Ravi Zacharias rejected hotel industry to preach the Gospel

‘… as I was working in banquet management, I felt the hunger to speak for the Lord. I was a new Christian, and wherever I spoke things would happen. People would ask if I had ever considered that God had gifted me in the role of evangelism. It was natural to me, whether I was behind the pulpit or speaking with someone one-on-one. So I started taking part-time courses at a theological seminary in Toronto.

The more time I spent studying, the more I became restless in the hotel industry. This was especially true because liquor plays such an important role in the catering life. I had never even held a glass of it. Even before I was a believer, I had some disciplines that I kept, and for me personally, avoiding alcohol was certainly one of them. And when I saw the effect drinking had on some people, I thought, Is this what my life is going to be reduced to—dealing with something that I don’t even want to be responsible for on the other side of the counter? As I wrestled with that reality, the burden to preach grew greater and greater.

Indeed, as God would have it, preaching opportunities came from hither and yon. So with this struggle in my heart, I informed my parents that I was going to give up my career in business. It would have been a very good career, for I was working for a major worldwide hotel chain. But I felt God’s increasing call on my life—the pressure in the soul, as it were—to proclaim and to preach the gospel, although I didn’t know what shape this call would take.’

Ravi Zacharias, The Fingerprints on Your Soul, 15 Dec. 2003

Laestadian Lutherans for sober living, not drinking alcohol

See also: Bible says be sober again and again.

‘Sober living has always been part of Christian morality. The Scripture warns of the dangers of alcohol and other intoxicants. It teaches that the power of alcohol wars against the will and power of God (Isa. 5:11, 12; 1Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:18).
The use of intoxicants causes immeasurable suffering and hardship in our society, affecting not only the user, but also others around them. Individuals in the public eye, including elected officials, civil servants, and educators, can teach the value of a positive, unimpaired lifestyle by providing an example of sober living in their own lives.’

Laestadian Lutheran Church, Position Statements, Section 3, July 2006.

God’s Word Warns Us

God’s Word instructs people about living a sober lifestyle. Apostle Paul wrote, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12). The instruction to live soberly has a much more broad application than simply warning about the dangers of alcohol and other intoxicants. However, it certainly includes the warning about the use of these substances.
Continue reading “Laestadian Lutherans for sober living, not drinking alcohol”

Fiery alcohol vs A.B. Simpson, founder Christian Missionary Alliance

See also: Bible says be sober again and again.

In 1881, A.B. Simpson started what is now the Christian & Missionary Alliance.

A.B. Simpson vs the fiery influence of alcohol

‘The work of alcohol is to set on fire the passions of men, and it is perhaps the best figure that can be selected, of that fire which is never quenched [Mark 9:43-48].’

(A.B. Simpson, Natural Emblems of Spiritual Life, The Harvest Of The Earth)

‘In ancient times the fruit of the vine was used without fermentation. [Jesus spoke of the “fruit of the vine” at the Last Supper: Matt 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18] It is the mixture with leaven and corruption which has made it such a curse. The devil does not use evil things to harm the world, but good ones. He has taken the vine and cursed the world with it… and trying to turn every good thing to some evil use, that he may dishonor God and curse man. As he has turned the beautiful vine into accursed alcohol … has changed the fruit of the vine into the very wine of hell.’

(A.B. Simpson, Natural Emblems of Spiritual Life, The Vine and Its Branches)

Drinking like animals

‘The sin of drunkenness is discussed. “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks” (Isa 5:22). It is not so much the vice of becoming drunk that is here denounced as the power to drink like a beast and not get drunk. It is the sensual animalism that can load itself with liquor and lead others into stupid, beastly insensibility, and yet glory in its own self-control and ability to drink without limitation. This is downright beastliness, and yet the picture is not hard to find in our Christian lands, which, above all other lands, are blighted and disgraced with the curse of drunkenness. The woe that Isaiah here pronounces is one that reverberates through all the centuries of the corridors of time, all the vaults of hell. It is the saddest wail ever extorted from human sin and sorrow. It is indeed the devil’s most dreadful curse upon lost humanity, and fearful indeed will be the punishment of every man and woman that has any part in spreading it among his fellowmen.’

A.B. Simpson, Christ in the Bible, Isaiah 8, ‘The Parable of the Vineyard,’ ‘The Sin of Drunkenness’ at http://biblesupport.com/)

A.B. Simpson finding drunkards for Christ

From the outset, Simpson worked with reformed drunkards. He would lecture at the Evangelistic Training School of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

‘Only seven persons were present at his first meeting which was held in November, 1881, in Caledonian Hall, Eighth Avenue and Thirteenth Street. One of this number was Josephus Pulis, the reformed drunkard, of whom Mr. Simpson afterward said that he was once the greatest sinner but now the sweetest saint in New York City. From this first meeting until his death in 1914 Mr. Pulis was closely associated with the work.’

(Life of A.B. Simpson, p. 87-88)

‘The Gospel Tabernacle was the center of the ever increasing ministry which radiated from the life of Dr. Simpson until he rested from his labors. Here unnumbered thousands have been saved, sanctified, healed, and inspired by the Blessed Hope of the near coming of the Lord. It still continues to be the most aggressive center of evangelism in New York City. The poor are always welcome, and not infrequently drunkards stagger in through the corridor and go out saved by the grace of God.

(Life of A.B. Simpson, p. 96)

A.B. Simpson on loving neighbour instead of loving drink

‘I may be perfectly free myself to do many things, the doing of which might hurt my brother and wound his conscience, and love will gladly surrender the little indulgence so that she may save her brother from temptation. There are many questions which are easily settled by this principle. For example, the use of stimulants, which in the judgment of some is forbidden by Scripture, yet to other intelligent Christians seems to be an open question, and they argue that the Bible does not prohibit the use of wine.

Supposing that this were even so (which we only admit for the sake of argument), still the higher law of love would lead them to abandon the use of stimulants because of the harm they do, and the inability of thousands to withstand the temptation.

So there are many forms of recreation which in themselves might be harmless and, under certain circumstances, unobjectionable; but they have become associated with worldliness and godlessness and have proved snares and temptations to many a young heart in life; and therefore, the law of love would lead you to avoid them, discountenance them and in no way give encouragement to others to participate in them.’

A.B. Simpson, Christ in the Bible, Romans 14, ‘Consecration in Relation to Our Duty to the Weak and Erring,’ ‘The Test of Faith’ (at http://biblesupport.com/)

See: Bible says be sober again and again!

We are frank to say that we believe alcohol, like leaven, to be forbidden in the Scriptures as a beverage because it involves the principle of fermentation, but we know many excellent men and women who do not believe this. Many biblical expositors contend that the Scriptures do not condemn fermented wine in itself. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this may be so; still the greater question arises, what is the effect of this indulgence on innumerable lives, and what may the effect of our example be upon others? There can be but one answer to this question, and on the ground of love the sensitive conscience will be prohibited from the use of that which may become a stumbling block to a brother.

The same principle may be applied to the horse race, the theater and the dance. We know of many painful instances where young men that have been saved from the world have been led back to the horse race and the intoxicating cup by the example of their Sunday school teacher or some Christian friend.’

A.B. Simpson, Christ in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 5, Section 3, ‘The Christian in Relation to Society’ at http://biblesupport.com/)

See: Bible says be sober again and again!

A.B. Simpson raised the matter of unfermented wine and Timothy’s stomach.

A.B. Simpson, The Lord For the Body.

See: Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)

See:  1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach

‘Why has God made all the remedies we find in nature if He does not intend us to use them? Perhaps He did not make them any more than He made beer or whiskey. God made the barley and man made the alcohol.’

A.B. Simpson, The Lord For the Body.

A. B. Simpson history

Christian and Missionary Alliance history

Application for Alliance Ministry. The Christian and Missionary Alliance requires of its workers total abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and the unlawful use of drugs (an exception is made for lawful use of prescribed medications, including those which may contain alcohol). With these considerations in mind, are you committed to total abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and unlawful use of drugs? Yes, No.

Application For Alliance Ministry, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Colorado Springs, 2006.

Exploiters and Drinkers: Evangeline Booth “Drink has drained more blood…”

Evangeline Booth’s Indictment:

Commander Evangeline Booth portrait
Commander Evangeline Booth

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…”

Evangeline Cory Booth, Encyclopedia Britannica

Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)

See: 1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach

Tertullian (c. 160-220 AD) 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”’. Continue reading “Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)”

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. Continue reading “Methodius of Olympus (311 AD) Christian against tasting alcohol”

Early church rules against drinking alcohol

Tertullian (c. 160-220 AD)

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)

Ecclesiastical Canons

‘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.’

(‘A History of the Christian Councils, From the Original Documents, To the Close of the Council of Nicæa, A.D. 325’, 1871 By Karl Joseph von Hefele, translated from German by William R. Clark) Continue reading “Early church rules against drinking alcohol”

Joseph the original “Nazarite”

Joseph the original “Nazarite”

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””

WA premier says alcohol bans certainly reduce crime

WA Premier Colin Barnett says he would support permanent restrictions on buying alcohol in Port Hedland after takeaway sales were banned on Friday.

“I think that’s got a lot of merit, where alcohol bans have been put in place … it certainly reduces crime, it reduces domestic violence, kids go to school and communities are far better off,” Mr Barnett told reporters. Continue reading “WA premier says alcohol bans certainly reduce crime”