Pastor John MacArthur of grace to You Ministries recently preached a sermon entitled: Christians and Alcohol. In it he extolled believers that getting drunk is sinful, that anyone who would choose to be drunk is counter to the Holy Spirit's moving in their life. Here, here Mr. MacArthur.
He went on; however, to explain the differences between what we have now and the wine, or oinos, consumed by believers in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
His main arguments was that the wine in the New Testament and the Old Testament was either mixed somewhere between 4-1 to 20-1 water to wine, or boiled into a pace, or jelly, then applied and eaten on bread, therefore it is vastly different than the high alcohol wine that we have today that is in endless supply. In response to his main point: the Bible, as MacArther pointed out, is crystal clear that you cannot get drunk with wine or it is a sin. I guess I don't understand how the Bible says
"Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
"They struck me," you will say, "but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink." (Proverbs 23:31-35 ESV)
If this wine that Proverbs is speaking of here is simply a jelly eaten with bread or wine that has been mixed down so much so that it is basically Welches grape juice, how could one be beaten and not feel it? How often do you drink eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and see strange things?
MacArthur also pointed out that their are a multitude of words used in the Old and New Testament that take on different meanings in our present day. His example was slavery. Slavery in the Old Testament and New Testament was a way for poor people to survive, which of course is different than how we view slavery. And how there are a lot of younger reformed pastors who wear a badge of drinking on their chest and who tell their congregations to go and drink (He specifically mentioned Mark Driscoll, who recently publicly repented for not drinking earlier as he was being legalistic). He cited their arguments that alcohol like food, if consumed in moderation is within a Christians freedom to do. MacArther rebutted their point saying: no one I know has ever driven off a cliff after having eaten one too many tacos, or no one has ever killed somebody with their car because of eaten too many cheeseburgers, and no one he knows has ever raped someone because he's eaten too much.
This, of course is a logical fallacy. The sin and aftermath of being drunk is not like the sin and aftermath math of gluttony. Nor is the sin aftermath of being drunk at the same as the sin and aftermath of lying. Using MacArthurs same reasoning no one has ever lied because he's eaten too many tacos or killed or committed idolatry, so does that make any of those sins less damning then drunkenness? No. All sins are damning all sins separate us from the love of Christ.
Using another categorical fallacy and flat out being mean, MacArther ended that section by saying these pastors might as well tell their congregants to go have slaves.
I'm sorry Mr. MacArther I just don't see where you are coming from. I enjoy that you care for the Bible, I respect how much you know about the Bible, but I do not see here why you are misconstruing biblical principles and otherwise ignoring what the Bible says regarding alcohol.
No legitimate Bible believer thinks it okay to be drunk. But to make the increadable and unbiblical jump is simply irresponsible. The facts are these. God gave us the fruit of the vine to enjoy, Jesus made a crap load of wine for a wedding, and we will drunk the fruit of the vine anew in the kingdom.