One of our small groups covered the issue of Christians and alcohol the other night. As many of you may know, the official Adventist denominational position is “Since alcoholic beverages . . .are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them . . . .” The issue arose not from the perspective that alcohol use is good, but is the Adventist church overreaching Biblical truth, in order to reinforce the health and temperance message of Ellen White? After all there are many references to wine in the Bible and Jesus’ first miracle described in the gospels was the turning of water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
Interestingly, it’s the publications from official denomination sources that acknowledge the difficulty of some passages. See this article from the Adventist Review and Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel from the Adventist Biblical Research Institute.
Even more interestingly, it is the personal ministries of well-known Adventists that argue most strongly for an absolute position on all Biblical references. See Samuele Bacchiocchi and Doug Batchelor’s Amazing Facts tract.
All argue, however, that the negative effects of alcohol in our lives are so great one wonders why some of us come so strongly to its defense.