you expect to get any health benefit? Not only does the grape part of red wine help lower the LDL Cholesterol, (and this benefit can be gained by regular eating of grapes), but the alcohol itself stimulates the liver to produce the good cholesterol or HDL. The only other way to increase the HDL is through exercise. By the way aerobic exercise produces a type of alcohol in your body, it partially breaks down sugars without oxygen. I believe that this alcohol is what stimulates the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. (Ever hear of “runners high”?)(this is not the same type of alcohol that one gets from a bottle, but it is definitely a type of alcohol)

After listening to your tape on wine in the bible I don’t believe you have a sound biblical basis for where you stand. I think you have ignored some important verses in the bible, and others you have taken out of context. I don’t think a man of God needs to do that.

I thank you for what you said about bible study on Sunday, it’s too bad more people didn’t hear it. Some I have met think you are a proud or a hard man, but what I heard on Sunday was a man truly seeking the will of God for himself and his people. I have prayed much about this issue and believe that what I have said is biblical. The Lord did show me that I needed to make some changes to my letter. However I still believe that this viewpoint is the only one that harmonizes all of scripture, I don’t have to be afraid of any verse. While I haven’t used every verse that touches upon this subject, the ones I have used are representative of the others.

Your brother in Christ,

Dan Knezacek

Dan Knezacek

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About dknezacek

An average, ordinary guy. Author, husband, father, pilot, aircraft builder, test pilot, machinist, artist, just ordinary stuff that lots of people do. Don't forget bible student. Dan's passion is bible study, especially including the End Times prophecies.
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3 Responses to What the bible says about drinking wine and alcohol part 2

  1. Daniel R says:

    Hi Dan, I read your article here: http://www.thespiritofprophecy.ca/Wine.html
    It was very long but very good. It was part of the reason I changed my view. Is the articles you wrote here basically the same or is there more scriptural support discussed here that is not in the article I have already read?

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