Is It A Sin To Drink Alcohol?
Can you drink alcohol and be a Christian? Many Christians in Alabama and across the world have always wanted to know the answer to this common question.
The Bible really says a whole lot about alcohol. The word "strong drink" is used in the Bible about 20 times and can be referenced as a fermented drink too. The word wine appears 232 times in the Bible.
In the Old Testament the Israelites believed in having wine and new wine was a marking of God’s blessing. In Deuteronomy 7:13, as the people being obedient and faithful to the Lord, God promises to bless them give them prosperity, including “new wine.” King Solomon, in the book of Proverbs 3:10, said he would reward his people with overflowing barns and vats brimming over with new wine. While reading the Bible it clearly explains that having wine is a marking of the God's blessing and is supposed to be enjoyed. In the Bible, the children of Israel celebrated many feasts, and were told to bring, buy and make wine or other strong drinks to enjoy and rejoice in the presence of the Lord (Deuteronomy 7:26).
Now the most memorable account of using alcohol is in the book of John where Jesus Himself was not opposed to drinking wine, as seen at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1–10). Jesus turned water into wine for the wedding guests. In the New Testament church, the Apostle Paul admonished Timothy to “take a little wine” to help his stomach problems in the book of 1 Timothy 5:23. From reading the scriptures throughout the Bible, God encourages us to enjoy wine.
In the book of Numbers, wine is offered to the Lord in obedience, and is as “an aroma pleasing to the Lord” (Numbers 15:7).
However, we must know there is always a bad sign to everything when things are not done in moderation and in balance. The Word of God gives us strong warnings against drunkenness and addiction. The first example is Noah of Noah's Ark in the book of Genesis. Noah and Lot in Genesis 9:20–27 and 19:30–38 got drunk and bad things happened. In my favorite book of wisdom Proverbs 20:1 tells us that: “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” Proverbs 23:29 and 30 warns us “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger long over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.”
Christians are told by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:18 to “not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery but to be filled with the Spirit." If a pastor or leader in the church wants to lead, they cannot be involved in alcohol. In 1 Timothy 3:3-8, if a man would be qualified to be a deacon or pastor/elder in the local church, he must “not be given to drunkenness” and not indulge “in much wine”.
So, the answer is Christians can drink alcohol in moderation and still live holy, obedient lives before the Lord. However, you cannot get addicted and get drunk constantly and out of control. You cannot please God and abuse wine, beer and strong beverages at the same time. You are free to consume alcohol as a Christian but cannot let it consume you! When at parties the Bible encourages us to be considerate of the needs of Christians and sinners when we are choosing to drink alcohol in Romans 14:19–21.
I live by this scripture found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Let it be something you live by too.