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Guest Robert Swanson

Does God allow alcohol?

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According to Deuteronomy 14:And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

it appears that God has allowed the children of Isreal to drink alcohol. He even uses the word lusteth in the verse. 

Is this also for the church? I'm confused. Please help.

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Virtually all that the Bible says concerning alcohol is negative. That there were times in the OT that allowed for it, as in your above example, it s clear.

However, for the church there are some things we must consider.

 First, the negative of alcohol is the tendency to lose control. In the example you gave, it was a big, celebratory feast that everyone was involved with, so in this case there was no real need to be sober-basically, hey, go have a good time. In the New Testament, however, there are no such feasts we are directed to. And in fact, we are commanded to be sober, to maintain control of our faculties. Why? Well, primarily because we are, as believers, an holy priesthood, an example before the lost and witnesses for the Lord Jesus. And there was ONE type of person who was not allowed to drink wine or strong drink in the OT, and that was the priest while in the execution of his duties. "And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." (Lev 10:8-11)    As we see, priests were not to drink alcoholic drinks while they were in their priestly duties, as it perverted judgment, and diminished their ability to mentally do the work required of them of the Lord.  Well, we, as priests before the Lord ALL THE TIME, should, for the same reason, abstain from wine and strong drink, because we are always in the office of priest, should always be ready to do the work the Lord has given us to do. 

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20 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

Virtually all that the Bible says concerning alcohol is negative. That there were times in the OT that allowed for it, as in your above example, it s clear.

However, for the church there are some things we must consider.

 First, the negative of alcohol is the tendency to lose control. In the example you gave, it was a big, celebratory feast that everyone was involved with, so in this case there was no real need to be sober-basically, hey, go have a good time. In the New Testament, however, there are no such feasts we are directed to. And in fact, we are commanded to be sober, to maintain control of our faculties. Why? Well, primarily because we are, as believers, an holy priesthood, an example before the lost and witnesses for the Lord Jesus. And there was ONE type of person who was not allowed to drink wine or strong drink in the OT, and that was the priest while in the execution of his duties. "And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." (Lev 10:8-11)    As we see, priests were not to drink alcoholic drinks while they were in their priestly duties, as it perverted judgment, and diminished their ability to mentally do the work required of them of the Lord.  Well, we, as priests before the Lord ALL THE TIME, should, for the same reason, abstain from wine and strong drink, because we are always in the office of priest, should always be ready to do the work the Lord has given us to do. 

Best explanation to date and does not deny what the Word says. Wine is always wine in the Bible whether OT or NT, never grape juice which is the silliest explanation I have seen men attempt to give.

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1 hour ago, wretched said:

 

Best explanation to date and does not deny what the Word says. Wine is always wine in the Bible whether OT or NT, never grape juice which is the silliest explanation I have seen men attempt to give.

How do you reconcile John chapter 2 where Jesus turned water into wine and “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Pro 23:31

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45 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

How do you reconcile John chapter 2 where Jesus turned water into wine and “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Pro 23:31

Jordan, By this and numerous others admonitions to not be drunk:

    Eph 5:18, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Wine in itself is not evil but have you ever met any one who can drink it on a regular basis and not abuse it? I haven't and have known many who drink. We know better than to fool with it. Too many passages I can quote to stay away from both old and new wine but you can research those as easily as I can. The alcohol content is less in new and increases the longer the wine ferments but both are alcoholic.

    Luk 5:39, No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
    Act 2:13, Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

The issue I have is when men try to deny the clearly written passages in Scripture to match what other men tell them. It takes someone with a personality of great discipline or someone truly walking in the Spirit to not abuse it so simply follow the admonitions in Scripture and stay away from it is my recommendation (and God's considering the weight of Scripture on the matter IMO).

But I think this subject has been beaten to death, raised from the dead and rebeaten to death probably more than any other on this forum. Having said that, Mike's post is by far the best explanation and admonition I have seen and really does match Scripture without assumptive guessing like so many other commentaries on so many subjects I have seen.

 

Edited by wretched

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I do realize that this has been done to death but the only people who I see are forbidden to drink alcohol are the Nazarites.  And that only for the period of their vow, sometimes for a short period and sometimes for life.  They not only had to abstain from Wine and other alcohol but also from the grape, dried grape, even the pip and skin of the grape and from vinegar.  As you probably know, the English words 'vinegar' come from two French words, vin = wine and aigre = sour or bitter.  Sweet and sour sauce is sauce aigre doix.  In the south of France there is a town called Aigre Morts, Bitter Deaths. It is there many of the French Christians were put to death by the Catholics.

1 ¶  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
3  He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
4  All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
5  All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.
7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.
8  All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

 

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Given that the wise king Solomon wrote that wine and strong drink have the ability to deceive, nor to look upon wine that has fermented, I highly doubt that Deuteronomy 14:26 was speaking of an alacoholic beverage.

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Even the unfermented juice of the grape is called wine in Isaiah 65:8.

 

The wine at the wedding feast of Cana alcoholic?  Doubtful.  The guests had already well drunk.  If the wine were alcoholic, Jesus would have been encouraging and contributing to drunkenness.  My Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost, not to help him further down the road of sin.

 

 

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That is what the Bible says, not me Linda. Change it in your minds all you want but that won't change the Bible.  I have seen this type of assumptive imagining all my life but it proves nothing. Not that the subject matters much but I simply refuse to change the Bible using greek guessicons and massive commentary to match a lie. A good intentioned lie no doubt but a lie nevertheless. Wine in itself is not sinful. Nowhere does it demonstrate our Lord drinking nor getting drunk.

Smoke and mirrors is not necessary to prove the sin of excess. Just like so many other subjects, it means what is says and says what it means.

 

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2 hours ago, wretched said:

That is what the Bible says, not me Linda. Change it in your minds all you want but that won't change the Bible.  I have seen this type of assumptive imagining all my life but it proves nothing. Not that the subject matters much but I simply refuse to change the Bible using greek guessicons and massive commentary to match a lie. A good intentioned lie no doubt but a lie nevertheless. Wine in itself is not sinful. Nowhere does it demonstrate our Lord drinking nor getting drunk.

Smoke and mirrors is not necessary to prove the sin of excess. Just like so many other subjects, it means what is says and says what it means.

 

 It is quite obvious that the wine which was used in Bible times was totally different than the wine which is manufactured today.  Things that are different (Bible wine/today’s wine) are not the same. 

What about CONTEXT???    In your zeal to interpret every instance of the word wine in Scripture as fermented, it is apparent that you are overlooking CONTEXT and the modern usage of the word wine.

BTW, I am not using any "Greek (or Hebrew) guessicons". 

SOME INTRODUCTORY BIBLE FACTS ABOUT WINE:


1. The word wine in the Bible is a generic term; sometimes it means grape juice; sometimes it means alcoholic beverages. The following verses prove that the word “wine” can mean fresh grape juice, the fruit of the vine: De. 11:14; 2 Ch. 31:5; Ne. 13:15; Pr. 3:10; Is. 16:10; 65:8; 1 Ti. 5:23.

2. The context will always show when “wine” refers to alcoholic beverages. In such cases, God discusses the bad effects of it and warns against it. An example would be Gen. 9, Noah’s experience after the Flood. Verse 21, “and he drank of the wine, and was drunken,” clearly refers to alcoholic beverage. Prov. 20:1 speaks of the same thing when it warns us, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Alcoholic wine is deceptive; but how? In the very way that people are advocating today, by saying that drinking a little bit will not hurt. Everyone admits that drinking too much is bad; even the liquor companies tell us not to drive and drink, but they insist that a small amount is all right. However, that is the very thing that is deceptive. Who knows how little to drink? Experts tell us that each person is different. It takes an ounce to affect one, while more is necessary for another. The same person will react to alcohol differently, depending on the amount of food he has had, among other things. So, the idea that “a little bit won’t hurt” is deceptive, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise!

Prov. 23:30-31 refers to alcoholic wine, because it tells us in the previous verse that those who drink it have woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, wounds without cause, and redness of eyes. What a graphic description of those who “tarry long” at alcoholism. Verses 32-35 continue the same description; context always makes it clear when alcohol is meant.  (From the link I posted)

 

 

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1 minute ago, LindaR said:

 

 It is quite obvious that the wine which was used in Bible times was totally different than the wine which is manufactured today.  Things that are different (Bible wine/today’s wine) are not the same. 

What about CONTEXT???    In your zeal to interpret every instance of the word wine in Scripture as fermented, it is apparent that you are overlooking CONTEXT and the modern usage of the word wine.

BTW, I am not using any "Greek (or Hebrew) guessicons". 

SOME INTRODUCTORY BIBLE FACTS ABOUT WINE:


1. The word wine in the Bible is a generic term; sometimes it means grape juice; sometimes it means alcoholic beverages. The following verses prove that the word “wine” can mean fresh grape juice, the fruit of the vine: De. 11:14; 2 Ch. 31:5; Ne. 13:15; Pr. 3:10; Is. 16:10; 65:8; 1 Ti. 5:23.

2. The context will always show when “wine” refers to alcoholic beverages. In such cases, God discusses the bad effects of it and warns against it. An example would be Gen. 9, Noah’s experience after the Flood. Verse 21, “and he drank of the wine, and was drunken,” clearly refers to alcoholic beverage. Prov. 20:1 speaks of the same thing when it warns us, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Alcoholic wine is deceptive; but how? In the very way that people are advocating today, by saying that drinking a little bit will not hurt. Everyone admits that drinking too much is bad; even the liquor companies tell us not to drive and drink, but they insist that a small amount is all right. However, that is the very thing that is deceptive. Who knows how little to drink? Experts tell us that each person is different. It takes an ounce to affect one, while more is necessary for another. The same person will react to alcohol differently, depending on the amount of food he has had, among other things. So, the idea that “a little bit won’t hurt” is deceptive, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise!

Prov. 23:30-31 refers to alcoholic wine, because it tells us in the previous verse that those who drink it have woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, wounds without cause, and redness of eyes. What a graphic description of those who “tarry long” at alcoholism. Verses 32-35 continue the same description; context always makes it clear when alcohol is meant.  (From the link I posted)

 

 

Well please don't think I am for alcohol and I know and agree with you that God is against its abuse and knows certainly that the average man will abuse it. I am not in any way advocating that anyone drink.

However, the context of the marriage at Cana indicates fully that the wine was alcoholic. As is still the practice today, those who are cheapskates serve the full strength good stuff first getting them drunk quicker and then serve the cheap, watered down stuff when the crowd is dull of wits and won't notice.

To dismiss or explain away this passage is to change the Word to match your idea (or theology):

John 2: 9, When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Sorry Linda, I know it is hard to swallow but this cloud fella is wrong and is basing his idea on assumptive reasoning and not Scripture. Even your explanation in the differences of wine between then and now is mere speculation.

Call me a heretic but I will always believe the Bible over any man's idea, tradition or "widely accepted" belief I don't care what article, man's book, or commentary says otherwise.

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The John 2 text does not say that the wine the governor tasted was alcoholic.  It says it was the best.

 

You are reading alcohol into the text, when it doesn't even imply such.

 

It is proven that the more alcohol one drinks, the closer to passing out, or dying, (at the last, it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder) a person gets.  The 'all wine in the Bible is alcoholic' proponents reduce the sinless Son of God, the God who is against sin, to the status of a sinful bartender.  

 

They have the perfect Son of God making a beverage that has the ability to, how did you put it?... oh yeah, get people "drunk quick".  Their "Jesus" is responsible for thousands of alcohol-related deaths.

 

smh

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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10 hours ago, wretched said:

Wine is always wine in the Bible whether OT or NT, never grape juice which is the silliest explanation I have seen men attempt to give.

Wow!  How foolish of you Wretched!  Until roughly the 1940s, wine always had dual meanings and context was key to understanding which was being spoken of.  Like the bible itself teaches, we are not to change the bible to fit with the times but to learn what and how the words were used when the bible was written.  

God provides for two curses on those who drink booze, it is never ok to drink and always shameful.  To say that Christ made booze at the wedding makes Jesus a sinner man!  Wise up!   

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3 minutes ago, swathdiver said:

Wow!  How foolish of you Wretched!  Until roughly the 1940s, wine always had dual meanings and context was key to understanding which was being spoken of.  Like the bible itself teaches, we are not to change the bible to fit with the times but to learn what and how the words were used when the bible was written.  

God provides for two curses on those who drink booze, it is never ok to drink and always shameful.  To say that Christ made booze at the wedding makes Jesus a sinner man!  Wise up!   

Turning water into wine hardly makes the Lord a sinner or the Bible would not say it. Only to milk fed babies whom lazy preachers figure would be drunk all the time if they actually took the Bible as written. 

Have it your way, I will just agree to disagree with your preacher again.

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1 hour ago, wretched said:

Turning water into wine hardly makes the Lord a sinner or the Bible would not say it.

You make a liar and a sinner out of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, Wretched.  Priests, and Christ is our high priest, are not to drink booze.  God provides for two curses on booze, including one who gives strong drink to his neighbor.  So you are in effect saying that Christ gave his neighbors strong drink and is therefore a sinner.  I could go on and on but that is enough.

Wretched, your theology does violence to the Word of God.  

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Wine is wine.  To say otherwise is disingenuous.

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. 1 Timothy 5:23

If you are going to stick to Paul as the authority for "church doctrine", then stop "mixing doctrine" meant for another group/dispensation.

Edited by beameup

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8 hours ago, swathdiver said:

You make a liar and a sinner out of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, Wretched.  Priests, and Christ is our high priest, are not to drink booze.  God provides for two curses on booze, including one who gives strong drink to his neighbor.  So you are in effect saying that Christ gave his neighbors strong drink and is therefore a sinner.  I could go on and on but that is enough.

Wretched, your theology does violence to the Word of God.  

Wine is no more a sin in itself than a sword is a sin in itself. Try to get control of your emotions for just a moment and think please.

I do preach against alcohol in all forms and do believe that the average man cannot control it. BUT and this is a big BUTT, I refuse to deny the Word of God and feed lies to men MAKING Jesus a sinner out of ignorance and weakness like you are. Shame on you.

I know you can go on and on about fables fed to you by men but I can go on and on with Bible passages in context that clearly demonstrate wine in excess as sin and not wine in itself.

The only reason I posted in this thread was because I HATE those jibber jabbering falsehoods that really do make Jesus out as a sinner. Apart from that I could give 2-bits on the subject, its got nothing to do with me or mine.

I think you people need to truly think clearly in prayer before you keep calling our LORD a sinner.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, wretched said:

Wine is no more a sin in itself than a sword is a sin in itself. Try to get control of your emotions for just a moment and think please.

I do preach against alcohol in all forms and do believe that the average man cannot control it. BUT and this is a big BUTT, I refuse to deny the Word of God and feed lies to men MAKING Jesus a sinner out of ignorance and weakness like you are. Shame on you.

I know you can go on and on about fables fed to you by men but I can go on and on with Bible passages in context that clearly demonstrate wine in excess as sin and not wine in itself.

The only reason I posted in this thread was because I HATE those jibber jabbering falsehoods that really do make Jesus out as a sinner. Apart from that I could give 2-bits on the subject, its got nothing to do with me or mine.

I think you people need to truly think clearly in prayer before you keep calling our LORD a sinner.

 

 

You are correct. We as believers might not like what God says sometimes. But the wine in Scripture is/was alcoholic. 

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15 hours ago, LindaR said:

Is. 65:8;      8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. Does not support your argument.  In the cluster overripe grapes will begin to ferment and that contain some alcohol, week at first then gradually getting stronger.  So it would be accurate to say that wine could be in the cluster.  

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And the vs Is 16:8 is part of God's judgment on Israel, it is in no way to mean that Israel was to abstain from it. 

Edited by Christ Follower

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

Is. 65:8;      8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all. Does not support your argument.  In the cluster overripe grapes will begin to ferment and that contain some alcohol, week at first then gradually getting stronger.  So it would be accurate to say that wine could be in the cluster.  

This verse is not speaking of over-ripe grapes...it is speaking of NEW WINE (the fruit of the vine).  It is one of the verses which speaks of fresh, unfermented juice of the grapes found in the cluster.

1 hour ago, Christ Follower said:

And the vs Is 16:8 is part of God's judgment on Israel, it is in no way to mean that Israel was to abstain from it. 

Isaiah 16 is not speaking of judgment on Israel.  The context is God's judgment on MOAB.  It is verse 10, not 8 which was quoted. 

Isaiah 16:10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.

All you folks are doing is trying to justify the believer's drinking of alcoholic beverages.....just don't get drunk....right?  Drunkenness/intoxication begins with the first drink of beverage alcohol.

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5 hours ago, Oὐ Νικολαΐτης said:

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Good verse and supports what I am saying 100%.

If you are looking to find a verse that makes wine itself a sin, good luck. However if you are looking to find verses to make abuse of wine a sin, you will find many and we are in agreement.

Selah

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Okay, this might look like I am trying to appease both sides of the fence... but most of you know (by now) I'm outspoken. So here's my 2 cents:

Yes, I use (multiple) Greek lexicons for the NT and Hebrew lexicons for the OT (when further clarity is desired).
(sorry, "Wretched, I still love you, in Christ, but I don't think they are "guessicons", they are "helpicons", lol)

In this case the word for "wine" in John 2 is "oinos" (Greek) and the definition means "wine" (English).
The same word for "wine" in 1 Tim. 5:23 is "oinos" (Greek) and the definition means "wine"(English).

BUT BUT BUT.... before anyone gets all excited and think that means alcoholicor non-alcoholic, let me also state what many Greek lexicons also denote on the word "oinos/wine"
"designate the juice of the grape in all its stages"

This makes sense when you think about it. For example... if I were to say to my favortie home health aide: "Please get me something to drink", she would know that I was referring to a weak decaf iced tea which I drink often, which looks more like colored water and has zero alcoholic content.
However, in the home of someone who drinks alcohol, a husband may come home after work and ask his wife to "Please get me something to drink", and she would likely understand that to mean whatever aloholic drink the man partakes of regularly.

BTW, I do not drink alcohol, I am certainly NOT saying "it's okay"  by any stretch...I have seen how it can ruin lives, etc. And there certainly ARE Bible verses which denote the evil associated with drinking/drunkeness.
But to say definitively that the word "wine" (oinos) means either one or the other in ALL cases would be incorrect.
Some cases it's clearly speaking of alcoholic wine, and other cases it denotes non-alcoholic wine.

So we are really right back where we started from... I do agree with a few people who stated you need to "take it in context".
I am not going to give my opinion on which verses denote alcohol and which verses do not. (and trust me you all know I DO have some opinions) But that would just be throwing gasoline on the fire, and we could argue 'til the cows come home and it wouldn't change one thing, nor one person's opinion.
My advice:  if a person REALLY can't tell the difference in a particular verse (in context with the subject matter) on whether or not it denotes alcohol or not, then that person needs to (individually) take it to the Lord and ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance in this. (Not to rely upon our own opinions which are tainted by fleshy-sin-nature, even when we sometimes come to the right conclusions).
Trust the Lord above all others (His "opinion" is the only one which truly "counts"), and He will lead you in the right way if you truly allow the Holy Spirit to guide.

That is assuming that the person has accepted Christ. For an unsaved person my advice would just flat out be "don't drink alcohol at all", it can (and likely will) wreck your life and wreck the lives of those around you. My advice to the unsaved person would also be... if you were considering alcohol to "escape" your problems, to fill a "void"in your heart and life...it really won't help, it will only add to your problems... my advice is to accept Jesus and He will fill that empty void, no need for alcohol at all!
 

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