This past week I had a good Bible study with a brother at another congregation who wanted to study alcohol and the Christian. A couple of years ago as a new Christian, he had been offered a drink at a church member's house. He questioned whether it was right and was told it's no problem by his Christian host.
What does the Bible say about alcohol and our intake of it? I can't completely outline the arguments against a Christian's use of alcohol in this blog but will offer a few things to think about. Let me begin by recommending an article that thoroughly addresses this issue: http://www.watchmanmag.com/0502/050214.htm Alcohol and the Christian by Matt Miller. He shows in great detail the scriptures and arguments for avoiding fermented drink. His five basic approaches to this subject include:
1. the wine of the Bible is not the same as modern wine
2. the Bible contains two distinct evaluations of the word wine
3. specific passages which condemn the intake of fermented beverages are examined
4. some biblical principles which forbid the intake of fermented beverages are examined
5. the most common arguments in support of social drinking shall be critically examined
Let's look at a few scriptures and we'll see what God and his inspired writers have to say.
Proverbs 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
We can see from these passages what God's view is of strong drink or fermented alcohol. We are to be sober and vigilant at all times as Christians. We must view drunkenness as a process not an end result. As soon as we take that first drink, we have begun that process of drunkenness and set a bad example to our children, our peers, and fellow members of the church.