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Panel: Is it Wrong for A Christian to Drink Alcohol?

Panel: Is it Wrong for A Christian to Drink Alcohol?
Mar 06 Tags: alcohol | 9 Responses Print Save as PDF

Scott Thomson

While the Bible clearly forbids intoxication (1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 5:18), the Scriptures do not forbid believers from consuming alcoholic beverages.

Although the Scriptures do not forbid drinking, the Bible is careful to accurately portray the inherent dangers of drinking.  In Proverbs we learn wine is a mocker and has the potential to lead astray (20:1), drunkenness and gluttony will eventually lead to poverty (23:21), and tarrying long over wine will lead to woe, sorrow, and strife (23:29-30).

The New Testament also cautions us about the realities of drinking. Drinking may lead another believer astray (Romans 14:21), may disqualify one from being recognized as an elder or deacon (1 Timothy 3:1-16), and ensnare one like a trap (Luke 21:34).

In addition to the warnings of Scripture we can clearly see in society the extensive damage alcohol causes.  Addiction, drunk driving, abusive behaviors, financial problems, and poor academic/work performance are just a few examples.

In conclusion, I believe the potential dangers of alcohol far outweigh any positives.   If I never drink I will never become intoxicated or addicted, I will never drive impaired or lead another brother in Christ astray.  Therefore, I have made the personal decision to abstain from drinking.  For these same reasons I encourage you to also abstain.

Scott Duncan

Is it wrong for Christians to drink alcohol?  I guess that depends on your definition of wrong.  If the Lord had declared the drinking of any alcohol to be a sin, then the easy answer would be yes, it is wrong.  However, I have yet to read that the Lord declares such a thing.

A better question might be: is it a good idea for Christians to drink alcohol?  This question can lead to a long drawn out answer weighing the pros & cons of alcohol consumption.  In order to keep this topic, brief I’ll list some verses mentioning alcohol use that are found throughout Scripture: Gen. 9:21, Lev. 10:8-10, Ps. 104.15, Prov. 20:1, Prov. 23:20-21, Prov. 31:4, Is. 5:11, Ezek. 44:21, Dan. 1:8, Hosea 4:11, Matt. 11:19, Luke7:34, John 4:46, Rom. 14:20-21, Eph. 5:18, 1 Tim. 3:1-9, 1 Tim. 5:23, Titus 2:3.

Based on these verses and many more, the Scripture seems to give a balanced approach to the mere consumption of wine which contains alcohol.  I’m convinced that alcohol is simply a substance that is amoral.  In both the Old (Psalm 104:15) and New (John 2:9) Testament it speaks of the Lord making wine which in turn made the heart of the people glad.

We also read how Paul encouraged Timothy to take some wine to help his stomach.  Although there is good evidence to suggest that wine has good physical benefits, there is also plenty of evidence from Scripture and the health reports that alcohol abuse can lead to deadly consequences!

Our Lord desires us to be sober-minded and never wants us to become drunk (Eph. 5:18).  Drunkards or winebibbers who habitually drink alcohol are addicted to the substance and continually seek comfort and relief by having another sip and eventually their god becomes alcohol.

Personally, I know believers who take a strong stand against anyone ever drinking alcohol.  I also know believers who have no problem drinking alcohol with their meal or before they go to bed at night for medicinal purposes.  I believe we have liberty in Christ to drink alcohol if we so desire.

However, as stated in Romans 14:20-21, we should be very careful of our testimony and who we influence if we decide to sip.  I’m convinced that what we really should be asking ourselves is: am I filled with the Holy Spirit?  The Holy Spirit provides more comfort than any type of physical substance here on this earth!  People who cling to alcohol or any drug for that matter are simply deceived.  They don’t realize that the God of the universe can give them a greater high than can ever be imagined.

I’ve found it profitable to not focus on alcohol consumption but rather aim to encourage others to be filled with the Spirit.  When you’re filled with the Spirit, your thoughts become heavenly and what seemed so important on earth suddenly becomes quite insignificant!


This is a general post published by the assemblyHUB team. At times we will post articles that we feel will be helpful and encouraging or challenging to our readers. We pray the Lord will use them for His glory.

9 Responses to Panel: Is it Wrong for A Christian to Drink Alcohol?

  1. Keith Sherwood

    I was never a drinker as an unsaved man, as I was an enthusiastic and fast motorcyclist and the two are a bad mix. When saved I asked my self the question about drinking alcohol, first there was no good reason to drink and secondly in general places where drinking was what they were there for ‘pubs’ etc were not the best places to be,. third there are no benefits in alcohol as it does diminish ones ability, fourth how do you know when you have had enough? – but what decided me to become teetotal was it was a simple discipline that leaves you sober and not a bad example (in drinking) that might encourage believers to drink.

    • Scott Thomson

      Thank you Keith for your testimony. I pray that others, especially young people, would develop convictions similar to yours.

  2. David Boisvert

    For me the question should be asked, Why would a Christian feel the need to drink alcohol? I know you can apply these verses to many other situations (movies, TV shows, music, relationships, etc.) but the fact remains that as believers we are called to be separate, or different from the world. Give us one good reason why you think you should drink as a Christian and you’ll get many more reasons not to.

    2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ESV) Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord,and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

  3. Thank you for your article. It’s very helpful. I especially like the finishing paragraph. Being spirit filled will help set our priorities right

  4. Calvin Fritchey

    Jesus answered many a question, by asking questions. Why do I want to drink? Do I have a need to drink? Are there better alternatives? What good would a drink do me? What are the evils or bad results of drinking? Will this draw me, my friends, fellow believers, my children, or weaker believers closer to Jesus Christ? Having a large part of my family (both Christian and non-Christian) who have been ruined, are ruined, and are continually being ruined… by drinking, I choose not too. There are literally hundreds of verses against drinking and spelling out it’s end results. Few speak of “good” coming of it (use it for a constantly bad stomach, a few suggest joy from drinking wine, and for very deep sorrow). Being myself of a simple mind my Fathers favorite book in the Bible gives me guidance in the matter. Proverbs 27:12 “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished”. Sometimes it’s not a matter of “Can I”, but “should I”? I hope this does not come across as judging, but a challenge to choose what’s better!

  5. Eric Caruso

    Here is the one thing I can not seem to wrap my head around, and maybe someone with more Biblical knowledge could help me out. Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine. Also, there are many reference’s to wine in the bible. So how can drinking wine be bad? I understand the not being a drunker and the addiction aspect, however saying you abstain and encouraging others as well based on biblical principle seems an overreach. Ok, maybe overreach is a strong word but what I am trying to point out is that your decision is a PERSONAL decision. This is a classic topic in Christian communities and I do not like it when just because there is danger people choose to run, rather than realize that so often in Christianity there is a balance. I relate it to the article on music, just because there is a chance that musical worship might turn into a rock concert does not mean that we should only sing hymns acapella.

  6. Calvin Fritchey

    Note to the editor: I am not arguing the issue or the statements of others, but trying to present another side of the story due to many a heart wrenching account with members of my immediate family when trying to help them. Many of them lost their parents at an early age or always seem to be poor no matter what you do. Many turned to drink or just got caught up in it. With the Lord’s help we try to help. Please, if I said anything in the below incorrectly, please feel free to delete it.

    Over reaching scripture in this matter? Perhaps not. The first recorded mention of wine in the Bible is “not” a good one. Genesis 9:20-23 “…Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, … saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside….”. Whether Noah got drunk ignorantly, willfully, or inadvertently it caused him to sin as well as his child Ham. 1 Corinthians 8:6-13, Gal 5:13, etc gives us guidance on “personal choices”. Don’t use any “liberty” to cause another to fall. Looking at it in a “liberty” since it may no longer be a “personal choice” but an act of obedience. Just a different way of looking at it, but not in a legalistic way. May these thoughts draw us closer to the Lord and not drive us away, or cause us to turn away from the things of the Lord.

  7. Brian

    I would like to see a follow up article that discusses a more interesting question: Is it wrong for a Christian to eat more food than they need to? Food can be just as much an addiction as alcohol (and that’s the only time drinking is a problem) but we seem reluctant to talk about our overeating.

    • Calvin Fritchey

      Dear Brian, Perhaps you would like to take this off-line and we can discuss more at length. Perhaps there’s more to this than just a matter of a Christian being able to drink alcohol or not. Maybe I can help answer your questions. Maybe someone will address “food and overeating” as it appears an answer to that is needed too. I do know there are more “issues” with food that “appear” to be overeating when they are not, and that “drinking” is more accepted than “overeating”. I have an interesting poem I wrote about a situation where I was accused of such a thing as overeating, so I might have a little different insight to your question than one might think. I would also warn you of the problem of “under eating”, which might be worse than overeating. The 3rd issue with eating is being proud when one is not “fat” versus another person who is “fat”. “Please feel free to eMail me at CalvinFritchey@bellsouth.net. I cannot promise I have the answer you need but with prayer, study, a little help from some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and with the leading of the Holy Spirit, maybe some help might be found.
      In His Service

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