In the News
Famous and Sober
Apparently, you do not have to drink to be successful or popular. An article in Women’s Health entitled “52 Celebrities Who Don’t Drink Alcohol” lists several actors and actresses, comedians, singers, models, and sports figures who do not drink. Most of them had been in the habit of drinking but for various reasons decided to give it up. This list includes such famous people as: Bradley Cooper, Tyra Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Naomi Campbell, Rob Lowe, Eva Mendes, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Afleck, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell Williams, Matthew Perry, Sarah Silverman, Gerard Butler, Ewan McGregor, Jim Carrey, Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim McGraw, Tobey Maguire, Eric Clapton, etc.
In an age when wineries and wine tasting are so popular it seems strange, so many famous people have decided not to imbibe. Perhaps, they have witnessed first hand the dangers of alcohol as detailed in Proverbs 23:29-35:
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: “They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
100 Year Old Worshipers
In another health related article in Prevention, Sandra Gordon lists “31 Surprising Signs You’ll Live to 100.” While reading the list I have come to the realization that I not only most likely will fail to reach my 100th birthday, I have begun to wonder why I am still alive. On the list was “You don’t like burgers”, “You run for 40 minutes a day,” and “You don’t snore.” Looks like those three are against me. However there are some I may be able to implement into my lifestyle, such as, “you have a traffic-free commute.” Thanks to Covid, many are working from home and the only commuting issues is when their mother is in the hall with her walker and you have to trip over the dog. There are a few other suggestions on the list that might be easy enough to add to your diet. “You like raspberries in your oatmeal”. This is doable. And “you eat purple food.” I do like grapes, blueberries, purple ice cream, purple cake and purple candy. By the way does this include fruit of the vine on Sunday morning? After all, “You attend religious services at least once a week” has made the list for those hoping to see age 100.
The article goes on to explain: “a recent study of more than 92,000 women by Yeshiva University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Researchers credit the emotional support and respite from stress that going to regular services can provide.” Not only are there these benefits enjoyed, but worshiping God in spirit and truth is a command which (when obeyed) pleases God (John 4:23-24). The Bible says nothing about NOT liking hamburgers or NOT snoring, but it does warn about “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
The Superiority of Easter Over the Resurrection?
More recently, Fox News told of Senator Raphael Warnock’s recent tweet: “The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” the senior pastor of New Ebenezer Baptist Church’s account said. “Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves. Some of those of his church are not pleased. In Warnock’s Sunday sermon he connected the resurrection with separation and loneliness forced on mankind today by the pandemic.
How important is the resurrection compared to the man-made tradition of Easter? There is no comparison between the two. The ultimate act of God in the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be transcended or surpassed in importance by a tradition of men. The Resurrection came to deal with the separation mankind experiences because of the plague of sin which all have experience (Rom. 3:23) from the time it all began in the garden of Eden.
The resurrection is the most climactic event in history. The Bible attests to its supreme importance and place in the scheme of redemption. The resurrection is the reason one has faith in Jesus as the Son of God (1 Cor. 15:14,17); the power and authority behind all Biblical preaching (1 Cor. 15:14); the fulfillment of prophecy (Luke 24:45-46); the basis of our hope (1 Cor. 15:19); the means by which we can have faith that our sins have been forgiven (1 Cor. 15:17); the reason Christians believe they too will be resurrected one day (1 Cor. 15:49). Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 2and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Even our baptism is in the likeness of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).
Senator Warnock may have been elected by the people of his state to represent them in the United States government. However, God has not ordained him to represent the truth of the Gospel to a world lost in sin. He is a false teacher in regard to the resurrection and the idea that we can save ourselves. Paul plainly stated, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8, ESV).
Monogamy is Not Monotony
One day Eve asked Adam, “Honey, do you love me.” Adam replied, “Of course, who else.” When God made man and woman He designed them for a monogamous relationship. The plan was for one man and one woman to be married and faithful until death. However, during the sexual revolution which started in the 1960s many have found the idea of a life-long monogamous relationship to be too monotonous.
Research done by the Institute for Family Studies found that those spouses who have only had intimate relationship with their spouse will have a happier marriage. University of Utah professor Nicholas Wolfinger, found that both men and women reported higher levels of satisfaction in their marriage, if their only sexual partner was their spouse. “In sum, the surprisingly large number of Americans reporting one lifetime sex partner have the happiest marriages,” wrote Wolfinger.
To put it another way, those men and women who remain virgins until their wedding night will greatly improve their chances of experiencing marital bliss. The Bible indicates that those who avoid sex before marriage and remain faithful to their spouse may experience greater happiness throughout eternity “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
Helen Alvare, a law professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, wrote in the 2017 edition of The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Culture and Opportunity: “Despite occasional dissenters who insist that private sexual choices leaves no wake, the empirical data points overwhelmingly in the opposite direction.” And let me add: the Bible has been pointing in the proper direction since Genesis 2.
– Daniel R. Vess