...through a bible verse taken out of context.
Last weekend, we were left with a Bible Tract from some well meaning Christians after they paid their bill. First, whoever you are, I applaud you for leaving someone with the Gospel. More should do the same. Many of you may be aware that I often times leave customers with Gospel tracts as well. Of all the things we can leave someone, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is of most importance. That being said...
The couple wrote the Bible verse Proverbs 20:1 on their receipt, right next to the Bible verse I normally have on the bottom of the receipts. Proverbs 20:1 says the following:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
Oftentimes we hear from, again, well meaning Christians when it comes to alcohol being served in our establishment. Typically, the context is way off, and someone is overcompensating for their own sins and failure to control themselves in light of temptation.
When we look at the Hebrew transliteration of the word shagah, or to "go astray," we see that it's very clearly used in the context of "intoxication." In fact, the NASB even translates Proverbs 20:1 using the word "intoxicated," rather than "led astray."
We see throughout Scripture, that the consumption of wine or "strong drink" is not condemned and, in fact, is encouraged!
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 5:23 encourages alcohol use for medical purposes:
"Stop drinking only water and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illness."
Psalm 104:14-15 says:
"He makes grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth; wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart."
In fact, Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine! (John 2:3-11)
There are numerous other places in Scripture where the consumption of wine and strong drink is encouraged. What's forbidden, however, is drunkenness. And this is what is meant in Proverbs 20:1 by "led astray." Throughout the Bible, we see verse after verse condemning drunkenness, not the alcohol itself. God is clear, in His Word, that we are to enjoy alcohol consumption in a modest, responsible way.
Now, with that being said, how is Jake's doing that? Well, we are not a bar. We are a restaurant that has a bar. We do not have drunken fights, out of control customers, or minors consuming alcohol. We follow the law as laid out by the state of TN, which emulate God's commands in Scripture. In 3 years, there have been less than a handful of occasions where we have had to "cut" someone off from drinking because we felt that they were too impaired. Our customers are responsible, law abiding citizens who occasionally like to enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail with their meal.
I am a member in good standing of a Gospel preaching church. My elders (everyone should have elders) are fully aware and supportive of our operations here at Jake's and the fact that we responsibly serve alcohol. They also applaud our political stances, but that's for another blog post.
If a Christian brother or sister has suffered in the past with alcohol abuse and has been freed from it but still doesn't want to give the devil a foothold by entering an establishment that has a bar... please don't come. We fully understand that and would never want to lead a brother or sister into temptation. But for those that are able to be responsible, and know their limits, cheers to you!