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  • Writer's picturePastor Paul

Questions about Alcohol, the Bible and Christians Drinking

Q: What does God think about alcohol? Did Jesus turn water into actual wine? Is it right that some Christians drink?

The topic of alcoholic drink is one that can easily get Christians lathered up on both sides of the debate. Some decry any and all use of alcohol and others insist they have liberty in Christ to imbibe on occasion.

The bottom line is that the Bible does not denounce all drinking of alcohol, but it passionately condemns drunkenness. The warnings given in the Word about "strong drink" are many and there are also some narratives in the Bible of ill-fated outcomes as a result of unrestrained drinking.

A good example of one of the biblical warnings concerning drinking says: Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

I would add that to ignore the plethora of biblical warnings is also "not wise."

Did Jesus turn water into actual wine?

Yes He did. (Believe me, they didn't serve grape juice at weddings.) It was real wine, and even though it was often served watered down, it was still the real deal.

Is it right that some Christians drink?

As much as some would like me to give a one-size-fits-all response to this question, I cannot.  The question itself stems from a faulty premise which is that alcohol is the thing that is bad or evil. It is not. The human heart is the evil component in this equation, often producing a troubling lack of control. That coupled with the potentially devastating effects of alcohol have produced untold suffering and heartache in people's lives for countless centuries. It would be exceedingly foolish to fail to take into consideration all the needless pain that simply drinking alcohol has caused. But let me reiterate: alcohol is not the villain here — it is the sinful heart of man that fails to see danger when it presents itself. And alcohol brings a boatload of potential danger along with it.

So, rather than say this is right or that is wrong let me instead say that drinking alcohol is potentially unwise for the vast majority of people. The chances of being "led astray" by alcohol are pretty high and anyone who refuses to recognize that possibility is a fool in light of the Bible's many warnings. The Bible says: The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3 (ESV) Alcohol coupled with the human heart is one big danger zone that I believe is best to avoid. And personally I do.

For those Christians who feel the liberty to drink

I have a simple question for believers who feel the freedom to drink on occasion: Are you aware that others are watching how you live? Are you also aware that some of those who are watching are not free to do what you do, and would be quickly overcome if they were to follow your example?

I have to confess that my heart is grieved when I see Christians raising a glass of some alcoholic beverage in pictures plastered all over social media. This reckless lack of concern for their weaker brothers and sisters in Christ is both shocking and saddening. If you are one who feels the freedom to drink, let me remind you that you do not have the freedom to cause your brother in Christ to stumble. The Apostle Paul said, "It is good not to...drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble." Romans 14:21 (ESV) Caring for others ought to come before the exercise of your freedom.

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