Thursday, March 24, 2011

Doctrine or Opinion? Your Thoughts...

It is really disheartening when people of God refuse doctrine and embrace opinion instead.

We read scriptures in the Bible where God speaks to His people saying, "Thou shalt not" and His people, instead of obeying, decide to go ahead and follow their own heart and do whatever they please. (Jeremiah 6:16 - "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.")

One thing that is becoming rampant amongst the Christians of today is the refusal of true doctorine and the wholehearted acceptance of personal beliefs. Instead of dilligently searching the Scriptures and taking the Bible as a whole, many pick key verses to base their doctrine around. That should not be so.

The list below are issues that have come up within the last few weeks and it has burdened my heart to see the people of God - the chosen, set-apart, sanctified people - lax and lenient with these basic subjects in Scripture. Making excuses to blanket sin, and making excuses to lower the high expectations of a Holy God, far too many excuse themselves from "this or that" and refuse to take a literal God as...well....literal.

So the below list are issues that have caused debate. Before I give MY take on each one, I'd like some feedback on YOUR take. And please, do not base it around opinion. We, as God's people, should be after doctrine. His doctrine. So use verses and passages straight from the Word of God to prove your point.

Drinking. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Living with someone before marriage. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Divorce. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Divorce and remarriage. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Listening to ungodly music. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Watching or reading unholy things. Is it right? Is it wrong?



Lisa said...

Amen, Kristen. Irritates me, too. So much. :P I wish people would just follow the Scriptures. It irritates me even more that oftentimes Christians say, "Well, in this scenario it is fine, and in this scenario it is not." It's WRONG. You can't change the Scripture to benefit your own personal gain and opinion and lifestyle. Unfortunately even the people who call themselves strong Christians still do it, and then they say that those who actually try to do what is right are "diving fellowship." It makes me angry because so many are turned from what is truly right...... I guess it is a prophecy coming true -- the Bible does ask whether or not true faith will be found in the last days.

Rachelle said...

Great thoughts! I'm just going to address one of them while I eat my sandwich. I'll try to get back to do another one tomorrow.


The New Testament forbids drunkenness: "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit," (Ephesians 5:18 NAS)

The Old Testament discourages drunkenness and "strong drink": "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1)
"Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly;" (Proverbs 23:31)
"Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;" (Proverbs 23:20)
"Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink," (Isaiah 5:22)

As long as it's not connected to drunkenness, the Bible doesn't seem to condemn wine:
"Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works." (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
"He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you." (Deut 7:13)

The Old Testament does seem to indicate a medicinal use for alcohol, which would make sense in their pre-pharmacy culture.
"Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter." (Provers 31:6)

The OT priests were to abstain from alcohol while serving God: "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die--it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations--" (Leviticus 10:18)

Nazarites were to abstain while during the time of their vow: "Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, `When a man or woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD, he shall abstain from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar, whether made from wine or strong drink, nor shall he drink any grape juice nor eat fresh or dried grapes. (Numbers 6:2-3) - See also Judges 13 and Luke 1:15

Wine was used as a sacrifice to offer before God in the OT: "and you shall prepare wine for the drink offering, one-fourth of a hin, with the burnt offering or for the sacrifice, for each lamb." (Numbers 15:5) - See also Deut 18:4 and many other passages

Basically, Romans 14 sums up my thoughts on alcohol when it talks about liberty and stumbling. It appears to me that the Biblical stance on drinking is that it's permissible to drink alcohol as long as one does not become drunk or controlled by it, BUT if in doing so, you cause a brother or sister to stumble, it's better to refrain altogether.

That took longer than I expected... I better get back to work. I'll ttyl! Love you!

Kristen Elizabeth Lee said...

Hmm.. I have to disagree with some of this. Drinking alcohol is not permissible in the Bible. First, the same God who said, "Don't look at the wine when it is red" (meaning, firmented or liquored) is NOT going to turn around and say, "You can take a sip every now and then." God will NEVER contradict His own Word. And using our "liberty" as a Christian to down a glass of firmented wine is not the kind of liberty that Romans 14 is talking about.

You have to difine the word "wine." Sometimes it is a literal drink. Sometimes, it is figuratively speaking. In certain scriptures (i.e. Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:30 and 31, Isaiah 5:22, etc) when it talks about "red wine" or "strong drink," it means firmented. Intoxication. Liquor. Then in other passages, both in the OT and NT, wine means "squeezing" and "juicing."

Rachelle said...

As I mentioned, I have noticed a difference in the references to "strong drink" vs wine and have noticed that the Bible trends towards harsher statements overall in reference to "strong drink." From the research I have done in the past, I think that the alcohol content of most drinks of our day would fall into the "strong drink" category that the Bible discourages. There are many articles on this, but it's extra-Biblical so probably outside the scope of this discussion.

Rachelle said...

Oh, also, maybe I should have made my Romans 14 reference more specific. I was referring to the entire chapter, but specifically to verse 21, which says "It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles."

Anonymous said...

Simply from an historical standpoint, Jesus would have drank wine. He and his disciples would have had no way to have stored non-alcoholic grape juice from the late-summer/early fall grape harvest until the Passover. The desert heat would naturally have caused fermentation which was the only safe way to store it. I do not condone drunkenness but do enjoy a drink occasionally. I think if you want to drink lightly that is a decision between you and God. But I also believe that the Christians who are addicted are as forgiven and as loved by our God as anybody else. The sinner is who Jesus came to save. The blood of Jesus is stronger than any wine!

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