The question about the consumption of alcohol greatly animates the controversies in Christian circles. Some will say that it is forbidden to consume alcohol, and still, others will affirm that it is possible to be a Christian and to drink it. But what should we say about this?
For effective treatment of the question, we will focus on three points. In the first part, we will discuss the concern for consecration, and in the second part, we will talk about the frequency of alcohol consumption, and we will finish with each other in the face of the question.
A concern for consecration.
Alcohol in a Christian environment is quite sensitive, but a person wishing to walk with Christ in perfect unity must be careful of his level of consecration. Indeed, the more we dedicate our lives to God, the more we will see Him working. Alcohol may be useful for the body, but its consumption should not obstruct our consecration.
When Paul was talking about church leaders deacons in 1 Timothy 3:3, he explicitly says this: “He must not be addicted to wine….” He was telling them this with the sole purpose that the church service is done in a state of sanctification. For without purification, no one will see the Kingdom of Heaven. How do we work in the Spirit if our flesh has the upper hand? For the sake of serving the Lord, it would be better not to indulge in wine but to remain sober.
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, watch. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour.
“Do not get drunk with wine: it is immorality. Be, instead, filled with the Spirit.
Not prohibited, but to be moderated.
We have not found a verse that formally prohibits the consumption of Alcohol. On the contrary, we have been able to see that at one point, Paul himself advised Timothy to take a little wine in 1 Timothy 5: 23
“Don’t just drink water. Take a little wine because of your stomach, since you are often ill.
For all the verses in which the word “wine” appears, the Bible uses terms to express the exaggeration. Therefore, it must be understood that Alcohol is not forbidden in Christian circles (except in the case of doctrine) but that it must not be consumed excessively. The advice Paul gave to Timothy was a special case. Wine is good for better digestion. There may be some in the preparation of a dish, a drink during an aperitif, but it does not become a habit. Let’s not make it an addiction. Let’s preserve ourselves in a state of sanctification because we don’t know the hour or the day when the Lord will return.
A pure conscience.
1 Timothy 1:19
“…with faith and with a good conscience. Some refused to listen to their conscience, and so they lost faith.
There is one thing that cannot deceive us. It is our conscience. The Lord has given us the grace to have intelligence and reason, all in order to know what is good and useful for us.
1 Corinthians 10:23
“Everything is permitted, but not everything is useful; everything is allowed, but not everything edifies.
We know when we should do something or not, but we are aware of good and bad. So, I invite you to use your intelligence on this question: do you believe that the consumption of Alcohol brings you more spiritually?
Christians, the renewal of intelligence leads us to take responsibility. Alcohol is certainly not forbidden by the Bible. Still, for the sake of consecration, it would be necessary to take drastic measures so that nothing comes to slow down or stop your race towards the crown of justice.
“You ran well: who stopped you to keep you from obeying the truth
Is Alcohol really forbidden for Christians?
Alcohol is the oldest drug globally and the most widely used. It is moreover much more decried than encouraged. Indeed, we easily associate Alcohol with the setbacks that we know only too well: Alcoholism, violence, abandonment, lack of self-control, poor health… Does the Bible forbid its use? Is it sinful to drink Alcohol? What does God think of its consumption and misuse?
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What does the Bible say about this?
Several passages of Scripture seem to indicate that Alcohol should be avoided and speaks clearly and precisely:
- Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is mocking. Strong drink is tumultuous; Anyone who overdoes it is unwise.
- 1 Timothy 3:8 “Deacons also should be honest, away from duplicity, excesses of wine, sordid gain…”
- Isaiah 5:11 “Woe to those who run after intoxicating drinks early in the morning, and long before the night are heated with wine!
However, we notice that these verses deal with the excess of intoxicating drinks, not of their consumption as such. God condemns excess Alcohol. Even if in the Old Testament, the consumption of Alcohol was forbidden to the priests when they entered the tabernacle ( Leviticus 10: 9, Ezekiel 44: 21 ), it is nowhere written in the New Testament that the consumption of Alcohol as such is reprehensible.
Some people should refrain from it. Because of their background, because they know full well that it could be an opportunity for them to fall or even for personal reasons specific to each one. Abstaining from Alcohol may seem to many to be the best thing to do. This does not mean that all alcohol consumption is wrong. Only, let us use wisdom in this area!
When consuming Alcohol becomes a sin.
God condemns the lack of control, which is moreover very explicit in the verses quoted above. The Bible also affirms that drunkards will not have eternal life: 1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV) “Neither thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor outrageous, nor God…” –
There is no doubt that drunkenness is harmful and even addictive. God makes it clear that Christians should maintain a high level of personal discipline and not be shackled by bad habits. When a Christian realizes that he is having difficulty controlling his drinking – or if he has a history of it – perhaps he should voluntarily ban Alcohol from his life.
Alcohol abuse can harm us physically, morally, and spiritually. Indeed, beyond the damage mentioned in the introduction, drunkenness can also wreak other havoc; broken marriages, poor performance at work, abandonment of friends and family, injuries or even death caused by drunkenness, destruction of the health of drinkers, not to mention accidents or the repercussions on children and more broadly the family … So many more or less serious repercussions that we are all called upon to fully consider.
Take the example of Jesus.
Jesus, during his passage on earth, gave the perfect example, both by His teaching and by His behavior, having honest, just, and good conduct.
“For we have not a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses; on the contrary, He was tempted like us in all things, without committing sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21
“He who knew no sin He caused to become sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
So what example was He setting about Alcohol?
Jesus performed many miracles during His earthly ministry. The first miracle mentioned in the Scriptures is that which took place at a wedding, at Cana, in Galilee ( John 2:1-10 ). We do not know exactly the circumstances of this marriage, nor the families’ means; the wine always ran out during the wedding. A major problem for the time. When His mother asked Him to intervene, Jesus had six vessels filled with water, and He changed this water into excellent wine. “Such was, at Cana in Galilee, the first of the miracles that Jesus performed. He manifested His glory, and his disciples believed in Him. – John 2:10 (KJV).
Shortly before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus had a final Passover with His disciples. At the latter, He instituted the symbols of unleavened bread and wine ( Matthew 26:26-29 ).
Matthew 26:27-28 (KJV) “He then took a cup; and, having given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; for this is My blood, the blood of the covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins…”. Again we see His example. It is never mentioned that He and His disciples drank too much; Christ always used Alcohol in moderation. In this case, Alcohol is not considered a sin since it is appreciated and its fair value and without excess.
It’s all about balance.
We regularly come back to this question of balance or moderation. The Bible clearly teaches a very balanced use of Alcohol. If we are not careful and disciplined, Alcohol can be misused, and any abuse is a sin. It may be best for some people to abstain, as mentioned earlier.
Moderate alcohol consumption is neither dangerous nor addictive. God created us free to act and think; we are therefore free to consume Alcohol within the framework He has left for us. That is to say, moderately and thoughtfully, with full knowledge of the effects that this can have on our body and our mind.
When we drink appropriately and in moderation, according to Scripture, Ecclesiastes 10:19 (KJV), “wine makes life joyful.” You don’t have to drink to be happy, but a little alcohol can brighten up an occasion (a wedding or another party). God does not tell us to partake in drunkenness, but, with balance, enjoying good wine or good drinks is not inherently bad. Besides, isn’t it also written that good wine “makes God and men glad” Judges 9:13?
The answer to the question of whether Alcohol is forbidden for Christians: No! Let’s just use moderation, following the example of Jesus. When Alcohol is consumed wisely, it is one more aspect of life that can be savored and enjoyed. It is one more pleasure we can enjoy in life. Let’s not abuse it; it would be a sin. As with everything, use wisdom!