By George T. Eldridge
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). One of the crimes and curses of men in all ages, and even in our own period, has been the failure to recognize the proper treatment of their body and who owns their body. Their failure has led them to seek happiness, for example, out of the stomach (belly), the sex act, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages socially as business drinking, intelligent drinking, or lunchtime drinking.
Our body is the property of Christ! Our body is “for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 6:13). The clause “you are not your own” should once and forever inform us that our body is not ours; we are its trustees, not its proprietors. We hold our body “for the Lord” and we should use it according to His directions. 1 Cor. 6:19 plainly tells us not to harm our body, yet people continue to place alcoholic beverages in their body!!
“The pathological effects of alcohol are due to a chronic poisoning rather than an acute. Large doses may, however, cause death almost instantaneously by a reflex action on the heart or by cardiac and respiratory depression after the drug has been absorbed. If the alcohol is taken in the form of spirits, the subject usually becomes thin, probably owing to the spirits so affecting the gastrointestinal tract that little or no nourishment is absorbed; if beer is the form of drink the subject is liable to become fat. Prolonged drinking of any form of alcohol makes persons less able to withstand operations and diseases, such as phthisis and pneumonia, and is the direct cause of certain diseases of which the chief are the following:: (italic for emphasis is mine-gte)
Chronic Gastritis-This is most likely to occur in those who drink spirits. The action of the strong alcohol on the stomach sets up an inflammatory condition which, owing to the continued action of the irritant, never subsides, with the result that permanent damage results and the proper digestion of food cannot take place and the patient becomes thinner and thinner.
Chirrhosis of the Liver (gin-drinker’s liver)-The quantity of alcohol associated with this condition differs with different persons; in some cases a few month’s indulgence may suffice, in others it may be a matter of years . . .
“Multiple or Peripheral Neuritis
“Gout C The habitual drinking of heavy or sweet wines may be one of the causes of this disease, as may be excessive beer drinking when combined with poor or insufficient food.
“Mania C may at times be due to chronic alcoholic poisoning and possible chronic Bright’s disease. Certainly the kidneys will be affected more or less adversely by the toxins resulting from the gastrointestinal disturbance.”
(“Pathological Effects of Alcohol,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. I, Chicago, 1952, p. 541).
What Is Your Reaction to the Evidence?
The majority of people, as well as a few churches, will not accept the proof that the “prolonged drinking of any form of alcohol makes persons less able to withstand operations and diseases . . . and is the direct cause of certain diseases.” Such people are guided by their opinions and not by the truth. They do not have an honest and good heart in which the teaching of God can find good ground. Since they are not good ground, they cannot receive God’s Word, have salvation, or hold loyally to God’s Bible and “bear fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15). A few will accept the evidence of alcoholic beverages being harmful to the body! We want our body to be the shrine, sanctuary, or temple wherein the Holy Spirit dwells as we continue in all humility to “receive the word implanted which is able to save . . . souls” (James 1:21).
Hear a Final Thought
I am willing to talk with anyone who believes God-fearing and God-obedient people should drink alcoholic beverages and that these beverages are not harmful to the body. Remember, we are not asking anyone to uphold drunkenness. We are asking for defenders of drinking alcoholic beverages socially such as business drinking, intelligent drinking, or mealtime drinking. Will one please step forward?
Our task and plea is for every individual to come to the realization that “you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). Being “bought with a price” has no reference to a strictly commercial transaction. “Bought with a price” is talking about the redemption of man, “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The “price” is the blood of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God, “which is shed on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). You can never “glorify God in your body” until you understand clearly the “price” and yield voluntarily to Jesus. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph. 1:7). You cannot honor God, do honor to God, hold God in honor, glorify God, or praise Him until your sins are washed away in baptism! You then can keep the body pure and sound and as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” by never drinking alcoholic beverages which harm the body. Will you accept the evidence?
Truth Magazine, XVIII:27, p. 13
May 9, 1974