Megachurch Pastor Perry Noble's fall from the pulpit over his addiction shuttled the age-old alcohol debate among churches back into the spotlight.
In light of the controversy, Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood maintained AG would embrace abstinence.
"We've seen the devastation alcohol can bring on individual lives and families," he said. "We knew our position of abstinence needed to be strengthened and reaffirmed."
The AG General Presbytery released an alcohol position paper more than 30 years ago, citing biblical precedence for abstinence.
"For two reasons we urge all believers to avoid the Satanic tool of alcohol which destroys lives, damns souls, and blights society," The paper reads. "(1) A studied review of the Scriptures affirms a stern warning against intoxicating drink and a call to separation from this evil for the purpose of better service to God and mankind; and (2) Current social abuses and the public outrage over the high cost of alcohol in terms of human misery, death, and destruction of property cry out with urgency for the church of Jesus Christ to oppose firmly any use whatsoever of a beverage which so insidiously afflicts and binds the bodies and minds of men and women."
Furthermore, the AG points to how alcohol interfered with powerful biblical figures from Noah to Lot to Xerxes.
The paper continues:
The Christian who advocates or condones "drinking in moderation" is providing Satan an opening he would not have with an individual committed to total abstinence. By medical definition, alcohol is a drug. The moderate drinker is naive if he does not recognize the peril of eventually becoming addicted himself. The condition of the drunkard is tragic; and God's Word gives clear warning of the final tragedy. The individual who refuses to have anything to do with such a dangerous taskmaster is wise indeed. No alcoholic ever intended to become an alcoholic when he/she took the first drink. And no individual who persistently refused to take the first drink ever became an alcoholic. The church of Jesus Christ must take a bold stand against this evil that in the end "bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper" (Prov. 23:32, MEV).
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