Being Honest in Our Arguments and Avoiding Snowjobs

Being Honest in Our Arguments and Avoiding Snowjobs

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This meme demonstrates the importance of critically examining our own beliefs; of being willing to put forth both the support and flaws that our beliefs might have—in this case, the statements in the picture are deeply flawed to the point of possibly seeming deceitful upon deeper examination.

We need to be honest about our convictions and reasons for them. I’ve seen (and have done this myself in the past, to my great discredit) people hold a certain view, and proclaim it, while at the same time ignoring any evidence to the contrary, or even sweeping the contradictory evidence under the rug.
Presenting sloppy and weak arguments is negative, but giving someone a snow job is much worse. To the curious person, it ultimately undermines their faith in anything else we might have to say; it taints the belief pool. Consider that I tell you, “well X is obviously true, as any honest, studious person can see,” and I present a strong case. You come to believe that I’m correct. Later you find out that I hid a lot of evidence that would weaken my case. What does this cause you to think and feel?

“The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.” Pro 18:17

With that in mind, consider this meme. It seems that the author forgot some verses that might undermine it, but in the interest of being fair and balanced, we should include them! The Bible has multiple warnings about the misuse of alcohol and other things, but it says more than that. For example,

“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” Psa 104:14-15

So let’s dig in, because it it probably best for those of us in the Churches of Christ to remove this meme if it is found to be flawed, as it stridently calls in to question the salvation of people who are potentially our brothers and sisters, and could be a source of incredible division and infighting, which Satan would love.

A.) Regarding Jesus, Matthew 11 reads:“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and DRINKING, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and ‘sinners.’” (v.18-19)

This text draws explicitly on the contrasting asceticism of John with Jesus. The “drinking” here is not water or Dr. Pepper. John was a Nazarite and he did not “drink” wine (see Mt 3 on his asceticism and Lk 1 for the wine). John abstained and Jesus did not. When Jesus entered the house of the unclean Levi (Mt 9 9-13) we learn of but one example of him being in the wrong place and with the wrong people.

B.) Habakkuk 2:15 does not condemn wine at all. It condemns using it to be a pervert: “Alas for you who make your neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath until they get drunk, in order to gaze upon their nakedness.”

C.) Wine and alcohol were situationally permitted and situationally forbidden:

Deut 14:22-26, permitted:
“Be sure to tithe annually from everything you plant that yields a harvest in the field. Then in the presence of the LORD your God, in the place where he’ll choose to establish his name, you may CONSUME the tithe of your grain, your NEW WINE, your oil, and the firstborn of your livestock and flock, so that you’ll learn to revere the LORD your God all your life. Now the way may be distant from you, so that you are unable to transport your tithe because you have been blessed by the LORD your God and the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish his name may be distant from you.

You may spend the money to your heart’s content to buy livestock, flocks, WINE, STRONG DRINK, and whatever you desire. You and your household may eat there and rejoice in the presence of the LORD your God.”

Lev. 10:9, forbidden:
“Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.”

Numbers 6., forbidden and then permitted, as God let the Nazarite have wine, but only after the conclusion of his vow: “After that, the Nazarite MAY DRINK WINE.” (Numbers 6.20).

Conclusion: Wine was given to man and it must be used with care if used at all; in some situations, it was forbidden. But the meme is either ignorant of some verses or, at worst, deceitful.

With love,

My friendly signature.


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