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The evil that is common in the Church today: The word of God is treated as of it was deficient and therefore needing to be supplemented by the commandments and doctrines of men. Yet this is precisely the evil that is common in the visible Church today. The Scriptures, it is generally recognized, do not condemn the use of wine, per se, but the wisdom of modern medical science does (so it is said). So, out of ostensible zeal for the wholesome and pure life, the teaching of the word of God is augmented by the present-day "wisdom" of men. The result is that the law of God, as the perfect and complete standard of obedience for Christians, is made of no effect. In the chapters that follow this will be demonstrated. It will be shown that the doctrine of total abstinence did not arise from an exegesis of Scripture. To the contrary, the Bible teaches moderation (temperance in the true sense), and not total abstinence. The real source of this doctrine in the Church was the pressure of social reform movements in the world. It will be demonstrated that the Church in this lamentable deflection from Scripture was really following the world. And it will further be shown that when this false principle of mandatory abstinence was laid upon the consciences of God's people, it was far from being a wholesome (or even harmless) thing. Rather did it undermine the central verities of the gospel.
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