Interesting and thank you for the insight concerning the length of Jesus’ hair, though it does not seem necessary to teach it. It is true. We don’t know if he had long hair or not. How long would it have to be to be considered long anyway? The Bible doesn’t tell us if he had long hair or short. We don’t know. That is all we can say. To imply that believing he had long hair is a mistake is not really that responsible either because he could have. How would either scenario change anything about the truth of Jesus Christ?
Also, it’s true that Jesus drank from the fruit of the vine. Though it was not as refined and high in alcohol as the wines we drink today, he did drink wine, not just juice. There would be a very short amount of time that grape juice would not become fermented without refrigeration. Wine was a staple of the first century diet. But to imply it was just juice not responsible either. The wine would also purify the water from stagnate cisterns etc. and with out some alcohol in the “juice” the purification would not be there. This is part of the instruction that Paul gives to Timothy. That he should drink wine (and wine in water) for his stomach’s sake. Ever heard of Montezuma’s revenge?
The point of the article is that assumptions do not form the foundation for truth. One argument given to go against Paul's statement, "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?" (I Corinthians 11:14), is that Jesus had long hair. The article you referred to is an answer to that argument. There is no evidence that Jesus had long hair, thus it cannot be used to argue that long hair is acceptable.
Since Paul taught by the inspiration of God, such teachings came from Jesus, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (John 16:13-15). Paul stated, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). Therefore, we have a statement by Paul, given to him by Jesus that men ought not to have long hair. It would be more reasonable to conclude that Jesus did not have long hair than to conclude that he did have long hair.
Your argument about long and short is a common attempt to avoid the conclusion. When people don't like the obvious conclusion, one method of avoiding it is to declare that the terms are indefinable; therefore, unenforceable. See the article "Hair" for an answer to the argument, but also look at "Reviling Things They Do Not Understand" concerning the flaws in this style of argumentation.
Your arguments about wine in the New Testament is not based on a firm foundation. See "New Testament Beverages" for details concerning the Bible's teachings on alcoholic drinks.
Thank you for the response.
I have not avoided the subject of long hair, which I do not have; I believe that your article assumes things just as greatly as you accuse others in order to make a case where one is not needing to be made. You don't believe that men should have long hair. That's fine. Just don't go as far to make it a strong biblical mandate. That is irresponsible and making the Bible a means to intimidate those that disagree with you. (I did read your article on "Hair" before my email and did not find it enlightening concerning the specific issue I spoke of in my email.) Paul's instruction about long hair that you mention in I Corinthians 11: how long of hair is Paul talking about? Again, how long does hair have to be to be long? Who judges that? Is it what you deem long? I am not avoiding the subject, I am asking a question. I am not avoiding anything in my argumentation. I am asking a question. In fact, your response smacks of avoidance.
As far as drink goes. You missed my point in your zealousness to be the authoritive voice of correctness. I never implied or hinted that drinking for leisure or getting drunk or tipsy is acceptable. Nor did I ever imply that being addicted to much drink is acceptable. Strong drink serves no purpose but to intoxicate and is not the point of what I said. On this we were in complete agreement. I was speaking about the false idea that Jesus only drank grape juice and never anything with alcohol. That can not be said in truth. Your foundation may not be as solid as you accuse mine of being weak. I was speaking to the issue of wine in the first century, its uses, and it's common place. Not as a leisurely intoxicant, like today, but as a staple of diet and health. I also find that in your seemingly exhaustive study of wine in a different article that you never even mention I Timothy 5:23. You would think that out of all of the verses that you selected on the subject you would have at least found this verse belonging somewhere in the conversation. Either it was an oversight or direct omission. Both scenarios cause me concern. Would this teaching of Paul not also come from God? Also, I do not drink nor does my church use wine in communion so I am not trying to justify anything in my personal life. If God teaches that we should never have wine pass our lips than I would be fine with that. Again, not avoiding the teaching I just don't believe that this line of thought is taught by God.
To your accusation of me that my comments about wine in the first century is "not based on a firm foundation," I believe my foundation is firm though I hope that I have the humility in my knowledge of Scripture to understand that Jesus Christ should be the one that checks it for cracks. I know that the more I study God's Word and seek understanding through the guidance of the Holy Spirit I find that I have to re-address issues in my life and my understandings of God. I am always open to what God is saying through His word. But I do get wary of those that seem to have the perfect answer to every question and can out debate the average church goers in to submission. I too, seek His truth. I am sure that your position is safe as your church's biblical authority and that you will enjoy a long tenure.
One last thought: Out of the long list of articles, I found it odd that humility was not one of the subjects.
From the answer to the question "How long does a woman's hair have to be?"
"Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering" (I Corinthians 11:14-15).
"Long" is a relative term. God is not dictating a specific length of hair. Instead, He is insisting that the prevailing hair styles among men is to be shorter than the prevailing hair styles among women. Since the beginning of time, God expected a distinction to be made between the sexes. For example, in the law of Moses, God said "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this." (Deuteronomy 22:5) Other than articles of clothing, the relative length of hair is the most distinctive difference between men and women. If the hair on a woman leaves you wondering whether she might really be a he, then the hair is too short.
Satan, the old enemy of God, has filled people's minds with the idea that everyone should look and act the same. Somehow he has convinced people that men and women looking different is wrong. Why can't people, and especially Christians, be content to follow the teaching of the Bible, custom, and common sense, and let men be men and look like men and women be women and look like women?The reason for directing your attention to the article "New Testament Beverages" was because your assumption that non-alcoholic drinks based on grape juice did not exist in the first century and that people commonly drunk at least mildly alcoholic drinks in those days. I did mention I Timothy 5:23 briefly in the article "New Testament Beverages," but since the article deals with everyday or social drinking and I Timothy 5:23 deals with medicinal use, it wasn't discussed at length. From the answer to the question: "What is wrong with drinking, so long as it is done in moderation?"
Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach's sake.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities." (I Timothy 5:23)
Paul is not instructing Timothy to use oinos (wine) casually at dinner. Timothy had a stomach ailment and other problems for which Paul recommended that he use a little wine to treat the symptoms. Especially notice what is implied here. Timothy normally drank water exclusively. He was not in the habit of using any grape beverage at all. Paul had to encourage him to ease up on his total abstinence so as to use a little wine for it medicinal properties.
Wine was used in the New Testament days for medical purposes. For example, in the parable of the good Samaritan, "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him" (Luke 10:34). However, medical uses do not imply acceptance of casual use. Valium can be used to relax injured muscles, but valium can be abused when casually taken. I knew a man dying of cancer who needed a mild pain killer. He was instructed by his doctor to drink a glass of sherry before bed time so he might sleep in more comfort. This is a proper use of alcoholic beverages.
Hence, once again we fail to find support for social drinking or moderate drinking. Instead we find that at least one Christian strongly avoided all use of wine and had to be encouraged to take some when he needed it for his medical condition.The answer section only contains topics that were asked. Since I haven't received a question on the topic of humility, it doesn't appear. I have done several lessons, listed under Sermons:
I understand your annoyance with the confident method I use to answer questions as completely as I am able. It is easier to shoot the messenger than to reassess your beliefs, even on small matters as hair styles and the social use of alcohol. As Paul instructed the preacher Titus, "Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you" (Titus 2:15).