Alcohol: To Drink or Not to Drink?

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The Bible has much to say about the consumption of alcohol. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew people were not forbidden from consuming alcohol, unless they were about to go into the temple (Lev 10:9). The overall sentiment was to avoid drunkenness in order to obtain a level head (Prov 20:1; Isa 5:11; 28:7). In fact, there are many times in the Old Testament where the Bible condones the consumption of wine (Psalm 104:15; Amos 9:14).

The Bible commands Christians to avoid drunkenness. Instead of consuming wine, one should be consumed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water to wine as a wedding reception (John 2:11). This miracle did have practical reasons. Early civilizations drank fermented drinks because these were safer to consume than water. The fermentation process helped prevent water borne illnesses. Regardless, it is not outlandish to assume that Jesus consumed the wine at the wedding reception. Paul even suggested that Timothy drink wine to help his illnesses (1 Tim 5:23).

For Christians, all things are permissible but not all things are profitable (1 Cor 6:12). Thus, it is not a sin for Christians to consume alcohol in moderation. However, Christians need to be aware that others are watching them. If what a Christian eats or drinks cause their brother or sister to stumble, it will be considered a sin (1 Cor 8:13).

Christians should be careful not to fall victim to alcoholism. Christians must ensure that they maintain their witness. Man cannot serve two masters, and there should be nothing in the life of a Christian that comes between them and their relationship with God.

Ultimately, the Bible never expressly prohibits the consumption of alcohol. Christians ought to be sensitive about how their consumption of alcohol affects their witness, and must ensure that they do not become susceptible to drunkenness.

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