Traditions of Man - Prohibition of Alcohol


#1

For those who belong to denominations which prohibit the drinking of alcohol, how do you justify this tradition of man which contradicts the scriptures and still claim to be a denomination which is biblically based?

2:1 And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there.

2:2 And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage.

2:3 And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.

2:4 And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.

2:5 His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

2:6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.

2:7 Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

2:8 And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it.

2:9 And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom,

2:10 And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now.

2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.


#2

Not that I agree at all with this, but I’ve read theories that when the Bible mentions wine in a “negative” sense, such as getting drunk, it means fermented grape alcohol wine. And when it mentions wine in a “positive” sense, such as Jesus’ drinking, it means unfermented grape juice.

Doesn’t make sense especially in light of the passage mentioned, especially Jn 2:10, or from verses such as, Titus 2:3.


#3

Because it destroys our homes, enslaves people, is glorified by our youth due to the influence of the popular culture from music and television, and is when kids and young adults are involved in gangs, drinking, meth, and pot seem to go hand in hand.
When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
You guys can preach moderation all you want but we are not interested in philosophical discourse about things that destroy our families.
Bury someone hit by a drunk driver, and then ask your question. Does that answer your question?


#4

That’s about a 9 on the tension scale.:smiley:

Fredricks

When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
You guys can preach moderation all you want but we are not interested in philosophical discourse about things that destroy our families

Was that a jab at Catholicism or Alcoholism? Hard to tell from your post.

Ex-mo


#5

[quote=Fredricks]Because it destroys our homes, enslaves people, is glorified by our youth due to the influence of the popular culture from music and television, and is when kids and young adults are involved in gangs, drinking, meth, and pot seem to go hand in hand.
When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
You guys can preach moderation all you want but we are not interested in philosophical discourse about things that destroy our families.
Bury someone hit by a drunk driver, and then ask your question. Does that answer your question?
[/quote]

Every good thing that was created by God can be abused and used to destroy human lives (can you say Fried Chicken?). If you prohibited everything that can and is used or abused contrary to it’s created good, there would be nothing left. That is why Catholics, and a lot of non-fundamentalist Christians argue against the strict prohibition of anything that is not in itself intrinsically evil. Legalism doesn’t pass the Bible smell test. :wink:

Instead of forbidding things that are not in and of themselves intrinsically evil, we would be wiser to educate our children, and our culture as to how we can use all good gifts of God in moderation and give him the thanks and glory for his good gifts.


#6

[quote=Fredricks]When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
[/quote]

I beg you to please show me any evidence of any Catholic glorifying the abuses of alcohol or alcoholism. Probably all practicing Catholics will. This red herring will not help you win your argument that alcohol use was prohibited in the Bible.

Catholicism condemns excessive drinking, it does not condemn drinking outright like certain Protestant denominations do or have done in the past. Alcohol in and of itself is not “evil”, just as any substance in and of itself is not intrinsically evil. Grain alcohol has been used for more than a hundred years as fuel for cars. When American puritans decided to prohibit alcohol production, they forced farmers to purchase the more expensive fossil fuels which harm the environment more. Maybe if research in this area had been allowed to continue, we would not be in the current situation we are in today. There’s nothing wrong with having a beer or two, and it certainly isn’t condemned in Scripture. Jesus Himself was accused of being a “wine bibber”. Don’t go around saying Catholics glorify drinking, because we certainly do not. It is ridiculous to argue that Jesus would have used unfirmented grape juice during the Eucharist celebration because grape juice had not been invented till about 1800 years later. The pasturization process used for making grape juice did not exist. Jesus drank wine, and His first public miracle was to turn water into wine at the wedding in Cana for the guests at the request of His mother, thus starting His ministry. I find it highly hypocritical of some Protestant schools that condemn Catholicism for “advocating” drinking (when we don’t!) when there was no prohibition of alcohol in Scripture and God Himself drank!


#7

[quote=Fredricks]Does that answer your question?
[/quote]

No, because it is not biblical to prohibit the use of alcohol and it is contradictory to scriptures.


#8

[quote=Fredricks]Because it destroys our homes, enslaves people, is glorified by our youth due to the influence of the popular culture from music and television, and is when kids and young adults are involved in gangs, drinking, meth, and pot seem to go hand in hand.
When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
You guys can preach moderation all you want but we are not interested in philosophical discourse about things that destroy our families.
Bury someone hit by a drunk driver, and then ask your question. Does that answer your question?
[/quote]

All of the examples that you are citing would constitute abuse of alcohol. And if you’ve had someone in your family that was killed by a drunk driver, I’m truely sorry. Your anger against alcohol abuse is justified. I don’t think you will find that any of my fellow Catholics here would side against you on that.

What you do get wrong is* “Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses”*. This shows a total lack of knowledge about Catholicism and what it teaches. That would be a little like us accusing you of supporting the people who murder abortion doctors simply because they are Protestants. Ridiculous, huh?

Alcohol is not evil; what some people do with it is.

Lisa


#9

In my experiences working in many communities, the Protestant churches have always been more responsive to the needs of our youth. The have actively fought and been our partners in combating gangs, drug abuse, and the effects of alcohol.
If you wish to have a philosophical conversation about “moderation”, continue to do so. Realize, we cannot send mixed messages to our youth. The stakes are top high.
If people could handle alcohol better in the time of Christ, without it causing the ruin of communities and almost entire groups of people, good for them.
I am glad to see your responses, save Lischou whose response shows a compassionate person, it strengthens my views about Catholicism on certain moral issues.
We are Pro-Life. Not applicable to us and we do a lot more to help mothers in our community then the Catholics have ever done, except for an occasional priest who likes to appear on the news in our community when they need an interview. That argument rings completely hollow around these parts.


#10

there are alcohol free wine!


#11

"The Relationship of Religion and Alcohol Consumption
The 21 primary countries in this analysis were classified as either predominantly Protestant or Catholic (there were four countries in which neither religion was dominant) (see Table 1). Catholic countries consume significantly more alcohol than Protestant (or neither religion dominant) countries (F=6.76, 20 df, p=<.01). The correlation between percentage Catholic and total consumption is also highly significant (r=.64, p=<.005). Catholic nations consume twice the percentage of their total beverage alcohol in the form of wine as do Protestant countries (F=5.78, 20 df, p=<.05). This difference narrowed marginally, and the percentage wine consumed declined in Catholic countries and increased in Protestant countries from 1980 to 1990 (F=5.04, 19 df, p=<.05; missing data for Iceland). Differences between Temperance and non-Temperance cultures are more significant than those based solely on religion, in terms both of total alcohol consumption (p=<.001) and percentage consumed as wine (p=<.001) or spirits (p=<.005), but not beer.
peele.net/lib/temperan.html

Long term effect of alcohol
eirpharm.com/alcohol_long_effects.php

more studies

Engs (1980) compared 3719 Canadian and 1428 American college students. The Americans drank more and had more alcohol related problems. **Protestants from churches opposed to alcohol had less consumption than Roman Catholics and Protestants not opposed to alcohol (9.98 vs 13.2 drinks per week). ** Canadian Roman Catholics (2.61 problems) and Protestants from churches not opposed to alcohol (2.56) suffer more problems than did Protestants not allowed to drink (2.25) and Jewish students (1.72). These figures paralleled the levels of drinking. American Jews (3.90 problems), by contrast, drank as much as Catholics and Protestants from drinking churches and had the most problems while Protestants from non-drinking churches (2.80) had the least drinking and fewest problems. The analysis included only drinking students. Abstaining was likely higher from churches opposed to alcohol and would have made the figures even more favorable for students from those churches if the abstaining students were included in the analysis.

African-American students who were drinkers were noted to be less likely to be moderate or heavy drinkers when compared to European-Americans (Rachal, 1975). This is consistent with the concept that drinkers from most families, cultures or subcultures with a larger percentage of abstainers are less likely to be heavy drinkers. Nationality examples of this would be Singapore (Isralowitz) and Sri Lanka (Samarasinghe, 1987). However, in the case of American Indians and the Irish (O’Connor) there exists both a large percentage of abstainers and a large percentage of heavy and abusive drinkers. In such cultures, the high level of abstaining is almost certainly a reaction to the heavy damage of alcohol to the culture rather than the cause of the damage. Perhaps there is an hereditary predisposition for these nationalities.

Rachel (1975) also found in a survey of 13,122 high school students that highly religious students were much more likely to be abstainers and much less likely to be heavy drinking. The South had the highest level of abstaining and lowest of drinking in all categories except “infrequent.”

Kane (1972) studied 19,929 high school students in Kentucky. Catholic boys were more likely to be heavy drinkers (41% vs 32%) and less likely to be non-drinkers (16% vs 57%) when compared to Protestants.

Biggs (1974) gave a questionnaire to 465 University of Minnesota undergrads. Atheists, agnostics, and Jews were the most numerous and heaviest users of marihuana. Conservative Protestants used alcohol less and fewer had been intoxicated. Catholics, liberal Protestants, and atheists were the most likely to have been intoxicated at least 12 times in the year. Negative attitudes towards parents correlated with marijuana, but not alcohol use.

Schlegel (1979) looked at 1750 high school students in Ontario. Those from “proscriptive” Protestant backgrounds, i.e. Baptists, Mennonites, and members of the Salvation Army, were least likely to drink (60% vs. 95%) and least likely to be heavy drinkers (5% vs. 20%). Schlegel says his research rejects the hypothesis that proscriptive Protestants who drink have a high rate of heavy drinking. This was true even of proscriptive Protestants who attended church only five times a year. Still less active or inactive proscriptive Protestant students were similar to nonattenders of other religions in having considerably higher heavy drinking rates (25%-30%).

modern-psychiatry.com/new_page_67.htm


#12

[quote=Fredricks]In my experiences working in many communities, the Protestant churches have always been more responsive to the needs of our youth. The have actively fought and been our partners in combating gangs, drug abuse, and the effects of alcohol.
[/quote]

I suggest you look up www.catholiccharitiesusa.org . I also suggest you spend more time trying to help those in need and less time comparing what you are doing to help with what others are doing.

If you wish to have a philosophical conversation about “moderation”, continue to do so.

If someone does not have the ability to drink in moderation they are an alcoholic. Your answer suggests that alcohol has a power over everyone who drinks it.

Realize, we cannot send mixed messages to our youth. The stakes are top high.

I thik you will find in European countiries like Italy and France where wine is given to children at meals, that alcohol has less of the “rebellious” lure than it does for teenagers in the U.S. I was allowed to have wine and champagne as a child on special occasions and I rarely drink today. When I do it’s never to excess.

If people could handle alcohol better in the time of Christ, without it causing the ruin of communities and almost entire groups of people, good for them.

Human nature has not changed.

I am glad to see your responses, save Lischou whose response shows a compassionate person, it strengthens my views about Catholicism on certain moral issues.

Drinking alcohol in moderation is not a moral issue.

We are Pro-Life.

Good to see you are Pro-Life. Many Christian denominations have no official position on abortion. Only the Catholic Church has remained consistently anti-abortion in all cases.

Not applicable to us and we do a lot more to help mothers in our community then the Catholics have ever done, except for an occasional priest who likes to appear on the news in our community when they need an interview. That argument rings completely hollow around these parts

You sound like you are in competition for media attention with others who are fighting to end abortion. You might want to examine your motives is this is the kind of attitude you have. Isn’t any media attention on the pro-life movement useful? The Catholic teenagers who march along the West coast and East coast against abortion on their school breaks have gotten media attention. It can only be good for the cause.

Remember, it was Pope John Paul II who first used the phrase “culture of death”.

But this thread is not about abortion so I’ll just say again that the prohibition of alcohol is a manmade tradition in some denominations and it is not biblical.

Just curious. Do you you have just as many alcoholics in your denomination as you would find amongst Catholics? Because if alcoholism is caused by the teaching that drinking in moderation is not morally wrong, why do you have any alcoholics?


#13

Your article is about alcohol consumption, not alcoholism.

One of the first paragraphs in your link states the following:

Both case comparison and cohort epidemiologic research, as well as cross-cultural analysis, have now firmly established that **alcohol reduces coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence and mortality (**Criqui and Ringel 1994; Gaziano et al. 1993; Klatsky et al. 1992; Rimm et al. 1991; Stampfer et al. 1988; Suh et al. 1992). Prospective epidemiological studies also find that overall mortality is reduced by moderate alcohol consumption (Boffetta and Garfinkel 1990; Doll et al. 1994; Fuchs et al. 1995; Grnbæk 1994; Klatsky 1992). These benefits occur primarily for middle-aged men and women, for whom heart disease is the primary cause of death. However, they also apply to all adults at risk for heart disease, a substantial majority of both female and male adults (Fuchs et al. 1995).

This too:

Impressive as these findings are, to have real policy implications they must be considered in the light of an older body of research on cross-cultural differences in drinking styles. Some cultures, notably Mediterranean and other wine-drinking societies, unquestionably socialize the use of alcohol more effectively and display fewer behavioural drinking problems than other cultures (Blum and Blum 1969; Lolli et al. 1958; Maloff et al. 1982). These differences are reflected in epidemiological and community studies through lower rates of drinking problems and alcoholism (Cahalan and Room 1974; Glassner and Berg 1980; Greeley et al. 1980). Vaillant (1983), for example, found that Irish-Americans in an urban Boston setting were seven times as likely to become alcohol dependent over their lifetimes as were Mediterranean-Americans (Italian, Greek, and Jewish). Yet, quantitative cross-cultural research has rarely found systematic differences in drinking behavior (see Whitehead and Harvey 1974).

That is just the first link you provided and the main thrust of the article is to illustrate that cultural differences (not just religion) play an important role in alcohol dependence.


#14

Eden
I can see that this is quite philosophical to you. You can choose to respond to me. This will be the last time I ever respond to you over any matter.


#15

[quote=Fredricks]Eden
I can see that this is quite philosophical to you. You can choose to respond to me. This will be the last time I ever respond to you over any matter.
[/quote]

You can put me on your ignore list so that you don’t have to read my posts.

You still have not shown how prohibition of alcohol as a religious teaching is not a tradition of man though. That was the topic of my thread, not a philosophical discussion on moderate drinking. I’m simply responding to your arguments as to why prohibition of alcohol, though not biblical and though a tradition of man, is justifiable in your denomination.


#16

[quote=Fredricks]Because it destroys our homes, enslaves people, is glorified by our youth due to the influence of the popular culture from music and television, and is when kids and young adults are involved in gangs, drinking, meth, and pot seem to go hand in hand.
When I see Catholics gloryifying or being flippant about the abuses heaped upon people because of drinking, it disgusts me.
You guys can preach moderation all you want but we are not interested in philosophical discourse about things that destroy our families.
Bury someone hit by a drunk driver, and then ask your question. Does that answer your question?
[/quote]

It is not societies responsibility to remove the the temptation to drink from those who abuse alchohol. It is the responsibility of those who are afflicted with alchoholism to seek help in alleviating their problem.

I dont know what context your anger is coming from. If it is you have been hurt by someone close who is an alchoholic i suggest you check out your locla Al-anon group. Blaming society for the actions of those who drink to excess is countrproductive,


#17

I think this is a fair question and framed well. For all the opposing arguments I don’t see any that are directly answering the question. I see people using their personal feelings and pointing to 21st century emotions and trying to cram them into biblical ideas.

Jewish weddings were huge celebrations (OP’s Jn 2 ref) that lasted for about a week. Traditionally you had the good wine up front, and then when the guests were tipsy you switch to the not so good wine, but still had plenty. This is why everyone is so amazed that the best wine was saved for last, Jesus’ wine. So we have Jesus providing the best wine to people that had already been drinking for days. That’s the Scriptural account.

Now if one holds a personal conviction that they should not drink alcohol or that alcohol is best left alone, then fine. But to take a personal choice and place God’s name on it as the way to behave as a Christian is just simply not the thing to do.

I disagree with Sola Scriptura, but I do understand it. If that is going to be ones final authority then one cannot dismiss from that final authority verses such as:

“Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath.” Colossians 2:16

“For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents.” Titus 1:7-9 – Notice “drunkard,” not: “Thou shalt not drink.”

“Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, …” Titus 2:3 – again the addiction is what is prohibited.

If you personally don’t think it’s OK to drink alcohol; then don’t. May God grant you grace and peace. If you think it’s OK to drink, then do so, but make sure not to cause your brother to stumble. May God grant you grace and peace.


#18

[quote=Fredricks]In my experiences working in many communities, the Protestant churches have always been more responsive to the needs of our youth. The have actively fought and been our partners in combating gangs, drug abuse, and the effects of alcohol.
If you wish to have a philosophical conversation about “moderation”, continue to do so. Realize, we cannot send mixed messages to our youth. The stakes are top high.
If people could handle alcohol better in the time of Christ, without it causing the ruin of communities and almost entire groups of people, good for them.
I am glad to see your responses, save Lischou whose response shows a compassionate person, it strengthens my views about Catholicism on certain moral issues.
We are Pro-Life. Not applicable to us and we do a lot more to help mothers in our community then the Catholics have ever done, except for an occasional priest who likes to appear on the news in our community when they need an interview. That argument rings completely hollow around these parts.
[/quote]

Well that answers my question in my previous post. Your anger stems from anti-catholicism. Thats sad.

When I attend AA meetings I see a lot of Protetsnts there-was it us evil catholics who caused their problem???

What you dont seem to grasp is that if a person is an alchoiholic it doeant matter what their religion teaches. It is as abusrd to teach that Catholics promote alchoholsim as it would be for me to claim that the abundance of deserts at traditional Protestant Wed Night meals promotes obesity or diabetes.


#19

[quote=estesbob]It is not societies responsibility to remove the the temptation to drink from those who abuse alchohol. It is the responsibility of those who are afflicted with alchoholism to seek help in alleviating their problem

Not talking about prohibition.
We are talking about teaching our youth and adults not to drink.

I dont know what context your anger is coming from. If it is you have been hurt by someone close who is an alchoholic i suggest you check out your locla Al-anon group. Blaming society for the actions of those who drink to excess is countrproductive,

[/quote]

My context comes from the effects of rampant alcohol abuse.
Before you question me, where do you live and what is your job? I know that you cannot answer me. Let me answer you,
URBAN and working with drug, alcohol, and pregnant teenagers.
We run an Al-anon group and an AA group in our fellowship hall at the church. My brother is also a mortician. My other brother is a police officer. No need to go along the family line, but we have seen enough of this. If you guys think this message of moderate wine drinking will fly in this community, come on down.


#20

[quote=estesbob]Well that answers my question in my previous post. Your anger stems from anti-catholicism. Thats sad.

My anger stems from destroyed lives.
My love extends to all those destroyed by drugs and alcohol and everyday, for the majority of life, is helping those that this happened to.
[/quote]


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