The statement reads: Beware of the danger of drunkenness. We personally need to be very careful with strong drink. It is a stumbling block to many. Alcoholic drink is not wrong per se, but the Bible does clearly teach that drunkenness makes one unaware of what is happening. We must not misuse our bodies. Drunkennes is often linked to immorality and unseemly behavior. Therefore, respect the civil laws limiting alcohol consumption and guard yourself against ever becomimg intoxicated.
It will be hard for many to fathom that this kind of statement is found in 'The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible'. These words are located in conjunction with Genesis ch 9, dealing with Noah planting a vineyard, subsequently becoming drunk with the wine that was made, and then leaving himself vulnerable to Ham's sinful desires.
To be precise these words, condemning drunkenness, yet justifying the drinking of alcohol, are to be found in the additional section entitled: Thoughts for Personal/Family Worship: Chapter 9, which comes after the footnotes attached to Genesis ch 9.
There is another note on Ecclesiastes 9:7 that would seem to be in keeping with the position outlined above. The verse reads: Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. The note in the Study Bible reads: God has commanded us to enjoy what He has given for life, and He is pleased (accepteth) with that obedience.
But then, as we well know, there are many in the Calvinist/Reformed camp who see nothing wrong with consuming alcohol or the 'Devil's Buttermilk' [The name Dr Paisley used to give to alcohol]. They'll probably be out in their droves to defend and support this position! This teaching on Genesis ch 9, in 'The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible', is, sadly, a reflection of this position within the Calvinist/Reformed camp. There are others who would like to adopt their ways! Now that would be a backward step, especially for the Free Presbyterian Church!
In reading the Study Bible's commentary, in this place, the following points need commenting upon:
1. "Alcoholic drink is not wrong per se".
2. Readers are to find out and then respect the local civil laws limiting alcohol consumption.
3. A Christian is only to be on their guard against being caught breaking the law on alcohol consumption and drunkenness.
4. This view of alcohol is a suitable subject for teaching at family worship, where children are present.
The writer of these notes, in this place, may also be seeking to make a distinction between wine and strong drink. Knowing some of the views among those in the Calvinist/Reformed camp, it would not be surprising if this were so.
Each of these points are highly questionable. These points will be considered in subsequent posts on the Blog. Suffice to say, for now, that this is a highly worrying and regrettable position for 'The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible' to adopt with respect to the issue of 'drinking'.
The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible is adopting a most foolish position here, in giving license to Christians, especially young Christians to drink. The position adopted by 'The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible' will do untold harm in coming days. A position contrary to that of the Free Presbyterian Church.
By extension the same line of argument could be taken for smoking and drug taking, among other social evils, done in moderation of course and within the civil laws of the land!
It is worth remembering that drug taking will mark the end times, prior to the coming of the Saviour. Cf. Revelation 9:20,21: And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts & Revelation 18:23: And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
One of these marks is sorceries or 'enchantment with drugs' as the word means. It is the Greek word we get 'pharmacy' from, in the English language. Alcohol is a drug, and a drug that is highly addictive and lethal. Alcohol is the most widely used, and abused, drug in existence today! Yet this Study Bible is justifying the partaking of this drug. Simply unbelievable!
The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster has spent the last 64 years of its existence taking a wise contrary position to this statement! This justification of drinking in the Study Bible is sowing serious seeds of confusion!
To be continued…