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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2005

Alcohol: A Deadly Poison

Many people who are generally good, moral individuals like to drink alcohol, and even some of your friends might have experimented with drinking. Because so many people drink, including some “church-going” people, and Hollywood often shows drinking as a mature, stylish thing to do, it might surprise you to know just how many negative things the Bible has to say concerning “strong drink.” Getting drunk by drinking alcohol is an example of something that our culture condones, but God condemns.

Alcoholic beverages can get people into big trouble. Proverbs 20:1 reveals: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” That statement should not come as a surprise, considering that, according to some estimates, alcohol is involved in 70% of all murders, 41% of assaults, 50% of rapes, 60% of sex crimes against children, 50% of fights and assaults in homes, 37% of suicides, and 55% of arrests. The writer of Proverbs knew that alcohol causes violent acts (Proverbs 4:17).

Alcoholic beverages often cause accidents. Alcohol is involved in 66% of fatal accidents, 53% of fire deaths, 36% of pedestrian accidents, 22% of home accidents, 45% of drownings, 50% of skiing accidents, 50% of all automobile accidents, and is the number one killer of people 25 years old and younger. On average, oneperson is killed every half-hour, as a result of drunk driving. Alcohol causes people to do and say things that they might otherwise choose not to do.

Alcoholic beverages can cause serious health problems. Be-cause alcoholic beverages are
poisonous, they can damage the body. This is one reason why God told the children of Israel not to look upon intoxicating beverages or to “hang out” with people who are getting drunk (Proverbs 23:20-21,29-35). Alcohol also can kill brain cells (which cannot be replaced), and causes memory loss, starting with the thing last learned or memorized. Also, alcohol is responsible for more admissions to mental hospitals than any other cause.

Most important, alcoholic beverages cause spiritual problems. God wants His servants to be able to think clearly and act as responsibly as possible, and alcohol can prevent that. Old Testament priests were forbidden to drink beverage alcohol (Levit-icus 10:8-11; Daniel 1:5-8). The New Testament teaches that Christians also should be sober people (1 Thessalonians 5:6,8;
1 Peter 1:13; 4:7). So fill yourself with Christ and His love—not with alcohol (Romans 14:21; Ephesians 5:18; Titus 1:7; 2:3).

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