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THE USE OF ALCOHOL AND CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOUR ( AN EXAMINATION OF I TIMOTHY 5: 23)
1.1 Background of the Study
The issue of "alcohol" intake, especially as it regards Christianity is a situation that has been debated on for several years in the Churches of Christ. This issue has given rise to division, some sect supports drinking a little using "I Tim. 5:23" as a support for their claims while others say it is not good for Christians to take it at all. Based on this problem, Christians are confused whether or not to take it as it regards to their claims.
The term "alcohol" is been known to be a colourless, volatile, flammable liquid that is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks and also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel this point out to the search made using Google.com search engine.
Many Christians have been under the influence of alcohol beverages which has made them become incapable of preaching the word of God even to the unbelievers wherever they find themselves. Alcohol beverages causes danger to a person when taken, it can damage physical health and cause uncontrolled speech, action or can lead to accident that causes death when intoxicated. Alcohol is not only found on beverages but also starchy foods which was discovered base on the research made about it e.g. of such starchy foods are rice, maize, garri etc. while cocaine, cigarette etc. are made up of drugs and tobacco which yield from plants.
Many seminars and forums have been held to tackle this problem but it seems to prove abortive because this people still continue on what they know and have uphold.
This research work shall be looking at the relationship between the Christians and alcohol, we shall know if it is right for Christian to associate themselves with alcohol, what percentage of alcohol should be taken by a Christian, is it a sin to take alcohol beverages explanation of I Tim. 5:23 and many others as this research will reveal.
1.2 Historical Background of the Study
The use of alcohol as it relates to Christianity has caused a lot of problems. The problems caused by alcohol are enormous and the most outstanding problem associated with alcohol beverages is that it hinders the individual Christian growth which ultimately affects the church.
Alcohol and Christian behaviour is an issue common to the inhabitant of selected Churches of Christ, Oyigho Local Government Area, Rivers State which makes the basis of the research formed. Moreover many brethren who make alcohol beverages their bosom friend which in turn influences their behaviour as Christian use I Tim. 5:23 to support their claims. Some say it is only he who aspires to be an elder or a deacon that is commanded to abstain from using alcohol beverages.
Therefore, this work seeks to establish that there is a problem in the brotherhood due to lack of understanding the role alcohol beverages plays in Christian life. It is the focus of this research to proffer solutions to these problems.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
In order to correct this misconception in the mind of a Christian about the use of alcohol, the researcher has the task to find out about the following discussion:
(a) What the Bible say about alcohol beverages
(b) The effect of alcohol beverages
(c) Effect of Christian behaviour
(d) Misconceptions of I Tim. 5:23
(e) Sins attached to alcoholism
(f) General characteristics of alcohol.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study includes;
(a) To know what the Bible says about alcohol and Christian
(b) To understand the usefulness and effect of alcohol beverages in the human body.
(c) To correct the contextual meaning of I Tim. 5:23 and its application in the 21st century Christians.
(d) To know how Christians ought to conduct themselves in the society concerning alcoholic use.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significant of these studies is stated as followed:
(a) That it will help Christians to understand the usefulness of alcohol as it relates with Christian behaviour.
(b) It is believed that through this research the scriptural interpretation of I Tim. 5:23 shall be given.
(c) This research work will serve as a reference material or source of information in case of any further research on this topic by students.
(d) It is also believed that this research work will bring great assistance to the church when understood and the society at large.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study will cover only the Church of Christ. This work of research has been limited to some Churches of Christ, Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State which focused on the use of alcohol and Christian behaviour is examine.
1.7 Research Question
(a) What relationship does alcohol have with Christian behaviour?
(b) Is it sinful if one drinks alcohol beverages?
(c) What is Paul statement in I Tim. 5:23?
(d) Is alcohol beverage useful in the body?
(e) What is the effect of alcoholic beverage intoxication on the church?
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms will be defined in the course of this study;
Alcohol: Alcohol is a colourless volatile flammable liquid that is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer, spirits and other drinks and is also used as an industrial solvent and as fuel.
Christian: This is the name given to the followers of Christ. It appears 3 (three) times in the Bible. Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; I Pet. 4:16. It is gotten from the Greek word "Christianos" which signifies an adherent of Jesus Christ.
Bevaviour: The word behaviour which in Greek is "Anastrophe" means "manner of life."
Use: The word use in Greek "Hexis" means to have, habit, experience.