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Alcohol and the Christians

Advice given by H.H.Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi:

"Where, in what book – I mean like Bible or any book – is said that drinking is good? Did Christ drink? They will follow Christianity, they will follow Christianity and not follow Christ. It’s like that. Christ never drank. His parents didn’t drink. Now what makes them think that they have a right to drink? Specially for Christians. Stupid they are if they think that drinking is their right. And then they have problems with drinking."
(6th Night of Navaratri 2007)

"The only thing they have picked up from Christ that He went to a wedding, and created wine out of water, and distributed. Now this wine is just the juice of the grapes. It’s also called wine in the Hebrew language. ... Instantly, you cannot create alcohol. It has to rot, rot, rot, and the more it rots, the more good it is, they say. They write it down, this is 25 years old, so is the price is much. But if it is 300-year-old the price is exorbitant. So it has to rot and smell like hell, then only it’s a good alcohol; it’s a fact. How could Christ create that instant, that moment - alcohol? But now what I find is this that if somebody dies they will take champagne to celebrate, what, good riddance of bad rubbish? Or when somebody is born they will do it, but on Christmas day especially, after coming from church, don’t go to any Christian’s house. ... All such ideas have come from where? Is because the English, and the Portuguese, and the French brought Christianity to us. Now, by any chance, are they Christians? What business they had to bring Christianity to this place? They took Christianity to all the places, specially Spanish. Spanish, Portuguese went round the whole world to spread Christianity and today is the mess that you see in those people. They are nothing but drunkards. Yesterday I was going back, and the sea was full of happiness and joy, and the water had reached a very high level; it happens with Me. But what I found, there were four, five Christians coming, singing carols, and just completely drunk, and I was thinking they’ll be drowned in this water very soon. This was the great boon of Christianity on human beings that you can drink as much as you like. Now this drinking has come, I should say, from where? God alone knows, but it has come also from the Christians. And the Muslims also drink, no doubt, but they hide and drink. They don’t openly drink, and don’t call it a religious duty that you should drink. Imagine in the church when they give communication, they give you some sort of a dirty smelling wine. After that, how can you have communication? Once you are drunk you are finished."
(Christmas 1995, Ganapatipule, India)

"But it’s absolutely wrong and nonsense that He [Christ] created alcohol. What He did was to change the water into the taste of grape juice. Alcohol is called as grape juice in Hebrew language. I mean, you can say, it is not called… but wine means alcohol as well as grape juice. But it cannot be, because instantly you cannot create alcohol. Alcohol takes time. It has to rot and rot and rot - then it becomes an alcohol. ... So many people, specially in Christian religion, believe that Christ sanctified wine, which is absolutely wrong. He never sanctified alcohol. He changed the grape juice into wine taste."
(Shri Ganesha Puja 2000)

The word for Wine in Hebrew is ‘yaayin’. Juice is ‘mitz’. Grapes are ‘ahnavim’, so Grape juice in Modern Hebrew would be ‘mitz ahnavim’. However this differentiation is likely to have only been developed in Modern Hebrew. Over 2,000 years ago and in the Bible, as far as I know, there is no reference to ‘mitz’ when used with the word for grapes. The fermentation of wine was less sophisticated than it is today and it is likely that any grape juice fermented or not would be called ‘yaayin’. There is another word ‘tirosh’ which means sparkling wine which refers more clearly to something alcoholic like champagne. Given Jesus’ association with the Nazarine sect, it is almost certain that he himself would have eschewed alcohol altogether. The Nazarines were teetotal. Even Jews who did drink wine always regarded it with great caution and that is why the wine is blessed before a Jewish meal (Kiddush). Moderation was the key. So the excessive consumption of alcohol at Christmas to ‘celebrate’ is certainly completely at odds with Jesus and with Jews at that time. This tradition comes more likely from pagan rituals, the practice of which may have later on been tacitly allowed by early Christians in Europe as a pragmatic measure; rather than forbidding them completely. (Ray Harris, UK)

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