Modern Moderately Rioting Christianity

Filed in Alcohol, Bible Issue, Christian Living, Modern Versions by on March 28, 2015 0 Comments • views: 1451

ferg riotA friend of mine came back for a visit to America after being in Africa as a missionary for several years. I asked him if there were any changes that stood out among Christians or American culture in general. Among a handful of things, he pointed out that many Bible Christians are now USING the Bible to justify drinking alcohol. Of course they would never claim that getting drunk is okay, but that drunkenness is the only thing the Bible clearly says is sinful. I believe the whole issue can be solved in a simple lesson from the King’s English.

In 2010 while traveling south for the birth of our third son, Ezekiel, a young man in a church in Minnesota pointed out a passage that settled the issue for me forever. I tend to over complicate things like many of you reading this often do. The Lord has taught me to ask him for clear answers to things that seem difficult. Jesus did say, “ask, and ye shall receive,” John 16:24. An old preacher once said, “Simplicity is truth’s most becoming garb.” God is good and not the author of confusion. 1 Cor. 14:33. He wants us to know and understand the truth if we are willing to believe what he says. The most basic verse on assurance of salvation is grounded in this same faith. 1 Jn. 5:13.

First, consider an extremely common New Testament verse used to justify occasional private or social alcohol consumption for believers.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 5:18.

There it is. “As long as I don’t get drunk, I’m within the bounds of scripture. Please, don’t judge me.” This line of thinking is akin to the quip I would often hear while street preaching downtown in a city on Saturday evening. “Well, Jesus drank wine!” (hiccup) Then when you ask the person where that is in the Bible, you find out they aren’t able to hold the Book right-side up. The conversation is over.med riot

I have found the best way to learn the meaning of what God says is to READ more of what God says. Diligently review the words and phrases where they occur elsewhere in the Bible. This method is called comparing scripture with scripture. In this way, you allow room for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you God’s built-in definitions to the things he speaks of. If you are a Bible Christian, you should take the Bible as the final authority above all opinion or preference. No believer should be a law unto themselves or give their old fleshy nature room to wriggle out of the specific delineations of holy writ. Isn’t that what got mankind into this trouble to begin with? Everything God said is for our good, but the serpent wanted to question that to Eve and started down the slippery slope of sin.taunting riot

What about this word “excess”? Isn’t that what right or wrong hinges on here? When investigating further, you find there is only one other place God uses this phraseology. Look at the first few verses of 1st Peter chapter 4.

“1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”

Again, anyone can plainly see the problem would be with EXCESSIVELY drinking liquor according to verse 3. As you read along though, one verse later, the phrase “excess of riot” occurs. If you follow the same application of only avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, you also have liberty to RIOT, as long as it is in moderation. This would actually fit well with the modern libertine spirit on the rise in America and the growing desire to “overthrow the establishment” to set up a “New World Order”. Before the French Revolution, I wonder if people debated about the potential benefits of “moderate” rioting?moltav riot

Either way, the scripture is clear. A Christian that is engaged in rioting is living in EXCESS. Follow through on the wording of the King’s English. The phrases occur as “excess of wine” and “excess of riot”. A believer should no more partake of fermented liquor for leisure or enjoyment than he might casually join a rowdy mob bent on stealing, destroying property, and harming police officers. It matters not if the drinking or rioting is for party or protest. The intentions are immaterial because the Bible says a believer is not to be partaker of such excesses at all. Following the logical conclusion, based on what the words say, the excess is in the wine itself and not in the volume that one decides to ingest. And by the way, how would you find out how much wine was in excess to begin with unless you first drank to an excess? Anyone knows that different people have a varied constitution to foreign chemicals in the body. Some of this is genetic and some of it is a developed level of tolerance. Why would God want a Christian experimenting to find out a personal intoxication level in the first place? Only complete abstinence makes perfect sense.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Cor. 6:19.

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Cor. 3:17.face riot

Now, at this point, you may be tempted to begin running for lexicons, dictionaries, and other manuscripts to find a “clearer” meaning. It should be obvious that the motive is to justify your future plans. Let me remind you, as wild as this may sound today, the issue of legalizing liquor was a national contention among both saved and lost only one hundred years ago. Do children still learn about Prohibition in school these days? My, how man has evolved! Look at how the church is marching triumphantly by bringing the world to Christ! (sarcasm) Things are not progressing folks, and that is exactly why Christians need to go back to the King James Bible and re-read the old tried and true text of the Protestant Reformation. That is the Book that this country’s freedoms were founded on.man riot

Please, do not suggest to me new discoveries found in older and better manuscripts. Scholarship has not produced any great national revivals in the past one hundred and fifty years. What kind of words would the modern versions like to enlighten us with? They insert as potential substitutes, “drinking bouts”, “wild profligacy” and “excesses of dissipation”. Some would promote the longer and more challenging word, “debauchery”. I suppose the critics had to find something harder because God already picked the simplest words for the King James Bible. Do not talk of the “original Greek”. IF you study New Testament Greek, you will find three different words available which makes nothing easier to understand. What makes you think the text will be clearer while perusing the available material in hopes of finding a deeper meaning or more educated decision while getting soused? (hiccup)burn riot

As the novice Greek dabbler digs into his collection of internet “resources”, he or she can coolly sip a glass of saucy booze; assured by Christian education his practice is indeed “Christian” on multiple levels. The door for misbehavior is left open by today’s widely propagated and accepted philosophy towards the HOLY scriptures. Oh, but don’t stop now, check where they took that word out too! (holy) What did God even mean when he said, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”? 1 Peter 1:16. There is a strong connection today between the modern versions and the decline in morality among both saved and lost.riot resluts

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About the Author ()

After serving for 6 years at the top of Alaska in Point Lay, the Bernick Family moved 90 miles further northeast to Wainwright. They are full-time working missionaries. Chad works as a pastor to the village through the Baptist church and responds with the local EMS/fire fighter crew. His wife, Sarah, daily home schools their six children and hosts a sewing class twice a week. They have been in arctic Alaska since 2008.

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