While the Bible clearly forbids intoxication (1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 5:18), the Scriptures do not forbid believers from consuming alcoholic beverages.
Although the Scriptures do not forbid drinking, the Bible is careful to accurately portray the inherent dangers of drinking. In Proverbs we learn wine is a mocker and has the potential to lead astray (20:1), drunkenness and gluttony will eventually lead to poverty (23:21), and tarrying long over wine will lead to woe, sorrow, and strife (23:29-30).
The New Testament also cautions us about the realities of drinking. Drinking may lead another believer astray (Romans 14:21), may disqualify one from being recognized as an elder or deacon (1 Timothy 3:1-16), and ensnare one like a trap (Luke 21:34).
In addition to the warnings of Scripture we can clearly see in society the extensive damage alcohol causes. Addiction, drunk driving, abusive behaviors, financial problems, and poor academic/work performance are just a few examples.
In conclusion, I believe the potential dangers of alcohol far outweigh any positives. If I never drink I will never become intoxicated or addicted, I will never drive impaired or lead another brother in Christ astray. Therefore, I have made the personal decision to abstain from drinking. For these same reasons I encourage you to also abstain.
Is it wrong for Christians to drink alcohol? I guess that depends on your definition of wrong. If the Lord had declared the drinking of any alcohol to be a sin, then the easy answer would be yes, it is wrong. However, I have yet to read that the Lord declares such a thing.
A better question might be: is it a good idea for Christians to drink alcohol? This question can lead to a long drawn out answer weighing the pros & cons of alcohol consumption. In order to keep this topic, brief I’ll list some verses mentioning alcohol use that are found throughout Scripture: Gen. 9:21, Lev. 10:8-10, Ps. 104.15, Prov. 20:1, Prov. 23:20-21, Prov. 31:4, Is. 5:11, Ezek. 44:21, Dan. 1:8, Hosea 4:11, Matt. 11:19, Luke7:34, John 4:46, Rom. 14:20-21, Eph. 5:18, 1 Tim. 3:1-9, 1 Tim. 5:23, Titus 2:3.
Based on these verses and many more, the Scripture seems to give a balanced approach to the mere consumption of wine which contains alcohol. I’m convinced that alcohol is simply a substance that is amoral. In both the Old (Psalm 104:15) and New (John 2:9) Testament it speaks of the Lord making wine which in turn made the heart of the people glad.
We also read how Paul encouraged Timothy to take some wine to help his stomach. Although there is good evidence to suggest that wine has good physical benefits, there is also plenty of evidence from Scripture and the health reports that alcohol abuse can lead to deadly consequences!
Our Lord desires us to be sober-minded and never wants us to become drunk (Eph. 5:18). Drunkards or winebibbers who habitually drink alcohol are addicted to the substance and continually seek comfort and relief by having another sip and eventually their god becomes alcohol.
Personally, I know believers who take a strong stand against anyone ever drinking alcohol. I also know believers who have no problem drinking alcohol with their meal or before they go to bed at night for medicinal purposes. I believe we have liberty in Christ to drink alcohol if we so desire.
However, as stated in Romans 14:20-21, we should be very careful of our testimony and who we influence if we decide to sip. I’m convinced that what we really should be asking ourselves is: am I filled with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit provides more comfort than any type of physical substance here on this earth! People who cling to alcohol or any drug for that matter are simply deceived. They don’t realize that the God of the universe can give them a greater high than can ever be imagined.
I’ve found it profitable to not focus on alcohol consumption but rather aim to encourage others to be filled with the Spirit. When you’re filled with the Spirit, your thoughts become heavenly and what seemed so important on earth suddenly becomes quite insignificant!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any other author or an official position of the assemblyHUB team.