Note to teacher:
I suspect there is more dishonesty in church about this subject than just about any other. People will quickly come forward to speak against drinking, while many others who do drink and feel comfortable will remain silent. Try to get an honest discussion going. In my opinion, drinking in our day is a, "meat offered to idols" issue about which Christians are going to disagree. Remember, the gospel is about grace and freedom, not about rules and condemnation.
Text is bold is to be read just before you read the biblical text. Footnotes are notes to you, the teacher.
Daniel 1:8 - 16
Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 21:17; Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 23:30; Proverbs 23:31; Proverbs 31:4; Ephesians 5:15 - 18(7)
Thank you for your Support.
1. It might me interesting to take a note of this. It may be that people's upbringing has more to do with our theology than we know. People whose parents drank and it was not a problem tend to think favorable about drinking.
2. It is difficult to avoid the implication that alcohol and bad (fattening?) foods were placed in the same category. Believers tend to be more hard on alcohol than bad foods. This is not without reason. No one ever got killed from driving under the influence of cherry cheese cake.
3. Verse 16 tells us the opposite: vegetables. Modern nutrition would tend to agree that vegetables are among the best things for you.
4. These direct and simple questions can be used to draw out a quiet person. Don't embarrass anyone, but you might say, "What was it, Jill?" Make sure Jill knows the answer.
5. It seems that the person in charge of Daniel really liked him. All things being equal, the better people like us, the more effective we can be for God.
6. Bill Gothard calls this, "the creative alternative." This is diplomatic skill at its best.
7. If you are following the Life and Work Series, you will notice that I have skipped 2 Corinthians 6:16 - 7:1. The reason is, if you go back and read the context, starting with 6:14, you will see that this is not talking about drinking at all. Rather it is talking about not being yoked with unbelievers. If you are not following the Life and Work Series, don't worry about it. Or, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Whatever else you tell them, do it with grace. There is no place in the Christian experience for condemnation.
9. It is difficult to go beyond, "It is best not to drink." Jesus clearly drank and Paul commanded Timothy to drink a little. Cultural issues notwithstanding, it is hard to make an iron-clad case against occasional drinking.
10. One of the most cruel things we can do is to simple say, "You are a drunk and you need to stop." It is very difficult to stop, and, without some help, most people cannot.