CHRISTIANS AND ALCOHOL



Based on the book "Stop Being Religious" by Dr. Weldon Green


Is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol?

This is a good question and is viewed differently by various denominations. The Bible addresses the use of alcohol from two points of views, and I will briefly address both of them. Let's start with the negative piont of view. In the Old Testament, several examples are given of the negative effects of becoming drunk from wine or strong drink. Review what happened to Noah in Genesis 9:20-21 or Lot in Genesis 19:31-35. In these two examples, Noah passes out naked from drinking too much and Lot ended up engaging in unwanted incesuous relations with both his daughters.


The Bible also addresses the negative effects of wine or strong dring in what we call the books of wisdom. In Proverbs 20:1, the excessive drinking of wine and strong drink is said to lead to deception, confusion, and trouble. It is identified as a contributor to a lack of wealth and prosperity in Proverbs 21:17. In the New Testament, Paul says drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. In his description of the qualifications of an elder, deacon, and bishop in 1 Timothy 3:3, 8 and Titus 1:7, Paul indicates they should not drink wine at all. He also applies this restriction to the aged women in Titus 2:3.


The scriptures also talk about the positive use of wine. In the Old Testment, wine was used as a common drink, because of the shortage of fresh water in the arid region of the ancient Near East (Genesis 27:37; Numbers 15:10). It was also used as part of sacrificial offerings and for medicinal purposes. Review Leviticus 23:13, Numbers 18:12, and Proverbs 31:6. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul even instructed Timothy to drink a little wine to help him with his stomach problems.


In some cultures, it is a tradtion to drink a little wine with dinner and even the children are permitted to do so when they reach a certain age. So back to the question, is it okay for Christians to drink alcohol? Let me leave you with this. Based on the principle put forth in scripture, it is not okay for Christians to drink if they are drinking to cope with life situation or as a means to fit in. It is a matter of the person's intent and condition of the heart.

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