Methodius of Olympus (311 AD) Christian against tasting alcohol

Methodius of Olympus (311 AD)

‘…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. Hence, also, in the time of Noah, men having given themselves up to drunkenness, sank down into unbelief, and, being overwhelmed by the deluge, were drowned. And Cain, too, having drawn from this, stained his fratricidal hands, and defiled the earth with the blood of his own family. Hence, too, the heathen, becoming intoxicated, sharpen their passions for murderous battles; for man is not so much excited, nor goes so far astray through wine, as from anger and wrath. A man does not become intoxicated and go astray through wine, in the same way as he does from sorrow, or from love, or from incontinence. And therefore it is ordered that a virgin shall not taste of this vine, so that she may be sober and watchful [sober and watchful, 1 Peter 5:8] from the cares of life, and may kindle the shining torch of the light of righteousness for the Word. “Take heed to yourselves,” says the Lord, “lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares, as a snare.” [Luke 21:34]’

(Methodius of Olympus, ‘Banquet of the Ten Virgins’, Ch. 5, citing Matthew 24:42-25:13)

‘Moreover, it is not only forbidden to virgins in any way to touch those things which are made from that vine, but even such things as resemble them and are akin to them… all that produces drunkenness and distraction of mind, besides wine.’

(Methodius of Olympus, ‘Banquet of the Ten Virgins’, Ch. 6, citing Matthew 24:42-25:13)

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