Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin In The Bible
According to the Bible, there is nothing inherently wrong with food or drink. In fact, when it comes to drinking the Bible encourages us to do what we think is right.
Therefore, dont let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Colossians 2:16 CSB
At the same time, the scriptures call us to be wise in assessing whether or not to drink as well as how much to drink.
The Loss Of Wine Was Evidence Of Gods Curse
Moses warned Gods people that if they disobeyed the voice of the Lord, many curses would overtake them. They would work in their vineyards but never taste the wine . Foreign nations would rob them of their crops, including their vineyards . On several occasion God dries up the wine of his disobedient people . Twice God curses the land of Moab drying up their winepresses .
What Does The Bible Say About Red Wine
Proverbs 23:29-35 vividly paints the life of an alcoholic. Such people linger over their glass of sparkling red wine and relish in it as it goes down smoothly, but in the end it stings them . Such people have woe, sorrow, strife, are always complaining, and are always hurting themselves (v.
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Something To Keep In Mind
We want to be sure to note that if you have family members who have struggled with alcoholism, it would be wise to steer clear yourself. You may have a genetic predisposition to getting addicted to alcohol. Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” There is no good reason to put yourself in a position where you could open up the serious problem of addiction.
Drinking alcohol in small quantities is not harmful to your health, and it will not automatically get you addicted after one drink. You have the freedom to drink or not drink alcoholâeither is perfectly fine. What is NOT okay is drunkenness, addiction, or allowing your actions to harm others’ relationships with you and God.
So It Is Okay To Drink Alcohol
You still have to follow the laws, my friend, so underage drinking is NOT OK. âº However, when you are of legal drinking age, there is nothing in the Bible that forbids a Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. There are even verses that talk about alcohol in positive terms. For example, Ecclesiastes 9:7 says to “drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 says that wine is a gift from God “that makes glad the heart of men.”
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Christians And Social Drinking
Opinions about social drinking vary widely in the Christian community equally committed believers find themselves on opposite sides of the question. But like you, weve noticed a trend toward accepting casual use of alcohol in evangelical circles especially among young adults.
Its not our place to lay down the law here, because this is one of those gray areas of Christian life and conduct where everyone needs to be fully convinced in his own mind . Still, we have a few thoughts that might be helpful as you draw your own conclusions.
Is It A Sin To Drink Alcohol
Le Ann TreesThursday, 29 December 16
Some Christians think it is perfectly fine to drink alcohol, while others believe it is sinful to partake. Which view is correct?
On the other hand, everyone reading this most likely knows someone who has been hurt in some way because of alcohol. You may live with an alcoholic or know someone who does. You may know a family whose relative has died in an accident caused by the consumption of alcohol. I personally have experienced both of these situations.
What does the Bible have to say about the topic of alcohol use? Many Christians completely abstain from consuming any alcohol, since they believe Scripture declares it to be sinful. Others point to the fact that Jesus not only drank wine, but he also made wine at a wedding in Cana where the host had run out of his own supply in the middle of the celebration. Jesus own mother, Mary, actually brought the situation to his attention .
Alcohol is not evil in itself. It is one of Gods good gifts that can beand often isabused . There are numerous Bible verses that extol alcohol and ones that give dire warnings regarding its intake. OpenBible.com lists 75 passages from the Bible about drinking alcohol.
One Bible verse that clearly supports the intake of alcohol is the apostle Pauls admonition to Timothy to drink wine for health reasons:
No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
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On The Effects Of Alcohol
The Bible recognizes that alcohol can be used recreationally, and can be positive in that way:
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth. And wine which makes mans heart glad, oil to make his face shine, and the bread that sustains his heart.Psalms 104:14-15
When it comes to heavy drinking, the Bible associates it with other immoral behavior, and often warns against it:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless indiscretion. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.Ephesians 5:18
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.Romans 13:13
The Bible also recognizes the conflicting values about alcohol if your drinking is upsetting or offending someone who finds it immoral, then you shouldnt drink:
It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything to cause your brother to stumble.Romans 14:21
Wine In The Bible: A Biblical Study On The Use Of Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter 5JESUS AND WINESamuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University
Many well-meaning Christians find the fundamental justification for their moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages in the teachings and example of Jesus. For example, in his book The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages, Kenneth L. Gentry appeals first of all to Christs example to defend a moderate partaking of alcoholic beverages: “First, we must again be reminded that the Lord and his apostles partook of wine despite the fact that sinful men indulged in it to their own hurt and degradation.”1
It is alleged that Christ not only partook of fermented wine but also produced it in abundant quantity at the wedding of Cana and gave it to His disciples at the Last Supper. Norman L. Geisler, for example, explicitly states in his article “A Christian Perspective on Wine-Drinking” that “it is false to say that Jesus made unfermented wine. As a matter of fact, He made wine that tasted so good the people at the wedding feast in Cana said it was better than the wine they had just drunk. Surely they would not have said this if it had tasted flat to them. In fact in John 2:9-10 it is called wine and good wine . These are the same words used for fermented wine elsewhere in the New Testament.”2
The chapter is divided into the following five wine-related stories or sayings:
PART I: THE WEDDING AT CANA
PART II: NEW WINE IN NEW WINESKINS
PART III: IS OLD WINE IS BETTER?
WAS JESUS A GLUTTON AND A DRUNKARD?
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What Does The Bible Say About Drinking
From the first book of the Old Testament onward, people who got drunk are condemned as examples of behavior to avoid. In every instance, a bad consequence resulted. Noah is the earliest mention , followed by Nabal, Uriah the Hittite, Elah, Ben-hadad, Belshazzar, and people in Corinth.
Verses that denounce drunkenness say it leads to other moral lapses, such as sexual immorality and laziness. Further, drunkenness clouds the mind and makes it impossible to worship God and act in a respectable manner:
Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
At least six major denominations call for total abstinence from alcoholic beverages: the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Church of the Nazarene, United Methodist Church, United Pentecostal Church, and Seventh-day Adventists.
Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin
Alcohol, in and of itself, is not inherently sinful. It’s a thing, and a thing cannot be a sin. What CAN become a sin is what we DO with the alcohol. Drunkenness and addiction to alcohol are definitely two things that a Christian must avoid. Then there’s the consideration we must have for our fellow believers and our example to the world as followers of Christ.
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Jesus Was Without Sin
According to the writer of Hebrews, Jesus did not sin by drinking wine or at any other time:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we areâyet was without sin.
The Pharisees, trying to smear Jesus’ reputation, said of him:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘
Since drinking wine was a national custom in Israel and the Pharisees themselves drank wine, it was not drinking wine they objected to but drunkenness. As usual, their accusations against Jesus were false.
In the Jewish tradition, Jesus and his disciples drank wine at the Last Supper, which was a Passover Seder. Some denominations argue that Jesus cannot be used as an example since Passover and the Cana wedding were special celebrations, in which drinking wine was part of the ceremony.
However, it was Jesus himself who instituted the Lord’s Supper on that Thursday before he was crucified, incorporating wine into the sacrament. Today most Christian churches continue to use wine in their communion service. Some use nonalcoholic grape juice.
What Should The Christian’s Attitude Be Toward Wine
It’s important for Christians to understand the whole picture. Wine is seen as the blessing of God, and as a potential means by which people bring destruction upon themselves.
These two aspects of wine, its use and its abuse, its benefits and its curse, its acceptance in Gods sight and its abhorrence, are interwoven into the fabric of the OT so that it may gladden the heart of man or cause his mind to err , it can be associated with merriment or with anger , it can be used to uncover the shame of Noah or in the hands of Melchizedek to honour Abraham .
Christians should exercise caution with wine and strong drink, practicing moderation and self-control. And toward one another it is important that we allow for liberty without passing judgement for either drinking or abstaining. One can drink to the glory of God, while another can abstain for the glory of God.
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How Is Wine Depicted In Scripture
Wine was the common drink of the Jews, enjoyed with meals and shared with friends . It was also an essential part in the worship of the people of God in both Testaments.
The drink offering consisted of wine and the people of God brought wine when offering sacrifices . The Jews even kept wine in the temple . In Isaiah 62:9 the people are blessed by the Lord in such a way as is depicted in drinking wine in the sanctuary before the presence of God. In Deuteronomy 14 we read,
You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desireoxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.
Two Common Misconceptions About Alcohol In The Bible
I want to deal with two common misconceptions I see spread all the time about alcohol in the Bible.
Lower Alcohol Content
One common argument is that wine in the Bible is really nothing more than grape juice. Or it was so diluted with water it doesnt really count as alcohol. Therefore Jesus nor the Biblical writers advocated for drinking. But the problem is that is not substantiated in Scripture.
It is true that many of the wines probably had a slightly lower ABV than todays wine. However we know from the Bible that the wine still had plenty of kick in it to get wasted on. Thats why Jesus was accused of being drunk on wine . And thats why the Bible warns against getting drunk on wine.
Also, wine isnt the only alcoholic drink mentioned in the Bible. The Bible also talks about a strong drink made with fermented barley, aka beer. This rudimentary beer contained an average ABV of 6% 12%, not too shabby for a beer. And certainly not a low alcohol count.
Of course, the Bible strongly warns against the overconsumption of beer. But in moderation, it is encouraged. God even commands the Israelites to go buy beer and celebrate before the Lord .
The alcohol in the Bible did not have a lower alcohol content. We know this from what the Bible says and from historians who have studied alcohol during this time period.
It Hurts Your Witness
Now there is some truth in that. In some cultures drinking will hurt your ability to reach those around you.
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A Little Wine For Your Health
As stated above, there will be some who will hang on to the idea that the original Greek and Hebrew words for wine always meant fermented. These same people will sometimes point to where Paul told Timothy to drink some wine for health purposes as justification for them to be able to drink.
Even if you choose to go down this road and way of thinking, with todays medical advancements, vitamins, and supplements, there is little reason for having to rely on an alcoholic beverage to improve your health. There is to many other healthy alternatives that wouldnât be a stumbling block to others.
As in the case with the wine at the wedding, the advice Paul gave Timothy makes plenty of sense when we understand he was telling him to drink unfermented juice. Paul would not have been telling Timothy to drink alcohol, which would also have been very inconsistent with the rest of the Bible.
Alcohol Use In The Bible
Wine had many uses in the Bible:
- Wine was a common beverage and part of the daily fare in Palestine ” rel=”nofollow”> Judges 19:19, ), including by Jesus ” rel=”nofollow”> Matthew 11:19, , )
- Wine was a gift from God to gladden men’s hearts ” rel=”nofollow”> Genesis 27:28, ).
- Wine was used at weddings and celebrations ” rel=”nofollow”> John 2:1-3).
- Wine was used as a medicine ” rel=”nofollow”> 2 Samuel 16:2, , , , )
There is nothing in either the Old or New Testament that opposes the moderate use of alcoholic beverages they were a staple of everyday life.
On the other hand, there is no commandment in the Bible that we must drink, and many individuals and groups abstained from alcohol ” rel=”nofollow”> Numbers 6:2-4, , , ). The apostle Paul warned against using the freedom to drink, or any similar freedom, in a way that would be offensive to others or cause them to stumble into sin ” rel=”nofollow”> Romans 14:19-22).
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The Bible Forbids Drinking If It Offends Fellow Believers
God explains in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 that we should be considerate of other Christians who have different convictions than we do. Some Christians believe that alcohol is always sinful. And their convictions should be respected. God says, “If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification….It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” That verse says it loud and clear: Dont drink alcohol if it will offend a brother or sister in Christ.