The WCTU Journal

Alcohol — a Healer?

Alcohol is a legal drug.  Producing this drug, advertising it, selling it, lobbying for it, promoting laws to protect it—all is legal. The alcohol industry supports alcohol for health; drinkers can self-prescribe.

Both science and the Bible say beverage alcohol is a mind altering addictive drug.1 Alcohol has within itself a power to change the user's brain. Even small amounts distort man's reasoning and it is able to overpower the will.  Alcohol programs the body to dependence on the drug.

Makers of  this legal drug relentlessly persuade the public to "choose to use.”  Every decision to use means one more drinker willingly submits to alcohol.

In the current “choose to use”  campaign, drug sellers are claiming science proves alcohol is loaded with health benefits. The medicine comes in any familiar drink—drunk carefully but regularly. Is this health claim true? Or is the Bible right when it calls alcohol a deceiver?   What do you think?

Target the health conscious

America is on a health kick—so alcohol drug sellers aim to convince the health conscious to drink. No one can miss the “news” as the media reports ever increasing scientific research claims that alcohol is medicine good for the body. The alcohol industry has clout. Besides its advertising campaigns, it effectively controls government policies for its own benefit. It infiltrates public health agencies. And it funds research studies.2 The benign face it presents to the public, as it claims it works to improve public health, is a mask for its fierce desire to manipulate the public mind to drink alcohol.It wantsthe number one drug of choice in the world to win another first—number one medicine drug of choice in the world.

Will people buy into alcohol health claims?  It depends on free, individual decisions.

Do you trust these claims?

Newscast: “Moderate drinking by elderly women may prevent mental decline.” CBS Health Watch.3

Magazine: Drink a Beer for Your Bones? “Silicon plays a role in bone-mineral density. A 12 ounce bottle of beer contains 7 mg of silicon. Daily recommended silicon is 40 mg per day. Since excess alcohol may pose health risks, other sources of silicon are whole grains . . . .” Ladies Home Journal, Sept., 2004, p.168

A University Website:  “Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine or distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer hypertension or high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, Alzheimer’s disease and the common cold. Sensible drinking also appears to be beneficial in reducing or preventing diabetes,  rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney stones, digestive ailments, stress and depression, poor cognition and memory, Parkinson’s disease, hepatitis A, pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration (a major cause of blindness), angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, erectile  dysfunction, hearing loss, gallstones, liver disease and poor elderly health.”

The University advises, “Moderate drinking is 1 to 3 drinks per day or four or five drinks for large individuals. The key to healthy, moderate consumption is a regular 1 to 3 drinks per day pattern.It lists 65 scientific studies to back its claims. Then it appeals to the final authority the Bible: Alcohol’s . . . “medicinal properties are mentioned 191 times in the Old and New Testaments.” The State University of New York.20064

Alcohol strategy: Convince and confuse...  

“Say something often enough and people will believe it.” Most do. But the drug industry, besides convincing the public that alcohol is vital for good health, also wants to silence opposition from total abstainers from alcohol.5  

Many total abstainers, —faced with research from Harvard, reports in prestigious medical journals and the government itself, all implying that alcohol is good medicine— feel they must admit some benefits. The resulting confusion benefits the drug.

Drug sellers market a positive message

As far as the alcohol industry is concerned, its health claims are presented to the public as totally reliable research. Warnings in these studies, as well as opposition studies, are ignored as though they never existed.

Alcohol as medicine is marketed directly to the individual consumer. It is an over the counter drug, so everyone can self prescribe. People reason that if “alcohol helps good cholesterol and prevents coronary heart disease it probably helps the rest of the body too.”

Note this: The observations that alcohol plays a role in elevating good cholesterol were made in alcoholics with a relatively high intake of alcohol.  This amount of alcohol would have adverse effects on the liver and virtually all tissues of the body, including the heart and the arteries. 6

Truth, where are you? The Bible is the only source of absolute truth. Proverbs 20:1 says alcoholic wine, i.e. any alcoholic drink, is a mocker and a deceiver. It deceives—leads into evil by saying the false is true. Deceive also means it misleads into error, deludes to make one incapable of telling right from wrong and double-crosses the user.

Whatever the amount, this is what alcoholic drink is—this is its essence. God says it; He does not change, Mal. 3:6. The definition stands.

Are there 191 references to alcohol as medicine in the Bible? No, the word alcohol is not in the Bible. The word is wine and wine does not always mean alcoholic wine. The most used Old Testament word for wine, yayin, can mean either alcoholic wine or grape juice. Is. 16:10 says the treaders tread out yayin (wine) in the press. This yayin is grape juice.

In the Bible,  yayin means grape juice 71 times  and alcoholic wine 70 times. Another word for wine, tirosh, used 38 times, always means fresh juice.

In the New Testament, oinos (wine) also means either grape juice or fermented wine. One reference to oil and wine mixed as medicine used externally is with the Good Samaritan.

The alcoholic wine references in the Bible are warnings about alcohol or curses such as drinking the wine of His wrath, priests in the Old Testament vomiting their drink, and in Revelation, “Drink of the wine of her fornication.”

The Bible as authority an individual decision

Acceptance of the authority of the Bible is an individual decision.

There are 2 views about life on earth.

View one says man evolved from nothing by chance and is on his own. View two says God, Who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, created man. In view 2, God’s book, the Bible, explains how man rejected God to accept Satan’s lie that man himself  “can be as god.”

God the Son, Jesus Christ, in love and mercy went to the cross to pay for man’s sin and buy him back with His blood.   The seal of the transaction accepted is that Jesus rose from the dead.

God says to man, “Come to Me.” Every man decides for himself to go with God or to go with self and Satan. Those who choose to believe Him, receive Jesus as their Savior from sin and the devil. He comes to live in them by the Holy Spirit.

Believers in God receive the Bible as His authoritative truth. “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word of God.” The  Bible teaches the principles that guide man’s life.

Bible principles

1. Alcoholic yayin is like the poison of a snake... Deut.32:33, The wine of violence, Prov. 4:17.

2. Wine causes hardship,makes men stagger, Ps. 60:3.Treacherous, Hab. 2:5. Vomiting, Is. 28:7,8

3. The Bible also says alcohol confuses the mind, causes errors in judgment, makes people sick, corrupts morals, and makes men unfit to be leaders in government or the church. It leads to quarreling, fights, feeling miserable; it distorts vision and speech, makes men addicts and insensitive to pain. It has caused military defeats. Christians are told:  

4. “Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do it for the glory of God.” I Cor. 10:31           

5. 
“...ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. If any man defile the temple of God...Let no man deceive himself…” I Cor. 3:17, 18

6.
A sound mind, 2 Tim. 1:7.  “Love not the world...” I Jn. 2:15

Unprejudiced science backs up the Bible

Hundreds of  valid scientific findings  provide evidence of how beverage alcohol harms the body.

The Bible emphasizes alcohol’s effect on the mind. Science says the first major organ alcohol affects is the brain.7

Facing alcohol’s claims

Each one of the studies that reports an alcohol benefit for health, focuses on one part of the body. Even if alcohol could help the heart why would anyone drink a clinically proven absolute poison to his liver? Why would someone try to prevent Alzheimers while doubling the risk for hemorrhagic stroke of the brain?  

All researchers admit that alcohol can damage every part of the body. They have to admit that it is addictive. To support alcohol as a health medicine, they must find the magic amount that benefits while not causing any damage.

It can’t be done.  Most doctors agree that it is too dangerous to prescribe. The alcohol industry is urging the public to self-prescribe.

The world groans under the alcohol burden

Alcohol is bad medicine. The world groans under the illness, crime, anguish, fear, poverty, and mental hopelessness unleashed by alcohol.

Called off the market?

The alcohol drug should be called off the market. Right now it’s up to the individual  to decide where he stands, —with God or with the great deceiver.

Endnotes

1. Prov. 23: 29-35
2. Globe Is. 3, 2002
3. CBS Jan 21, 2005
4. Alcohol Problems and Solutions website
5. The industry has silenced opposition in most instances in the Church. WCTU Journal, June, 2004 p.9
6. Dr. Leiber, Clev. Clin J Med 2003;70:945-953 .
7. Ethyl alcohol mixes freely with water: the brain is 78% water, an easy target. 

 

 

   
 
Copyright 2005
Woman's Christian Temperance Union
of South Dakota