The fundamentalist world was rocked recently when a scholar from a prestigious fundamentalist university opined in a book that maybe people in the Bible really did drink fermented wine after all. Now from all reports he still wasn’t advocating that people are allowed to drink in moderation today — after all, baptists do follow in the holiness tradition of being total abstainers when it comes to alcohol — but even this slight allowance has caused the likes of the Sword of the Lord to spill barrels of ink denouncing the scholar, the university, the book, and all their friends, relations, chattels, and livestock.
Regardless of the fact that history shows total abstinence from alcohol has been held mainly by heretics and some sects of Roman Catholic monks, fundies embrace it as dogma to the point ofÃ‚Â writing it into their church constitutions and/or church covenants.
If we are to take the rule that no alcohol may ever pass ones lips literally, however, there are a few points which may need some clarification.
– How long may one gargle with ListerineÃ‚Â® (26.9% alcohol) without sin?
– If one uses hand sanitizer and then proceeds to licks their fingers, is this too a matter for church discipline?
– Is taking NyQuil (25%), Ambesol(70%), Formula 44D(20%), or Contrex (20%) a transgression? And if it’s ok to take those, is it also ok to sip a few teaspoons of whiskey (50% alcohol) as long as you’ve got a cold?
First medicinal wine from a teaspoon then beer from a bottle. Oh, we got trouble…