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Moral & Controversial Issues Facing Christians Today. Standards of Authority : 1. The Bible—God’s Word 2. Family 3. Friends (Peer Pressure) 4. Society & Culture 5. The Government 6. Psychologists, Theorists, etc. 7. The Media & Entertainment Industry .

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Standards of Authority:

1. The Bible—God’s Word

2. Family

3. Friends (Peer Pressure)

4. Society & Culture

5. The Government

6. Psychologists, Theorists, etc.

7. The Media & Entertainment Industry

slide3

Can any standard other than God’s word be trusted???

Isaiah 5:20

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Rom 12:2

“And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

slide4

The Word of God is the greatest standard of authority!

II Tim 3:16-17

“Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”

II Pet 1:3

“…seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue.”

Acts 5:29

“But Peter and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men.”

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John 12:48

“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

Rev 20:12

“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

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MORAL ISSUE #1:Alcohol & Social Drinking

TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK???

(68 Percent of American adults drink at least occasionally)

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Moral & Controversial Issues

Anonymous Questionnaire Results

1. Do you believe that the church has a responsibility to teach people the truth about what the Bible says about the kinds of moral and controversial issues we are about to discuss in this class and that our beliefs and practices in regard to these kinds of issues will have an effect on whether we are saved when judgment day comes?

a. Yes (17/17—100%)b. No (0/17)c. Unsure (0/17)

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2. Do you believe issues such as this, due to their potential for creating arguments, disputes, and divisions, should never be discussed in an open forum such as our class and should just be “swept under the carpet,” so-to-speak, so that everyone is expected to make whatever decision he or she feels is best on the issues without any instruction or guidance from the church?

a. Yes (0/17)b. No (17/17—100%)

c. Unsure (0/17)

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3. What do you believe should be the greatest standard of authority used when determining the moral rightness or wrongness of issues such as the ones we will be discussing in this class?

a. The Bible (17/17—100%)b. Family & Friends c. Society & Culture d. The Government e. Philosophers & Psychologists f. The Entertainment Industry

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4. Do you believe that it is right for a Christian to get drunk or intoxicated in any situation?

a. Yes (0/17)b. No (17/17—100%)c. Unsure (0/17)

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5. Do you believe that it is right for a Christian to take just one alcoholic drink in a social, public setting?

a. Yes (2/17—12%)b. No (15/17—88%)c. Unsure (0/17)

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6. Do you believe that it is right for a Christian to take just one alcoholic drink per day or week for a non-medicinal purpose in a private setting such as at home?

a. Yes (1/17—6%)b. No (15/17—88%)c. Unsure (1/17—6%)

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MORAL ISSUE #1:Alcohol & Social Drinking

TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK???

(68 Percent of American adults drink at least occasionally)

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The Christian should say NO to alcohol, drunkenness, and social drinking because alcohol is…

  • A. Unhealthy
  • Deut 32:33 “Their wine is the poison of serpents, And the cruel venom of asps.”
  • 1. Modern-day scholars have proven alcohol is unhealthy:
  • * There are a number of long term health consequences of the consumption of alcohol. These include stomach disorders (gastritis, bleeding and ulcers), depression and other psychiatric and emotional disorders, vitamin deficiency, sexual difficulties, permanent brain damage, muscle disease, nervous disorders, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, bone development hindrance, increased risk of heart attacks, cancer of the mouth and throat, and even death.
  • Over 5,000 babies are born each year with severe birth defects because of the mother being an alcoholic.
  • From research, it has been suggested that alcohol in moderation may provide some protection against heart disease. On the flip side, alcohol is also linked to 66 chronic diseases. For example, having more than two drinks per day doubles the risk of high blood pressure. Alcohol is also linked to cancersof the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver and breast. Drinking more then 1-2 servings a day significantly increases the chance of hemorrhagic stroke.
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“Although there are opposing viewpoints on the effects of alcohol, there is one factor on which researchers can agree: Heavy consumption of alcohol is harmful. From some researchers standpoint, moderate consumption of alcohol can also be harmful because it can interfere with the normal functioning of the liver, impede bone formation and most importantly inhibit the nervous system. Medically speaking, alcohol has no health benefits without negative externalities.

In summary, although some have found that moderate alcohol consumption has some benefits, the actual adverse impact that it has on society is far from being beneficial. In order to circumvent being affected by the deleterious chain-of-reaction that comes along drinking, society has to understand one fact: the best way to prevent something is never to start” (Albaspectrum.com).

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2. It is sinful to harm the health of our bodies:

I Cor. 6:19-20

“Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.”

I Cor. 3:16-17

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

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B. Unsafe

Modern-day scholars have proven alcohol is unsafe; it is sinful to knowingly put our own lives or the lives of others in jeopardy.

* In 2003, 43,220 people died on the highways due to alcohol.

* Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all traffic deaths in the US

* 403,795 people were admitted to hospitals in 2003 because of

alcohol related accidents and problems.

* More people were killed by alcohol drinking on Super Bowl Day than

any other day of the year.

* 149,000 children were injured in 2003 in alcohol related accidents.

* There were over 5,500 deaths of children in 2003 caused by alcohol.

* Every year, doctors, lawyers, educators, and airplane pilots lose jobs

and have their professional lives destroyed by alcohol addiction.

* There are thousands of suicides each year caused by alcohol abuse.

slide18
Deut. 22:8

"When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence."

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C. Unnecessary

I Tim 5:23

“Be no longer a drinker of water, but use a little wine for thy stomach\'s sake and thine often infirmities.”

Until the twentieth century, alcohol was the only painkiller generally available in western civilizations and pure drinking water was hard to come by during the time of the Jews and Christ. Yet, the technology we have in America now is such that we can easily obtain water that is pure and uncontaminated (unlike those during old testament and first-century times), and there is a plethora of over-the-counter medicine available to us for all infirmities that is superior to alcohol as treatments and free from the negative stigma that alcohol has in our culture.

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If we as Christians in the twenty-first century wish to justify social drinking, we need to ask ourselves our purpose for social drinking. If

It was possible to moderately drink wine without sinning during Old Testament times and the first century times, what were the purposes for drinking for those who did so?

Those who drank wine moderately without sinning did so because of the following reasons:

1.) Safety & Sanitation (Wine was cleaner and healthier than some

water supplies)

2.) Medicine (a little wine was used to treat infirmities)

3.) Taste (When you only have about three or so beverages to choose from (water, milk, and wine), a change in taste is desirable)

Now, those who drank wine in the O.T. times and first century and sinned by doing it did so with the following purpose or effect:

1.) The altering/impairing of one’s physical and mental faculties; intoxication.

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For what purposes do people who claim to be Christians today desire to drink socially or moderately?

Do they do it because of safety and sanitation?

Do they do it medicinally?

Do they do it just for the taste?

Or do they do it for the feeling? Do they do it for the physiological effect it has on their minds and bodies?

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D. Unlike Old Testament and first-century wine

Does Jesus’ turning of water into “wine” in John 2:1-11and his use of “the fruit of the vine” during the last supper (Matt 26:27-29) justify social drinking?

(1.) Not all references to wine in the Bible refer to that which was alcoholic

Mike Willis says, “The word wine (Greek oinos) was a generalword used to translate more specific Hebrew words. Sometimes it did mean wine of the intoxicating variety, but not always. Isaiah 65:8: “Wine is found in the cluster.” There the word refers to the juices of grapes while they are still on the vine! Josephus (Antiquities) tells of three clusters of grapes hanging from a vine, “and that he squeezed them into a cup which the king held in his hand; and when he had strained the wine, he gave it to the king to drink.” These are but two of numerous recorded historical uses of the word “wine” when it could not possibly refer to an intoxicant.”

“Some writers assume that there was no way of preserving the juice of the grape without fermentation in the first century. However, various ancient writers give different methods for so doing. The new Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary says, “Means for preserving grape juice were well known: Cato, De Agria Cultura, CXX has this recipe: ‘If you wish to have must (grape juice) all year, put grape juice in an amphora and seal the cork with pitch; sink it in a fishpond. After 30 days take it out. It will be grape juice for a whole year.”

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(2.) The potency of ancient alcoholic wines was nowhere near that of today’s “distilled” beverages.

Randy Blackaby says, “…The wine of ancient time was naturally fermented. New wine had no alcohol but as wine aged, the sugars converted naturally to alcohol. But fermented grape juice’s alcohol content can’t naturally exceed half the percentage of sugar in juice. If the alcohol content rises above ten to fourteen percent, the yeast cells die and fermentation ceases.

Most alcoholicwine in ancient times contained no more than five to eight percent alcohol, according toArcheology and Bible History.Further, the ancients typically diluted their wine with water. Only drunkards drank unmixed or uncut alcoholic wine. Sometimes wine was cut as much as 20:1 with water. A powerful mixture was considered that cut 3:1 or 3:2. To consume the alcohol in two modern martinis one would have to drink about twenty-two glasses of ancient alcoholic wine.

Remember that when the Bible speaks of “wine” it refers to all forms of “fruit of the vine,” alcoholic or just plain grape juice. The King James Version translates nearly all Hebrew and Greek words for grape products as “wine.”

But there are six Hebrew words and four Greek words that describe grape products in different stages, including “new wine,” which was unfermented. Since Jesus created wine from water, it clearly could have been new wine or grape juice.

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…So, references to approved “wine” in the Bible don’t necessarily refer to alcoholic versions. And, if fermented, it was typically cut with water so that excessive drinking had to occur before drunkenness was the result. And grape juice could be preserved back then. It could be preserved for up to a year in sealed jars in Roman times. Grape juice also could be boiled to a syrup to nearly stop fermentation—and then water was added back to make a drink called ‘sweet wine.’ The sugar did not change to alcohol, thus preserving the sweet taste.

Like all exegesis of scripture, we must interpret what we read about wine in context and in view of the overall teaching of God’s word.

Let’s think rationally and use the mind that God gave us. Would Jesus have miraculously created 120 to 180 gallons of strong drink at Cana, in light of what Scripture tells us about it being a poison and biting like a serpent?

Would Jesus have used “the poison of serpents” to represent the saving blood of the New Covenant? […]Brethren sometimes seek to justify moderate drinking because they are convinced by an evil world that it is all right.”

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*One drink (12 oz.) of modern-day American beer has about 4.5-6% alcohol.

* One drink (4 oz.) of modern-day American wine has about 12-17.5% alcohol.

* One drink (1 oz.) of modern-day American 80 proof liquor has about 40% alcohol.

“Most ancient alcoholic wine had, even diluted, no more than four or five (4-5%) percent alcohol…To consume the alcohol in two modern martinis one would have to drink about twenty-two glasses of ancient alcoholic wine.”

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E. Undermining of our good judgment

Isaiah 28:7 “And even these reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”

I Thess 5:6-8 “… so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep in the night: and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

I Pet 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer:”

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”

Mike Willis says, “The word “sober” as used in I Thess 5:6-8, I Peter 1:13, and I Peter 5:8 is translated from the Greek word nepho. This word nepho signifies in the New Testament “to be free from the influence of intoxicants.”

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The word “drunk” according to Webster’s Dictionary means “being in a temporary state in which one’s physical and mental faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drinks; intoxicated.”

The word “intoxicate” according to Webster’s Dictionary means “to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished.”

According to research, only one drink of average modern-day alcohol can very possibly impair a person’s physical and mental faculties.

Most Christians will not deny that drunkenness is definitely a sin as I Cor 9: 6-10 and Gal 5:19-21 clearly state that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. But how do we really define drunkenness? When does one truly become drunk? What does God consider “drunk” to be and how does that compare with how we see it?

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Approximate Blood Alcohol Percentage In One Hour (Texas)

Subtract .015% for each hour of drinking. One drink is 1oz. of 80 proof liquor at 40%,

12oz. of beer at 4.5%, or 4oz. of wine at 12%.

slide31

*One drink (12 oz.) of modern-day American beer has about 4.5-6% alcohol.

* One drink (4 oz.) of modern-day American wine has about 12-17.5% alcohol.

* One drink (1 oz.) of modern-day American 80 proof liquor has about 40% alcohol.

“Most ancient alcoholic wine had, even diluted, no more than four or five (4-5%) percent alcohol…To consume the alcohol in two modern martinis one would have to drink about twenty-two glasses of ancient alcoholic wine.”

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A blood ethanol content above 0.4% can be fatal, although regular heavy drinkers can tolerate somewhat higher levels than non-drinkers. Eight to ten drinks per hour is considered a fatal dosage for the average 54 kg (119 lb.) person.

Could ‘social drinking’ cause us to violate the laws of the land? (Rom 13:1). Most “social drinkers” have more than just one or two drinks. Our good judgment is possibly impaired after just one drink.

Are God’s standards the same as the state’s standards? His may be even higher (Isaiah 55:8-9)

slide33

Even if you as a Christian can stop yourself, after just having one drink, from reaching the point of mental and physical impairment, what about those you are socially drinking with? What if the ones you are drinking with do cross the line and become impaired and they start to do other things that are sinful such as curse, tell obscene jokes, burst out in anger, become malicious, become violent, make sexual, illicit advances, etc.? Will you be guilty of sin by keeping company with those who sin in these ways?Do you ever really know or have any control over what those around you do when they are drinking alcohol?

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F. Unjustifiable cause of divers kinds of other sins

I Peter 4:3“For we [have spent] enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.”

Gen 9:20-21 “And Noah began to be a husbandman, and planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken. And he was uncovered within his tent.” (This eventually resulted in the sin of Ham)

Romans 13: 13-14 “Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

Eph 5:18“And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit”

Prov 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; And whosoever erreth thereby is not wise.”

slide35

Prov 23:29-35

29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? Who hath complaining? who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?

30 They that tarry long at the wine; They that go to seek out mixed wine.

31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, When it sparkleth in the cup, When it goeth down smoothly:

32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, And stingeth like an adder.

33 Thine eyes shall behold strange things, And thy heart shall utter perverse things.

34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, Or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

35 They have stricken me, [shalt thou say], and I was not hurt; They have beaten me, and I felt it not: When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

slide36

The majority of divorces in the USA are because of adultery; the second most reason is alcohol and drug abuse. Alcohol is a gateway drug that can lead to the abuse of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, acid, heroin, etc… Alcohol also causes spouse and child abuse and a general breaking down of moral inhibitions resulting in fornication, adultery, cursing and vulgar or obscene language, outbursts of wrath, fighting, murder, and much more…

“In addition, alcohol plays a causal role in violence. Over the past forty years, many studies have shown a conspicuous relationship between alcohol consumption and violent events. According to these studies, alcohol is linked to one-half to two-thirds of homicides, in one-fourth to nearly one-half of serious assaults. In addition, alcohol consumption appears to be connected with sexual assault. For example, police reports have demonstrated 24 percent of a group of identified sexual offenders and 31 percent of their victims had been drinking. Moreover, although many people consume alcohol moderately and responsibly, studies show that a number of people drink to get drunk and, therefore, their behaviors create some serious problems for people around them. For example, alcoholics and people who frequently binge drink usually have problems with friends, marriage, home-life, work and finances. Statistically speaking, 5 percent of drinkers reported that their drinking affected their finances…

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“…Furthermore, heavy drinking can have major social costs on society including loss of productivity in the workplace, family violence, which in most cases leads to a divorce, accidental injuries, and even death” (Albaspectrum.com).

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G. Unstoppably detrimental to our Christian influence on others

Romans 12:2“And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Matt 5:13-16

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do [men] light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house.

16 Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Romans 14:21“It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [to do anything] whereby thy brother stumbleth.”

Habakkuk 2:15“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, [to thee] that addest thy venom, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

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American Academy of Adolescent & Child Psychiatry

* There are 28 million children of alcoholics.

* They are three to four times more likely to become substance abusers or marry a substance abuser.

* They are more susceptible to biologic, psychiatric, and social difficulties that persist throughout adulthood.

* Without intervention, they are more likely to perpetuate the same difficulties in their own offspring.

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H. Ultimate cause of spiritual destruction

I Cor. 6: 9-10

9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,

10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,

21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

slide41

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said this about alcohol:

Ecclesiastes 2:3, 17

3 “I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.”

His conclusion in verse 17 about alcohol and other worldly pleasures is this: “all is vanity and a striving after wind.”

Conclusion

2 Peter 3:16“…as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest [or twist], as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

We cannot justify our desire to drink alcohol by twisting the scriptures; doing so will lead to our own destruction

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