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[thoughts] The Delusion of Strong Drink (November 2-8, 2009)

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  • Mark Roth
    The link to the International lesson from 1 Peter 2 is at the bottom. Thoughts for the Week Mark Roth http://www.anabaptists.org/clp/youth/ ... This edition
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5 2:28 PM
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      The link to the International lesson from 1 Peter 2 is at the bottom.

      Thoughts for the Week
      Mark Roth

      This edition goes out today to 4321 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Proverbs 23:17-35)


      Why ever would I envy sinners?!

      Might my definitions of gluttony and laziness be too narrow...to my

      Is "responsible drinking" forbidden here or elsewhere in the Scriptures?

      When might it be permissible for a Christian to drink wine?

      What *is* the delusion of "strong drink"?

      How is this even an applicable lesson to me or to my congregation?!


      (From here on, originally written in early 2003)

      In scrounging through my cranial thesaurus for a synonym for *temperance*,
      I quickly came up with *moderation*. I queried my computer thesaurus and
      it agreed. Upon a bit further reflection, though, I concluded that
      "exercising moderation" is an incomplete and potentially misleading
      definition of *temperance*.

      Let's look at two extremes. Indulgence allows me to be unrestrained in
      what I think, speak, and do. Abstinence causes me to avoid certain
      thoughts, words, and deeds. Indulgence requires no self-control;
      abstinence requires lots of it. Few things in life should be indulged.
      Quite a few things in life should be avoided. However, many things in
      life require something other than indulgence or abstinence. That's where
      moderation comes in.

      Moderation allows me to think, speak, and do things in a measured and
      limited manner, not overdoing them. In some ways, that may require even
      more self-control than abstinence. For example, it is far easier for me
      not to eat sweets than it is for me to eat sweets in moderation. If I
      don't get started, I don't have to try to stop. If I mean to eat only one
      cookie, it is difficult for me not to have a bar or a cinnamon roll or a
      marshmallow while I'm at it. So doing something in moderation may require
      huge quantities of self-control.

      So where does temperance fit into the picture? Well, temperance *is*
      that self-control. Sometimes temperance will lead me to abstinence. More
      often it will lead me to moderation.

      I need to be on my guard against equating temperance with moderation.
      You see, if I do that, I assume that as long as I maintain self-control,
      I can do anything. That is wrong! Some things shouldn't be done to excess
      *or* in moderation -- they just shouldn't be done at all. If temperance
      were to mean only moderation, then I should be able to look at
      pornography or listen to rock music or drive over the speed limit or lay
      up treasures on earth or entertain inordinate affections -- as long as I
      don't overdo it. We know *that* isn't right!

      Now go over this verse fragment again: "Every man that striveth for the
      mastery is temperate in all things" (1 Corinthians 9:25). The Christian
      always strives to maintain self-control. Sometimes that means
      moderation; sometimes it means abstinence. Choose rightly!


      "Take heed to yourselves" (Luke 21:34).

      "Let us walk honestly, as in the day" (Romans 13:13).

      "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14).

      "Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:20).

      "Now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness"
      (Romans 6:19).

      "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and
      touch not the unclean thing" (2 Corinthians 6:17).

      "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God" (James 1:5).

      "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation" (Mark 14:38).

      This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by
      Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for
      the International Bible Study, click here:
      Chosen to Proclaim
      (1 Peter 2:1-10)

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      Mark Roth

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