Wednesday, March 9, 2016


1Ti.5:23  "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."  I've actually heard that one used as justification for inebriation.  :)

Offering a bible passage as justification for anything is not particularly well received these days, and there's a reason.  Called cherry-picking or proof-texting, it usually offers an out-of-context or incomplete answer.  And it often sounds like ignorance.

The passage above about wine is the advice and permission from an older brother to his friend and fellow worker.  Timothy was probably rather strict about alcohol for cultural reasons.  Alcohol abuse was a problem then as it is now, and the safe path was to perhaps avoid it altogether.  Paul, maybe recognizing some physical problems Timothy was dealing with, gave his advice on the available help for the times.  

Now, if we were to suggest that this is permission to drink wine with meals, or beer at parties, or mixed drinks at the end of the day, we'd be both out of context and incomplete, would we not?

Some have strong convictions about not drinking as an extension and expression of their faith, and some with similar faith have no such convictions. It's fairly easy to find a bible text or three for either side, but there's more to the subject than just do or don't.  There's a larger context, of course.  And then there's dancing!  And manner of dress and swimsuit styles and skirt length and and appropriate sports for girls and who can be your friend ...

The real task at hand is not to persuade the world to our group's particular set of rules, but to be personally and continually refined by the author of our faith.  Our hope is represent Him brightly and graciously and to serve His purposes well, not to impose and enforce rules.  Even a kid or a young teen can do that, right?  So how might we go about that ... today?

... he said, reminding himself yet again.  :)  Perhaps it's a question we might ask ourselves at the beginning of each day.