Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)
Many Christians believe that the Bible condemns drunkenness but that drinking in moderation is acceptable, and thus is not a sin. Whenever social drinking is discussed, emotions are aroused, and the conversation often ends in a heated argument. This issue is so important that we must remove it from the realm of emotion and examine it from a Biblical and scientific stand point.
There are several terms which are translated “drunk”, “drunken”, and “drunkenness” in the New Testament. Methusko is one of these Greek words. Bullinger’s Lexicon states, “Methusko – to grow drunk (marking the beginning of methuo).” Robert Young and W.A.Haynes defines it as “to begin to be softened.” W.E.Vine defines it as, “to make drunk, or to grow drunk (an inceptive verb, marking the process of the state expressed in methuo), to become intoxicated, (Lk. 12:45; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:7).
These definitions establish that there are degrees to drunkenness. Thus, when a person begins to drink, they begin to be drunk.
Just what constitutes drunkenness? Some describe intoxication as having begun when there is enough alcohol in the blood to produce “a perceptible change in a given psychological function.” However, intoxication does not have reference to any exact stage, that when reached, labels the person as drunk. It can refer to both slight and marked effects of alcohol.
Persons can be drunk without staggering or disclosing in anyway to the ordinary sense the fact that they are drunk. Even low concentrations of alcohol dull the highest levels of brain functions and lead to excited and even dangerous behavior because they retard the activities of the most highly specialized and sensitive part of the brain, the cortex! Thus, impaired efficiency is the basic effect of any amount of alcohol on the brain and on its related structures in the central nervous system.
The finer grades of judgment, concentration and understanding are the first to be affected. Such effects begin with the first drink and increase rapidly with each drink. Scientific tests by delicate instruments have indicated that small amounts of alcohol also affect the effects of sight, hearing, and touch sensation. Delay in important reflexes, or trained responses to signals, ranged from 5 to 15 percent of the usual response time after the use of small amounts of alcohol. Those tested were scarcely aware of the existence of any resulting physiological change attributable to alcohol.
In 1960 at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, the topic was “Are You Fit to Drive?” The following is a quote from this renowned group. “Blood alcohol of 1/10 of one percent can be accepted as prima facie evidence of alcohol intoxication recognizing that many individuals are under the influence in the 5/100 of one percent range… There is no minimum (blood-alcohol concentration) which can be set at which there will be absolutely no effect.”
When persons drink alcoholic beverages, according to the definition of the term methusko, and medical science, they are softened, intoxicated, and drunk to that degree. Those who hold the view that social drinking is acceptable, despite both Biblical and scientific evidence to the contrary cannot successfully deny that persons do not know their personal limit of resistance until they indulge.
I believe that I have proven both from a Biblical stand point and from a scientific view point that drunkenness and social drinking are the same process and therefore is wrong. Social drinking is contrary to the law of God. Paul warned the Galatians, “they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21).
Larry Ramey, Enduring Words, Vol.1, Issue 10, October 1982
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.