Thursday, December 4, 2008

Would You Support the Return of Prohibition?

Seventy-five years ago today, Utah ratified the Twenty-First Amendment to the United States Constitution, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment and its prohibition of alcohol in our nation.

(HT: Dallas Morning News)

Occasionally we have a good row in the Southern Baptist blogging world over alcohol, and it seems like it's just been too long. Don't you all miss it? So here goes.

A good many of those who have argued that the recreational consumption of intoxicating liquors ought to be a permissible avocation among Southern Baptists will offer the obligatory: "Now I don't drink myself, and I always counsel total abstinence as the wisest choice, but I just don't think that we can say that the Bible condemns recreational drinking of alcohol." Certainly it is a well-formed line of argumentation for the topic at hand, because a convention of churches shouldn't make rules without some biblical foundation.

A governmental authority, on the other hand, doesn't really need biblical authority to do anything. Government can, and often does, do things simply because they are "the wisest choice." For example, you can't smoke cigarettes in restaurants in Dallas. You can't run up to Walgreens and purchase morphine for home use. You can't drive your automobile down I-35E without wearing your seat belt. None of these laws have any justification whatsoever out of the Bible; they are simply an effort to force people to make "the wisest choice."

So, if we had the opportunity to bring back the Prohibition of alcohol, would you support it? If not, why not. And please try to use the very best in grammar and punctuation in your responses—the drug legalization lobby may want to quote you.

101 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

No, I wouldn't.

It didn't work, before, and it wouldn't, now. And government is already into doing enough things that don't work well, that it doesn't need to add any more.

Someone said once that, if tobacco was illegal, there would be plenty of reasons not to legalize it. But there's a big difference in the mechanics of legalizing something that's illegal, and outlawing something that's currently legal.

I think that applies to alcohol, as well as stuff like marijuana, too.

David Mills, Fort Worth, TX said...

Bart, I would support it.

No one has ever been hurt by the absence of alcohol, but plenty have been hurt by its presence.

BTW, many assert that prohibition did not work earlier in the 20th century. Several problems with that view. To begin with, advances in law enforcement technology make me more optimistic that prohibition could work. Additionally, this point is not historically persuasive. Efforts to prohibit slavery failed in the past, but noble persons kept abolition efforts alive until finally worked. Noble causes are worth a fight over the long haul. Finally, those who assert prohibition did not work have yet to present a convincing case. They merely state "it did not work" without supporting evidence.

CB Scott said...

I would support it and would be willing to make Eliot Ness look like Mother Teresa if President Obama gave me the job to enforce it.:-)

cb

Bart Barber said...

Bob,

The drug legalization lobby would like me to let you know that most currently illegal drugs were made illegal during your lifetime. LSD was legal nearly until even I was born!

And a group of businessmen from Cali, Columbia, wanted to pass along their observation that the "prohibition" of illegal drugs, as far as "working well" goes, hasn't exactly been a cake-walk.

Bart Barber said...

David Mills,

I find your arguments to be quite persuasive.


C.B. Scott,

I support your nomination.

Scott Shaffer said...

David,

I don't follow your reasoning. The burden of proof falls on the shoulders of those who would support the return of prohibition. By what measure would you say our earlier experiment with it worked? The states ratified an amendment to the constitution prohibiting alcohol and then they ratified another amendment that made it legal. The bottom line is that the people didn't want it. I don't need to prove prohibition didn't work, you do.

You also mention using advanced technology to enforce it. Do you mean the same type of technology we are using in the war on illegal drugs? Please.

Here is a main reason why it wouldn't work: the people wouldn't support it. Not for a second.

Bart Barber said...

Scott,

My efforts to get my two-year-old daughter to stop hitting her five-year-old brother on the head with drumsticks have been, to this point, a failure. Yet I persist in them because (a) apart from their deterrent value, the problem would be much worse; (b) I have not given up hope that I may yet prevail, since a great many successful endeavors of humankind have only met with success after great and bleak struggle; and (c) 'tis nobler to have struggled against evil and lost than to have done nothing at all.

I hold precisely the same sentiments concerning our war on illegal drugs, and would feel the same way about the prohibition of alcohol.

Anonymous said...

No. I do not and would not support a return of prohibition.

If the non-abusive or non-intoxicating consumption of alcoholic beverages is not immoral (which I think this post concedes), then the only bases for banning alcoholic beverages are to (1) impose one's own preferences on other people or (2) to protect society from the inevitable abuses that will occur due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages by negligent or intentional abusers.

Number 1 is surely a horrible reason for the imposition of any rule or law. It is also petty and ugly. It retricts people's freedom, which is a precious thing, even if the objects of that freedom are unworthy. It also reveals an insecurity on the part of the person who would do the imposing. But restricting the freedom of others is a natural impluse that all people, including Christians and other religious or ideologically dirven people are accused of exercising from time to time.

Number 2 is rightly motivated, but really involves weighing costs and benefits in light of history and general human experience.

Humans will consume alcoholic beverages in a free society, whehter it's bathtub beer or bootleged whisky. It's too easy to make and too hard to stamp out. Also, doing so gives an undergound economy and profit center to the ones willing to engage in it.

But on the other hand, it is possible that outlawing alcoholic beverages might reduce significantly the percentage of persons who are exposed to it, thus helping society as a whole.

When I weigh the pros and cons, especially in light of our history in this country, I am strongly against prohibition.

But, to show you how nuanced these things can be, I am opposed to the legalization of pot, cocaine and other similar drugs. I admit this to be a subjective distinction.

It just seems to me that alcohol is so readily accepted and consumed (even during prohibition) that making it illegal is unproductive and would cause more harm than good. In Saudi society, it works, but that's because there is a more unified feeling about it among the populace. Plus, I think that our own society has "come to terms" so to speak with alcohol. Outside of high school and college binge drinking, it is not cool to overindulge - in business, socially etc. We have crossed a huge bar psychologically in that regard.

Smoking is the same issue, really. And my response is the same.

Drugs, on the other hand, are not generally accepted. And I fear that it would take many generations and wasted lives before this society could come to terms with the devastation that I believe we would see if drugs were legalized. We would probably see a huge initial spike followed by decades of trying to learn to live the open presence of drugs in our society.

So, that's my opinion, for what it's worth.

Louis

Anonymous said...

What Louis said

Except - I am amazed at the number of people I know in the business world who are my age (50) and younger who smoke pot, people I never expected to indulge who are good family people etc. My only explanation for this are that these people grew up in the 70s and 80s when pot was so prevalent in the schools (and still is for that matter). These folks see pot as nice way to unwind at the end of the day. Dont see it as a gateway drug ...

I have not smoked pot since college myself, and do not condone the use, however I don't see it as much worse than alcohol.

I dont think that alcohol and tobacco use will be criminalized in this country for the reasons Louis mentioned - plus the tax revenue taken in for "sin" taxes is too high for our govt to walk away from.

from my perspective, just in health care costs and after watching a loved one die of lung cancer who was a life long smoker - I would rather see us put a prohibition on tobacco and tobacco related products.

The same argument could be made to legalize marijuana - take the criminals out of the equation and tax the stuff to death - just like Obama wants to do with coal:)

Jim Champion

Bart Barber said...

Louis,

You correctly discern that "this post" concedes that particular point, although its author does not. In other words, it is a concession made for the sake of having some discussion other than that particular point.

Your subjective distinction between alcohol and illegal drugs is one shared by a great many people. So, even if you can enjoy no comfort in logic, you can enjoy great comfort in the company surrounding you in your position!

Let's see whether I understand you correctly:

1. You're saying that your preferred solution would be to have intoxicants legally available, but with only some (undefined as of yet by you) threshold of abuse and bad consequences arising from their legality. We'll call this "situation #1."

2. You're saying that you believe that we have attained to situation #1 with regard to alcohol, but that it took some sort of a time period for us to do so (is the starting point the moment when Noah discovered the fermentation of grapes? And when did we finally arrive?).

3. You're saying that the interim period awaiting the achievement of situation #1 is a hellacious time of adjustment.

4. You're saying that we have not attained to situation #1 with regard to marijuana, cocaine, and "other similar drugs."

5. For substances that have note reached situation #1 you will settle for "situation #2" or the restriction of those substances by law, just to avoid the hellacious adjustment period.

Do I understand you correctly?

If I do, then the problem I see with your logic is as follows:

1. I've seen no data to suggest that we are "healthier" in our use of alcohol than in past epochs. Apart from specific thresholds provided by you or someone else, I cannot evaluate whether I actually believe that we have reached your situation #1, but that is a key point that I should think someone would need to substantiate.

2. What we are today regarding the use of alcohol, Saudi Arabia once was, yet you cite them as a successful example of prohibition.

3. You suffer from the same problem as Bob: The drugs that you reference were not illegal in the United States until not so very long ago. Why, from the dawn of time through the twentieth century, did these drugs not reach situation #1? If they did, why would it be so difficult to get back to the effects of centuries after a few decades? Furthermore, what on earth would have prompted us to draft such laws in the first place— and in the post-Prohibition era!—if the drug situation was in its idyllic, well regulated state?

4. What you have left, I think, is "social acceptability." Yet binge drinking is socially acceptable on college campuses. Pot smoking is socially acceptable in California (although not in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA). Beer drinking is not socially acceptable within the Southern Baptist Convention. One could argue that social acceptability is often nothing more nor less than snobbery. At its best, it is simply peer pressure.

So, those are my sentiments about your arguments. I still don't think I've seen any good rationale against the prohibition of alcoholic beverages that doesn't apply with equal force to illegal drugs.

Bart Barber said...

Jim Champion,

What I said to Louis. :-)

Bart Barber said...

Louis,

I have to revise my initial sentence. I agree that the "non-intoxicating" use of alcoholic beverages is not immoral. Furthermore, I think that you can drop the non-abusive part, because non-intoxicating usage cannot be abusive, I don't think.

Now, it is in the definition of "non-intoxicating" that we might grapple a bit.

But I'll go you one further: I don't believe that the INTOXICATING use of alcohol is always immoral. Not for a valid medical usage. So, if you're ever out West, and are shot by Indians, and find that they're about to amputate your leg, and John Wayne offers you a shot of whiskey beforehand, my advise to you is to take it.

Take a lot of it.

Drink it 'till you can't see straight.

r. grannemann said...

There's a case for a law against something shown to be harmful. Alcohol qualifies. My cousin was killed by a drunk driver. I consider that proof. Yes, I'd vote for prohibition again.

Two weeks ago I took a business trip to California to our sister site. After a long day of software discussions, the Manager suggested we all go to a sports bar. Thirty engineers were at the table watching the Georgia Tech game. I was the only one with a soft drink.

My point: Prohibition ain't going to happen again.

Tom Bryant said...

I would be against it because of the depravity of people. Making something harder to get, making it illegal only serves to make us want it more.

I know that this is an illogical position to take because I am against the legalization of the various drugs that have been mentioned. But no one ever said I was consistent. But I would point out that most people who drink don't drink alcohol to get drunk, but in my experience, most who use drugs use them to get high.

Bart Barber said...

R. Grannemann,

Don't get me wrong, I am under no delusion of thinking that prohibition is coming back during my lifetime. I doubt that we get prohibition back until the Muslims finally conquer us.

That's why the question wasn't whether you thought a majority would support prohibition, but whether you would. Which you have answered in the affirmative. Thank you!

Bart Barber said...

Tom Bryant said: "But I would point out that most people who drink don't drink alcohol to get drunk"

OK, Tom, I'm going to ask you to substantiate that statement. And then I'm going to have to ask you why they have such a tough time selling the low-alcohol or no-alcohol equivalent products that modern technology puts so easily within our grasp.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Will this New Prohibition law allow religious exemptions to religious organizations? I occasionally visit the Episcopal church after a late late night or when my alarm fails me! They don't start until 11:15. They might be mad if you take away their wine.

Scott Shaffer said...

Bart,

OK, but what does that have to do with my response to David?

Let me see if I follow David's argument:

1. Plenty of people have been hurt by the presence of alcohol. (No point of disagreement here. Of course, the same could be said for a myriad of things such as guns, automobiles, knives, certain foods, etc.)

2. There are problems with the view that prohibition didn't work:

a) Modern technology would make it more enforceable. (This is highly debatable as we have seen in our war on drugs, but, even if it is true, it has nothing to do with whether or not 20th century prohibition worked.

b)This point is not historically persuasive as evidenced by the long term fight to abolish slavery.If a cause is noble the fight is worth it. (Again, this proves nothing about 20th century prohibition.)

3. Finally, those who assert prohibition did not work have yet to present a convincing case. They merely state "it did not work" without supporting evidence. (Okay, how about this: It didn't work because the people of the United States voted to repeal Prohibition and in the year 2008 alcohol consumption is probably at an all time high).

Maybe David has a different definition of what "work" means. What do you find persuasive about his argument?

Bart Barber said...

Aaron,

Great question! Has set me to wondering whether the OLD prohibition law had such an exemption. Do you know? I don't. Sounds like a possible topic for a paper of some sort!

Bart Barber said...

Scott,

These are the points made by Dr. Mills that I find persuasive:

1. That no good documentary case has been made to show that Prohibition was any less effective a law than, say, speeding laws or tax laws or laws against sexual predation or whatever else.

2. That fourteen years (at least some of them half-hearted) may not have been long enough to learn whether prohibition would or would not have worked. That is the lesson derived from the crusade against slavery: Sometimes you don't know whether something is going to work until some time and effort has been expended to try to make it work.

3. That technology has changed substantially since the 1920s. You make a good point that technology has not been a cure-all in matters of law-enforcement. For comparisons of a hypothetical prohibition of alcohol against, for example, the modern war on drugs, you have a good point. But if the comparison is between the prohibition campaign of the 1920s and a hypothetical campaign of the same stripe today, one problem with saying that the 1920s is proof that such an effort would not work in the 2010s is that technology may have tipped the balance to some degree in the direction of governmental enforcement.

r. grannemann said...

BDW,

I don't think Prohibition allowed for any exemptions.

A couple years ago I met my best friend from college after not seeing him for fifteen years. In the interval he had become rich, had left his job as a civil engineer and made big money building houses. He had a big house too and took me down to his wine cellar. He might get mad too.

But you don't need to worry. Alcohol tastes too good. The 3.81% adult alcoholic population isn't enough of a problem to change public opinion. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/11/health/main622706.shtml

r. grannemann said...

The link got cut off, but the statistics are easy enough to find.

http://www.cbsnews.com/
stories/2004/06/11/
health/main622706.shtml

Scott Shaffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaffer said...

Bart,

Thanks for the response. I am still puzzled. His argument is basically, "I support Prohibition because you can't prove it didn't work in the 20th century."

What kind of argument is that? If you want to re-establish Prohibition it seems to me that you have to supply an argument that it would work. ( I suppose you could say we should have it whether it would work or not because it is the right thing to do, but that is not how you or he have framed the argument).

Furthermore, both of you have admitted that at least one aspect of 20th century Prohibition didn't work, namely enforcement. Otherwise, why the appeal to 21st century technology?

So, I'll state it again: 20th century Prohibition did not work by two significant measures: 1) The law was hard to enforce, and 2) the people repealed the law. Americans weren't supportive of the law then and certainly wouldn't be today.

Scott

CB Scott said...

Bart,

Let me answer B Diddy's question.

If I get elected as "National Alcohol Smasher" I promise the "first thing" I will do is go to all non-Baptist churches and throw out their alcohol. Then I will go into the basements of all the Baptist churches and get theirs.

Then I will go to all the Baptist universities and throw the presidents in jail for having alcohol on campus.

Next...I am coming for you, B Diddy and you can spend the next 15 years with OJ.:-)

cb

Dave Miller said...

I don't think I would support prohibition again.

However, I have seen research that gives the lie to the concept so commonly accepted that "prohibition didn't work."

It may not have worked in Chicago, but the Windy City is not all of America.

What I would do is strengthen laws that hold a person responsible for his behavior and actions while he is drunk. If you choose to drink, you are responsible for your actions when you are drunk.

CB Scott said...

So, Dave,

Am I to take it I will not get your support as national Alcohol Smasher?

cb

Tim G said...

cb,
May I serve as your traveling chaplain? Fun to watch and much ministry needed after you are done!

I do apply!

CB Scott said...

Tim G,

There is no other person I know who would understand our purpose as well as you.

Your title would be:

Chaplain to NAS(and full time contractors):-)

cb

Dave Miller said...

CB, you seem like a decent guy, but your taste in football teams is suspect. I am not sure we can trust a Crimson Tide fan with such an important task.

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Bart,

It would be kind of fun to have another prohibition instated for a few years. It would, as it did in the twenties have an educational effect on the masses. That was probably the best thing about the prohibition is it actually made people look to some hard data, instead of hard liquor to evaluate a little of their life.

But, it would not be long until it would be repealed again,….Politicians are like the wind and need to get votes to stay in office.

Whether there is prohibition or no prohibition, we always have the scriptures to warn of drunkenness. Maybe its best we preach the gospel and watch the Holy Spirit change the lives of men and women to live for Christ. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:18-26 "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, (21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another."

Some people would probably like our ole buddy “cb” to run around enforcing the law. I would rather have him preaching the gospel, because the new prohibition enforcers will lose their lives quickly and I would rather that if “cb” were to lose his life, it would be for the gospel.

Blessings,
Chris

ostrakinos said...

The biblically derived answer is an emphatic "NO" since it would make Scripture illegal.

Why would we seek to impose more restriction upon men than God puts upon him? Why do we think that we are more wise than He?

God does not forbid our use of alcohol and in fact advocates it in many places in Scripture - eg. the Lord's Supper is most certainly to be real wine as 1Cor 11 shows by the fact that they got drunk on it. And what about Proverbs 31:6 ? Give strong drink to the dying and wine to the bitter of heart
What are we to do with this verse? Make it illegal? And are you really going to tell the church that that wine in Proverbs 31 that God commands to give to the bitter is non-alcoholic?

God is concerned about a lack of self-control and hence the ABUSE of alcohol not its mere presence.

The issue is always drunkenness and never the mere use just as gluttony is the issue and not eating. To not be able to differentiate between the two and to forbid the simple use thereof is the height of what made the Pharisees such a pathetic crowd of religionists.

I pray that those in SBC will learn to reason biblically and not from a worldly standard, for most certainly with well over 60% of the bible speaking positively of alcohol use, adopting an abstinence viewpoint has more in common with AA and monk-ery than it does the Word of God.

For a detailed look at this you can listen to this sermon:
http://sgfellowship.org/audio/Topical/Drinking_Is_Not_Drunkenness.mp3

Shamgar said...

Ostrakinos is correct, it really depends on if you want a humanistic answer or a biblical one. As he noted, one of the many sins of the pharisees was their constantly binding the consciences of others with neverending rules and regulations that God did not require. They put themselves in the place of God in that manner.

Also, all of the stories about sad abuses they have seen is really irrelevant to the discussion. "ex abusu non arguitur in usum" (The abuse of a thing is no argument against its use). This is the same fallacy that people fall into on the debate on gun ownership, and even on religion. Would you accept the existence of the crusades as a valid argument for banning all religion? Of course not. Do you accept the existence of terrorists who do their nefarious deeds for religious reasons a valid argument of the same? Of course not. Yet some people do argue that way and my guess is you've heard them AND scoffed at them.

Lastly, I'm amazed at the assertion that somehow prohibition worked. I can certainly believe that some dingbat has tried to provide recent "proof" otherwise -- likely as a means of justifying the foolishness of the so-called war on (some) drugs.

Prohibition was a massive failure. Not just in the windy city but everywhere. It resulted in an almost overnight explosion in organized crime. Much like drug prohibition has. You can see an excellent example of this with only a few minutes serious research on what has happened in states where they made localized meth production difficult. As soon as there was no local market competition, drug lords from mexico and other places with heavy firepower moved in to provide the supply. That's much better.

If we were to engage in prohibition again we would see a rise in crime the likes if which you cannot even imagine. Drugs don't even come close to the level of acceptance alcohol enjoys and don't think for a minute that it would suddenly change just because the government decided you shouldn't have it anymore.

Then, on top of that, add in the terrible devastation the government would wreak on this country attempting to enforce it. We have utterly gutted the fourth amendment in this country in an attempt to enforce the drug war. Hundreds of times every year the police storm into the wrong homes in the middle of the night, terrifying, injuring, and sometimes even killing the residents. Often officers are likewise killed, being mistaken for criminals themselves.

Then you have the temptation to corruption among the officers that have to enforce it. For a recent example just look at the recent bust in Chicago where they were running protection for drug organizations. It was simply more lucrative than doing the enforcement. (Which is surprising, since the usual compromise is that they confiscate the drugs and anything probably bought with it and frequently just keep the things that are small enough to get away with it).

Listen, you have to consider the long term and extended impacts of such laws. They create moral hazards -- often through unintended consequences -- that you can't always foresee. In fact we have right in front of us a shining example of why prohibition would be a bad idea and yet here we are talking about prohibiting the possession of alcohol! We can't even learn from the lessons of the present let alone the lessons of the past.

Bill said...

No, for a few reasons. I don't think we should support making something illegal that is not necessarily immoral (under certain usages). Secondly, I think giving the government even more power to intrude upon the lives of its people is a very very bad idea.

Question for the pro-prohibitionist: Are you in favor of higher taxes to support the government's enforcement efforts?

Bart Barber said...

Ostrakinos, you have a logically consistent position. For you are (if I understand you correctly) telling us that the Bible positively commands us to drink alcoholic beverages. Therefore, all of those who abstain are in sin. Do I read you correctly?

If that is your position, then you can argue just as you have, that prohibition would force people to violate their consciences and sin against God.

Of course, you're exegetically wrong, but you're in great shape with the logic of your argument.

Bart Barber said...

Shamgar,

Thanks for the argument for the legalization of hard drugs. Do I correctly detect that you are in favor of drug legalization? If so, feel free to quote any of the others who have commented in this thread.

Bart Barber said...

Bill,

So, do you consider it immoral to smoke cigarettes in a smoking section in a restaurant? Do you consider it immoral to drive 56 miles per hour? Do you consider it immoral to smoke marijuana?

Scott Shaffer said...

Bart,

Talk about twisting Ostrakinos' words! What are you smoking? Just kidding.

You responded to Bill with, "So, do you consider it immoral to smoke cigarettes in a smoking section in a restaurant? Do you consider it immoral to drive 56 miles per hour? Do you consider it immoral to smoke marijuana?"

I'm not sure what point you were trying to make with this, but I'll answer "yes" to those questions. Why? Because to do any of those things (except speeding of course)is to violate a law established by our government. Just as it would be to sell alcohol to a minor, to drive a car while intoxicated, etc. We have already have laws in place - laws that our society has at large agreed are prudent and therefore supports them - to deal with these issues.

Bill said...

I'm with Scott. I don't understand the point. I believe breaking the law is immoral.

Bill said...

Wait. I get it. I said it was a bad idea to outlaw things that are not necessarily immoral and your argument is that some of those things may not be immoral in and of themselves?

I can respond to that but I want to make sure that's what your point is.

volfan007 said...

My cousins in the TN hills are against it. They grew tired of hiding their stills, and having to run shine in their souped up cars. Many a good man went to prison for squeezin' corn. They aint grapes, but corn does do a good job, too.

:)


Bart, seriously, I'm for prohibition. I'm against something as foolish as alcohol being sold. Maybe we could cut down on a lot of the wife beatings and child abuse and drunk drivers killing innocent people if prohibition were brought back.

BTW, for all of those in here that are against prohibition, then you also have to be for legallizing maryjane and meth and coke and heroin, etc.....to not be for legallizing other drugs would be hypocritical...would it not?

David

PS. Bart, if this country does bring back prohibition, would you give me a heads up. I'd like to be able to tell my cousins to watch out...the revenooers are coming back.

Scott Shaffer said...

Volfan,

I'll tell you what, I'll come out in support of Prohibition as soon as God does.

CB Scott said...

Scott,

Then you are late.

Bart,

Why is it that I get deleted more than any other person in Blogtown, be they BI or Infidel?

You have deleted me again. Wes did too over at SBC Today. I can't help it if you both are jealous 'cause y'all can't think up good stuff and great raggin' coments to use.

Or, is it 'cause the SABANATION will be, just shortly, declared the masters of all football nations after they destroy the Gator nation and my good friend Bob's boy, Timmy?

Bob should have made him stay home and practice the Christmas play. I am afraid that when "Mount Cody" gets done with him he won't be able to go on any more mission trips.

My burden for Timmy's safety is so great I can hardly bear to watch the game.

But, if the young preacher is willing to make himself a martyr; the least I can do is be a witness.

BTW, Not one citizen of the SABANATION will be using alcohol during the game. We only drink milk, Coke and water. And we are all Southern Baptists.

If you look in any refrigerator or behind the sofas on our front porches you will not find one container of alcohol.

Prohibition is a way of life down here in the SABANATION. That is why we have the number one football team in the world.

:-)

cb

Scott Shaffer said...

CB,

Cute, but I'm not drinking the beer, uh, Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

Alcohol causes incredible problems, just like illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc.). The only real difference is that alcohol today is legal and more socially acceptable.

There is a strong case for Prohibition not having been a failure. Prohibition did not take away all alcohol but it reduced the amount and reduced its easy availability. Crime resulting from smuggling and gang violence would have to be weighed against the overall harm and deaths caused by legalized alcohol (What is it, something like 70-80,000 deaths a year caused by alcohol? Weigh that against the nefarious activities of Al Capone.). What was the rate of cirrhosis of the liver before, during, and after Prohibition? How many lost work hours due to alcohol? Another question, how well was Prohibition enforced? As one person put it, “I’m all for it, we ought to try it sometime.” Some areas enforced it more seriously than others.

A law prohibiting something, never takes it away completely. We have a Prohibition against murder, but it still occurs. Yet no one is saying, “Prohibition of murder has been an abysmal failure therefore murder should be legalized.”

It would be interesting (but sad) to see how much more addiction to current illegal drugs we would have, if those laws (or prohibitions) were rescinded.

By the way, I think there were exceptions in Prohibition for religious use of alcohol, and even for making it yourself. I think the law was primarily against the sale of alcohol.
David R. Brumbelow

Bill said...

David: Fair enough. I assume you must also be against the sale and use of tobacco. It contains a dangerously addictive drug and destroys thousands of lives every year. If the wisest thing is to relinquish our personal responsibility to the state then there are a whole lot of other dangerous things that we should give them control over. By the way, how can you call moonshiners "good men", given your loud and vocal opposition to the use of alcohol for all people?

There are countries where alcohol and lots of other "immoral" things are outlawed. You wouldn't like them.

Tom Bryant said...

Bart,
I know lots of guys who drink the various kinds of non-beer. But that was not my point. My point was that the purpose of using alcohol was different than the purpose of using marijuana, etc. Drinking a glass of wine with a meal is different lighting up a joint.

btw, not only do I not use alcohol, I preach that it is wrong to drink alcohol. I cannot use alcohol because of my past overuse and like my sponsor used to say, "One is too many and 100 is not enough".

For me the clincher is not because I can point to a verse that says it is sinful, but because of what my drinking might do to my testimony and its effect on others.

Bart Barber said...

Bill,

Yes, that's the point. It is circular to say that things should be illegal only if they are immoral, and then to identify things as immoral because they are illegal.

We're presuming here that we all follow the law. But we're asking the question, why does the law treat one intoxicating substance one way and another intoxicating substance another way? One harmful substance one way and another harmful substance another way? One addictive substance one way and another addictive substance another way?

One possible answer is to say: "Because one of those substances is immoral to use, while another of them is not."

You just have to substantiate that sentiment with some sort of a sound rationale.

Bart Barber said...

Scott,

I did not twist Ostrakinos's words: He said that prohibition would "make Scripture illegal." Ostrakinos also had some sharp things to say about abstinence.

It seemed to me that he was not saying "The Bible says take it or leave it." If he was, then his argument does not hold water. If the Bible is neutral on the use of alcohol, then it is not wrongful for the law to codify one of those choices for us. The Bible is also neutral on all other intoxicating drugs.

But, if the Bible COMMENDS or COMMANDS the use of alcohol to us, then we are wrong to abstain (or at least entirely unbiblical). And then a prohibition law would be wrongful, because it would force us to do contrary to the teachings of the Bible. It would "make Scripture illegal."

Bart Barber said...

CB,

I didn't delete you. As must be obvious to everyone, I've been absent from the computer today.

Bart Barber said...

Tom Bryant,

My point is simply that the market prefers the stuff that will give you a buzz. There's a reason for that. And it isn't the taste.

Shamgar said...

Bart,

It seems to me that you are more interested in generating heat than light here, so unless that changes this will be my last post on this topic.

Ostrakinos never suggested that there was a positive commandment for everyone to drink alcoholic beverages. Rather he indicated that we are given instruction in wisdom which indicates that there is a time when consumption is appropriate and even proscribed. If you attempt to Ban what God has intended for good use then you are working contrary to Scripture.

As for me, I never specifically mentioned hard drugs, but no, I am not in favor of prohibiting the possession of them either. I don't think you had to 'detect' it, I think I was pretty clear about it. What you do to yourself in your own home is not my business as it pertains to the state. As a Christian I would counsel and urge you not to waste your life in that fashion, but that is private persuasion not force of arms.

Volfan, If you think prohibiting alcohol will cut down on wife beatings and child abuse and drunk drivers killing innocent people then you don't understand human depravity, and you really don't understand the surrounding issues. Despite what you may have been told by lifetime, people don't only or even primarily beat their wives because there's alcohol readily available. And drunk drivers are already breaking the law - of all the people who would ignore prohibition wouldn't you expect them to be at the top of the list? The only thing that can fix these problems is the Gospel, not some man-made regulation.

Anonymous,
I'm not sure what you mean by 'deaths caused by alcohol. During prohibition it was fairly high because what people were drinking was barely drinkable and hardly safe. If you mean today I don't know all of the statistics to do a compilation but it's around 15k/year for alcohol related accident deaths, and that's an inflated statistic by the NHTSA. They openly state that that is based on any participate in an accident having a BAC of .01 or higher. Whether they're riding a bicycle or are a pedestrian or they're just an occupant in the back seat. They don't have to be the cause of the accident, just in any way involved in it. Further, in most accidents no BAC is taken, and the NTHSA states that they use a statistical model to determine the likelihood that someone in the accident had zero BAC, a BAC of .01 to .09 or .10 or greater and then add that to the number. So 15k is only the number of /estimated/ and it is in no way a /causal/ number, it is only a guess.

Yes, we are well aware that prohibition doesn't stop other crimes either, like murder. However, murder in and of itself is a crime and is immoral. Possession and/or consumption of alcohol is not. There is no 'degree' of murder that is ok, but at some point it becomes abusive. Murder is an act committed by one person against another, and is a violation of God's moral law. None of these things are true of Alcohol use and/or possession.

I'll note that I made several specific pointed arguments, and no attempt whatsoever has been made to respond to them. In particular, nobody seems to be willing to even consider that their arguments from abuse to barring its use are completely fallacious. They just go on repeating it.

Bart Barber said...

To all:

I remind you that the question here isn't whether the Bible requires abstinence. We've had that discussion online a thousand times. The point is that the government, needing no biblical rationale to do anything, routinely bans substances for medical, public safety, or societal reasons.

In my opinion, apart from the biblical question, there are medical, public safety, and societal factors that would strongly commend the prohibition of alcohol. And there are (as of yet in this forum) absolutely no good reasons for permitting the trade in alcohol that do not apply with equal force to illegal drugs.

Bart Barber said...

Shamgar,

I'll be glad to engage your points. I wanted confirmation that you were indeed in favor of the legalization of drugs. Coming to that position really does solve a major consistency problem for you on this question. It also takes the discussion in a different direction.

I'll gladly affirm "ex abusu non arguitur in usum." However, I'll define "abusu" differently. Drugs exist for sound medicinal purposes. Recreational use of an intoxicant is abuse. I affirm the usage of all of these substances for the blessing that they are, along with the use of every other medicinal substance on the planet.

I will also concede that the line between medicinal and other uses is not always a bright one. Anti-depressants, for example, are medications given just to put a person into a better mood or to solve social anxiety problems. Do the same thing with a shot glass rather than a prescription, and the world often looks at things a little differently.

Nevertheless, I believe that the use of any of these substances for reasons not related to health is something that the government would be wise to preclude.

Scott Shaffer said...

Bart,

Thanks for getting things back on topic: "Would you support the return of prohibition?"

Let me summarize my reasons for not supporting it.

1. It won't work, and worse yet, it would be a disaster. As evidence to this, I simply point to our previous experiment. Contrary to what David and you have said or implied, there is no reasonable evidence that Prohibition worked in the 20th century. Furthermore, the American people repealed it, and they certainly wouldn't support it today, guaranteeing its ultimate failure again.

2. I would have a difficult time supporting this because God did not prohibit it. The Bible has much to say about alcohol, and certainly if God desired to prohibit Israel or the church from using it, He could have. But, he didn't. Instead, he identified the fruit of the vine as a blessing and instructed us about the abuses of wine. So when people suggest we should prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages on a biblical basis, not only do I think they are on weak ground, I think they are denying the authority of Scripture as they are adding to its commands.

Just one man's thoughts.

Bill said...

Prohibition didn't work the last time because Americans were not willing to put up with that particular restriction of their freedom. It would fail again, for the same reasons. This is a country where we value our freedoms and we don't allow them to be restricted lightly. As of right now, Americans are willing to support restrictions on their freedom to buy, sell, and use heroin. That may change in the future but that's the way it is now. Arguments that heroin and beer are essentially the same thing and should be restricted the same way sound silly to me, but it isn't (thank God) up to me. One day America may feel like they should be treated the same, but I doubt it.

CB Scott said...

Well, I guess I should throw in a serious comment here in support of wise brothers who understand the culture to which God has assigned them as shepherds and prophets.

The subject of the moderate use of beverage alcohol is a topic of discussion within the SBC as never before in its history. I realize the Bible does not specifically say; "Thou shalt not use alcohol as a beverage." I do believe the Bible teaches us to use wisdom in all things. Luke 21: 34-36 is only one example of the Scripture mandating us to use wisdom in this life. This particular passage gives a mandate from the Lord Jesus, Himself, mandating us not to be foolish in light of His return and our need to not have Him come upon us "unawares." To ignore the mandates of Christ is certainly unwise. It is also sin.

I am going to go out on a limb here based on the admonition of Jesus in Luke 21: 34-36.

It is my firm conviction that had Jesus come the first time in our contemporary culture He would not have turned water into anything that remotely resembles beverage alcohol as it is made, sold or used today.

The Scripture, in both Testaments teaches us to be wise. James says if we lack it to ask God for it.

It is unwise to use alcohol as a beverage in our culture. There is no true and valid argument based on any present methodology of collecting data that would reveal otherwise.

I am not saying all you guys who use or advocate the use of alcohol are poor pastors. Or, that you have not been called of God as His shepherds to the various flocks of which you are assigned.

I will say, relating to the use of alcohol as a beverage, if you use it or advocate the use of it; You are unwise shepherds in that specific area of your ministry to the churches of God.

cb

Rev. T. R. Holland said...

I would vote no.

I agree with CB Scott only in that it probably wasn't the same; it was stronger!

I would agree that the consumption of alcohol in excess is probably not the best choice if you are a Christian. This can say a great deal about your character and the Character of the one you represent, namely Christ. But to say that it should be outlawed in my opinion is unnecessary. we are called, each and every one of us to be good stewards, not just with our money but with all that God has given us, we need to be responsible. But most of all, we need to not have the government tell us what we as Christians know already.

CB Scott said...

T.R.,

Hell-o to a brother from PA. I spent two years in Gettysburg. It is a wonderful place.

I just read three of your posts. I must say I enjoyed your straightforward manner. And I especially enjoyed your take on the sin of the Sodomites and your commentary on "Christian" book stores.

I have a question. What do you mean by "stronger" in your comment?

Are you saying they had, in the first century, a drink stronger that those we have today such as Vodka, Irish Whiskey, Bourbon, certain mixed drinks, etc.?

cb

Bart Barber said...

T.R. Holland,

You do realize, don't you, that distillation was not even invented until several centuries after Christ's ascension. It is not a tenable position to suggest that alcoholic beverages in the Bible were stronger than those sold today.

CB Scott said...

Bart,

If I am not mistaken, it was of a concerted effort to strengthen the effects of alcohol in order to reach a "desired effect" which brought about what we know as modern distillation.

Is that your understanding also?

cb

volfan007 said...

Tom,

You said,"Drinking a glass of wine with a meal is different lighting up a joint."

Pray tell, why? They both make you high. They are both a drug.

Take it from someone that used to be a weed smoking, drinking low life....I could function a lot better after smoking weed than I could after drinking alcohol. So, how is it any difference? If we're gonna make drinking alcohol legal, then let's make smoking weed and other drug use legal as well.

Really, to not do so would be hypocritical.

Saved out of the pit of hell by the grace of God,

David

CB Scott said...

That "desired effect" being a faster and more altered state of mind with less quantity of consumption.

cb

volfan007 said...

Shamgar,

You said,"Volfan, If you think prohibiting alcohol will cut down on wife beatings and child abuse and drunk drivers killing innocent people then you don't understand human depravity, and you really don't understand the surrounding issues."

Sham, with all due respect, where do you live, Bro? I asked a Memphis Cop one time about crime and it's influences...his statement was "95% of all crime was either alcohol or drug related." Either people were drunk or high when they did what they did...the intoxication influenced thier behavior; or else, they were committing the crime to be able to buy the alcohol or drugs.

I know of people who did and do things that they normally wouldnt do when they're drunk.

My uncle for example. Back when he was a slave to alcohol, he would beat his wife and children. When he was sober, he was one of the nicest guys in the world. But, you let him drink some liquor, and he turned mean. Praise the Lord, he got saved later in life, and the Lord set him free from alcohol, and now he loves the Lord and his family. He's a totally different man.

I could tell you story after story after story like this about different people. So, Sham, I dont know what universe you live in, but down here on Earth...alcohol influences people to do things that they normally wouldnt do...bad things.

The next time "Cops" or "Dumb Criminals" or something like it comes on, watch it. It will be enlightening to you.

David

Bart Barber said...

CB,

Yes, that's my understanding.

CB Scott said...

Shamgar,

You said,"Volfan, If you think prohibiting alcohol will cut down on wife beatings and child abuse and drunk drivers killing innocent people then you don't understand human depravity, and you really don't understand the surrounding issues."

I must agree with Vol here.

I have seen human depravity all over this planet. I have smelled the breath of pure evil up close and personal. Very often that breath was tainted with that bitter-sweet smell of alcohol.

To be honest, I am kinda glad that smell was there. Alcohol consumption does slow down the reflexes; if you know what I mean.

Also, there are many, (and I mean many) people who are so depraved and know it they seek to hid from it in alcohol.

Shamgar, If that statement was a whiskey flask it would be empty and you would have a wet pocket. It has a hole in it.

cb

CB Scott said...

Bart,

You could join this dialogue a lot more if you had already finished your sermons like you should have.:-)

cb

Shamgar said...

Volfan,

I live in Texas now, and I've also lived in the Midwest, spent time overseas and in the poorest areas of Mexico, in California and plenty of other places.

I don't know the Memphis cop, for all I know that was his experience. I would advise you not to universalize that to all of human experience. My father was a police officer for ~40 years. That was most definitely not his experience and not mine either. I do not deny that alcohol is a contributor. So is money. So is sex. So is private property. There are lots of related issues, but the core issue is sin. You're not going to fix the problem by removing a symptom.

I reject your statement that it is the alcohol's fault that people do sinful evil things. Those sinful evil things are done because it's part of who they are. Alcohol is just a means of drawing it out of them. For every story you tell I can tell stories of hundreds who consume alcohol and never do anything of the sort.

Likewise, I can tell you stories of the evil and wicked things men have done because of religion. I would not expect that you would see that as an argument against Christianity. Once again, abuse of a thing does not negate its use. And attempting to "fix" humanity by controlling it doesn't work. Mankind cannot be fixed by laws, only by the Gospel.

Shamgar said...


It is my firm conviction that had Jesus come the first time in our contemporary culture He would not have turned water into anything that remotely resembles beverage alcohol as it is made, sold or used today.


Interesting. So then, what I hear in this statement (by implication) is that Christ erred. That somehow, his revelation is not sufficient in this matter because of the time of his coming - even though the Bible itself says that Christ coming was not haphazard but was a specifically planned event.

Instead, we need you to give us additional revelation about what is ok and what is not ok for a Christian to do because Christ clearly wasn't thinking ahead to what today's world would be like when he said and did the things he did.

Shamgar said...

Thank you Mr Barber.


I will also concede that the line between medicinal and other uses is not always a bright one.
...
Nevertheless, I believe that the use of any of these substances for reasons not related to health is something that the government would be wise to preclude.


I might be off base here, but I'm assuming you're including Alcohol in this group - though you didn't specify so. Yet God himself clearly doesn't agree with your assessment of its proper use.

That said, I do want to stress that in terms of what is wise we are in agreement on the issue of consumption of what are currently termed illegal drugs. Were pot legal and its creation and sale regulated similar to alcohol I might feel a little bit differently, but for most of the rest to the best of my knowledge it is a bit too clearly and immediately self-destructive to be something I could countenance.

But what I would encourage people personally and what I would urge them to is very very VERY different from what I would be willing to do from the barrel of a gun - particularly one wielded by the state.

CB Scott said...

Shamgar,

You say:

"Interesting. So then, what I hear in this statement (by implication) is that Christ erred."

No. That is silly. Jesus did not err. Nor would He were He to have come for the first time in this present culture.

Notice what I said:

"It is my firm conviction that had Jesus come the first time in our contemporary culture He would not have turned water into anything that remotely resembles beverage alcohol as it is made, sold or used today."

My statement was in a very specific context. If the first coming of Jesus in this specific culture; He would have known exactly the great weaknesses of this culture because he is God.

The way our culture makes, sales and uses alcoholic beverages today is not as it was in the first century. Jesus would do nothing that would so directly contribute to the destruction of humanity. Remember, Jesus said He had come to save that which was lost. He did not come to add to the self-destructive nature of the lost.

In our culture the use of alcohol as a beverage is consistent in adding to the self-destruction of the lost.

Current research reveals that to be true.

Also Jesus gives an admonition to be wise as we await His return in Luke 21:34-36. (Being wise as we wait His return is mandated elsewhere in Scripture also)

Every Word in Scripture has an application to its original readers. It also applies to every generation beyond its original readers.

If the original readers of Luke were to be wise in anticipation of the return of the Lord; How much more so should we use wisdom as we await the coming of the Lord?

It is simply unwise to use alcohol as a beverage in our culture as it is used while awaiting the return of our Lord.

Therefore, if one is seeking above all things to use wisdom and obey the Lord as he awaits His return it is certainly unwise to use or advocate the use of alcohol as a beverage in our culture.

It is due to biblical revelation I make my statement; not in spite of it.

Biblical revelation states we are to be wise. It is not wise to use alcohol as a beverage.

If you use or advocate its use, you are unwise relating to alcohol used as a beverage in your calling as a shepherd of a flock assigned you by God.

cb

Bill said...

Alcohol is the pet project for many Christians. But my question stands. What other things that potentially do great harm are you willing to outlaw and turn over to the power of the state?

Tobacco? Guns? Extra-marital sex? Glue? Paint thinner? Fertilizer (bombs)? Profanity?

We have the technology to restrict all these things. Why not? We can make the country even safer, more heatlthy, more Baptist friendly.

David: You continually state that the only reason people drink is to get high (intoxicated would be a better word since alcohol is a depressant). Maybe that's why YOU drank and that was YOUR sin. But to say that is the case for everyone is simply a falsehood that you should retract.

Bill said...

That's assuming Baptists are healthier than everyone else, which I assure you they are not. I forgot to add overeating. We could outlaw that also. Obesity related deaths are skyrocketing in this country.

I know, someone dying of a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes doesn't affect anyone else (like a drunk driver). Tell that to his/her family. Dead is dead, and I doubt they sit around comforting themselves by saying "well at least he wasn't hit by a drunk driver."

People feel strongly about this on both sides and that's fine. But using the power of the state to enforce pseudo-Christian morality is a bad idea. Perhaps rather than talking about alcohol we should be talking about the role of government.

CB Scott said...

Bill,

Let us assume everything you say is true.

Therefore is it wise or unwise to use alcohol as a beverage in our culture?

Is it wise or unwise for a pastor to use or to advocate the use of alcohol as a beverage in this culture?

cb

CB Scott said...

Bill,

You are right when you say:

"Dead is dead, and I doubt they sit around comforting themselves by saying "well at least he wasn't hit by a drunk driver."

It is doubtful anyone would say that. That is for certain.

Yet, if there was an absence of alcohol used as a beverage there would be far less people "sitting around comforting themselves by saying" anything, because highway deaths would be cut drastically in this country.

cb

Dave Miller said...

In the ideal, laws would be based on scripture. Whether that would require prohibition is unsure. I think it would not. I am getting hints that CB thinks it would.

CB, I just wish you would speak more boldly.

Anyway, whatever laws ought to be, what they are is a reflection of the common moral perception of the nation.

Prohibition won't fly because the culture doesn't view alcohol as wrong. The same may one day be said of pot, and other drugs. But, for the time being, the consensus of the governed is that drugs are wrong and alcohol is okay.

So, drugs are controlled and alcohol is legal for adults.

CB Scott said...

Dave,I was just raggin about prohibition in general. I became serious when I posted notice of that nad said I should post something serious in support of my wise brothers whgo understand our culture.

I really am not concerned with what the government does or does not do about alcohol.I do know the true purpose of government is to keep both foreign and domestic thugs from bothering me as I seek to make a living and live my life in a right and proper manner.My concern here has to do with the people of God and especially the shepherds God has assigned to His churches.When one searches the Scriptures to find the best character and methods one should employ in the leading of God's people the use of wisdom is constantly present in all instruction.It is unwise for shepherds to use or to advocate the use of alcohol as a beverage in our society.It really is that simple.cb

Bill said...

CB: Honestly your support of prohibition surprised me, despite your well known views about the use of alcohol. I think someone can be a passionate and outspoken abstentionist and still not support giving the state more power over our lives. Changing culture through the power of the Gospel seems to me to be a far better way to effect cultural change than at the point of a gun. That power should be used sparingly.

As to your question, I don't think beverage alcohol use can be judged wise or unwise apart from context. It cannot be a universal judgement. I will say this, permission is not advocacy. Someone may well say that the bible does not prohibit alcohol use, because he or she believes that is what the scripture teaches. That is not the same as advocating its use. That, I agree, would likely be unwise.

Colossians 2:16 ought to decide the matter for us as Christians.

Shamgar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Shaffer said...

Huh?

You must be referring to CB?!

Shamgar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamgar said...

(Third time is the charm)

Yes CB, I do see what you said. I see that your statement suggests that Christ could not have seen how His words and actions would be interpreted, or what the need would be in future generations. This despite the fact that abuse of alcohol is not new, it goes all the way back to the old testament.

I think you really do believe that God is the same yesterday today and forever. I think you do believe that Jesus doesn't err. Absent some serious proof I take as a given assumption that you are orthodox in your beliefs.

However, what I am seeing is that the issue of alcohol is so central to you that you would jeopardize all of that for the sake of controlling this one thing you do not like. To the point that you're willing to say some things which to me border on blasphemy.

You then beg the question repeatedly by suggesting it's not wise to use alcohol or to advocate its use. You don't actually provide any evidence other than the fact that sinful men abuse it.

Personally, I don't know that I would recommend that a pastor stand in his pulpit and extol the virtues of wine and beer. That would likely be a poor use of the precious little time he has behind that sacred desk.

However, to promote Christian liberty, absolutely. This is far broader and grander and more important than the really minor issue of whether or not we are free to consume certain foods or drinks.

However, I do think this issue is important. There is a terrible mysticism assigned to alcohol. As if it holds this magical power over us. We want to blame it for some/all of societies ills. But it is not to blame, sin is. Whether that sin starts with choosing to abuse alcohol or not, sin is the root.

As Christians God has given us victory over sin. I and many others make occasional use of this beverage to no detriment. Neither in my health (which is actually the better for it, thank you) nor in my life (physical or spiritual), nor in my witness to others.

It is for freedom that Christ has set me free, not to be bound to the petty whims of men who believe themselves to be wiser than God. And do not think you do otherwise for one moment. God in his infinite wisdom was fully aware of what our society would be like today. He knew what we would do with our understanding of the fermenting process. Yet he did not forbid its consumption.

He commands restraint, yes, moderation yes, as in most things. I and hundreds of thousands more do that as a regular practice.

All things are to be received with thanksgiving, as gifts of a good and generous God. Yet you would call what God has called good, evil, and would seek to use the arm of the state to accomplish what God would not. You would presume to speak for him on what he would do differently were he to arrive today, though you have no explicit example or statement from him to be the case. Merely his command to be wise, and your own ipse dixit of what is wise.

Further, I again reiterate that deaths due to drunk driving do not even come close to heading the list. If prohibition were enacted there would NOT be significantly fewer dead. In fact, I would posit there wouldn't be ANY fewer dead. If they're willing to drink and drive, they're willing to buy and drink contraband alcohol and drive.


Prohibition is an awful flop.
We like it.
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.
We like it.
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It won't prohibit worth a dime,
It's filled our land with vice and crime.
Nevertheless, we're for it.

(Franklin P. Adams, 1931)

CB Scott said...

Shamgar,

Your arguments are a "sham" amd a "shame."


I did not suggest Jesus would not know of the future.

He knows all things. He is God.

He also knew you would be unwise about alcohol, but he saved you anyway.

He saved me in spite of all the areas I lack wisdom.

Now, you have stated you use alcohol. And you brag of its helping your health. I don't use it. My health will stand a pretty good test and I am old and was sorely handled in a past life.

Any health issues I have are a result of not being wise in the past during my days as a professional pagan, Vandal and Visigoth.

As the old saying goes: "God forgives, nature never does.":-)


In the use of alcohol, you are simply unwise. So stop it before it bites you hard one day.

Bill, I really don't want the government involved as much as it is. You are right. We must preach the gospel and the whole counsel of God.

Therefore, I preach and teach that the use of alcohol as a beverage is unwise.

cb

Shamgar said...

And you brag of its helping your health. I don't use it. My health will stand a pretty good test and I am old and was sorely handled in a past life.

I never said you had to use it to be healthy, I denied it will make you unhealthy as a necessary consequence, and that (at least for some, used properly) will have quite the opposite effect.

In the use of alcohol, you are simply unwise. So stop it before it bites you hard one day.

Paul, years of historical data - particularly in foreign countries were regular moderated consumption is the norm, modern studies, alternative medicine and modern doctors all disagree with your wisdom.

That said, on the topic at hand, I am glad to hear that you would not countenance prohibition. If you choose not to consume, and even to teach against it, that is a freedom you enjoy. Much as it is mine to disagree with you and put forward a contrary position.

What I was most interested in opposing here was the idea of the church once again looking to the arm of the government to accomplish its desires - whether good or bad -- instead of doing what it is called to do, which is Preach the gospel.

Bart Barber said...

Shamgar,

I think you're letting other debates bleed over into this one. This is explicitly NOT about church using state to enforce anything. The entire premise of this thread is to consider not the question of what the Bible teaches about alcohol, but to consider prohibition as a civil and legal matter.

Counting the original post, this is the third time I've said this.

CB Scott said...

Shamgar,

There are far more foreign countries than Germany, Italy, and France, etc.

Data from other countries refutes what you say.

Also, I take it you are living and ministering in the United States.

Remember I have been very specific about the 'culture" of which I speak.

Yet, I must say there are many believers living in the countries mentioned above who refuse to use alcohol as a beverage because they see it as unwise for a believer to use it.

Had you been in those countries for any length of time you would know that to be true also.

You choose to ignore the facts, long before entering this comment thread, about the use of alcohol as a beverage. I pray it is not a tragedy that brings you to reality.

Bart,

I apologize for taking this thread off topic.

I will say this about prohibition.

Anytime the government has to come forward to "take up the slack" for the church it is usually not good.

A perfect illustration is the American welfare program of which we now call "entitlement programs."

Also, it is true that in counties of various states that are still "dry" there are fewer problems with alcohol addiction and government spending on so called "rehab" programs.

Many will say to legalize the sale of alcohol will stop "bootleggers."

That is not so.

Bootleggers do not pay taxes. There are still many bootleggers working in what used to be dry counties in the Southland. The money is very good, especially when you do not have to pay any tax.

Prohibition was not stopped because it did not work. It was stopped because it cost money.

It may be that now prohibition would not work simply because too many preachers see no harm in the use of beverage alcohol.

In truth we just need to admit our world is going to hell in a wagon and alcohol, unwise shepherds and weak preaching are three of the horses pulling it. (There are many other horses pulling it, but I mention only three here)

Therefore, those of us who are not willing to compromise truth need to preach and teach with even greater conviction the power of the gospel to change the lives of fallen men.

We also need to return to preaching holy and sacrificial living by the people of God as the norm for the Christian and not the exception.

cb

volfan007 said...

CB,

Hey, watch what you say about bootleggers!!! :)


Interesting that the revival in Wales was so powerful that the pubs shut down...not because they were forced to by the govt. but because the people were getting saved and falling in love with Jesus. They didnt want liquor. So, the bars closed down due to lack of business!!!! Also, the jails had nobody in them!!!!

Yet, we have Christians today who want to drink liquor?

David

Bill said...

David: As you well know, not all moderationists want to "drink liquor". You are well known around the blogosphere for your opposition to aggressive obsessed Dortian Calvinists pushing their insidious agenda on the SBC. Likewise some of us don't want aggressive obsessed abstentionists pushing their agenda on other believers who don't agree with them on the use of alcohol, and we especially do not want such people enforcing their agenda (the thesis of this post) at the point of a gun.

CB Scott said...

Bill,

You are limiting the enforcement of the agenda.

There would be guns, yes.

But, there would also be Claymore mines, C-Four and Napomb. Also there would be some really mean dogs.

In some cases there might be "rattleless", Rattlesnakes slipped into folks showers.

That one little trick has really been effective in some situations in the "eviction" of some really bad outlaws.

cb

Bill said...

CB: Since rattlesnake venom is a dangerous drug, all right thinking Americans should demand its prohibition.

Shamgar said...

You choose to ignore the facts, long before entering this comment thread, about the use of alcohol as a beverage. I pray it is not a tragedy that brings you to reality.

This will be my last word on this topic.

Refusing to accept your ipse dixit, manufactured and unsubstantiated claims, or the inflated statistics of scaremongering prohibitionists and unprincipled statists is not the same thing as refusing to accept "the facts".

Cheers and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Bart,
Thought you might be interested in the following quote:

“The best evidence available to historians shows that consumption of beverage alcohol declined dramatically under prohibition. In the early 1920s, consumption of beverage alcohol was about thirty per cent of the pre-prohibition level. Consumption grew somewhat in the last years of prohibition, as illegal supplies of liquor increased and as a new generation of Americans disregarded the law and rejected the attitude of self-sacrifice that was part of the bedrock of the prohibition movement. Nevertheless, it was a long time after repeal before consumption rates rose to their pre-prohibition levels. In that sense, prohibition ‘worked.’”
-from prohibition.osu.edu

David R. Brumbelow

volfan007 said...

I noticed that Sham and Bill and Scott and whoever else didnt comment at all about my comment concerning the Wales Revival and Awakening.

Interesting.

David

Scott Shaffer said...

Volfan,

I didn't respond because it really doesn't change anything.

Scott Shaffer said...

Volfan,

I should clarify one thing. I really don't care if someone wants to support Prohibition, go for it. That's your right. As I've said, I think the chances of it actually working are slim, but whatever floats your boat. However, don't tell me you have a biblical argument for instituting prohibition. No one on this blog has yet demonstrated that one exists.

Drunkenness was a problem in biblical times; otherwise God wouldn't have given us so many warnings about it. Yet, God in His infinite wisdom did not institute prohibition for Israel. Nowhere does he tell church age saints not to drink. So, if you think the United States should prohibit alcohol use, go right ahead and feel free to base your argument on how the greater good is served by doing so. Just don't use God's word as the basis for it.

Bill said...

David: I didn't respond to your Wales comment because it makes my point, not yours.

volfan007 said...

Bill,

My point is that Christians who are in love with Jesus and full of the Spirit shouldnt want alcohol. And, then, prohibition wouldnt even be an issue if everyone was getting saved and in love with Jesus, because they wouldnt want alcohol. Yes, of course, that's the best way. I mean, we wouldnt need laws against murder, and we could do away with jails if everyone got saved and fell in love with Jesus....but, alas, they dont. So, we have to make laws against murder and stealing and drinking alcohol and using mind altering drugs like meth. And, we have to have jails for those who dont want to abide by those laws. If we lived in a righteous world, then we wouldnt need laws nor jails. But, we dont, so we do.

Anyway, my prayer is that we will have such a moving of God in America that our bars and liquor stores close on their own, and the jails and prisons begin to empty.

And, again I say....why would Christians, who are in love with Jesus, and who are full of the Holy Spirit, need alcohol? want to drink alcohol? argue for the use of alcohol as ok?

David

Bill said...

David: So you would jail people for drinking a glass of wine with their dinner?

volfan007 said...

Bill,

If prohibition was a the law of the land, then why wouldnt they go to jail? Light up a doobie in front of a cop and see what happens.

David

Bill said...

David: You said "So, we have to make laws against murder and stealing and drinking alcohol and using mind altering drugs like meth. And, we have to have jails for those who dont want to abide by those laws.

Prohibition did NOT outlaw drinking alcohol, but by your words that is what you are in favor of. Hence my question. Expanding on that, do you think we should have laws against adultery and immodest dress? How about laws against blasphemy?

volfan007 said...

Bill,


I dont think this conversation is going anywhere. Let's move on to something else; ok?

God bless you, Brother.

David