June 2017  
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Northside Journal: Alcohol issue

With the current issue of alcohol beverages being sold in Pineville, we need to take a quick look at the admonitions concerning the use and acceptance of alcohol in the Bible.  For those who chose to give their life to the service of God (Nazirite vow), the Old Testament gave these instructions: Numbers 6:1-4 “The Lord instructed Moses: ‘…When a man or woman makes a special vow, a Nazirite vow, to consecrate himself to the Lord, he is to abstain from wine and beer… He is not to eat anything produced by the grapevine, from seeds to skin, during his vow’”.  For the Christian, we are called to be separate His own special people (2 Cor 6:17) Therefore, "Come out from among them be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you’”. Just as the Nazirite could not touch the unclean we should also remain above reproach.  Even Daniel understood that to be pleasing to the Lord, he had to abstain from alcohol, “Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).  John the Baptist should be our New Testament example “ “But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:13-15:” We are also admonished to be filled with the Spirit, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,” (Eph 5:17-18)

The dangers of alcohol are spoken in the Bible.  “Wine is a mocker, beer is a brawler, and whoever staggers because of them is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).  “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes? Those who linger over wine, those who go looking for mixed wine. Don’t gaze at wine when it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things” (Proverbs 23:29-33). 

The Bible provides important spiritual reasons for not drinking alcoholic beverages.  Care of the body is important for Christians because the Holy Spirit indwells them. “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). “Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit…?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Alcoholism is rampant in our nation, there are too many abused and hungry children going to bed wishing that bottle was not in Daddy or Mama’s hands.  We do not know who will become the alcoholic, but we are held accountable for those with our actions.  A Christian’s life should not be an impediment to others. “Therefore, let us decide… not to… put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way… It is a noble thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother stumble” (Romans 14:13, 21).  “But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9).

Proponents for the sale of alcohol tell us it will only be in restaurants, just like they said we would only have a lottery.  The same way gambling has festered in our state, so will the use of alcohol in our community.  I have lived for 51 years in towns that allowed alcoholic consumption and it has been such a blessing to live in a “dry community”. Don’t allow politicians with their own agenda ruin this beautiful and blessed community called Pineville. (Reference www.erlc.com)