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Should a Christian drink alcohol?

Short Answer

  • The Bible forbids drunkenness (Galatians 5:21;1 Peter 4:3 NKJV etc.)
  • The Bible strongly advises against drinking of strong drink (Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 31:4 etc.)
  • The Bible forbids causing another Christian to stumble – giving consent to drinking alcohol leading others to drunkenness is forbidden (Romans 14:20-21).
  • There is no prohibition in consuming alcohol; indeed, the Lord’s Supper consists of sharing an alcoholic drink (wine) as a reminder of the blood shed by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

A Christian may drink alcohol provided it does not make the person drunk, or cause another Christian to consume alcohol in an irresponsible manner. To my mind, a Christian home with children does not need alcohol – it can function perfectly without it, and its lack will not be missed.

Parents must talk to their children about alcohol – about responsible use, its addictive nature, how excess consumption harms the body (alcohol is a carcinogen, and toxic to most organs of the body in sufficient amounts), how it is a powerful disruptor of families and society,  along with its purpose in the Lord ’s Supper. Forbidding alcohol will not prevent your child trying it or abusing it – and don’t use the Bible to ban it; but rather use the Bible to outline its purpose, its dangers of abuse, and God’s command’s in relation to drunkenness.

Alcohol itself is not sinful nor its consumption, but the consumption to a level that one is drunk, or leads to losing control of oneself, is forbidden.

Reasoning’s of the Argument to Abstain from Drinking Alcohol

The bible forbids drunkenness

… drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:21)

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries
(1 Peter 4:3)

The Bible forbids causing another Christian to stumble – that is, giving consent to drinking alcohol leading to drunkenness

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
(Romans 14:20-22)

Drunkenness is abhorrent to God

Drunkenness is used in Scripture as a metaphor for the evil person who, without control, committing all sorts of wickedness and abhorrent evil – crime – and staggers from one thing to another. The scourge of domestic violence is often feed by alcoholic consumption.

“They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. “
(Psalms 107:27)

The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; And they have caused Egypt to err in all her work, As a drunken man staggers in his vomit. (Isaiah 19:14)

"Then you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness!
Jeremiah 13:13)

I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
(Revelation 17:6)

Drunkenness is used as a metaphor for Jerusalem in its last days of utter rejection of Messiah.

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:2)

Drunkenness is linked to sorrow

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine.
(Proverbs 23:29-30)

You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, The cup of horror and desolation, The cup of your sister Samaria.
(Ezekiel 23:33)

Noah and Lot debauched themselves while drunk

Noah:            Genesis 9:21-25

Lot: Genesis 19:32-36

Alcoholic drink makes a person mock or scorn others and causes then to lose control and become enraged

Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
(Proverbs 20:1)

A person under the influence of alcohol will say horrible and perverse things

Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine.

And your heart will utter perverse things.
(Proverbs 23:30-33)

Wine reduces moral resistance, inflames passion and leaves the heart open to immoral behaviour

Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it sparkleth in the cup, and goeth down smoothly: at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thy heart shall speak froward things; and thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, and as he that lieth down upon the top of a mast: —''They have smitten me, and I am not sore; they have beaten me, and I knew it not. When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.''
(Proverbs 23:31-35)

Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them [fills their souls with lust)!
(Isaiah 5:11)

Alcoholic drinks can tastes nice but it is very deceptive, especially its addictive qualities

Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
(Proverbs 20:1)

Consumption of alcohol destroys families – it will lead to poverty

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
(Proverbs 21:17)

Alcohol impairs the judgement of a person

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.
(Proverbs 31:4-5)

Alcoholic is addictive

"Come," one says, "I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant."
(Isaiah 56:12)

"They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"
(Proverbs 23:3)

Christians are called to walk decently as in the light of the gospel, as ambassadors for Jesus Christ

Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
(Isaiah 5:11)

The use of alcohol in the Bible

Alcohol was seen as a medicinal aid, it also contains energy.

Drink no longer only water, but use a little wine on account of thy stomach and thy frequent illnesses. (1 Timothy 5:23)

Alcohol is a drug (and poison)

Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
(Proverbs 31:6)

Wine symbolizes the Blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
(Luke 22:17-20)

David L Simon (19 March 2017)
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