James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), vol. To contact us or to submit an article, click here. Biblical stories of Noah and his sons (Genesis 9:20–27) and Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:30–38) vividly show that intoxication often leads to tragic ends. However, Paul’s counsel was instead, as noted, a recommendation for medicinal use. In a later text, he added that believers are to “learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family” (1 Timothy 5:4). That he needed to be encouraged to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake certainly indicates that regular use of wine was not his lifestyle. While the Gospels reflect practices of the period, there are no commands from Jesus that teach His followers to drink wine (unless His instructions to repeat the Last Supper are taken as such [Luke 22:17–20; 1 Corinthians 11:25–26]). I have a feed sucking down references to the Assemblies of God in weblog entries, and Google’s blog search evidently spiders Wikipedia “talk” pages. True Christian liberty knows the joy to “honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). Surprisingly, there are very few references to wine in the New Testament epistles. Alcohol, Tobacco, & Drugs Other Christian Character Topics This AG Perspective reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery. Certainly, neither Jesus nor the apostles assumed that all people fell into these categories but then, as now, alcohol abuse was a scourge that Christians must avoid and seek to alleviate. You are most welcome, looking forward in fellowship with you soon. Therefore, it is important to ask, “What are the effects of alcohol usage (and other lifestyle indulgences) for the believer’s personal health and Christian service?” Consumption of alcoholic beverages is known to be associated with ailments including stroke, hypertension, heart disease, pancreatitis, liver disease, immune system disorders, and various cancers. Paul cautioned that neither “thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards [methusos] nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). And drunkenness can keep a person out of the Kingdom of God ( Galatians 5:21 Galatians 5:21 Contentions, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking” (Romans 12:2, The Message). The International General Assembly is composed of all members and ministers of the Church of God 16 years of age and above. At the conclusion of these studies, reports are given to the General Presbytery for approval as official statements of The General Council of the Assemblies of God, or position papers, as they are often called. There are many Protestant denominations in the United States. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! The Assemblies of God also stresses eschatology a great … Wine, along with other natural provisions, was evidence of God’s blessing and favor. In that same context, he severely rebuked the Corinthians for a contemptuous abuse of food and alcohol that marred their Lord’s Supper observances and led to the neglect and deprivation of fellow members (11:21). Though the legal limit for drunkenness is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08, various aspects of impairment may be present with a BAC as low as 0.02.16 Alcohol may be the socially acceptable drink of choice, but it is also the most addictive. See also http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2014-01-vitalsigns.pdf (accessed May 15, 2014). In such a case, Israelites were permitted to exchange their tithe for silver to facilitate travel and then purchase “wine” (yayin) and “fermented drink” (shekar) for their feasts at the sites; however, the weight of Scripture suggests the strong drink in this instance would be poured out as a drink offering and not consumed as described in Numbers 28:7.8, The primary Greek word translated “wine” in the New Testament is oinos (34 times). 3 Shared Beliefs. Any or all of these arguments may be valid but there is not a clear biblical rule that says, “Do not smoke.” When a question is raised about a practice which is not specifically addressed in the Scriptures, guidance may be found in general themes or principles supported in the Bible. The circumstances and issues of Paul’s day may differ somewhat from our own, but the principle of sacrificial loving concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ remains. Approximately seventeen million Americans have what the NIAA designates “an alcohol use disorder.”25 The annual cost to American society of alcohol misuse problems was estimated at $249 billion in 2010. Intoxicating drink is definitely in view, and upon providing a detailed description of an alcoholic beverage, the writer does not suggest that it should be consumed in moderation. But over time––as more procedures, policies, and bylaws are put into place––a Fellowship can become a denomination.” It usually denotes fermented wine and is often associated with intoxication. They thought such knowledge “builds up.” Instead Paul told them that sometimes knowledge “puffs up” and destroys others. The following is a summary of the 16 Fundamental Truths: The Bible is inspired by God and is "the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct". An independent network of Catholic treatment centers helps priests battling any number of problems. Who has strife? Children, especially, who often experience peer pressure to experiment with alcohol beginning in their preteens, need the loving counterinfluence of parents, “the number one influence on their decisions about alcohol.”21 Reportedly, “In homes where the parents were social drinkers, 66 percent of the children experimented with alcohol before adulthood.”22 In families where parents are alcoholics, children are far more likely to suffer abuse and are themselves four times more likely to become alcoholics.23 Moreover, studies report that one in four children who began using any addictive substance, including alcohol, before age eighteen become addicted.24 Children are far more likely to follow our example than merely our advice about alcohol. “Wine [yayin] is a mocker and beer [shekar] a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). it … “Who has woe? In this context “wine that gladdens human hearts” reflects the joy accompanying a successful harvest, not the inebriating effect of alcohol, as evidenced by the similar expressions about oil and bread—the context is food, not an inebriating beverage. In instructing his coworkers Timothy and Titus on the appointment of elders, Paul emphasized to both that Christian leaders are “not [to be] given to drunkenness” (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). Since generally we use English translations of the Bible, it is important to examine the pertinent original Hebrew and Greek words to better understand the nature and use of wine and other alcoholic beverages in biblical times. The Assemblies of God is fundamentalistic in its approach to the Bible, although it is distinguished from “mainstream” Fundamentalism by its Pentecostal beliefs. The AG was founded in … My friend, Rick Powers, simply requested that … iVALUE is a special emphasis on the ‘Four Core Beliefs’ of the Assemblies of God: Salvation, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Divine Healing and the Second Coming of Christ. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics (accessed May 16, 2014).\. He reminds the Corinthian believers that some of them were drunkards before they were washed and justified by Christ, implying that such behavior is to cease after salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11). Early documents of the church declare, without reservation or compromise, a position of total abstinence.” Methodist: “Alcohol and Other Drugs”. There is no universal definition of moderation and thus the term is highly subjective. Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective, 5 Denominations Explain Varied Stances on Alcoholism, Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter. Also, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine [tirosh]” (Proverbs 3:9–10). there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. A beverage with high alcohol content was identified by the Hebrew word shekar meaning strong drink. Annually about eighty-eight thousand deaths are alcohol related.26 About thirty people die daily because of an alcohol-impaired driver. The Hebrew lexicons6 describe yayin as a common drink for refreshment. It was under the leadership of General Superintendent Pastor Max Haleck Jr. of American Samoa from 1976 to the year of his death in 2006, from there it was under the direction of the Most Reverend and Chief Apostle Dr. Samani Pulepule, who … The article is Megan E. Patrick et al., “Extreme Binge Drinking Among 12thGrade Students in the United States: Prevalence and Predictors,” JAMA Pediatrics 167, no. There are eight different words having to do with “drunkenness” found a total of twenty times in the New Testament,13 sometimes immediately joined with oinos as its correlate (as in Ephesians 5:18) but often standing separately to denote the shameful behavioral condition attributable to abuse of wine. Unnecessary self-indulgence for a fleeting pleasure may eventuate in unacceptable costs to the individual, the family, and the society at large. but dance is an art form. There are … “Suicide: Facts at a Glance: 2012,” Center for Disease Control (accessed April 29, 2014). "We require all ministerial applicants to agree to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages; and recommend to our constituents that they also abstain.". In the late 1970's, a church committee was charged with the responsibility of studying homosexuality. Regarding same-sex couples who aren't legally allowed to marry, the Church apparently has made no specific comment about whether they should feel free to have a sexual relationship, in spite of the fact that they're not married. It is commonly paired with yayin and is an intoxicating drink, strong in both alcohol content and taste. Nor does it explain how one is to know when moderation is being practiced. Nearly seven hundred thousand students are assaulted by other students, including nearly one hundred thousand victims of alcohol-related sexual assault and date rape.29 Suicide is the tenthleading cause of death in the United States (third-leading cause for ages fifteen to twenty-four) and one-third tested positive for alcohol.30 Thirty-nine percent of high school students drink regularly and an estimated 1 in 10 high school seniors are extreme binge drinkers. 1. Conflicting positions develop when the parties who ask the modern question select topical biblical information that may appear to support their predispositions, and then subjectively conclude their point of view is the biblical answer and therefore a universal guide for practice. Typically, they describe such actions as John the Baptist’s abstinence from wine (Luke 1:15; 7:33), Jesus’ refusal from the cross of wine mixed with gall/myrrh (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23), the antiseptic use mentioned in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:34), and Jesus’ apparently oft-repeated saying about new wine bursting old wineskins (Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37–38), undoubtedly a truism of wine production and storage at the time. It glorifies God, protects the individual, honors fellow believers, preserves families, unifies the church, and blesses society. http://www.biospace.com/News/a-little-red-wine-does-not-benefit-the-heartafter/339581?intcid=homepage-seekercarousel-featurednews-navindex3 (accessed February 5, 2015). ; There is only one true God who exists as a Trinity. The Assemblies of God (AG) are among the Pentecostal churches. Throughout the first 1,800 years of Church history, Christians generally consumed alcoholic beverages as a common part of everyday life and used "the fruit of the vine" in their central rite—the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. Here’s a quote from the article: The AG has preached abstinence for many years and requires all their ministers to abstain from all alcohol. It is the fourth largest international Christian group of denominations. A third Hebrew word the Bible uses to refer to an alcoholic beverage is shekar (22 times). Assemblies of God missionaries permission to travel unless they took malaria pills. In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper” (Proverbs 23:29–32). “Must,” as cited here from the Hebrew lexicons above is defined as “the expressed juice of fruit and especially grapes before and during fermentation; also: the pulp and skins of the crushed grapes.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/must?show=0&t=1405971575 (accessed July 21, 2014). The saved, who trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and redemption, will spend eternity with him in heaven. The Bible clearly warns of the perils of alcoholic beverages and negatively views the consumption of what the context clearly describes as a beverage with high alcohol content. The Samoan Assemblies of God had its origins in a mission of the Assemblies of God USA in 1928. From its inception, the Assemblies of God has been unequivocally committed to abstinence from alcoholic beverages, a conviction firmly rooted in what the Bible teaches about the abuse of wine, the consumption of strong drink, and also in its cardinal ethical principle of love for God and others. National Center for Biotechnology Information. What did the first readers understand the author to be saying? By comparison, alcoholic beverages today are an optional recreational beverage, by no means a necessity, and, unfortunately, are far more potent and addictive. Given the obvious and much publicized dangers of current alcohol consumption, as well as biblical cautions about the dangers of alcohol, Christian believers must carefully and prayerfully examine their own motives and attitudes. (Talk pages are publicly viewable “behind-the-scenes” discussion among the contributors for any article.) (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Church's belief on alcohol and tobacco is that partaking of and use of intoxicating liquors, alcoholic … For Christians, the foundational ethical principle that pervades every step in our spiritual formation is love. Alcohol is one of ours. The apostle Peter contrasts living the new life in Christ with running with former companions in drunken “wild living” (1 Peter 4:3–4). But the Old Testament also shows that these alcoholic drinks can be devastating in effect. Although Pentecostalism is not a church unto itself, the Pentecostal movement does is comprised of many church groups, such as The Assemblies of God with 51 million members, The Church of God … In the aftermath of the Azusa St. Revival, the demand for denominational organization became clear to many when founded Christian churches mostly denied Pentecostal followers. Though shekar can be translated “wine,” it is usually translated “strong drink” or “beer.” Shekar can refer to any alcoholic beverage made from grain or fruit. The biggest distinction setting them apart from other Protestant churches is their practice of speaking in tongues as a sign of anointing and "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" — a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service.. Another distinct … The task of understanding this biblical rule for extramarital sex in nonbiblical times and cultures is not difficult. Distillation, that now produces alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 40 percent or more, was not invented until the Middle Ages. The Assemblies of God does not have its own treatment facilities for leaders dealing with alcohol addiction. Jesus warned His disciples, as well as all who would live between their time and the end time, "Take heed to yourselves, lest … Gift #1 The Harbinger. Drinking shekar is almost always condemned in Scripture, except when used for relief from pain in the case of terminal illness (Proverbs 31:6). You can get similar benefits with exercise (beginning to exercise if you don’t already or boosting the intensity and duration of your activity) or healthier eating.”33 The Mayo Clinic, also noting there may be limited benefits of moderate drinking, is similarly cautious: “Certainly, you don't have to drink any alcohol, and if you currently don't drink, don't start drinking for the possible health benefits. To abstain means to voluntarily choose to avoid. Third, an even more complex situation emerges when guidance is sought about a practice that the Bible addresses in many references but does not offer a clear moral precept or directive. The entertainment media have also played a major role in the transformation of public attitudes by frequent and sophisticated portrayals of social drinking in movies, television, and other media. As accountable citizen-believers and agents of health and healing, we are responsible to critically evaluate the impact of alcohol use (and other potentially harmful practices) on our society. “Alcohol use: If you drink, keep it moderate,” Mayo Clinic (accessed April 17, 2014). In the late 1970's, a church committee was charged with the responsibility of studying homosexuality. AOG Theologian Tells Pentecostals to be Less Defensive and More Ecumenical. The General Council made history Wednesday by voting to permit men and women who were divorced before conversion to pursue ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God. Of the thirty-eight times the word is used, twenty are used in connection with grain and oil, indicating fruitfulness, productivity, and blessing (Proverbs 3:10; Isaiah 65:8; Joel 2:24). Does moderate drinking really contribute to the mature spirituality and engaging witness taught in the Scriptures? In the aftermath of the Azusa St. Revival, the demand for denominational organization became clear to many when founded Christian churches mostly denied Pentecostal followers. There are several major differences: (1) wine of the biblical era generally had lower alcohol content, (2) ancient wine was commonly diluted before consumption, (3) grapes were a staple of ancient agrarian life and commerce requiring preservation of the juice, and (4) the distillation process for liquors had not yet been fully developed.