Approach the Scripture with sincerity and let it speak for itself without superimposing your own opinion

Approach the Scripture with sincerity and let it speak for itself without superimposing your own opinion

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I recently asked this question on Facebook and Twitter: “Bible students on this app, did Jesus drink wine according to Luke 7:34, and if he did why is it wise for you not to drink it?”

I asked the question so that believers would let the Scripture speak for itself and not let their conviction be based on opinions of church leaders but rather on God’s Word. Also, my intention was that my question would encourage them to search the Scriptures everyday and find out whether the teachings they hear from the pulpit is true like the people of Berea did (Acts 17:11).

Before you read what two of my friends (Alphonsus and Jude) that responded wrote, let me use this opportunity to also provide my own answer. I do believe Jesus probably drank wine but Christ was super discipline and could not be drunk. However, it is wise to avoid drinking wine because of its danger. Wine dulls the senses, limits clear judgment, lowers capacity for control and destroys one’s efficiency.

Alphosus’s response:

There is every possibility Jesus did take wine though it isn’t explicitly written. The weight of the Bible isn’t against taking wine. It is against being drunk. It takes drinking wine to get drunk hence it is better drinking is avoided in order to not get drunk.

Jude’s response:

Hello sir, I saw your post on wine and thought I should send you this privately. So much has been said about the bible and wine. We who grew up in strict scriptural environments remember how wine or alcohol was a no no. The popular scripture used to defend this position often was, “all things are lawful but all things are not expedient…” It was interesting to note that this passage itself did not forbid alcohol per se. Other passages referred to were advice to Lemuel, warnings against drunkenness and similar stuff. What is indeed clear is that scriptures never categorically prohibits alcohol. When you bring this up to Bible teachers rather than take it for what it is, they start par-ambulating instead of confronting the issues head on. The crux of the matter is this, what was the nature of the wine in first century Israel? Your friend Desmond Nabas said, “those wines lacked the power to intoxicate…” where did he get that from? Was it not Paul who reprimanded the Corinthians for getting drunk during communion? Did Noah not get drunk thousands of year before? Did Lot’s daughters not get him drunk? For you to categorically say that the wine in those times didn’t have alcohol shouldn’t you have a good knowledge of Jewish customs and traditions then? And please, tell me does boiling evaporate alcohol? I ask you as a scientist and an authority in the area of food and beverages. My own limited research tells me that wine in the bible was also alcoholic. However, I am always open to learning. I am tired of religious folks who rather than say they don’t know, or accept that they may be mistaken, choose to intimidate their members or force them to accept their opinion. This is especially so among black religious figures. For example, American evangelicals do not even have an issue with drinking alcohol. I may be wrong but contentions like this seem to be more common among Africans.  For African church leaders, it’s as if accepting that you may be wrong will discredit you completely. I remember when we were growing up. The church said television was the devil’s box and did everything to deter members from it. Somehow I had a sense that this thing would not survive the times and in future they would definitely have to change their stance. What happened? With the advent of computers and the internet did the doctrine not suffer an inevitable demise? Did the church not reverse it’s position tactfully while not coming out openly to say, “perhaps we were wrong. Maybe this is how we should have said this. The TV can be instrument of evil and at the same time can be used for good. Moderation should be our watchword. Do not allow your children to watch x,y,z kind of programming. Do not watch anything you know Jesus cannot watch with you. Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life…”. Would that not have been a better message than to out rightly say it is a sin only to reverse yourself some years down the line? Does the word of God change? Can it be altered by technology? I watched a generation of kids who came after us go on a TV watching binge after their parents bought it.     You must be wondering why I had to go into all this? 😀😀   Abeg no vex. I just felt like venting today. You asked a good question which I’ve seen so many church leaders gloss over because they know they probably can’t answer truthfully. I wish people would approach the scriptures with sincerity and let it speak for itself without superimposing our own interpretation. It is clear that there was alcohol in the time the Bible was written. We can tell that wine they drank had alcohol. It is not clear if there were non alcoholic wines, although it would be unlikely. We don’t know the kind of wine Jesus made. It could have been without alcohol but we do know that he drank what was available at the time, and if there was alcohol available then he would have drunk it too. We would probably learn more from scholars of Jewish history about the wine making process in first century Israel than listen to those who would rather interpret scripture their own way.   Thank you for your time sir. 😀

Tosin 'Badeniyi, PhD

Tosin 'Badeniyi, PhD

Tosin ‘Badeniyi, a Professor at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science at Durban University of Technology, South Africa, holds a doctoral degree in Food Science from University of Pretoria South Africa. Since 2001, he has conducted research and lectured internationally in the area of food quality and safety. He is the editor of Food Science and Technology: Trends and Future Prospects and has published numerous scientific publications as well as four inspirational books.

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