"…Let us watch and BE SOBER. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day BE SOBER…" (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8) Sober – Nepho: "to be free from the influence of intoxicants." (Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)
Who should know better the effects of liquor than this brilliant woman, from her experience in the redemptive work of the Salvation Army? Says she:
Drink has drained more blood,
Hung more crepe,
Sold more homes,
Plunged more people into bankruptcy,
Armed more villians,
Slain more children,
Snapped more wedding rings,
Defiled more innocence,
Blinded more eyes,
Twisted more limbs,
Dethroned more reason,
Wrecked more reason,
Wrecked more manhood,
Dishonored more womanhood,
Broken more hearts,
Blasted more lives,
Driven more to suicide,
And dug more graves,
Than any other poisoned scourge that ever swept its death-dealing waves across the world.
Evangeline Cory Booth, quoted by The War Cry, Toronto, 8 July, 1950, p. 3 ‘Exploiters and Drinkers’
“Booth’s only political involvement was to throw the weight of the Salvation Army behind the movement for prohibition and against the later movement for repeal… In 1934 she became the fourth general of the Salvation Army…”
‘…he who has devoted and offered himself to the Lord shall not take of the fruits of the plant of evil, because of its natural tendency to produce intoxication and distraction of mind. For we perceive from the Scriptures two kinds of vines which were separate from each other, and were unlike. For the one is productive of immortality and righteousness; but the other of madness and insanity. The sober and joy-producing vine, from whose instructions, as from branches, there joyfully hang down clusters of graces, distilling love, is our Lord Jesus, who says expressly to the apostles, “I am the true vine, ye are the branches; and my Father is the husbandman.” [John 15:1,5] But the wild and death-bearing vine is the devil, who drops down fury and poison and wrath, as Moses relates, writing concerning him, “For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.” [Deuteronomy 32:32] The inhabitants of Sodom having gathered grapes from this, were goaded on to an unnatural and fruitless desire for males. Continue reading “Methodius of Olympus (311 AD) Christian against tasting alcohol”
Tertullian strikingly compared the strong penalty of the Levitical priests to ministers in the Church. ‘For abstinence from wine withal has honourable badges of its own… So true is it, that such as shall have ministered in the Church, being not sober, shall “die”’.
(Tertullian, Fasts, Ch. 9, ‘From Fasts Absolute Tertullian Comes to Partial Ones and Xerophagies’, citing Leviticus 10:9)
‘42. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who indulges himself in dice [i.e. gambling] or drinking, either leave off those practices, or let him be deprived.
43. If a sub-deacon, a reader, or a singer does the like, either let him leave off, or let him be suspended; and so for one of the laity.
44. Let a bishop, or presbyter, or deacon who requires usury of those he lends to, either leave off to do so, or let him be deprived.’
(Ecclesiastical Canons 42-44)
‘42… This and the two following canons should be included in the number of the most ancient so-called apostolic canons. Their origin is unknown.’
Before Jacob died, he blessed his sons including Joseph: “The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate [separate in Hebrew: nazar] from his brothers.” (Gen. 49:26)
“The majority opinion of the rabbis is that Joseph always kept in mind his father and brothers. Some declare that during the 22 years he was away from home he drank no wine (Shab. 139a; Gen. R. 94:25).” (New World Encyclopedia)
Certainly Joseph could not expect to behave wisely if he were to drink and forget the law. (Prov. 31:5) This is true regardless of Joseph technically taking a Nazarite vow or not.
Interestingly this term nazar describing Joseph in Gen. 49:26 is the term used of the Nazarite vow in Numbers 6:1-21. Besides alcoholic wine, Jewish usage of Hebrew clearly shows simple grape juice was also within the meaning of “yayin” wine: “Wine … when the grapes have been crushed and the wine begins to flow, even though it has not descended into the cistern and is still in the wine press.” (Sefer Kedushah, MaAchalot Assurot, Ch. 11, Halacha 11) Continue reading “Joseph the original “Nazarite””
“No longer drink only water, but use a little [oinos] wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23) Like the Greek term oinos, the meaning of Hebrew yayin is not limited to alcoholic wine. Below I explain why I understand that Timothy had initially foregone even non-alcoholic [oinos] wine too. Interestingly, the Alcohol Answers site states: “Alcohol, even in relatively small amounts, can interfere with many stomach functions.” Continue reading “1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach”
The social responsibility code requires ID checks if a person looks under 25 and asks to buy alcohol. So the Western Australian police sent cadets to test compliance. The results? WA police chief says “…the conduct of the outlets can only be described as an absolute disgrace.” The supposed commitment of outlets to this code “turns out to be a joke.”
“Not one cadet was challenged on entry and none was stopped from browsing the store. In 72 cases (72%) the cadets were able to make a purchase without having to produce ID. This is in direct contravention of the industry’s social responsibility code and provides strong evidence that they are incapable of self regulation.”