Alcohol, I mean.
He was accused of being a “winebibber”, which is like being called a drunkard.
I have zero doubt that Jesus was NOT a drunkard. I believe he went to pubs to talk to people and do informal ministry work (no preaching, just listening). Of course he had a few drinks while he was there, but I don’t believe he drank to drown his sorrows or because he was addicted to alcohol. He drank with those around him as a social gesture.
I mention “Jesus the winebibber” because alcohol receives mixed reviews in the Bible. In some cases (especially in the Old Testament), it’s poo-pooed altogether and considered a sign of degeneracy and sin, while in other cases it’s equated with God’s Holy Spirit. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus himself compares the effects of the Good News on a soul as being like new wine. Consider also that Jesus’ first public miracle was to turn water into wine (which was then immediately drunk and judged superior to the earlier wine) and that Jesus used Passover wine to represent the sacrificial blood of God’s new covenant with his people. A few months later, at Pentecost, the disciples are accused of public drunkenness, they’re so over-the-top animated and joyful from being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I haven’t had a drink in years. I stopped counting just how many a while back, but it’s been more than a few. Over ten at least. Prior to that, I really enjoyed drinking. I started when I was 14. As an atheist, I was a genuine winebibber; I used to call booze my medicine and self-medicated daily. My favourite drink was the first of the day, which I usually had mid to late afternoon. And then I would drink for the rest of the afternoon, all evening, and into the night… and get up early the next morning and pop Tylenol and drink coffee until it was time for the first drink again. I did this for years while working full-time and thought it was normal. I think the term for that is “functional alcoholic”.
The days leading up to my spiritual rebirth I was on a 2-week bender. In fact, all I did was drink and write. I even forgot to eat. But the instant I was reborn, I lost my taste for alcohol and caffeine. For months after my rebirth I couldn’t drink at all. The rebirth process had reset me both spiritually and physically. I had no tolerance for alcohol or caffeine, though I slowly rebuilt it over time. I also couldn’t write anything beyond a grocery list for three years after my conversion.
Spiritual rebirth is a total reset of mind, body, and soul.
Years ago, as a Christian. I worked for the Salvation Army for a few months. They have a strict no-drinking policy for their members and heavily promote their 12-step program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous. I do not support the 12-step program, nor do I support the Salvation Army any more. I believe that any attempt to overcome addictions needs to be done on a spiritual level. I also don’t believe that “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic”, any more than I believe “once saved, always saved”.
Alcohol addiction is not a physical or mental disease; it’s a spiritual stronghold that can be broken by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, and an alleged Christian organization like the Salvation Army should know that. When I was born-again, God healed me from alcoholism instantaneously. That’s how miracles work – instantaneously and perfectly. I went from being an alcoholic one second to a tee-totaller the next. No 12-step program or a lifetime of creepy and controlling “mentors” required.
As I grew and matured as a believer, God let me drink again on occasion, though I never used alcohol as a means to feel better. It was more a social thing. Eventually, I lost my taste for it altogether and gave it up over a decade ago now. I don’t miss it, but I am looking forward to having a nice big glass of perfectly chilled heavenly champagne at the wedding feast, if I make it home.
Champagne was my preferred poison. I loved how it made me feel good without feeling drunk. I used to drink Perrier-Jouët, a whole bottle in one sitting. It’s a lovely dry champagne that comes in beautiful hand-painted bottles. Drinking Perrier-Jouët, I would not feel myself going up or coming down; I would just feel a happy buzz that would unfortunately fade after an hour or so.
That’s something like the same feeling I get from God’s Holy Spirit now. The buzz I used to pay a hundred bucks a bottle for I can get for free any time of the day or night. And it doesn’t fade after an hour. In fact, it’s been with me for over 21 years. Holy Ghost High is far superior to any high I’ve ever had from a bottle.
And that’s how I know for sure that Jesus wasn’t a winebibber. God’s Spirit was more powerfully with him than with any other person on Earth. Jesus wouldn’t have needed alcohol to make him feel better because he must have felt great all the time. That’s the feeling you get from God’s Holy Spirit – you just feel great, no matter what’s going on around you or to you. There is no better feeling than the presence of God’s Holy Spirit on a soul. Always deferring to God (that means, praying without ceasing) keeps the Spirit strong in you.
Excuse me now while I go take another hit. ;D