Bob Jones’ early days were Methodist, then more nondenominational. He drew great crowds as an evangelist and it is estimated tens of thousands came to Christ through his preaching. Jones was a pioneer in radio preaching. His sermons were featured in John R. Rice’s Sword of the Lord.
Following are some of Bob Jones, Sr.’s comments on alcohol:
Jesus Turning Water to Wine
“Well you know He always had good wine and He’s talking about the fruit of the vine, not the intoxicating stuff that makes folks get drunk.
I know enough about Jesus to know what He made that day was not that kind.
They weren’t drunk either. They weren’t drunk.
They’d been drinking that wine then and this occasion I don’t think there’d been a drunken party that would have invited Jesus. They knew something about the Son of God and His mother was there, they were good people.”
-Bob Jones, Sr., Thou Hast Kept the Good Wine, John 2:1-11 (audio).
“We should love sinners, but hate sin. It is all right to love gamblers, but we ought to hate gambling. We should love drunken ‘bums’ and pity them, but we should hate the liquor traffic.” -Bob Jones, Sr., Comments on Here and Hereafter, BJU Press; 1942.
“It is wonderful when God saves a drunkard which He sometimes does, but it is more wonderful still when God saves little children before they become drunkards, libertines, and degenerates.” -Bob Jones, Sr., Comments on Here and Hereafter, BJU Press; 1942.
“A man who had been married for a few months came home one night intoxicated. The young wife met him at the door and shrank back from her drunken husband, and began to sob out her heart. ‘What are you crying about?’ he asked. ‘You made me a drunkard. I was born with the appetite for whisky in my blood. My father died drunk when I was a little child. At my father’s coffin my mother made me hold my right hand up to God and swear I would never touch a drop. When we became engaged you stood at the punch-bowl and gave me my first drink. The appetite for whiskey woke up in my blood. I have been drinking secretly but periodically ever since. Yes, I am a drunkard. I am on my way to hell, and when I get there I will curse you for damning me.’ Men are not drunkards by accident. Every drunkard that ever staggered down a city street or traveled a country road was made a drunkard by somebody.” -Bob Jones, Sr., Comments on Here and Hereafter, BJU Press; 1942.
“Suppose I should run down a street in this town with a jug of whisky in one hand and a grindstone under the other arm. Suppose I say to my self, ‘Now. I ought not to have this jug of whisky. It is a sin to carry this jug of liquor. It is wrong. I am going to throw it down.’ I throw the jug of liquor down. But I have the grindstone. I say, ‘I will carry the grindstone; there is nothing wrong with that.’ The jug of liquor is a sin. The grindstone is a fault.” -Bob Jones, Sr., Things I Have Learned; 1944 (on Hebrews 12:1-2).
[More quotes may be published here later.]
Bob Jones, Sr. (and many other Christian leaders past and present) never believed Jesus made or drank alcoholic wine. Much of the wine mentioned in Scripture is unfermented wine.
For a defense of this view see the following books:
Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence by Peter Lumpkins.
Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence by David R. Brumbelow
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 10, AD 2015.