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Should Christians Drink Alcohol?


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#1 Queenie

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 05:29 PM

Hi group
Struggling with this topic: should Christians drink alcohol? Some Bible verses appear to be no. Any thoughts? Looking for facts Bibically preferably.

#2 Big John

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 11:13 PM

In my humble opinion this is not a yes or no question,  I'll start with the obvious.  Eph 5:18, be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess: but be filled the Holy Spirit.  Add to that I Tim 5:23, drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thy frequent infirmities.  Then we have I Cor 6:12, all things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  In addition, I Cor 6:19-20 says your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost ...ye are not your own...therefore glorify God in your body... 

 

We all have free will.  And more than that, as christians, we have even more freedom than those who do not know the Lord.  All things are lawful for us.  So the easy answer is, yes.  Christians can drink alcohol.  But Paul also gives a warning saying that he would not allow himself to be brought under the power of any.  So it is a choice.  Paul, it seems chose to not drink.  I know my grandparents would not drink caffeinated beverages (coffee, colas, etc.) for the same reason.  My parents drank coffee in front of their parents and my grandparents never said a word about it.  It was simply a choice they had made that they believed honored their relationship with the Lord.  And that is really what this boils down to, I think.

 

I find as I draw nearer to God there are more and more little things that I feel the Holy Spirit identifies to me that may not be the best for me.  Now this gives no right of judging someone else.  But as a person of free will I have the right to choose this or that to be a part of my life.  My relationship with God, is mine.  I will also add one more scripture.  I Cor 8.  I will simply comment rather than put the whole thing here.  This is where Paul talks about meat offered to idols.  For one to eat this would defile his conscience but Paul states we know that this is not so.  He states that meat cannot defile us.  And so it is, that if we live in the liberty of the Lord ALL things are lawful to us.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that directs us.  But if we are sensitive to our brothers and sisters and to the Holy Spirit we will conduct ourselves in ways that will not hurt the conscience of others.  That means that there may be times when we do not avail ourselves of the liberty we know we have for the sake of someone elses sensibilities. 

 

Just remembered some other scriptures.  Lev 10:9  this instructed the sons of Levi (the priests) not to drink wine or strong drink when serving in the tabernacle.  I'm a bit of a student of the tabernacle and its many lessons but I'll just leave this thought.  Why did God tell the priests not to drink alcohol.  Combine with that I Peter 2.  A holy priesthood, a royal priesthood which is the house of God.  That we as christians are to be.  

 

Hope this helps but I really don't think its just a yes or no and it certainly isn't a question you can answer for someone else.

 

Big John


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#3 Queenie

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 03:43 AM

Great insight Big John thanks! Yes, you have helped me understand this in a good way. God has used you. Thanks

#4 Julie Daube

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 02:54 PM

Excellent answer, Big John! Your approach to the question, especially your perspective that it's not a yes or no answer, honors Scripture and the freedom we have in Christ, while also recognizing the need to be sensitive to those who chose to abstain.

Two additional Scripture passages that speak to this topic include John 2:1-11, where Jesus' first miraculous sign is turning water into wine, and the Passover supper (Matthew 26: 27-29), where Jesus tells His disciples to drink of the cup of wine and then says He will not drink of it again until the day He drinks it anew with them in His Father's Kingdom.
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#5 Gordy

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:38 PM

NO!!!!!



#6 Phil

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 02:23 PM

NO!!!!!

 

I agree! 



#7 Don McConachie

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 09:35 PM

Another relative teaching, though it was speaking of eating meat that was sacrificed to idols, deals with our company.  We are not to do anything that would cause a weaker brother or sister to "stumble".  I believe that, if we are aware that somebody has an alcohol problem, we should not tempt them by drinking alcohol in their presence.  I didn't have time to look it up and confirm it, but I believe the verse is somewhere in I Corinthians 14.


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#8 Greg Kensson

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 10:26 PM

I agree! 

Please share your rationale.



#9 Greg Kensson

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 10:27 PM

NO!!!!!

Please share your rationale.


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#10 daburkett

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 02:35 PM

I have friends who come from many different backgrounds. One of my friends is a former drug dealer now a pastor in a holiness church. Both his family and his wife's family have generational problems with alcohol. Alcohol tears up the future of his brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces. It also tears up the community in which he serves.

 

In pursuit of more discussion, I'll add an argument to the "no" side. I wonder how we would understand what Paul meant when he said, "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall." (1 Cor 8:13)  Would it be fair to see this verse as a personal call to walk entirely away from alcohol? Is it possible that Paul became a vegetarian from the conflict and pain he witnessed? Or were there places where Paul laid down his right to eat meat? How much did Paul's personal life change when he went to serve different communities (1 Cor 9:22)?

 

I feel most certainly that we must do what we do for God's glory (1 Cor 10:31). We live in love and seek to build up and not tear down. We do it in faith as a service to Christ (Romans 14:15-23). It is a good topic to wrestle with.



#11 StrykerMH

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Posted 05 September 2015 - 10:49 PM

Yes, this is a very difficult topic to come to an absolute answer to.

 

            I myself do not drink alcohol since 2001 when I gave it up. I didn't have a real drinking problem..... but I did have a drug problem, and an addictive personality. I saw it as a real potential problem, so I quit drinking as well as ALL drugs, alcohol, and related things.

      So for me, the answer is I need to abstain from drinking......period !!

   Now, both of my brothers are very strong Christians, and I respect them very much, and consider them both as my mentors. One is a Pastor, and the other a very distinguished, and well known Artist in the world of art today. When I occasionally go to dinner with them, they may have  an imported beer. I've never seen them have more than 2 beers, and usually it's just 1. They have both asked me first if this is something that would bother me......and I said no, because it doesn't.

             I really have NO PROBLEM whatsoever if a Christian has an occasional beer, or glass of wine. The Word seems to indicate that this is permisable, and I feel as though Jesus, and his Disciples probably had a glass of wine with their dinner. The Bible does speak of "strong drink" as a mocker ( I believe in Proverbs)......so I don't think that Christians should drink mixed drinks, martini's, shots,etc. I feel if your filled with God's spirit, then He will direct your paths, and give you insight. I don't think either of my brothers would drink alcohol if they were around someone that would be tempted in that regard.

 

          In conclusion, I still feel it is a very sensitive issue, and that as Christians we need to be in prayer constantly about this and many other questions that are not specifically spelled out in Scripture.

        May God direct us all in ALL areas of our life, and may we all respond to what He tells us faithfully, and consistently. 

         Thank-you Lord Jesus


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#12 rogersma

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 04:30 AM

I have always felt that when considering the whole of the Biblical revelation that drunkenness, or allowing any substance to take control, is the sin. I do not believe that the person of legal drinking age who may responsibly have a beer or glass of wine on occasion is sinning. Obviously, if a person has a tendency to alcoholism then it is advised for them to abstain altogether. Even though I do not feel that it is  a sin for a person to enjoy a beer or glass of wine responsibly, there may be settings or occasions that it is inappropriate to do so because others who are not able to handle this freedom responsibly may be lead astray.


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#13 Steve Fenton

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 02:44 AM

Yes, this is a very difficult topic to come to an absolute answer to.

 

            I myself do not drink alcohol since 2001 when I gave it up. I didn't have a real drinking problem..... but I did have a drug problem, and an addictive personality. I saw it as a real potential problem, so I quit drinking as well as ALL drugs, alcohol, and related things.

      So for me, the answer is I need to abstain from drinking......period !!

   Now, both of my brothers are very strong Christians, and I respect them very much, and consider them both as my mentors. One is a Pastor, and the other a very distinguished, and well known Artist in the world of art today. When I occasionally go to dinner with them, they may have  an imported beer. I've never seen them have more than 2 beers, and usually it's just 1. They have both asked me first if this is something that would bother me......and I said no, because it doesn't.

             I really have NO PROBLEM whatsoever if a Christian has an occasional beer, or glass of wine. The Word seems to indicate that this is permisable, and I feel as though Jesus, and his Disciples probably had a glass of wine with their dinner. The Bible does speak of "strong drink" as a mocker ( I believe in Proverbs)......so I don't think that Christians should drink mixed drinks, martini's, shots,etc. I feel if your filled with God's spirit, then He will direct your paths, and give you insight. I don't think either of my brothers would drink alcohol if they were around someone that would be tempted in that regard.

 

          In conclusion, I still feel it is a very sensitive issue, and that as Christians we need to be in prayer constantly about this and many other questions that are not specifically spelled out in Scripture.

        May God direct us all in ALL areas of our life, and may we all respond to what He tells us faithfully, and consistently. 

         Thank-you Lord Jesus

 

It is unfortunate that there is much confusion regarding this extremely important issue in many churches today.  The Bible clearly states in Proverbs 20:1,

 

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.



#14 ADVRider

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:27 AM

It is unfortunate that there is much confusion regarding this extremely important issue in many churches today.  The Bible clearly states in Proverbs 20:1,

 

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

I think scriptures such as quoted are referring to addiction, or being controlled by such substances. Can that happen?; absolutely. Does the scripture prohibit all use of alcohol? Absolutely not. In the culture and setting of Jesus' day, it's highly likely wine was consumed daily, just as is still the case in many cultures today. Proper use is common throughout much of the world even among believers; it is only mostly in the US that believers have been taught that even moderate use is sinful. But that position is not supported by scripture. Not harming your brother's conscience though, is biblical, and that is the larger issue in the US with respect to alcohol use. Is it wise to completely abstain? It can be, but a blanket position that all should is not healthy from the standpoint of being honest with what the Bible actually says about it. If an individual chooses to abstain for personal reasons or convictions, that is fine but they should understand not every believer will do the same.

 

This is a perfect example from what is said above about freedom and having those liberties become a stumbling block to others. (I've seen firsthand where I was the stumbling block.) Paul said nothing of itself was unlawful for him. Rather, the issue were the others around him. No one (in the west at least) sacrifices meat to idols. In Paul's day, no one had an issue with wine consumption. Seems like the "meat" has switched places over the centuries. Neither one was ever an issue; it was just how the practices were perceived because of the beliefs that were attached to the practices. Paul made this very clear when he said, "we know an idol is nothing. But not all have this knowledge."  


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#15 Tkulp

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hi ADVRider,

 

I hope you do not mind me stepping out of my area, "Deeper Life", for a moment, to weigh in on this topic.

 

Smile, I guess I am doing it no matter!

 

Today I see too many people that carry the name of Christ walking in the dusk or outright darkness.

 

On this topic most believe in the medical or a few, the herbal route for healing. Not all but most drugs are administered in alcohol. I question if many people have observed this. No condemnation intended, just facts.

 

For those that have and refrain from its use because of convictions, that is commendable!

 

The Bible teaches very clearly on the subject, of temperance, self control, etc. Self control reaches into every area of our human existence. Real Self Control is talked about through the New Testament. It is a fruit and evidence that we really have the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5, Titus 2, for starters.

 

Having said that and grown up in the Church, I have seen over-weight women condemning drunkards.

 

If you are one of those, please get the beam out of your eyes; deal with the sins in your own lives; repent of the areas where you do not have self-control; invite Jesus in, to have control; then obey all that He says; ask the Father for His Holy Spirit to teach; get out of the world's influences and totally immerse yourself in the influence of the Spirit of Word, that divine influence that will change your life! Real Grace! A free gift for those that will open the heart (mind, will) door and walk in obedience, yoked (partnered, incorporated) with Jesus!

 

Have compassion on those that are struggling with the flesh, show them (be a witness) what Jesus and the Holy Spirit can do in a totally surrendered life! Be a Holy example to the "Truth" of the Word of God. Show the world that Christianity is Real! Jesus lived it and now you should be allowing Him to live it "in" your life, demonstrated by the fruit (actions, speach, what you live and talk about most) that your life produces.

 

Throughout the entire Bible laziness, gluttony, drunkenness, lack of sexual control, etc. are placed together in the "sin" fruits of the flesh, category! That list can extend to non Biblical things such as TV, Movies, Entertainment, Possessions, Books, etc. Yes, it is anything that controls our lives beyond and outside of the "Holy Spirit"!

 

The following is really strong! But I do not know what it will take to wake up a twisted, self-centered, people that walks in darkness lacking self-control, ....lacking a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit; failing to walk continually within the control of Jesus Christ; who is supposed to be living and ruling within the heart and mind; just the same as Jesus lived with the Father. John, especially Chapters 15 and 17, if only the Truth can be understood.

 

Tim

 

False Discipline

Colossians 2:20  If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?—such as]

21  Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],

22  Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. [Isa. 29:13.]

23  Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.]

 

Isaiah 29:12  And when the book is given to him who is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray you, he says, I cannot read.

13  And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning],

14  Therefore, behold! I will again do marvelous things with this people, marvelous and astonishing things; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discerning men will vanish or be hidden.

15  Woe to those who [seek to] hide deep from the Lord their counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, Who sees us? Who knows us?

16  [Oh, your perversity!] You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be considered of no more account than the clay? Shall the thing that is made say of its maker, He did not make me; or the thing that is formed say of him who formed it, He has no understanding?



#16 DCRyanJr

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 01:35 AM

The original question is "Should Christians Drink Alcohol?". Nobody "should" drink alcohol unless expressly told to by their physician to combat an illness. Let us all step away from legalism and be sincere. Not any single one of us who has access to computers and cars and other luxuries unseen in third world nations is without a choice of what to eat or drink. If we are on this board we can choose to drink soda or grape juice or water over alcohol. I would ask "To what end?"

The Bible does not say one thing about LSD or heroin or cocaine or marijuana. As such, there will be many people who work tirelessly to free themselves of any limitations and enable freedom to DO whatever they want. Is that within the spirit of the Gospels? Be honest. It is not!

How can we believe that we are serving God while choosing to put any kind of poison into our bodies that can alter our perceptions and also allows our witness to be torn to shreds? I don't just mean alcohol or drugs but also gluttony or even adorning ourselves as though we are to be worshiped?

Just because you may do something does not mean you should do it. 



#17 ADVRider

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 07:05 AM

Hi Ryan,

 

I appreciate the spirit of your post here. I like how you corrected the original question. Yes, it should have been, "Can Christians drink alcohol"?  Obvious that's what he meant I think.

 

But, then you said, "let us all step away from legalism and be sincere" and went right back into a legalistic posture on the matter. We have to be honest with what the Bible teaches on these subjects, not tradition or perceived beliefs. It's true the scripture is silent on many things such as the drugs you list and people do look for liberties that are not there. However, the scripture does speak regarding alcohol, and that calls for honesty too.

 

Personally, I do not have a TV, mostly because I just don't want one. But people have been legalistic on all sorts of things, including TV. Should I tell people TV is bad for your spiritual well being because much of the programming is bad? Or should I accept that Christians can monitor their watching accordingly? Anecdotally, I think TV presents much more of a threat to your spiritual health than having a beer. But that's my opinion; I cannot tell people they are sinning if they watch TV. We could go on and on, but it's what the Bible says in whole, that matters. The real question to be explored in my opinion, is, should Christians abstain and why? However, this will take us back to the same discussion. I leave you with this. For those who say Christians must abstain absolutely, consider that your Lord Himself, nor the Apostles, did not. But if it bothers one's conscience, then they should abstain. Additionally, if it is going to offend another's conscience, then they should abstain in that circumstance as well. And if one simply chooses to, as I choose not to own a TV because I have no desire to, then that is fine. But there is no blanket scriptural prohibition against alcohol use. There is a prohibition against abuse, addiction and offending your "weaker" brother, as Paul put it, regardless of the issue. Many Christians abstain totally and that is a perfectly acceptable position, but those who do should understand why they do. 


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#18 DCRyanJr

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 12:34 AM

Hi Rider,

 

This entire thread is a mockery of God.

 

DC (Ryan is my last name).



#19 Julie Daube

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 01:24 PM

 

This entire thread is a mockery of God.

 

 

Please share your rationale.



#20 douglas-oliver

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 08:13 PM

When I was a young Christian I was active at a “holiness” church where consumption alcohol was not even considered. For that fellowship, the answer was a flat NO. I had the privilege of traveling to Europe with the choir of this church. While on this trip we interacted with Godly Europeans. During these interactions, it seemed to me that the aversion to alcohol by American “holiness” Christians was more of a cultural issue than a holiness issue.

 

Long after that, I began to have an occasional beer with members of my extended family. However, this ceased when I took a position teaching at an MK school. As part of the pre-appointment process I promised not to consume alcohol while volunteering with that agency. I was shocked and disappointed to find out that some of the other missionaries secretly possessed alcohol. I had no problems with them consuming alcohol. Rather, it was the deception and hypocrisy that troubled me. After I moved on from that agency, I resumed consuming an occasional beer or wine with family and friends.

 

My wife and I had the privilege of hosting a C&MA missionary couple on assignment to Europe. The husband mentioned that he was looking forward to returning to Europe to taste a good wine again. I offered to share one with him. However, he would not consume alcohol in the USA.  Curious: alcohol seems to OK in Europe, but not in the USA - for the same C&MA missionary!

 

Recently, I again stopped consuming alcohol – yet, not out of direct conviction from or devotion to God. Rather, I took a position at a Christian college with a “holiness” background. This college required me to promise to abstain from alcohol. This time I was not shocked, but still disappointed, when I was informed that not all faculty follow through with this promise.

 

Based on these experiences, I am skeptical of fellow Christians who claim that there is no place for alcohol or that abstinence is the "higher" road. Further, an honest reading of the New Testament should convince one that Jesus and Paul likely consumed small amounts of alcohol.

 

It is my experience that the sin of deception and hypocrisy - so often associated with a theology of abstinence - is missing in these discussions.


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