It's critical to read the Bible to find out what God actually says, not to make it say what we want him to say! There are even theological terms for these different approaches:
Exegesis: to draw or extract meaning out of the text.
Eisegesis: to read meaning into the text.
In today's message Pastor Dave shows how the Temperance movement of the late 19th / early 20th centuries was a mostly American phenomenon. Its leaders emphasized only those verses that seemed to support their zero-tolerance attitude toward alcohol, while ignoring the many verses that did not support their position.
For example, Psalm 104:15 tells us God has given us wine to make us glad! And remember that Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding.
What the Bible actually speaks against is excessive consumption of alcohol, to the point of drunkness, which can lead to addiction, disease, and death.
The Temperance movement, and others like it, are based on checklists of things they say are appropriate or inappropriate for Christians.
But our standing with God is not based on our performance or our righteousness; it is based on Jesus himself, and his righteousness.
To download the audio of today's message, click here.
For a copy of the small group study notes, click here.