Not What They Told You - Alcohol
Text: Galatians 5:16-24
I. There are many factors that led to the downfall of Israel, but one reoccurring theme was the greed of its leaders.
A. They were in it for the money - Isaiah 56:11
B. They dealt falsely for money - Jeremiah 6:13
C. Everyone was after money - Jeremiah 8:10
D. Long ago I heard that if you want to understand why things are happening, you need to follow the money trail.
II. From the 1700's to the early 1900's there was a strong temperance movement in this country
A. People wanted the sale of alcohol to stop, especially with World War I going on
1. So in January 1920 an amendment was added to stop the sales of liquor
B. But they had trouble enforcing the law
1. Those in government saw gangsters making lots of money from the sale of liquor, which they could not tax.
C. You might have heard that prohibition was a failure, but ...
1. Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929.
2. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928
3. Arrests for public drunkennness and disorderly conduct declined 50 percent between 1916 and 1922.
4. For the population as a whole, the best estimates are that consumption of alcohol declined by 30 percent to 50 percent.
5. Violent crime stopped its dramatic increase prior to prohibition and stabilized.
D. Since its repeal, consumption of alcohol has increased. Alcohol related deaths have increased. And violent crime increased.
1. Did it stop the use of alcohol? No, but that wasn’t the goal.
E. Why was it repealed?
1. It was repealed in February 1933 – in the great depression!
2. “It was not until this economic crash that the economic consequences of prohibition were made clear; the federal government had lost $11 billion in potential alcohol tax revenue, while spending $300 million just trying to enforce the amendment” [https://soapboxie.com/government/Was-Prohibition-Repealed-Because-Of-The-Great-Depression]
3. The government needed more tax revenue and alcohol was projected to be able to supply a large amount.
F. I bring this up because yet another study, this one very strongly done, concludes that “there is no amount of alcohol consumption that’s safe.” [http://time.com/5376552/how-much-alcohol-to-drink-study/]
1. One alcoholic beverage per day causes 4 additional deaths per 100,000 (or a 0.5% increase). Perhaps not high, but still ...
2. Two beverages per day causes a 7% increase in deaths
3. Five beverages per day causes a 37% increase in deaths
G. What about that study that said moderate drinking improve heart disease? The problem is that it is outweighed by causes of other deaths by alcohol.
1. In addition the new study noted a flaw in the old study: it included people who used to drink in the same category as people who never drank, clouding the results.
2. If you take them out of the equation, there is no benefit seen in moderate drinking [http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicewalton/2016/03/23/moderate-drinking-may-not-be-as-healthy-as-we-thought/]
H. It isn’t just car crashes that we are talking about. Alcohol consumption increases your risk for a number of cancers.
III. The effects of alcohol has been know for thousands of years
A. Proverbs 20:1 - It deceives your mind
1. You can’t trust your judgment while under the influence
2. You are more vulnerable to other sins because you have less resistence
B. Isaiah 28:1-3,7-8 - Causes errors in judgment
1. Mistakes are made, which often leads to accidents
2. One study found that “alcohol dulls a mechanism in the brain that tells people to put on the brakes when they realize they’re making mistakes” [“Drunks know they’re messing up but just care less”, McClatchy News Service, 5 Jan 2012].
C. Habakkuk 2:15 - Lowers moral standards
1. You are willing to do things that you would not normally do
2. Why people drink in social functions – it helps them forget about their shyness
D. Proverbs 23:29-33 - A detailed description of alcohol’s effect
IV. God’s rules on alcohol
A. Christians are to remain sober - I Thessalonians 5:5-8
1. Temptation is hard enough to fight without being fuzzy headed
2. Drunkenness is associated with darkness (evil)
B. Drunkenness is listed with many other sins - Galatians 5:19-21
1. Rioting or revelry refers to drunken parties
C. No provision for the flesh - Romans 13:12-14
1. In other words, it is not enough to say “I’m not going to commit fornication,” you can’t make allowances that might lead up to that sin.
2. The same is true for drunkenness. Too many want to say “I’m not drunk!” but they making provisions for the lust that leads to drunkenness?
D. I Peter 4:1-3 - Let’s talk about the terms for a moment
1. Sensuality or lasciviousness - pursuing desires of the senses to the point that you don’t care what other people, or God, thinks about your actions
2. Lusts - strong desires for what is forbidden to the point that you are making mental excuses for those sins
3. Drunkenness - this refers to the down and out drunk, or an alcoholic. This was the word used to describe Alexander the Great’s drinking bout that led to his death
4. Carousing or revellings - Drinking parties where a person is intoxicated but not necessarily dead drunk
5. Drinking parties or banqueting - Drinking in a social situation where alcohol is served but not necessarily to excess. Cocktail parties or “having a few drinks with the boys”
6. Abominable idolatry - many idol worship services encouraged heavy drinking.
V. If you don’t want the destination, then don’t start down the path - Proverbs 4:14-17
A. Far too often people think they can drink a little bit and it doesn’t effect them ... much
B. But it isn’t what they told you. These come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013
1. 0.02 - Decline in tracking a moving target and ability to perform two tasks at the same time
2. 0.05 - Reduced coordination, ability to track moving objects, and response time; difficulty steering a car
3. 0.08 - Loss of concentration, short-term memory, speed control, information processing and perception
4. 0.10 - Reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
C. Did you know that more people are involved in fatal crashes in 2011 with blood alcohol under the legal limit than over it?