Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pork, Alcohol and the Adventist Christian - Discussion Guide

Introduction: 

What are some drugs available today? Which ones do you take? Why? Not take? Why?
What about drinks? Are there some things you don’t drink? Why?
Are there some foods you do not eat? Why?
(Safety, health, culture, Bible)

What different laws were there in the Old Testament? (list as many as you can)

Three categories of OT laws:
Ceremonial laws – pointed to Jesus (fulfilled at the cross)
Civil laws – governed the Theocracy (laws of the land)
Health laws – based on our human nature (we are still human, they still apply)


Unclean Foods: To eat or not to eat

Read Deuteronomy 14:8
Why use the world Unclean? What other  beings were called unclean  in scripture? (leprosy). Why? How do the two compare?
How is a pig ‘unclean’ in its diet/lifestyle? (eats rubbish, lives in filth)

If you use the Old Testament to support not eating unclean foods what problem do you face?
(As a young church, Adventists argued heatedly about this!)
Uriah Smith rejected using the Law of Moses against eating unclean foods: "We believe there is better ground on which to rest than the ceremonial law of the former dispensation, for if we take the position that that law is still binding, we must accept it all, and then we shall have more on our hands than we can easily dispose of.” (Uriah Smith, "Meats Clean and Unclean," Review and Herald, vol. 60 (July 3, 1883), p. 424.)

Is it a sin to eat unclean food? (No)
"We do not, by any means, believe that the Bible teaches that its [pork] proper use, in the gospel dispensation, is sinful." (James White, "Swine's Flesh," Present Truth, vol. 1 Nov. 1850, p. 87.)
So why not eat unclean food? (Health as shown by God in the Bible. Science is catching up!)
How does this apply to being a vegetarian? Why?


Alcohol: To drink or not to drink

What are some reasons people drink alcohol? (Social lubricant – good thing?)
What are some reasons that drinking is not wise? (Safety, health, loss of filters/boundaries)
Are there any laws in scripture about drinking? (No laws, just proverbs)

Read Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:21
Where do proverbs come from ( life lessons)
How do you learn life lessons? (from living)

Read Proverbs 23:29-35
What experiences do you think Solomon went through to come up with such proverbs?
What experiences have you had or heard that shape you in this area? (Dad cold turkey)
It is a common occurrence for people who become Christians to be convicted that drinking alcohol is not what God wants them to do. Many received special help/miracle to help them quit. Why do you think this happens?

Read Ephesians 5:18
What does being drunk do to you in the moment?
What does being a drunkard do to you over time?
Why does Paul compare being drunk with being spirit-filled?
What does having God’s Spirit do to you in the moment?
What does having God’s Spirit regularly do to you over time?


Conclusion: The heart of the matter

Read Romans 14:1-4
What character strength is Paul encouraging?
(Treat others kindly)
Continue reading: Romans 14:5-6
What spiritual strength is Paul encouraging?
(Conviction followed by action)
Continue reading: Romans 14:7-8
What conviction is Paul encouraging?
(Live and  die for the Lord!)
Continue reading: Romans 14:9-10
What end game is Paul calling us to focus on?
(Jesus' salvation in the judgement)

Read Romans 14:13-23
Some Bibles call this section: The Law of Love…. Why?
How has our Bible study today challenged you to live your life tomorrow?


Research Notes:
The Development of Adventist Thinking on Clean and Unclean Meats