PMT 2013-034b by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I have been interviewed on Christian radio programs regarding the Christian an alcoholic beverages. I will post a synopsis of one interview I had awhile back.
Aren’t there two kinds of wine in Scripture?
- The one word yayin / oinos is used in both commendations of wine and condemnations of wine abuse.
- This is an argument from silence: no textual evidence supports it.
- God could have employed two different words, had he intended to demarcate safe/unsafe wines.
- The argument ultimately is circular:
- The Bible condemns alcoholic wine.
- Wine is alcoholic when it is condemned.
- No lexicon supports this two-wine theory.
- No major translation supports this two-wine theory
Why are you as a Christian pastor encouraging Christians to drink wine?
- I am not encouraging anyone to drink wine. I myself do not drink it.
- I am urging Christians to learn to properly interpret the Bible.
- I am urging Christians to properly apply the Bible to moral issues.
- We must remember that Jesus both drank (Lk 7:33-35) and manufactured (Jn 2) wine.
I believe our Christian witness should forbid us to drink wine
- Our Christian witness should be informed by Scripture, which does not forbid wine.
- Our Christian witness cannot be any higher or more perfect than Jesus, who made and drank wine.
- Our Christian witness in this area should be to speak against abuse and to show how properly to use wine (if we do use it).
What about recreational use of marijuana?
- I am analyzing the issue of wine. The Bible speaks directly and expressly on this issue.
- We do not find commendation of recreational drug use in Scripture.
- To answer the recreational drug question, we should extend the principles of wine abuse: do they apply in marijuana use? That is, does marijuana impair moral awareness? motor abilities?
- The Christian should be subject to civil authority (unless forbidden to do something God commands).
Drunken driving kills thousands
- Alcohol abuse was involved in moral degradation and criminal activity in the Bible, but the Bible did not condemn wine per se, only its abuse.
- Doctor prescribed medications often lead to accidents, but we should not forbid medication.
- Guns kills thousands, but we ought not urge gun control.
- Knives and other implements are used in murders, but we do not forbid knives.
- Our criminal punishment for drunken driving should be severe.
God Gave Wine Lecture (DVDs by Ken Gentry)
Presents and defends the case for a moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages by Christians.