***, if there are not ever alternate interpretations of God's word by people who believe they are right then please explain how YOUR generation invented out of thin air or at least continued to promulgate what you culturally inherited of the lie that Jesus never drank wine and that drinking alcohol is taboo or in any way a no-no! Are you going to tell me with a straight face that Protestant tradition is not a cultural invention of man, in particular, a relic of your generation's time and place, projected onto God's word and with a bit of creative stretching made to seem like actual scripture when in fact it is a false history and a false teaching rooted in legalism? I agree with you that God has one meaning in what He says (except when He has more than one meaning in what He is saying). My point is that we all (including YOU), tend to subconsciously project our own baggage into these discussions, be it generational baggage, or gender baggage or political baggage or social status baggage or sectarian cultural baggage. And you still have not responded to large segments of my previous remarks. You still don't know what it is you are even arguing against of the article that started this discussion in the first place. That is the primary problem here. In continuing to do that you are bringing a knife to a gun fight metaphorically-speaking.
***, I brought this topic up to make my point and you have finished my point as I anticipated and intended. Although I undoubtedly have my generational biases they are not manifested here as they are with you. Your views on alcohol which were shared by Grandpa McGee and my remaining Grandma Noyes and all of your particular sect of Protestantism are views that did not exist over most of the history of God's church (until various extremist sects of Protestantism came about such as the Puritans and Quakers and some Methodists and other assorted holiness movements). This is so for good reason as there is no foundation for this alcohol phobia in sound doctrine, archaeology, history, or logic and reason. The only "juice of the grape" that any ancient societies produced from grapes was wine. NOBODY dabbled in grape juice for multiple reasons not the least of which is the little matter of grape juice being perishable (there was NO refrigeration) and there being no preservatives aside from fermentation itself. There is NO factual/empirical evidence that anybody in that part of the world or anywhere else on Earth where grapes were grown (which is basically anywhere on Earth there was civilization) ever made grape juice and not wine. In fact, the very types of grapes being grown were grapes bred for wine, NOT raw juice and not table grapes for eating (in other words, NO Welches).
However, this is all superfluous when compared to the doctrinal gyrations that your generation (and those holiness movements) had to make in order to create this legalistic myth or rather perpetuate the older preexisting myth. You and your segment of your generation seem to confuse drinking alcohol in excess with drinking any alcohol at all. How did this come to be? You don't seem to mistake gluttony and basic eating or compulsive sexuality and sex in general! In reference to Psalms 104:15 please explain to me how Welches grape juice makes glad the heart of man!? I've had plenty of grape juice and never received that effect. The entire story of Christ making wine of water makes absolutely NO sense if it is grape juice. If it is not grape juice but rather wine he made then how is all alcohol inherently bad if our Creator and Savior is not only making wine but making really excellent wine and being complimented for it? Please explain to me the logic behind Christ being accused of being a winebibber if he was only drinking grape juice?! That would be utterly illogical and nonsensical were that the case which it is not. Following that logic we would have to conclude that the gluttony charge suggested he was not eating actual food for the same line of reasoning to be consistently maintained. How does any of that make any sense?
As for yeast in bread-making being symbolic of evil, that is so and yet it is only a symbol. Yeast is not actually inherently evil as evidenced by you eating fermented dough throughout your life without being corrupted by it. However, you had to contort and stretch quite a bit to connect fermented dough and it's Biblical symbology of sin with fermentation of grape juice which is not even Biblically referenced as symbolic of sin which is worth noting in light of your belief that all alcohol is evil don't you think? Why isn't fermentation of fruit (or wheat or hops or anything else the like) associated with sin but fermentation of dough (a food product) is? That is not an arbitrary coincidence my friend. Yet it another inconvenient fact that gives the lie to the legalistic false teaching that some extremist Protestant sects leavened into God's Church a few centuries ago and continues to be promulgated by some individuals and congregations and denominations.
You state (quite correctly) that we should take God's word "at absolute face value". However, you aren't obeying that if you are encouraging people to disobey God's edict to enjoy the things He has created for us to enjoy as He stated in I Timonthy 6:17. Psalms 104:15 if taken "at absolute face value" makes it clear that He has given us wine to enjoy. Yet your unsupported teaching on this DOES NOT submit and accept and adhere to God's word "at absolute face value". That means you and others who are like-minded are interpreting God's Word arbitrarily to fit your own personal and group mores and values as handed down to you from previous generations through various mental-emotional and cultural filters. It is fine to not wish to drink alcohol yourselves. To forbid other people from doing it is not acceptable. To suggest you are speaking for God in this matter is adding words to his Word and placing words in His mouth which He never uttered.
If as you suggest we are to mindlessly and without questioning what He means follow a path of "simple acceptance at absolute face value God's high, holy, happy, Heaven-sent Word" then why are you not out burning witches alive as God's Word commands in the Old Testament if followed in a non-interpretive "simple acceptance at absolute face value" of his command "I suffer not a witch to live?" I know what your answer will be and you will be quite correct which thus proves my point.
My point is that in real life on this Earth with all the complexity of human nature and the human experience as well as God's inestimable complexity and unfathomable greatness the truth and understanding of truth and how it applies "where the rubber meets the road" is so very much more complex and layered and nuanced than trite, hackneyed, jingoistic, one-dimensional, close-minded and overly-simplistic interpretations and explanations of reality and truth and sound doctrine can account and even begin to understand without God anointing us with wisdom and understanding and insight and at times revelations and epiphanies. The more we think we know the more we probably don't know. We need to beware getting stuck in our own thinking and walling off learning more and growing and ultimately becoming intellectually and mentally-emotionally and spiritually constipated and ultimately moribund. I have already lived in that sort of necrotic constipation but have been given release from it and never wish to go back to it.This latter quote from my remarks tonight on Facebook comes in response to a sister in Christ who came upon this debate and made a few remarks that were largely neutral which was appropriate on her part.
...myself and *** love each other and are arguing as spiritual father and son... at least that is how I realize it and appreciate it and I hope he does as well. However, I also don't pull punches when accused of carnality. If I am condemned I will gladly fall on my sword. If, however, I am falsely accused, especially in regards to something that is a hot-button issue with me as legalism is then I am prone to throw an elbow or two along the way if the initiator of the allegation is playing rough and tumble, too. I can give as good as I can take. When I speak to *** on these things I am speaking as much to his entire generation and that entire Protestant tradition and collection of sects of Protestant Christianity whose legacy is mixed at best with some great theologians and leaders and their writings but also a long legacy of legalism and apocalyptic millenarian darkness that was the antipode to the carnal excesses of the Catholic Church. Extremism and reactionary movements are hardly ever a good thing. Another irony in this topic is that the concept of Christian hedonism is not a contradiction in terms as would seem to be the case if one is to blindly adhere to the more dour traditions of some of the more extremist elements of Protestantism. However, in reality Asceticism is not not a particularly Christian (until the Catholics popularized it) or even Jewish practice with some notable exceptions like the Nazarites. On the whole, Asceticism is more rooted in pagan Greek Stoicism in the context of Western Civilization not to mention the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and such further east.