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Alcohol: What's the big deal? | Back to articles | Articles sitemap |

The consumption of alcohol has been debated by our societies throughout history. Many churches today avoid the topic because it is so controversial. While this is true, I have decided to discuss the consumption of alcohol by Christians. It is my standpoint that education on the topic, what the Bible has to say about it, is much more informative and instructive then not dealing with the subject at all out of fear of what other Christians may “think”. Making our decision on what the Word of God says is much more important than making decision based on the opinions of others. Every article I write, unless otherwise stated, is scripturally based. As Christians, it is our responsibility to know what the Word of God says about alcohol consumption. Knowing and understanding God’s view on drinking is important because it allows us to make correct judgments in our lives.

Let’s put this into practice right now and begin by looking to the Word of God for some answers. First of all Jesus clearly states himself that He has drank wine: For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.   The Son of man (Jesus) is come eating and drinking (wine); and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luke 7:33, 34)

Many say that it was not alcoholic wine that Jesus was describing however in order for Him to be called a gluttonous man and winebibber, His wine would have to have alcoholic properties. A winebibber is someone who drinks too much alcoholic wine. It is fact that Jesus drank alcoholic wine, it is not disputable. Also He was said to be a friend of “publicans and sinners”. How was he to be a friend of publicans and sinners if the wine was not alcoholic? It is the alcohol which is being linked to sin and the sinners.

Now also keep in mind that Jesus was sinless. "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15) If Jesus was sinless, even after he had ingested alcoholic wine, then we know that the act of drinking alcohol itself is not a sin. The Bible does not state however, that Jesus ever became drunk or was intoxicated at any time.

So then, if we choose to drink, what is an acceptable amount of alcohol to consume? This is what the Bible tells us: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18) In other words, drunkenness is clearly not acceptable. Also, make a note that being impaired falls under drunkenness. If alcohol is hindering or impairing our bodies or minds in any way shape or form, contrary to that of soberness, then it is sin. So what does this mean? Drinking alcohol is not a sin, however self-control must be implemented when consuming it, and that really means limiting amounts. Again, becoming drunk is unacceptable. What some call a “buzz” or the preliminary stages of drunkenness is unacceptable. Looking back to Ephesians 5:18 for a moment however look at the last part of the verse: “but be filled with the Spirit”. As Christians, this is what we should be focusing on, being filled with the spirit rather then alcohol.

Going back to alcohol consumption now, remember that when it comes to drinking we must obey the laws of the land. The Bible even states this: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (1 Peter 2:13, 14) If the drinking age in your country is 21 then that is what is to be followed. If the drinking age is 19 then that is what is to be followed. As for parents, it is your responsibility to do as much as you can to stop your children from drinking alcohol while underage.

The only exception to obeying human law is if human law transgresses that of God’s law. God’s law always rules above human law. If Canada and the United States all of a sudden decided we were going to worship a golden statue, that breaks God’s law, and true Christians would not stand for it. Another example of this is Drug use. Canada is taking steps to legalize the smoking of marijuana. If it becomes legal by Canadian law, it doesn’t mean it’s o.k. in God’s eyes. That is why we always have to look back to the original law first, the Bible.

Why do people drink anyway? People drink for many reasons, and in all honestly most of them are sinful reasons. Alcohols is most commonly consumed because it eases tension, and brings euphoric feelings. Drunkenness will give you a false sense of confidence in yourself, allowing you to perhaps say or do things you wouldn’t have soberly. Interaction with others usually becomes more relaxed, however with a greater degree of drunkenness violence can occur. Some drink simply for the social aspect of it. Drinking has become such a huge part of our society and culture that you are almost looked at as abnormal if you don’t drink. Children and teenagers are usually turned-on to drinking because it’s a “cool” and “adult” thing to do. Sadly many parents allow underage drinking to go on in their homes, this must stop.

Though it is not a sin to drink small quantities of alcohol, there are many warnings that come along with it. Firstly it is our responsibility to not add to another’s temptation. The Bible says this: “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” (Romans: 14:21) This means that we should not partake in anything that can cause another one to sin, become offended, or fall. Another problem with alcohol consumption is that drinking small quantities can easily turn into drinking larger quantities. Starting to drink small can open the doorway for drinking on a larger scale and social drinking which I greatly discourage and disapprove of. Drinking socially is a trap you do not want to fall into. It is drinking socially that will get you into trouble. When you need alcohol to be present for some sort of activity to take place, then you know there is a problem. Look at it like this: If a pastor was seen having one glass of wine with his dinner, there would not be much concern. However if that same pastor was seen at a bar or party having one drink, that would be a whole different story. Many “baby” Christians would see that and think that going to a bar or party and drinking was ok.

Personally, I discourage you from drinking any alcohol at all. Though the Bible tells us of Jesus drinking alcoholic wine, there are many more scriptures warning of the consequences of alcohol. Here are a few of them:

  1. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
  2. He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil (in other words delicious fare and luxurious feasting) shall not be rich.” (Proverbs 21:17)
  3. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)

From the Bible we learn that though we have the choice to drink or not, choosing not too is the better option. You will also find that Christians that do not drink are usually the Christians who are more dedicated and true. If you choose to drink, expect temptation to come along with it. Satan knows that he can use that against you, and he will try, be assured. All in all I say the cons of drinking really outweigh the pros. We can live without drinking alcohol, however the choice whether you drink or not is up to you! If you choose to have a glass of wine at dinner make sure that drinking does not carry over into other areas of your life. Remember that self control must be present at all times. Not only is God watching you, but others are as well. Finally, if children are around remember their parents are their number one roll models!

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