Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?

Should a Christian drink alcoholic beverages?  Christians are divided on the subject.  Some Christians, known as prohibitionists, believe that drinking alcoholic beverages is morally wrong.  Another group, known as abstentionists, believe that abstaining from use of alcoholic beverages is the wise and loving position.  A final group, called the moderationists, believe that drinking alcoholic beverages is acceptable provided they are not abused to the point of drunkenness.  All Christians agree that drunkenness is a sin.

Which view is correct?

Before I present my answer to that question, I think it is important to acknowledge that this is not an essential doctrinal issue. Some doctrines are closed-hand, not up for debate among Christians.  Examples include the deity of Jesus Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the goodness of God, the resurrection of Christ, heaven and hell, the return of Jesus, etc.  We hold these beliefs firmly with a closed hand.  But there are other doctrines that are open-handed doctrines.  They are doctrines like the timing of the return of Christ (pre-trib, mid-trib, etc.), the continuation or cessation of miraculous spiritual gifts, etc.  These doctrines we hold with an open hand, willing to discuss with other Christians and with an open mind to be changed.  Alcohol use is an open-handed doctrine.

It’s also important to note that while there are many people who are negatively impacted by alcohol, God is loving and gracious. We must not hold to our position with a pharisaical attitude or spirit.

I embrace the abstentionist position with an open hand.  I have no Scriptural warrant that drinking in and of itself is a sin.  Then why do I embrace this position?

Here are 21 reasons why I believe it is wise to avoid drinking alcohol:

(1) Because alcohol kills brain cells and delays thinking and reaction time.  As one who wants to sharp and alert, alcohol is counterproductive.

(2) Because in biblical times the average person did not strap themselves (and their children) into large metal boxes weighing 1-2 tons and propel themselves inside those boxes at speeds regularly beyond 100 feet per second within a few feet of other people who are doing the same thing, I think the stakes of risking impaired judgment by alcohol use back then is nowhere near the same as we face today. Because alcohol has the potential to greatly impair my reaction time and my discernment, I do not think it is wise to put it in my system and operate heavy machinery.  Driving a car is operating heavy machinery.

(3) Because people claim that they will not get behind the wheel if they’ve had too much to drink, and because they frequently do anyway, and because alcohol impairs my judgment, I do not want to have to worry about whether or not I am correctly assessing my ability to drive a vehicle because I might not be in the proper state of mind to make that decision for myself!

(4) Because so many people in our society have chosen to drink alcohol and drive and have therefore been the cause of so many deaths on the roads and highways, I do not want to be part of something that has caused so much pain and heartache for so many people.

(5) Because the alcohol industry promotes responsible use of alcohol publicly but privately lobbies for lax laws relating to drinking and driving and keeping the public accountable for responsible use of alcohol, I do not want to give my money to support companies, and an entire industry, that is hypocritical about responsible drinking.

(6) Because I know that a person who never takes a single drink of alcohol will never become addicted to alcohol, I believe the wise and loving thing to do is to abstain from alcohol use myself.

(7) Because drinking alcohol is not good for my body (see accompanying diagram).

alcohol-effects2

(8) Because as New Testament Christians we have the Holy Spirit, we do not need wine to “gladden the heart.”

(9) Because it is safe to assume that several Christians, such as Timothy, in the New Testament chose to abstain, then choosing to abstain is following good Christian models.

(10) Because Timothy modeled all his behavior after the apostle Paul, it is reasonable to assume that Timothy learned abstaining from alcohol from Paul’s model to him.

(11) Because grape juice could not be stopped from fermenting in biblical times (yeast occurs naturally on grape skins; albeit it did not produce fine tasting wine), and because “new wine” referred to grape juice that had not developed into its fully intoxicating potential, and because “new wine” was looked upon favorably in the Bible, it seems wise to drink unfermented grape juice instead of intoxicating wine.

(12) Because wine in the Bible could only max out at a 14% alcohol rate and because modern wine-making regularly exceeds the 14% level, and because during biblical times it was common to water down the wine to make it less intoxicating, to praise the drinking of wine today by pointing to the fact that Jesus and the disciples drank wine is essentially comparing apples with oranges.

(13) Because alcohol is such a common factor in crime, domestic violence, and as an entry drug to more illicit drugs, it seems wise to simply avoid alcohol altogether.

(14) Because many people who have overcome alcohol addiction are best helped in their sobriety by avoiding social situations in which alcohol is present, the loving thing to do is avoid using or serving alcohol.

(15) Because nowhere in the Bible is abstaining from alcohol looked down upon or considered unwise and because people who abstained from alcohol were presented in the Bible in a positive light for their decision or vow to abstain, it is certainly wise and favorable to abstain today.

(16) Because I am shepherding four precious young souls, I want to show them that a life free of alcohol can be just as fun, joy-filled, and rewarding.

(17) Because I do not want to be tempted to run to alcohol during stressful times, but instead want to run to God.1

(18) Because as a pastor I have seen first-hand the heartache in homes in which alcohol addiction was present, and because I know that addiction is an easy thing to fall into, I want to have an alcohol free home.

(19) Because moderationists argue that drinking alcohol vs. the sin of drunkenness is no different than eating food vs. the sin of gluttony, yet I seem to notice that people that don’t drink alcohol don’t die of thirst while people who don’t eat food do die of hunger, I find this and many other arguments for drinking to be deficient.

(20) Because I believe alcoholism is a sin and not a disease, I believe you won’t “catch” the sin of drunkenness if you never drink alcohol to begin with.

(21) Because the Bible contains so many warnings about the dangers surrounding alcohol, I believe the safe and wise route is abstention.

These are 21 reasons why I think it is wise to abstain from alcohol.  I do not believe it is a sin to take a drink, but I believe you are wise if you don’t.

More posts on this subject…

“Reason #22″

“Daniel Akin on Abstaining From Alcoholic Beverages”

“Study Reports Alcohol More Harmful Than Heroine or Crack”


1 According to the CDC, heavy drinking rose significantly after 9/11, more than doubling in America from 1995 levels.  See http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/datatable.htm

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142 thoughts on “Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?”

  1. I am among the prohibitionists and everyone who is not is going to Hell! Just kidding. I do feel strongly about the issue but not quite that strong.

    I really do count myself among the prohibitionist group. I think that drinking is not necessarily a sin but I think Satan uses it to bring people to sin. As a result, I think it is best to avoid the issue altogether and refrain from giving Satan a foothold in someone’s life.

    1. Let’s not mention the act of altering the mind with coffee. (I have never drunk a cup of coffee in my life, and refuse to touch the stuff). Some people are addicted to coffee. Drinking coffee does ZERO to glorify God, yet many Christians I know drink it. It alters their state of mind with caffeine – a drug to “pick them up”. Why preach against the occasional glass of wine when you have never said a word against coffee. The cost of all that coffee could be given to the offering plate each week. There would be no financial problems in churches if Christians gave up their addiction to coffee.

      1. The consequences associated with abuse of alcohol vs. the abuse of coffee are not even worth spending a second of time in contemplation. I know several people who have died from mixing alcohol and driving, but you can’t say the same for caffeine. Same is true for the connection between alcohol and abuse in the home.

      2. I have never heard of an incident where someone was killed in a coffee-drinking accident or domestic violence being caused by someone under the influence of coffee, or even a situation where a home is ripped apart because of coffee addiction. I have also never heard of a fight breaking out in a coffee bar with people being arrested for breaking furniture and heads. I haven’t even heard of anyone leaning over the side of their bed with a massive hangover and throwing up because of too much coffee. Your argument is weak and unsupported.

      3. The CDC reports that 930,000 emergency room visits per year are related to overdoses of anti-anxiety, insomnia, and opioid analgesics. The question remains: by what criteria does one measure a drug for inclusion in the club of abolitionism? Is it the criteria of “mind altering,” where caffeine is certainly included, and also includes sleep and food for most people, or is it it the criteria of death, which would mean that food should be the #1 target, followed by lack of exercise, tobacco, and cars. FYI, food alone accounts for over 300,000 deaths a year, even if you exclude choking (would that be gluttony?)

        My point is, if we as Christians are going to grab at any reason we can to justify the things we judge others for doing, we would be better off simply admitting that we are judging others based on simple dislikes and/or preferences rather than essentially making things up.

        I prefer to abstain from fatty meats and empty sugar calories (like soda), and feel that high fructose corn syrup is hopelessly addicting, but certainly don’t judge those who, if I were feeling uncharitable, I could accuse of violating Proverbs 23, 1 Cor 10:31 or 6:19-20, Gal 5:16-26, etc, etc.

        The Bible clearly equates drunkenness with gluttony, yet you ignore the one and vilify the other.

      4. I’m surprised to still receive notices from this, now quite aged, article. Kevin, i’m not sure what to make of yours. I think if you looked at it you could find that you can do “all things” to the glory of God. If coffee is the excuse to hold a conversation and that conversation leads to telling the Gospel Message, wouldn’t that be drinking coffee to God’s glory?

        I would use the same argument for having a beer with an old friend. It can glorify God because it’s all in how we participate. Imaging giving good relationship advice to an old friend having marriage issues. That beer, coffee, ice cream, can anchor that conversation.

        To all those still getting these updates, God bless .

    2. Actually, I am quite sensitive to caffeine, especially when hungry, and around once a year will absent-mindedly drunk too much to the point that I’m afraid I will pass out (which is only 2 cups if I don’t have breakfast). NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Aleve, etc) are shown to have chronic detrimental effects if used regularly, not to mention oxycodone and other narcotics.

      Many Christians are absolute embarrassments when under anesthesia for surgery, as well. How far do we take this?

      1. Nate, Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. To compare the detrimental effects of caffeine, ibuprofen, etc. with the detrimental effects of alcohol is absurd. According to the CDC, “There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States. This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation.”

      2. Nate,

        You said:

        “My point is, if we as Christians are going to grab at any reason we can to justify the things we judge others for doing, we would be better off simply admitting that we are judging others based on simple dislikes and/or preferences rather than essentially making things up.”

        A couple things that concern me here. First, why are you implying that believers are making things up when we oppose the use of alcohol? I don’t understand that. No one can deny the negative effects alcohol have on people, families, and society. The fact that some can use it responsibly does not change this. Next, while it is true that the Bible does not contain an explicit prohibition on the use of alcohol a strong case can be made that it is a good idea. It is an issue of christian liberty but the original post covered the topic very well.

        Also, the fact that other drugs can be abused or have side effects is not a good argument for not opposing alcohol. You asked the question of what criteria do we use and that is the correct question. If the Bible does not give us specific instructions on whether to accept or appose something then we must use our best judgment and apply the biblical principles as best we can. When the use of something can be seen to cause societal problems, as alcohol does, then its use must be opposed. Caffeine and the misuse of over the counter medications do not cause societal problems and thus the comparison is not valid.

        Lastly, your point about gluttony is not valid. The original post did not address the issue. So, the fact that the original post did not address the issue does not mean that Brett, or any other Christian, ignores the issue. I am certain that no christian would ignore the issue because gluttony is specifically prohibited in Scripture.

  2. Right on !!!!

    Extremely well written article, indeed !!!

    If I could add, just for your own information…….
    My late husband & I, while both raised in Christian homes,
    were introduced to Alcohol when first employed. Then discovered it to be a reliable nerve & stress supressent.
    Never knowing at all, the cost would be so high.
    We each had 2 bad marriages & made it through them, with liquor. Only to be hit 30 yrs later, with severe but permanent illness’s, with no cure whatsoever.
    Since losing him, 19 months ago, I’ve been trying to spread the warning, only to discover there are many individuals out there, with similar affliction, but due to shame & embarressment, have not passed on any warning to others.
    Many of us here in North America, are madly trying to have our Governments force mandatory health warning labels to be on all containers, similar to whats been done to cigarette packages. No positive word’s been heard, and with all the many other problems we’re facing, my hopes aren’t as high as they were.
    But, lets just stick with it…………..
    Remembering, God’s on our side………..

    God Bless you for this website !

  3. Good post. It’s kinda funny I wrote a book called, “20 Good Reasons to Stay Sober” about 6 years ago.

    Much of it’s similar to the views stated here. You can read it on-line for free at ReasonsToStaySober.com

    Cheers,

    Dave

  4. BRETT MARAGNI!!!! This is your cousin SHERRI from So. Illinois!

    Just came across your comment on a website–this is crazy!

    Hope all is well! I like this post about drinking—great food for thought!

  5. While I’m not sure which catagory I fall into, I have had the unusual “luck” in finding God in alcohol. Before anyone starts yelling, let me explain….my husband and I were fighting and weboth decided to”drown the problem”…I got so sick that night that I thought I was dying. When I woke up the next afternoon (yes, afternoon) and looked at the mostly empty 60 oz. bottle I had consumed the night before, my only thought was that God had chosen to spare my life so that i could learn from my mistakes and live to honor Him from then on. Since then I’ve had half a glass of wine and that’s it.

    I think that a glass of wine would be alright in theright situiation…..a romantic candlit dinner with my hubby at home, but I don’t think it’s the best idea to drink in public. On the other hand, my dad was an alcoholic and I’ve seen what too much can do to a family (he’s recoveredwith God’s help) My father in law,however, can’t seem to function without his beer….he gets cranky, mean,and irritating when he doesn’t have any.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

  6. In point of fact, wine still pretty much maxes out at 14%. Most wine sold is about 13% alcohol by volume. I’m not sure what “modern wine making” you’re referring to, but it might be something called “fortified wine,” which is regular wine mixed with hard liquor.

    Another point of fact is that alcohol does not kill brain cells. That misconception is based on experiments in which mice had their blood alcohol level raised and raised, even after they passed out, and sure enough — brain cells died. There’s no evidence that moderate alcohol consumption kills cells of any kind. (In fact, if you drink moderately, doctors won’t even see elevated liver enzymes.)

    Something worth considering is this: No one is ever alcohol-free. If you avoid vanilla extract (for example) because it contains small amounts of alcohol, you’re in for a rude awakening. From birth to death, your body produces endogenous alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For that matter, the process of fermentation begins immediately, so any fruit or juice you’ve ever consumed had measurable amounts of alcohol.

    But you haven’t suffered any liver damage, slurred speech, or automobile accidents from those small amounts of alcohol, have you? Well, I haven’t suffered any ill effects from the amounts of alcohol I ingest.

    So as it happens, there really is no such thing as total abstinence. You just drink less than I do.

    (Wine enthusiast and Christian)

    1. “From birth to death, your body produces endogenous alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For that matter, the process of fermentation begins immediately, so any fruit or juice you’ve ever consumed had measurable amounts of alcohol”.

      Well David it is interesting what you say, IN contrast this is the same reason I advice friends there is no need for them to drink any additional alcohol. Because if this is indeed true then it is perfect! why then do you need extra (exogenous) quantity, I thought if alcohol is essential to the body and one has no means of supplying the body except to drink alcohol then it makes sense to drink. But if in God’s wisdom He’s designed the body in such a way that the body endogenously produces alcohol for its needs, then this must tell you that God has a way of making sure we are well off without alcohol intake.
      because nobody ever said alcohol is evil but the thin is, it has the potential for Evil
      thank you

    2. I appreciate your post. Jesus said it is not what goes into a man that makes him unclean but what comes out of him. Scripture does tell us to keep our beliefs about disputable matters between ourselves and God and not to judge others, as that is God’s place.
      1 Tim 5:23 says ” Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” Clearly, scripture tells us that drunkenness is a sin, but drinking wine, of course, is not. It is not really fair for one Christian to say to another that they are not being wise is they drink, especially since Jesus approved of it. Even his first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding.
      Many Christians isolate or twist some of the Old Testament wine scriptures to make their point, but we should examine all the scriptures and compare scripture with scripture to seek the whole truth. Jesus gives us much more freedom than many people realize. The kingdom of God is far greater than eating and drinking. Whatever we eat or drink, we should give God thanks for, and trust, by faith, that he has accepted us. The most important thing is that we love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and that we love one another as ourselves. If there are disputable matters that we are concerned about, we should pray, not judge.

      1. Thanks, Daniel, for your comment. If the wine in the Bible is the same thing that is being sold on the shelves of our stores today, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. However, I believe that there is ample evidence that we are comparing apples and oranges. Have you checked out John MacArthur’s teaching on the subject? Here is a quote:

        “Wine in those days would have a two to four percent alcohol content, maybe as high as twelve to fourteen in the Gentile world. But by the time it was diluted down and diluted down and sometimes boiled and then remixed with water in a very hot climate, it needed to be or you would be drunk whether you wanted to be drunk or not. And it was a protection. That’s why Paul said to Timothy, “Take a little wine for your stomach’s sake because it will help kill the bacteria. So we’re not talking about the same kind of thing. So we answered the question, was the beverage they drank in the Bible times the same as today when you have undiluted alcoholic drinks that would go all the way up to 75 percent alcohol? Far cry from what they consumed in Bible times.” (http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-381/interrogating-alcohol)

      2. Brett, If dilluting wine would make it okay to drink, then that seems to make the case that moderation is key, which makes more sense to me. Almost anything can be called sin if it is done in excess, whether eating, drinking or even entertaining oneself. The responsible thing for a Christian is to not be mastered by any earthly thing.
        I know a lot of Christians who believe that everyone who drinks alcohol is going to hell, because that is what they were taught, as I also was. I understand they really believe that and I don’t hold it against them, but after searching the scriptures for myself and seeking only the truth, I have discovered that it is only the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that can justify, not works of any kind. We cannot earn one single drop of grace, no matter how “perfect” we may live. The ones who receive mercy are the ones who cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” not those who think they are more righteous than others, who put others down while elevating themselves. Man looks at the outer appearance, but God looks at the heart. No one knows the true heart of another person but God, and no one should try to condemn a person God has approved.
        I wonder, how many today would condemn John the Baptist for his immodest attire? Yet Jesus said there was no one greater than him among those born of women. Or King David, for eating the shewbread, which was only lawful for priests to eat? Yet scriptures says he was a man after God’s own heart. Jesus himself was called a glutton, a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and sinners, though the Father saw that his heart was as that of a physician among the sick.
        We Christians should simply live to please God, whatever that means to each of us about our disputable matters. It is through faith, which is apart from law, that we are justified–faith in the finished work of Jesus upon the cross. That is why the gospel is such great news. Salvation is something anyone can receive through faith. We should never try and shut the kingdom of God to those who are trying to enter. When it comes to sin, all too often, what we Christians really need is a mirror, not a magnifying glass.

  7. YOUR REASONS FOR DRINKING ALCOHOL &#$*@!!!!!!!!!!
    ALCOHOL IS A BLESSING TO MAN AND WOMAN AND SHOULD BE ENJOYED WITH GREAT PRIDE
    edited by PB

  8. Alcohol may have been unnecessary in past centuries, but in the most recent centuries it has become ever more necessary, with ever so stressful jobs and times it is nice to come home to a glass of wine. I do think it is wrong for someone to drink to get drunk, but if it is an innocent tipple, what is the worry?
    Where in the bible did it say Do Not Drink Alcohol?
    and if it did then isnt it a bit hypocritical that jesus in effect drunk wine?

    1. Actually, UK, I think alcohol may have been more necessary in past centuries than today. Solomon said that alcohol was good to give to the dying, to help quell their pain. Furthermore, I think a lot of historians might take issue with you that we are living in more stressful times than in the past.

      The pain you speak of quelling is emotional pain and the pain of stress, pain that the Scriptures say that the Holy Spirit can help us with. In regard to your question, “Where in the bible did it say Do Not Drink Alcohol?” No where. If you will note carefully what I have written, you will not finding me say anywhere that the Bible says such. I simply stated that in our day and time I think that it is wise not to partake in alcohol. With that in mind, I see nothing hypocritical at all about a position of abstention.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by the website and I hope you will continue to visit and comment.

  9. That was really a well written article you wrote there. I don’t want to take any stand but a poem i composed as a result of my personal experience with alcohol will give an insight on how i feel about alcohol

    WINE
    Wine is a great mocker
    And full of deception
    For drinkers are so subject
    To immediate gratification
    That anytime it seeks to deceive
    It‘ll always find someone who’ll
    Allow himself to be deceived

    It gives you a promise of pleasure
    While all you get is mind seizure
    It gives a feeling that you’re in control
    While in essence your good virtue it’ll extol
    Like the serpent in the garden whispering to Eve
    So will a drink or two gradually deceive
    Until the mind drools away and noble
    Ideas it cannot conceive

    So don’t be a champion in gulping down wine
    Or else it makes you filthier than a swine
    This precept will not hold
    If your self- discipline you can uphold
    But because you can hardly stop
    At a glass or two a day
    It is better you do not drink at all.

  10. Wow, this is probably one of the most un researched biased articles I have ever read. I feel like somebody just attempted to brainwash me… Is brainwashing a sin?

  11. Eric,

    I make no claims to be unbiased. Of course it’s biased. Just like your comment is.

    As for brainwashing, let’s see, Webster says:

    1 : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
    2 : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship

    as for option #1…I seriously doubt you meant that charge

    as for option #2…I plead guilty. I would be happy to change your mind about the destructive and tragic consequences of abusing alcohol, as well as persuade you to take a very wise course of action in avoiding its abuse: total abstinence.

    Now, regarding is it a sin for me to “persuade by propoganda or salesmanship”?

    No. And I seriously doubt you believe it’s a sin. I think you were just trying to find a strong way to voice your disgust of my perspective, to which I say, as long as you keep it civil, object all you want and argue your point all you want.

    Thanks for commenting and feel free to come back and comment again.

    1. Wow Brett you are an educated man that has his way with words and intentionally presents himself as a loving and understanding person (got to live up to the code right…).

      Tell me, where does your personnal record stand for “linking sensible social health issues to religion”?

      I mean honestly I know religion is not on the downfall in the US unlike here in France but since when has (modern) religion actually offered any concrete solutions to anything?

      I think it is honest to say that YES or NO are never a correct answere and that leniency and comprehention tend to be much more prodctive. Ask any manager how he obtains result from his people and he will second this motion.

      Your extreme mind-set (yes extreme, I see you have a dictionnary so feel free to look that one up if you want, but bottomline is saying no is an extreme answere that indirectly accepts there being no choice).

      I though you were supposed to promote spiritual strength, not uneducated and basic answeres on health issues (no offense but most of the things you say can be said about just about any other drung or form of abuse.. so it’s not information, it’s transmition. and until further notice you are neither a doctor, a psychologist or a sociologist but just a man that read the new&old testament and feels he has the right to employ it for legitimacy ).

      Care to explaine (without the nonsense and dictionnary definitions if you please… I am not one to be mind-fu**ed. An honest aswere would be welcome…) ?

      cheers.

      1. Paris,

        It is obvious you are a very intelligent person. Your use of the English language is pretty good, much better than my French (the second language I studied).

        I’ll refrain from addressing your personal attacks and simply say, you are right…I am not a medical doctor, psychologist, or a sociologist. Are you?

        Second, the core of your question seems to be: what right do I have to speak to this issue?

        I will answer two-fold: (1) It’s my blog and I can write about whatever I desire, even when it touches on areas outside of my training or expertise. (2) The issues I am addressing in this particular blog post do not necessitate that I am a medical doctor, psychologist, or a sociologist. These are issues the we commoners can understand. As we say here in America, it’s not rocket science. Alcohol-related violence, crime, and deaths are very well documented by professionals who are experts in the field.

        As for bringing religion into the subject, I am one who believes that the Bible is still relevant today and I take the Bible’s message and contents very seriously. The Bible has much to say about alcohol (very little positive).

        Thanks for stopping by the blog to express your opinion.

      2. Paris,

        You said:

        “I mean honestly I know religion is not on the downfall in the US unlike here in France but since when has (modern) religion actually offered any concrete solutions to anything? “

        We do not look to religion for the solutions, we look to Jesus (or God if you prefers). Jesus and his example are what we need to consult for solutions to the problems of this world. For example, there would be no problems from alcohol abuse if all people took seriously the command to have no other god before the One True God. Another example, there would be no problems from alcohol abuse if all people took seriously the command to be holy because He is Holy. You want concrete solutions…there you have them.

        You said:

        I think it is honest to say that YES or NO are never a correct answere and that leniency and comprehention tend to be much more prodctive. Ask any manager how he obtains result from his people and he will second this motion.

        Ask any parent who loves their children and they would disagree with your statement. As a parent of 3 I can personally attest to the fact that NO is a valid answer and is often the right answer. It in no way conveys that there is “no choice”. I don’t quite understand how you can claim that saying NO is equivalent to an extreme mindset. That is just ridiculous and I might add that it is an extreme mindset.

        Lastly, a pastor’s duties are many and varied. He is to equip the believers so that they can minister to others but he is also supposed to protect the flock from the dangers it faces. In that aspect, Brett is obligated to point out to his congregation, and anyone else he has the opportunity to address, the dangers alcohol abuse is statistically proven to cause. He would be negligent if he did not do so. You are free to disagree with what he has posted but don’t challenge his right or responsibility to do it.

        Is that an “honest” enough answer for your liking?

      3. The debate is really interesting. We spent hours between colleagues discussing on whether drinking wine was a sin or not. We end up agreeing we need clear biblical references on the question.

        I believe that everything in the Bible can be understood by people lightened by the Holy Spirit. The human understanding is too limited to debate on what has been written by God. People that are spiritually connected can better tells those who are not. By observing them we can all know whether drinking is a sin or not.

        Concerning the question, on argued that the wine that was stated in the Bible in Hebrew was actually Grape Juice. He suggested this was the literal translation that translated it to wine.

        Do someone have knowledge of the Bible in Hebrew to inform us whether this is true?

      4. Smiley,

        Sorry it took so long for me to answer this question (there are several other things that take priority over this blog). Unfortunately, the Hebrew and Greek word studies on this issue do not bring us enough information to settle the issue.

  12. Hi Bret,
    I thank God for your life
    I have never taken alcholic drink and i intend to remain so
    I not different from my friends who take them in any respects! even sometimes i’m better of, because i see their worries and regrets as a result of thier indulgence, even those that believe they are not abusers but mild drinkers occaisionally they do something that they are not proud of later; as a consequence of taking alcohol.
    It is the truth- It is wise to abstain from alcohol.

    remain blessed

  13. I’m just saying pastor Brett, your article talks about these three drinking types:

    “Some Christians, known as prohibitionists, believe that drinking alcoholic beverages is morally wrong. Another group, known as abstentionists, believe that abstaining from use of alcoholic beverages is the wise and loving position. A final group, called the moderationists, believe that drinking alcoholic beverages is acceptable provided they are not abused to the point of drunkenness.”

    But the results that you give for drinking alcohol are some pretty extreme cases of alcoholism. I’m not discussed by the concept of alcohol abstinence or the fact that you believe in something, I just feel weird inside when information is exaggerated and things are assumed, like going out and driving a one ton metal box after they’ve been drinking. There are some nuggets of truth in there pastor Brett but a lot of it, in my opinion, is exaggerated.

  14. Eric,

    I wanted to weigh in on your comments. I appreciate your clarification in your second comment.

    In my initial comment to Brett’s post I made it clear that I fall strongly in the prohibitionist camp on this issue. I believe I can make a strong biblical argument for this as well as practical argument for this position. I don’t like this description (practical argument) but I can’t think of another way to say it for those who don’t accept the biblical authority. We can discuss those at another time.

    You labeled Brett’s post as “unresearched” and “biased”. I think Brett addressed the biased issue very well so I won’t focus on it. As far as the article being “unresearched” I would have to differ with your opinion. Brett only footnoted one item in the post but I would suggest to you that the facts that he listed are all common knowledge and have been reported on extensively in various media outlets. I would also suggest that his position as Pastor puts him in a unique position to have first hand knowledge of the things he mentioned. It is true that you can’t use one or two examples and extrapolate things out to the whole population (N=1 fallacy) but I would suggest to you that the things Brett has personally seen and dealt with are not exceptions or isolated events but are indicative of the larger effects of alcohol in our population as can be seen over and over if we take the time to look.

    In your second comment you said that some of Brett’s points seem “exaggerated”. I believe that Brett simply took the argument to its logical conclusion or was pointing out the end results. This is not exaggerating a point. It is quite valid when making an argument to point out the results.

    Next, I would like to point out that wine in biblical times in now way correlates to the the wine, or other alcoholic beverages, we have today. Brett touched on this in his post. In biblical times the fermentation process was not as efficient as it is now. He also mentioned that the wine was usually diluted or watered-down. Today, we produce alcoholic beverages with much higher alcohol content as a percentage and they are seldom diluted. Also, the water in biblical times was not always safe to drink so they were forced to have alternatives. Brett discussed the “new wine” which was this alternative. Mixing the wine, new or fermented, served two purposes. It diluted the alcoholic content and it purified the water…both good things.

    As my post is getting very long I will wrap up with this. Today, the only sure way to avoid the bad effects of alcohol is to abstain from its consumption. From a Christian perspective, drinking alcohol really damages a persons “witness” or credibility when sharing God’s word. Anything that causes this should be avoided without question.

    I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  15. Hi Tom,

    Well I think I picked the wrong place to express my opinion, I’m not speaking from a religious point but rather a human point of view. A nice micro brew or a glass of red wine has been proven for health benefits, in fact, I remember when I was in the fifth grade, my D.A.R.E. teacher (a police officer) expressed his view “A glass of red wine a day, will keep the doctor away” (with dinner, at home, with no plans for the rest of the night) this diet is not for everybody because some can not control it. I just though that the diagram had a tone that if you drink alcohol every now and then or, even a single glass, this will happen, when in reality science has proven that the diagram is geared towards years and years of alcoholism and it was points like those that I though were “exaggerated & un-researched” maybe I read it wrong and of course those are just my opinions.

    No doubt that I have had and have people in my life that have been or are alcoholics and do I support it? of course not, it’s unhealthy physically and psychologically. So I guess I stand with the moderationists, not as a Christian as I stated above but as a human… In meaning a glass every now and then wouldn’t hurt, and if we’re getting technical actually would/could help. But, we are all different in body types meaning my friends bodies can’t handle even certain foods that I can and vis versa.

    What are you’re/the Christian communities views on prescription drugs like anti-depressants or sleep “aids”? Just out of curiosity…

    I hope I am not offending anybody I just stubbled upon this and though I would express an opinion, and I agree Pastor Brett my first comment about brainwashing was extreme, as I voluntarily read the article.

    1. Hi Eric
      you can check out this article

      “ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2008) — Rochester researchers showed for the first time that a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell’s core energy source, or mitochondria, and crippling its function”.

      I gues these are the benefits of red wine that you and perhaps your teacher were alluding to. It is a FACT, but the TRUTH is that the BENEFICTS ARE NOT DERIVED FROM THE ALCOHOLIC CONTENT OF THE RED WINE, it is rather the antioxidant that is found naturally in the grape that brings the benefits. This means one can obtain these same benefits by consuming grapes! rather than alcohol.

      So in my point of view that is not a good excuse to indulge in red wine, you will be just fine with grapes.

      And for sure we are all humans here don’t be alienated because you’re not a Christian, may be one day you will become one. We are all expressing our opinions according to the information that is available to us.

      God bless you and keep posting

      thanks buddy

  16. Eric,

    First, I don’t see a problem with you expressing your opinion, in fact, I enjoy the debate and Brett has said that you are welcome to comment on his blog.

    I won’t dispute that there may be some benefits from some use of certain types of alcohol. I have heard that too. But, the benefits are far outweighed by the adverse affects to the individual and to the society in general.

    As far as the comparison of drinking alcoholic beverages to the medical use of drugs I don’t see this as a valid comparison. In our society, alcohol is a recreational drug meaning it is self administered in social situations. Medications, especially prescription medicines, are administered by a doctors order and only used until the person is healed. In answer to your question though, I personally don’t see a problem with Christians using prescription drugs.

    Finally, I am in no way offended by your expressing your opinions. I don’t agree with you but, as I said, I enjoy the discussion.

  17. Pastor Brett,

    My class is working on a campaign to promote abstinence from alcohol use among students at our school, especially as prom and graduation approaches. We came across your website when we were researching the negative effects of alcohol. The students really liked the graphic you posted on this page and would like to possibly use it. Could you please e-mail me at your convenience so I can let you know the specifics of our project and find out whether we may have permission to use the graphic? Thank you.

  18. Good article, Pastor.

    I see there is a lot of interest in this topic.

    I was brought up in a Christian home. My church deemed alcohol a ‘no-no’ [along with going to movies (though the pastor's kids could read books like The Godfather, The Exorcist, etc. - such hypocrisy, in my opinion), playing cards, playing pool, smoking, women wearing make-up, etc.... though the pastor now has a pool table in his basement, his wife wears a LOT of make-up, and his daughter has been married three or four times].

    But regarding alcohol, I agree with Pastor that it is not a “primary” doctrinal issue, and shouldn’t be. There has to be room for different opinions on this topic. Mine is that drinking in moderation is okay, as long as a few key things are always observed: 1) don’t drink if you have an inclination to get intoxicated; 2) avoid drinking in public if it is likely that weak Christians may observe you and be tempted to do the same against their conscience; 3) don’t eschew alcohol out of self-righteousness or due to so-called man-made rules and traditions; 4) if you drink, always drink in moderation; 5) do everything out of love and for the edification of others; 6) if you do drink wine, don’t gulp. Savor it — slowly — inhale the aroma — that is “intoxicating” enough, that is, if you have a fine Pinot Noir, Cab, or something similar… which brings me to 7) drink what YOU like — don’t try to emulate wine snobs; 8) go to Napa Valley (where I used to live) and/or Alexander Valley and/or Sonoma Valley and enjoy some wine tasting at wineries such as: Opus One, Mondavi, Berringer, BV, Francis Ford Copella, and others…. oh, and dine at The French Laundry in Yountville and enjoy several small glasses of different wines with your ten-course dinner, as recc’d by the staff. Then enjoy a glass of your favorite wine while playing a relaxing round of Bocce in Yountville or one of the wineries; 9) Do everything for the glory of God.

  19. Tom – I couldn’t agree more. My wife and I are both Christians, we LOVE the Lord and are faithful servants and we enjoy wine in moderation. Neither of us drink and drive, and neither of us ever drink to the point of drunkeness. I do not believe you can make biblical arguments for prohibition, and doing so just winds up turning off people who might otherwise become Christians. When I was growing up (in an NON Christian household) I knew people like that: No music, no dancing, no movies, no alcohol and my friends and I used to think “well if that’s being a Christian, I want no part of it”. The irony is all of that stuff is just like the Pharisees, in my humble opinion. Outward righteousness, inward mess. It is not through abstaining from alcohol that we are redeemed. It’s through humbling outselves before the Lord, and asking him to forgive our sins, and walking in His Word.

  20. Holy Quran says, Alcohol is a devils handiwork and prohibits the mankind from drinking at several places. Alcohol is reffered to as MOTHER OF ALL EVILS in Quran..

    1. Then the Quran should be right. I believe wine have help people do achieve more bad things than good things. Simply on that base even an atheist not even a christian should understand that wine should be prohibited from a respectful or christian life.

  21. Hello,

    I am of the belief that alcohal is a bad thing and even sinful

    Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    here is the nitty gritty of it.

    i grew up loving rock music, i now know that such music is of the devil and to shun it.

    one of the things about rock music is that when i bought the cd’s i was supporting the life style of those that i bought there music.

    this is a principle, and God’s word is full of biblical principles, so then buying any form of alcohal is supporting the people and industry that makes it.

    in supporting that industry, i am in effect supporting those who abuse alcohal, i am supporting the industry that many abuse and get dwi, or kill inocent people on the roads.

    1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

    also in allowing christians to drink strong drink, can be seen by those who are weak as a stumbling block, Paul said.

    Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
    Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
    Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
    Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
    Rom 14:18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
    Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
    Rom 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense.
    Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

    1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    alcohal is of the world and is not of God, as is shown above.

    i belive that all doctrine of God is close handed, that its not for me to allow that which should not be allowed.

    alcohal has a way of numbing people as in the drink at the end of a hard day, why turn to alcohal when as christians we should be turning to Jesus as our comfort and rock against a hard day?

    for so many alcohalics, it starts with that first drink, and then their drinking goes downhill until they cannot function without it.

    how can i support an industry that has destroyed so many lives? even children that died because of a drunk driver?

    Peace.

  22. Why do you Christians have to make your lives so complicated? If you want a glass of wine with your pasta just have it, it wont kill you. I would hate to think that the “god” what ever form he may be would banish you to hell for drinking a liquid that he has permited to exist. Relax, dont try to repress everything if you do it will just boil over in time.

  23. It is not Christians that make things complicated, we simply believe the Word of God, and as He said,

    Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    what we do, we do out of Love, anything else is a waste of time.

    drunks drivers kill, men women and children, all made possible by those who make and sell alcohal.

    but this is a free society still, and making and selling alcohal is legal, if you wish to drink, that is up to you, i am not going to force my morals or religion off on to you.

    Being a Christian is by invitation only, it must not and cannot be forced, else we protestants are no better than our Mother that we came out of.

  24. excellent thoughts, a well-prepared article, and for those who looked at it as brainwashing, u’r terribly mistaken, Pastor Brett gave facts.
    i’m a moslem, alcohol is prohibited in islam.
    i unfortunatly drink too much (not an alcoholic though), still i believe and admit that drinking is a sin, in fact a major sin!!
    dis-regarding that god might punish you in the other life for getting drunk, let’s assume that alcohol is not-restricted by any means whatsoever, just list the damages & negative side of alcohol, i mean people raped, killed, shifted, died e.t.c because of this damn subustance, not to forget the huge destruction and malfunction that it causes to the human body, especially the liver.
    for christ’s, mohammad’s & buddah’s sake i ask each and everyone of you to minimize or stop if possible ur drinking habit, in case you’r into drinking.
    and stop helping these hypocrate alcohol companies, that couldn’t careless about your lifes, health and spirit.
    i just stopped myself, thanks to BRETT.
    Cheers..lol :P Kiddin

  25. You guys are idiots. any1 who believes there is a god is idiotic. You will waste your’e short life devoting time and for what? nothing-ness

  26. Steve, how’s it going man?
    i would like to debate the god existence thing with you if possible.
    i live in a society full of atheists, how could you people be so sure and confident!?
    there’s always another probability, u can never be certain my friend.
    imagine, just imagine ten kids throwing chalk randomly on a green board, is it possible that these kids would make a word out of their kaeos? possible, don’t u agree?
    but is it possible that they make a sentence?
    there’s always a probability to the limit that these kids could create an essay out of their randomness..
    there is a creator, when u see a buliding, your logic tells you that architects, workers, painters, machines where behind it… and when you look at the amazing sky, standing still all by it’s self, your logic tells you as well that GOD exists.
    You don’t to see so that you believe, for you can’t see pain, nor the air that you breath. think, meditate,
    don’t you be short sighted, there is another life, we are created for a reason, endless happiness. BELIEVE.

  27. I was very happy to find your summary, Pastor Brett, of why Christians should not drink alcohol… I hold to the abstainers’ position, like yourself. A benefit you have not mentioned in your list is that abstainers get cheaper rates on their auto insurance!
    For myself personally, abstaining from alcohol represents my commitment to Christ and if I ever took a drink it would be the same to me as if I had rejected Him. I have only tasted wine when in a communion service, when it represents the blood of Christ, and I want it to represent in my life nothing less than that most precious “commodity” which paid the price for my salvation.
    So I tell my friends when they ask why I am not drinking, “The Lord and I have a deal! I’ll drink when He pours!”

    Looking forward to meeting you at the Marriage supper of the Lamb, when we will both be drinking from His finest preparations for us!

  28. Hi Pastor Brett,

    Greetings from Indonesia. Actually, alcohol has became my concern. I mean, as previous comments say, there’s no “do not drink alcohol” in bible, and Jesus drank wine, which of course contained alcohol. I’m 100% agree with your 21 reasons, though to me food with alcohol content is ok (you won’t get drunk by eating cake with rhum, right?).
    some christians say, no-alcohol only applies in islam, so it’s ok if we drink just a glass or two, as long as we don’t get drunk. i just found it absurd.
    I join an english service church which has a christmas carol tradition. the host served us alcohol. well, who am i to judge, but i just felt uncomfortable to see my friends singing christmas songs with under influence of alcohol, though they claimed it’s just a bit. i was just confused, how come people singing o come all ye faithful in dizziness caused by alcohol.
    anyway, thanks for your crystal clear article. i will share it with my friends.

    God bless you and family.

    Frida

    1. Thanks, Frida, for you kind words about my blog post. I understand how strange it must be to see your Christian friends sing Christmas songs under the influence of alcohol! Alcohol is a drug, plain and simple. We should be under the influence of the Spirit of God instead. Thanks again and please stop by my blog often.

  29. I like your article. I agree that abstaining, as a personal choice, can be wise. For me, as someone more tempted by legalism than by drunkenness, it is wise for me to drink occasionally to remember and enjoy my freedom.

    I was raised as a fundamental Baptist, and my church preached “prohibitionism” as you have called it. Doctrinally, the churches I grew up in were fairly sound. However, they, as a people, were quick to judge the hearts of those who did not conform to their “open handed” doctrines. If someone attended a church service wearing holey jeans and a t-shirt, their presence was rarely even acknowledged. If it was found out that a teacher at the churches’ Christian School had drank a glass of wine or had went to a movie in a theater, they were fired (I understand private organizations can have any rules they wish, and I support their right, but I find some of these rules to be based on very grey areas of scripture).

    Love, though preached, was not present in these churches. Sunday mornings were a time when everyone put on a suit and tie and came together and pretended to be perfect for a day. There were deep hidden sins in these churches, and when one would rise to the surface it would cause great rifts and shock among the people. The congregations did not unify to share one another’s burdens or encourage or exhort one another to holiness and love for Christ. Their fellowship was like being in a room full of mannequins, perfectly made up, and expressing no real humanity. They were indeed proud of their “perfection”.

    Coming out of these churches, I find myself free to truly shower Christ with love and with my own problems of humanity. He wants me to be pure and holy and acceptable. But I feel I could never be washed clean of my sins where I was, because my sins were always being hidden to appease legalism (both other’s and my own).

    I drink now. I smoke a pipe. I also love God, and I pray often with my face in the dirt (not because I’m drunk! lol) in utter adoration. I never learned how to love God until I was able to understand the freedom he means for us through his salvation. I also do not trade the Holy Spirit for wine. He is my comforter!!!

    Alcohol is a problem in our society. So is over-the-counter medication. So is overeating/obesity. For many, abstaining from alcohol is the most wise choice. For many, it is unnecessary and can lead to trusting in one’s works for God’s acceptance if they don’t fully understand the reasons behind their abstinence. Each mature Christian must make this choice. Grave error can be found on both sides of the aisle.

    Again, I liked your article very much, and it did make me think. I do disagree with many of the points for my own life. However, I do not believe that I am 100% right. My theology, as of now, is very reactionary because of where I have come from. But I know the sort of man for God that I want to be, and my goal right now is to keep my eyes, like a laser beam, focused on Christ my holy savior. The love I have for that beautiful name compares to none. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Creator of all things, the good and holy and righteous judge of all creation–for him to love us so much and to adorn us as his bride is inconceivable to me. But it is true! I wish that right now I could run to him and throw my arms around him and thank him for coming after me and rescuing me from sin’s bondage. The chains that held me for so long have fallen to the ground, and I have a bridegroom who has prepared for me such a magnificent inheritance!

    Thanks!
    - Brock G.

  30. I find it interesting that most, if not all of the so-called Fundamentalist taboos listed in the responses are so derided. I too remember a time when smoking, drinking, going to movies, etc. were considered sin. As narrow-minded as that may seem, in removing these taboos we as Christians have become what I call the I-me-my-myself-mine church. We’ve lost the fire of true repentance, the compulsion to preach the Gospel, and the desperate desire to live our short lives on this planet to please only Him who saved us for His glory. Indeed we believe in Heaven. but Heaven is irrelevant in our daily lives. Rude Dude

  31. Psalm 104:14-15 “He God makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man . . .”

    Matthew 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

    Hosea 2:8 “She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-which they used for Baal.”

    1 Timothy 4:1-5 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

    1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

    Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart.”

    Psalm 104:14-15 “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate-bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.”

    Deuteronomy 14:26 “Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.”

    Isaiah 25:6-9 “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

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  33. Hi PB,

    Read your article found it interesting.
    I don’t drink – I don’t like the taste of it (fullstop)
    Hubby on the other hand loves to drink – he isn’t a Christian, I don’t like the idea that alcohol is in the house but hubby says I can’t control him SO we have a deal beer is in the fridge but he only drinks Fri, Sat, Sun.

    I would love my 4 children to grow up without alcohol in the house – how is it possible without a divorce – I’m believing for hubby to be saved thus not being unevenly yoked :)

    1. Wow! Satan reads my blog. I never dreamed my blog was that dangerous to the forces of Hell. I must really be doing something significant to command his attention.

      Seriously, Anonymous, upon what authority do you base your opinion?

      “Just be responsible and you will be fine.”

      What is your definition of fine? What if you are the one being responsible, but the guy coming at you on the two-lane road is not, has been drinking too much, and swerves over into your lane and hits you head on, putting you in the hospital and perhaps in a wheelchair for life, provided you survive? Is that fine?

      1. I did not realize God allowed the internet in the pit of Hell…..but I guess now we know for certain the origin of all the garbage that can be found on the internet.

  34. I am a Christian since 3rd grade and started drinking in 3rd grade…in France at my French school I attended. They served wine mixed with water during lunch. I drank for three years and never became addicted or had any of the problems listed here. When I married, we didn’t have it in the house or drink because of the church we attended. Then, we realized that we should take the mystery out of drinking before our three girls started driving and going to college.The stories of tragic death occurred because of kids not being taught how to handle alcohol. Telling a child, “Don’t you ever drink”, doesn’t work as much as we’d like to wish. There was a study done years ago that the Bible belt was also the alcoholic belt. In France, wine is part of normal life and they don’t have the problems we do. Then, one day I looked up every verse on wine and there are verses about the reason to drink a little wine. Jesus was only condemned for drinking by the people of the church. So, keep it in balance. I’m 60 and have wonderful health as my husband and we enjoy a glass of wine about one night a week with our Netflix movie. Life is good

    1. Thanks, Janice, for your contribution to this discussion. However, one anecdotal testimony does not provide sufficient weight to dispel the reasonings of my arguments. Furthermore I find your romantic view of France’s relationship to alcohol…”In France, wine is part of normal life and they don’t have the problems we do” to be naive. The U. S. Department of Education has said:

      “Despite anecdotal reports of adults teaching youth to drink in moderation, survey data provide no evidence that European youth are more responsible about alcohol consumption than American youth. A recent study compared rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems in the United States with those in Europe and found that both rates and frequency of drinking among European youth are higher than in the United States. Additionally, about half of the European countries surveyed had higher rates of intoxication among their youth.”

      The facts are that Europeans die of alcohol-related causes at nearly twice the rate of Americans and that France’s rates are comparable to the rest of Europe.

      http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2010/02/mapping-alcohol-related-death-rates-us.html

      http://www.higheredcenter.org/services/assistance/faq/are-there-fewer-alcohol-related-problems-countries-where-youth-are-allowed-d

      http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/11/28/14713.aspx

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jan/29/alcohol-children-binge-drinking-france

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/27/film-france-drinking-problem

      Living in a military city I have friendships with numerous Americans who have lived in Europe. One Navy pilot (who was not a teetotaler) told me that in his opinion the romantic notion of Europeans being able to handle their alcohol was a myth and that Europe (including France) had a much larger problem with alcohol than the United States.

      When it comes to the production, distribution, and use of alcohol in biblical times versus today, it’s almost like comparing apples and oranges, or perhaps even better, grapes and raisins. :-)

      I am grateful to God, Janice, that you and your family have been immune from much of the heartache that has come to so many families in which alcohol intake is not only tolerated but encouraged. I hope that if your view on alcohol is passed down from generation to generation that your descendants might also be so fortunate.

      I urge you to consider getting one of these books:

      Should Christians Drink? by Peter Masters

      Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence by Peter Lumpkins

      Thanks again for stopping by my blog and I’m sure you and I have much more in common in Christ than what we disagree on. Be blessed!

  35. Not everyone that has a beer or a glass of wine is an alcoholic. As a born again Christian we have to many people out there that have fits if they see a fellow Christian having a glass of wine or a beer. Why is it that Pastors have an easy time condemning alcohol, yet it’s ok for a Christian to smoke outside of the church doors on Sunday morning?

    1. Steve, Thanks for your comment. I’d like to interact with what you’ve written…
      “Not everyone that has a beer or a glass of wine is an alcoholic.” – Agreed. I’m not sure who has suggested that here.
      “As a born again Christian we have to many people out there that have fits if they see a fellow Christian having a glass of wine or a beer.” – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any Christian have a fit over that. I know a considerable number of Christians who have been upset over seeing underage children drinking.
      “Why is it that Pastors have an easy time condemning alcohol, yet it’s ok for a Christian to smoke outside of the church doors on Sunday morning?” – Who said it’s ok for a Christian to smoke? I think most Christians would think smoking is a dangerous activity and would not see it as “ok”. Smoking kills slowly, but so does alcohol. But thousands more people are killed on our highways every year from alcohol-related accidents. Thousands of women and children are physically abused every year by men under the influence of alcohol.

  36. I like your analysis. Not a sin to drink in extreme moderation, but it is wise to abstain. That said, I think a Christian can drink in extreme moderation if it is not a stumbling block to some other person. The “other person” could be your kids, a believer with a former drinking problem, or an unbeliever with a current or former drinking problem. That said, since I have kids, I generally don’t drink regularly. Once in a while at a holiday I will have a single glass of wine or beer. There is something to be said for teaching your kids extreme moderation with respect to alcohol as well as teaching them that our Salvation is through faith and Grace, not legalism – for this reason I do not see harm in occasional careful consumption of alcohol. And I have seen legalism drive plenty of unbelievers from the Cross and in one case it even played a role in destroying a family.

    1. Thanks, Mike! Obviously you and I are are very close in our views on this topic. However, I have a question, and a concern, with your position.

      First, the question. You write, “There is something to be said for teaching your kids extreme moderation with respect to alcohol as well as teaching them that our Salvation is through faith and Grace, not legalism – for this reason I do not see harm in occasional careful consumption of alcohol.”

      I am not quite sure I understand the connection between the extreme moderate consumption of alcohol and the doctrine of salvation by grace as opposed to legalism. Could you explain further? To me, this is not a legalism issue but a wisdom issue.

      Second, my concern. I have heard from more than one source through the years that some people are chemically pre-disposed to having a serious problem with alcohol. I’ve even heard it’s one out of every eight people. One person described it as like a light switch being flicked with the first drink. Remember, in biblical times wine and strong drink were drastically different, wine being far more diluted with water than today’s modern wine. Today’s alcoholic beverages would all be characterized, in Bible times, as strong drink. I just want to point out that the day your son (assuming you have a boy) takes his first drink of alcohol it is not like he is following the example of Jesus in the Bible. Jesus drank heavily diluted wine, not strong drink. So, biblically speaking, your child tries out strong drink…with a one in eight chance something is going happen in his brain that will cause him to have an ongoing battle with alcohol, perhaps for life. Is that a risk you are willing to take?

      I have counseled with people whose testimony was pretty much exactly what I just described. I am thinking now of one man…neither of his parents struggled with alcohol; they imbibed moderately. But he said the first time alcohol went down his throat it was if something magical happened. He instantly loved and adored it. What followed was years of heartache and destruction. It has nearly ruined his life. Sadly, his experience is not unique.

  37. It is not legalism to abstain. And by and large, that is what my kids observe. I abstain. It makes good sense.

    Where legalism can raise its ugly head is when it is proclaimed that one can not be saved if they have a (single) glass of wine. (And I am not saying that is what you are stating) And yes, some I know say this. Another more subtle, but all too common manifestation of this are those that say “I am a Christian because I don’t ______ and I don’t _____”. That is what I am getting at – and that is what I want my kids to be crystal clear in understanding. Works, or abstaining from anything (whether Biblcally sinful or not) can not earn salvation. It is true that chronic sinful behavior (like drunkeness) is an indication of ones spiritual state of demise, but the inverse of this statement does not logically imply salvation.

  38. Hello,
    Brett I was just wondering are you an ordained priest if so you can’t have a family and if not well buddy you’re not a pastor. I’m not being rude or anything but to be a pastor you have to be a priest. and is you’re church blessed by the archbishop

    1. James,

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. No, I am not an ordained priest, nor do I desire to be because I do not believe in the continuation of the priesthood. I am an ordained pastor/elder/bishop. Furthermore, I ask you…can you show me from the New Testament the basis for the continuation of the priesthood? Can you show me any evidence from the Bible for the office of “archbishop”?

      Finally, you say if I have a family I cannot be a pastor. Funny, the apostle Paul disagrees with you (1 Timothy 3.3). I think you need to decide if the authority for your beliefs is going the Bible or the church/tradition. Right now it appears you have chosen church/tradition. Dude, that’s dangerous for your soul.

  39. Wow! What a great blog. Pastor Brett, I just have to say that you have done a great job at expressing your reasons for abstaining as well as the reason you feel other Christians should do the same. I do take the stand point of a “moderationist”, However, I feel that ANY “liberty” that we as Christians DO have that hinders our walk and personal relationship with the Lord or witness OR if it stumbles someone else as others have mentioned above OR becomes an idol should be abstained from. I can definitely understand your point about abstaining with all those risks lol and honestly agree with you that it is a very WISE choice to abstain because those particular risks are so great…I do still agree that moderation is okay but the second a Christian realizes that any of the risks have become or have the true potential and are possibly heading towards becoming a problem then Cut it off….bottom line. I was truly glad to hear your stand point. You expressed it in such a clear and gentle way that anyone who is a genuine truth seeker (on the opposing side of the family) has no choice but to consider what it is that you have to say…even if they don’t change their mind, they have not completely shut out your point and may one day reconsider :-)

  40. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Ie.

    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers

  41. I love this article! I agree that drinking is NOT a sin. Jesus did drink. But just to clarify, the only times I read where disciples drunk wine was at things like wedding feasts or holiday feasts during a time of great celebration. I’ve never read where the Bible “Okays” habitual drinking, whether in moderation or not. I don’t think that makes it a sin, but I think it sets a greater Christian standard when a disciple abstains from it. If we are going to make disciples for the kingdom of God, we can’t be hypocritical either. I think drinking can be used by a non-believe to reproach Christ. How can a drinker rebuke a smoker or drug addict? The Bible doesn’t say smoking is a sin either. But how can we say we’ve been DELIVERED from our sin and repented (had a change of mind) and turned our lives around if we continue in the same things we did before? How can we say we are saved and others aren’t if we live just as they do? Sinners, especially the youth, are looking for something REAL and it’s hard for them to come to church on Sunday when they saw you at the bar Saturday night. The Bible instructs us to live in a manner as becoming the gospel of Christ. That means to represent Christ well! While Jesus did drink wine a few times, he said John the Baptist did NOT. Timothy abstained from it as well (which leads us to believe Paul did too, as you mentioned). Then if they are our examples to follow, why do we overlook them and continue with our way of life, having a form of godliness but denying its power? What the disciples gave up back then was far greater than what we are even willing to consider to give up now days! I don’t judge the drinker, neither do I believe they will go to Hell. Work our your own faith though… But for me, personally, I refuse to drink alcohol because I want to do my best to present myself as one approved to God. I want to represent my Lord well. I want to be able to tell the smoker to stop smoking without bringing reproach on myself. I want to close every door and kill every opportunity/appearance of sin. It’s a sacrifice I give for my Lord. For His sacrifice was far greater! Be blessed guys! :)

  42. This is a really good article. As a Christian, I tend to drink alcohol moderately and do not drink to get drunk; I did that as a young person and have got it out of my system now. I think that if you do anything moderately, eat, drink alcohol, exercise, work and so on, you are maintaining a Godly position and living as the Lord would have you live. If alcohol, or anything is a problem and getting between you and God, I reckon you need to abstain. But if it’s not a problem, then it’s not a problem so to speak! The moderate Christian drinkers shouldn’t condemn the abstainers and likewise the abstainers shouldn’t condemn the moderate drinkers.

  43. I love this, thank you. I have made some of the worst desicions of my life while drinking. My husband and I almost got divorced because of alcohol. We signed an agreement to never drink again. 2 month later we started drinking….very disappointing. My father died from alcoholism, my brother is on the same path. Last night my husband and I drank and I feel emotionally horrible, I know God wants me to stop, I want to stop. Please pray that I will have the strength to never drink again. And a prayer that my husband will want to stop drinking on his own would be helpful. Thank you!!

  44. Hey Ps Brett, thankyou for you article. It was clear and un-judgmental. I hold the same abstentionists view as yo having seen first hand the trauma it causes Families. May I use this material? is there any (C)? I will of course site the author and location with your permission. Ps. Dean Western Australia.

    1. Dean,

      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it is copyrighted (scroll down the right side of the page and you’ll see the copyright). But, yes, you can use it, just (a) give attribution and (b) don’t sell it.

      Thanks!

  45. As a born-again Christian I must say I mostly agree – it is wise not to drink, but sometimes there is call for it – at weddings and such. But I am completely and utterly against drinking for the sake of it and for the sole purpose of getting drunk. It is a waste of time and money. And when it causes crime and accidents, a waste of resources that coudl be better used elsewhere. I don’t remember the last time I consumed alcohol (but i DO add white wine to my creamy pasta, only when I know i will NOT be driving), but am not going to jump down someone elses throat if they choose to enjoy one drink with dinner. Also for me, my body seems sensitive to alcohol, it only takes one to put me over the limit (maybe coz i drink like once every 4 or 5 yrs) and as a single mum, with my sons medical issues, I just can’t afford to take the risk. I NEED to be sober should he need to get to a Doctor

  46. I was under the impression that there was a significant issue with the purity of water in ancient times up to early American times . Perhaps Jesus and other Biblical authors lived in an era when drinking was an acceptable norm due to health concerns and the scarcity of pure drinking water and the proliferance of water borne diseases. Does anyone have any thoughts on that?

    Our modern civilization provides us with an endless variety of safe, clean drinking water as well as flavored non alcoholic beverages that can be enjoyed on special occasions without creating temptations for the weak brother or sister among us. We don’t seem to need alcohol as much in that sense. The only time I am aware of the NTestament specifically instructing someone to drink alcohol was for medicinal reasons.

    In light of the extremely negative consequences in modern societies caused by abuse of alcohol, I agree it seems WISE and loving for Christians to abstain but not as a legalistic absolute.

    http://www.iwawaterwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Articles/-ABRIEFHISTORYOFWATERANDHEALTHFROMANCIENTCIVILIZATIONSTOMODERNTIMES#HAncientGreeceandRome

  47. This is so very helpful to me. I agree with you! Your words are carefully laid out to help explain wise reasoning for abstaining from alcohol. This will help me when talking to my believing friends. Strange for me because in my church now, they do not take issue with alcohol at all. They don’t warn of the dangers of becoming a stumbling block for others. In fact, we have leaders who drink though not heavily. But… I am a southern baptist and so is this church. I have always gone to southern baptist church where we mostly agreed on it was a wise choice not to drink for many reasons. We moved to a different state and this church is really different than the other places I have lived. It has been difficult for me because I have children and I really don’t want drinking alcohol to be taken lightly. But, we are looking for a more conservative (not talking about legalistic:) church, one where we are more like-minded. We’re praying.

    1. Robin,

      Thanks for your comment. I am disappointed with how the pendulum has swung toward “liberty” when it comes to this issue. I fear that the trend will not be reversed until many lives have been ruined by this drug. However, when it comes to choosing a church, I wouldn’t make this issue a top-tier one in your criteria. More important is finding a church committed to steadfast commitment to strong doctrine and serious about engaging the world with the Gospel message.

      God bless!

  48. I have also heard this theory about adding wine to the water. Even with todays beer (at half the alcohol content) dehydration would occur. I think that this refutes the arguement that the wine was not cut. Since the still wasn’t invented for over a 1000 years strong drink must have been undiluted wine and the everday wine that a person could substitute for water was severely cut.
    I’ve been researching this topic to decide where I stand. I won’t push my believes off on others so I can’t be a prohibitionist. But for myself I have abused enough to know that I don’t want to “social drink”. Self prohibitionist.

  49. Very well written article!

    However, that comparison between drunkenness and gluttony felt misunderstood. That comparison is to say that you can abuse food and cause your body harm the same as abusing alcohol and causing your body harm, but we still regularly see Preachers who are 200lbs overweight talking about how it is a sin to even take a sip of alcohol among other things.

    Nobody is telling them not to eat, but you have a level of responsibility with food in the same sense…

  50. As someone who went to a Christian school and has gone to church their whole life, I have to say I find the article quite refreshing. However, that is not to say I agree but I have had so many instances where the subject has to be avoided all together because a Christian leader does not understand or want to understand the issue. I love that fact that you make no claim that the Bible forbids alcohol. Too many Christian leaders state things as fact that are not fact at all. You can certainly have your own opinion on the matter of alcohol without forcing it on someone else. The New Testament is all about our personal relationship with Christ. We are to pray and consult with Him when faced with grey issues. I like to have a drink at home every once in a while. I am careful not to do it in public, not because I think it is wrong but because I don’t want an immature Christian to stumble in their walk with Christ. If you are a Christian, love the Lord with all your heart and think of others before yourself. Everything else is scenery along the journey!!!

  51. I have an alcoholic fiance severely sick with this disease he cannot even function in life I had to leave him because he was also abusive at times im going it alone now he has no job ni real way to support himself I still luv and care about him I see him when I can but I just cannot get over the guilt why was I sent such a suck person the,world says throw him under the bus move on but I dont have the heart – to abandon him any godly advice you cann give would help

    1. Anne,
      Thanks for leaving a comment. I sense the frustration and pain in what you’ve written. Your story has been lived out thousands of times by women all across this country, women who love the men who are caught in a cycle of addiction and destruction. Here is my counsel..

      (1) You must put yourself out of harm’s way, particularly if you have been at the receiving end of abuse, especially any form of physical abuse, although emotional and psychological abuse can sometimes be just as harmful.

      (2) Separation does not require divorce. If you committed yourself to him for life, in sickness and in health, then the honorable thing, the right thing, is to not divorce your husband but to pray for his healing and your reconciliation to him (literally moving back in with him), after he has proven himself trustworthy and safe. If you are not safe, do not return. Remain separated but not divorced.

      (3) While you are separated from him, remain faithful to him, keeping your wedding vows to cling to only him. Do not date other men or even become close friends with other men. It’s not worth the temptation.

      (4) Pray for him and focus your energies on becoming the woman God wants you to be, being involved in a good Bible-teaching church and seeing how to utilize your gifts and talents in serving the Lord.

      I hope that is helpful and relevant to your situation.

      - Pastor Brett

      1. Thank u for ur respinse I do do the things you suggested it was important to get a godly opinion rather than the worlds who are selfish but everytime I enjoy a meal friendships with gods people I feel guilty wondering if he has food if hes suffering now he faces possible homelessness and all I do is sleep rather than have to think about it which I cant beeffective for the lord like that how do I have peace in this without so much guilt

  52. Pastor Brett,
    Thank you, thank you for staying strong for your stand against alcohol. The dangers of it are well documented and I will never understand some people or churches for that matter who can say it’s ok if you drink responsibly. Is it ok to smoke responsibly? I think not. Be Blessed.

  53. The bible is clear on where it stands with drinking alcohol just use Google and read all the bible verses on drinking they say don’t drink in excess Ephesians 5:18 NKJV says
    18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.
    and
    1 Timothy 5:23 NKJV says.
    No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
    and
    1 Corinthians 8:13 NKJV
    Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
    if you read this whole chapter you will understand that the only time we should not drink is when it will cause some one to stumbler ie a recovering alcoholic.

    people use the excuse that the new wine referred to in the bible was grape juice. That may be so but with the heat they have in the Middle East plain grape juice would go off very quick. Low alcohol level drinks of around 4% maybe 5% would be necessary to prevent the grape juice from going off.

    if you can find bible verses that say otherwise I would like to hear them. i am a recovered alcoholic and do not drink due to the fact that I know I will fall back into old habits. My advice is if you choose to dink do it wisely and only have one cup, also only drink with fellow Christians so as you are not tempted into drinking excessively.

    Phil

  54. Hi Brett, I grew up based on your beliefs as well. However, my husband grew up differently where he does drink in moderation. By moderation I mean he may have a drink on special occasions. by this I mean, it may be a romantic dinner for anniversary or just something between us. He doesn’t drink, but maybe once every three to six months and it’s not because he wants to get drunk it is just him and I in the privacy of our home or at dinner. Because I was raised to not drink I am conflicted. I have had an occasional glass of wine (maybe twice a year) with him, but at the same time I am concerned if this is a sin just because of how my parents raised me. I grew up in Assemblies of God if that helps. I am not comfortable talking to anyone I know because I don’t want to be judged, but I do want to do what is right.

    1. Laura,
      I think Romans 14 is very applicable to your situation. If your conscience bothers you, then ask your husband to not expect you to drink or put any pressure on you to drink. If his conscience is clear, then don’t pressure him not to drink. But you might ask him to read my 21 reasons why it’s wise not to drink and see what he thinks. It’s worth studying the whole chapter (Romans 14), but notice how the chapter ends:
      “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” – Romans 14.23
      I hope that helps!

  55. THIs is for those that are using the word of god to justify their sin you will be deceived in these last days by many false prophets and if you are not willing to repent of your sins you also probably are not saved

  56. There are many sins that will cause a person to be damned drunkenness to name one idolatry homosexuality (look it up in Corinthians) god expects faithful obedience to his word.

  57. I was struggling with this very concept,And i can agree with what you say.also how can you be a witness for Christ to a lost person,if they see you drinking.We have to keep ourselfs seperate from the world! thankyou .

    1. The bible clearly states as well that a drunkard will surely come to poverty and that no drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven. The worst thingg us when someone who calls themselves Christian is living in unrepentant sin. NEWSFLASH you are NOT NOT NOT saved don’t mar the name Christian and those of us that are trying to live godly in christ jesus. You cannot take the parts of the Bible you like and leave the rest. And ifyou justify your drunkenness by saying God created it is wrong because God also created the plant that makes. Heroin too. Admit you are a wicked sinner as well as stupid too. Hell’s fires will claim all those in rebellion to gods holy word. In second Corinthians it describes what sins will keep you out

  58. The Bible teaches that God gave wine to his people even though they used it to worship the false pagan god Baal (Hosea 2:8). Jesus drank alcohol even though there were undoubtedly people in his day who were alcoholics (Matthew 11:19). Paul says that only a demon would compel Bible teachers to forbid things that God made good (1 Timothy 4:1-5) and that drinking alcohol can be done in a way that glorifies God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

    I can agree the Bible teaches 1) drunkenness is always a sin, 2) breaking the law to drink is a sin, 3) drinking around someone who is “weak” in either conscience or flesh can also be a sin if it could cause the person to stumble.

    For a thorough review of wine and alcohol use in the entirety of scripture, I’d recommend reading the book I’ve pasted below. It is written by a man who doesn’t drink himself, but provides a balanced and biblical look it this issue. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0970032668/?tag=theresurgence-20

    1. Chuck,
      Thanks for commenting. I’ve got the Gentry book and have read it. Have you read “Should Christians Drink: The Case for Total Abstinence” by Peter Masters or “Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence”?

      1. I have read Masters book but it really did not add anything scholarly to the issue (in my opinion). I have complete respect for those who choose to abstain as long as they don’t go above and beyond what scripture teaches and advocate that their position is the only one supported by scripture. I have not read the other book you mentioned but I suspect it falls into the same extra-scriptural arguments.

  59. I really enjoyed reading this article. I just turned 20 today, and a friend of mine joked that next year I’ll be able to legally drink. I replied by saying that “I think I will refrain.” It got me thinking about friends of mine who drink, (many of whom profess to be Christians). I have always taken a 100% stand against drinking alcohol. I don’t force my conviction on anyone. But when someone asks me if I drink, or plan to drink I simply say “NO.” The Bible gives many warnings about alcohol. And besides, there are so many reasons not drink, many of which you have listed in this article. My biggest thing is that it costs so much money over time. Personally, I don’t have the kind of money to throw around on something that is here today and gone tomorrow. If I’m going to buy something that I enjoy, it’s going to be something I can reuse. I guess since I’m in ministry, and am studying to become a pastor, I feel that I should set a high standard for those around me. If I chose to drink, I may come in contact with a recovering alcoholic, and cause he or she to stumble. Paul strongly warns against causing our brother/sister to stumble (I Corinthians 8).

    Anyway I just thought I would share my thought on the matter. Thanks.

  60. So a beer at the ball game is not right? Maybe two if my pockets can handle it. Sometimes I like to have a beer or two and play some Call of Duty.

    1. Galone, Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. In answer to your question, I think if you read my post carefully I do not say that it is wrong (morally wrong) to drink a beer at the ball game. I’m suggesting the wise pathway for Christians is to refrain from use of alcoholic beverages.

  61. Nice article (I agree with) however for the person who likes to drink they will defend drinking just as the person who does not like drinking. In the end its a personal decision people have to decide upon.

    I deal with it every week from family (in laws).
    (What’s a matter with him he does not drink is all I hear)

    The devil loves to get people to make gradual change. No one becomes an alcoholic over night. I watched many people in my life at age 20 drink 1 cup of coffee a week to now 1 a day. And the same with alcohol. That social drink 20 years later is a 6 pack at night. ( I can’t even drink 6 cups of water, I have no idea how they drink so much beer or takes so many shots.)

    And religion aside, I don’t drink, I never have (and I am40). So long as my wife does not drink I don’t mind others drink provided they control themselves.
    (most however don’t know all the mistakes they make)

    In fact many families will not come to my parties unless I buy beer.
    So I have to accommodate their needs and I do it against my own opinions and values.
    .
    For me to see a women who does not drink alcohol is a special quality.

    I admire it so much, and it makes a women look more beautiful, special, classy and like a leader!

    Many people choose something healthy like coconut water (vs rum and coconut), or carrot juice and celery when they come home to stay healthy.

    So for all you women who choose to not pollute your body many men like me look at you as more beautiful and admire you! You stand out as special, different, and you are the diamond in a rough, the one in a dozen, that guys like me appreciate and find special.

    Regards,
    Eric

    PS having worked with many successful wealthy business people (even non Christians) I have noticed the great majority of them told me they don’t drink at all, yet I have seen many many sell it, and make money from it. So marketing and glamorizing of this is something else until you’ve been in the private jet of the guys making a fortune off it. When you see the interior of their jets with millions of dollars in leather, their yachts, or mansions you can bet they will keep fooling people into the super qualities of alcohol while they make a fortune off the public. I have friends who promote clubs in Hollywood who told me stories of how the club spend $100,000 a night to bring a famous singer to a club in Hollywood and their sole purpose is to make money off that singer selling alcohol. The clubs have semi trucks in the back of the club with refrigerated cold bottles of vodka and other liquors there. Consider the club pays $100,000 to the singer but sells about $300,000 – $400,000 of drinks to the visitors. And many of these guys selling the stuff never drink it!

      1. No drunkard wiill enter the kingdom of heaven. No its not a personal choice for God’s own he’s already made decision. For the rest of the unsaved population let them do what they want they made their choice.

      2. Thank you for the article, Eric.
        One comment… you said:
        “In fact many families will not come to my parties unless I buy beer.
        So I have to accommodate their needs and I do it against my own opinions and values.”

        Why do you have to “accommodate their needs” and “against your own opinions and values”? They no not “need” to have any alcohol at all. If they require that you compromise your values in order to experience their presence, they are not your friends, they are people who use you to get another drink they don’t have to pay for..

        If anyone ever would suggest to me that it is necessary for me to serve alcohol before they will come to my house, my response would be, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but my home is an alcohol-free zone.” And this could be followed up with “Perhaps we can meet for a coffee next week instead?”

      3. Oh would u people just get it? I’m talking about a societ ill called alcoholism. The Bible also agrees..

      4. Anne, you’d have to drink more than moderately to get drunk. A glass of wine and being a drunkard (which requires drunkenness) are different things.

    1. Nice comment, Eric. Though I hold an opposing view on some things, I commend a mature expression of your views and respect that :)

      1. Would you people just get it?
        I see Christ-like patience is really working though you. Please, point things out instead of just saying it. I can agree to disagree because from what I gather drunkeness is the sin.

  62. I grew up in a strict legalistic church and for the first 33 years of my life I’ve never knowingly consumed alcohol.
    On this subject as with all a simple answer is best. Jesus concluded difficult questions succinctly and true wisdom reflects his approach.
    Paul said to live in simplicity and Godly sincerity.
    Jesus said its not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out the heart defiles a person. Why fight such simple truth and wisdom? Quite simply, nothing entering into a person defiles them.
    However if we cause someone to stumble we sin: Paul the Apostle covers this subject thoroughly in 1 Corinthians. I take hold of Christ’s truth and Paul’s teaching and drink, but quietly so as not to cause brethren to stumble.

    I believe drunkenness as stated in Galatians 5 to be akin to Alcoholism, which destroys the lives of people around the alcoholic. This isn’t love. In every way we should modify our behavior to encourage and strengthen our brothers and sisters (and unbelievers) in Christ Jesus.

    Paul could have made alcohol a major issue but in context of the scriptures its a minor issue, see 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. Here he does not address the drunkenness because the neglect of brethren far outweighed the drinking.
    I encourage you all to read this chapter for a little perspective.

    However God bless you all, stray strong in Christ and true to your own conscience.

  63. Pastor, I came across your blog after trying to research sound doctrine on drinking from a christian/biblical perspective because i am a christian who is a strong believer in God & believes that we should live by the word to not onlyore spritually to wins souls to christ but to live for God. Our life doesn’t belong to us but to God. We must dilligently follow his commands & i agree with you. WHEN you follow chrit, we are not supposed to be conformed to the world. Drinking can be detrimental in so many ways & can hinder a christians walk with God. I have a husband who drinks and gets drunk on occasion & that is enough to me. I can not only see the detrimental affects but can feel it destroying our marriage by the poor decisions he has made & going to the world instead of God just makes things worse and the bible instructs us to be prudent. It matters a lot how we carry ourselves. Our lives should reflect God not satan.

    1. Thanks, Tee, for sharing. I think that the current trend among American Christians toward a lasseiz faire mindset regarding alcohol is going to eventually reap a harvest of broken marriages and lives. At the same time, we must be careful not to add to Scripture and be guilty of legalism.

    2. Tee,

      This is not my blog and I’m not a pastor. What I am is someone who has experienced a broken marriage and if Pastor Brett allows I’ll offer what benefit my experience may have. I noticed your comment is only a couple days old so perhaps this will reach you in a timely manner.

      First, I want to qualify anything I may say this way: The only information I have regarding your situation is your brief comment. You should seek the counsel of your pastor or other trusted counselor (though I don’t recommend a non-christian counselor).

      When I read your comment I get the impression of someone seeking justification for what you already believe, not new information. While that is not bad in itself, it can lead to groupthink and poor decisions. Your words indicate an anger towards your husband and without condoning his actions I implore you to consider the mote in your own eye. How can reconciliation take place if it is in response to your reaction rather than true understanding and repentance? If he never acknowledges his actions are wrong (whether or not that is the case) how can caving to your anger do anything other than breed resentment? If you relegate him to an obedient participant in a marriage you will not have the marriage you wanted.

      Unless he is a bonafide alcoholic, which you didn’t describe, the drinking probably isn’t the source of the trouble. Perhaps there are reasons for his drinking that, once resolved will reduce or eliminate it. Invest in some time with an objective counselor before you justify ultimatums, they don’t work well for marriages.

      I am a happy husband of the most wonderful wife God could ever have given me. We share bible study time and on special occasions drinks. We don’t separate our Christianity from our humanity and can discuss theology over drinks as easily as in church (though one happens rarely and the other often). As in my own comment, I’m not trying to defend alcohol, I’m trying to suggest that alcohol abuse is usually a symptom of a deeper problem more than the problem in itself.

      I’m not advocating abandonment of strong convictions. I am advocating you approach your marriage in remembrance of the two most important commandments upon which all the others are built: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and Love your neighbor (husband) as yourself. Read 1 Cor chapter 13 over and over.

      I hurt for broken marriages. My ex-wife wasn’t a Christian and no amount of love and forgiveness could change her, but it did change me and is what God used to restore me. I pray for your marriage but remember you can only make choices regarding your own actions, not his, and his will likely be influenced by yours.

      I pray God’s love consumes your fears and frustrations.

  64. I’m fascinated by the depth of the comments here. I personally like to drink beer and fall into the moderation category. As so many before me have said, legalism is far worse than even a lapse in judgement while moderating one’s consumption. I’m reminded of Noah lying passed out-drunk from wine.

    I’m not here to defend drinking, I believe that it is similar to eating meat offered to idols as discussed by Paul. I was initially disappointed by the blanket assertion that abstinence is better but then remembered that Paul wrote it was better to be like him with regards to being unmarried. Paul qualified that statement saying it wasn’t from God’s authority, rather it was his own opinion. I’ve found myself accepting your opinion on what’s best for others as valid if not universally true. As I did with Paul’s advice, I choose differently. I’m married and find my wife is a gift from God who often reminds me for whom I live (Christ) and enjoy consuming beer within the limits of my ability to metabolize the alcohol with sobriety (that’s my clever way of saying it isn’t the number of drinks but the effects, or lack of them, that matter let the argument over what is moderation commence…). If Paul had preached abstinence from marriage as a rule where would that have brought us? How would we reach the world with this type of doctrine?

    I do not drink if there is fear of causing a brother to stumble. I do not condemn alcohol outright lest I render the Gospel to no effect for hypocrisy.

    So I wish you well with this highly active and long lived article. There is some real wisdom from your readers on this topic. I think anyone wishing to validate their own position can find ample support for both moderation and voluntary abstinence, I happen to find the arguments for my position to be more substantial. …surprised?.

  65. Hi Pastor Brett i have a friend that is a christian and he is a leader of a youth group and he cusses and drinks and watches bad things but yet he saids he is a born again christian i myself dont know what to believe because if christians preach one thing and do another is this wrong to do these things ive tried reading the bible and i just dont understand it so can u help me?

    1. Alex, Sorry for the long delay in giving a reply. I truly apologize. I suggest you pray for your friend and prayerfully challenge his choice of lifestyle. But before you do, make sure you approach him gently and lovingly and humbly (Galatians 6.1; Matthew 7.3-5).

  66. Yall are kind of stupid with the comments. If alcohol in of itself is a SIN than why was christs first supernatural act to create the substance??? Anser that.. also dont try to explain that he created non alcoholic whine cuz the bible clearly states that it was the best whine at the party…. basically I believe alcohol abuse is a sin not the substance… prove me wrong??

    1. Alan, I’m not quite sure who you are referring to with your comment? The vast majority of people who have commented on this post have either (a) stated their belief and practice that drinking alcohol is fine as long as one does not get drunk or (b) stated their belief that drinking alcohol is not sinful but those who choose not to drink it at all are making a wise choice.

  67. Thats all good and well. Nicely Said! However Christian or No Christian , those of you who don’t know … addiction is not a choice or decision rather a series of linked bad choices or decisions more often than not directed by family and life dynamics. Being that addiction is a documented hereditary disease many addicts or alcoholics (same thing) never knew that they would end up that way till it was too late. The good thing is…It can, however, be arrested at some point, and recovery is then possible.
    No doubt drunkenness is a sin but Gods Word also says in James 1:14-15
    New International Version (NIV)
    14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

    Being Dragged Away is NOT a choice! Try to drag yourself away. It’s impossible. The trick to avoid being dragged away is applying wisdom daily from learning PERIOD
    So Gods word is pretty clear that outside forces seen and unseen are a big factor in our lives. Ephesians 6:12
    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    Conclusion: If any type of addiction is prevalent in your family line eg; Mom, Dad,Grandma, Grandpa or anywhere down your family line which I’m sure is about 99.99% of all families weather its food,drugs, sex or any addiction …you will need to Teach Your Children Well in order to offset what they will be fighting against the rest of their lives so they have a better chance at leading a normal productive life. Read them Gods Word from the day they are born. Proverbs 22-6 says- “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – That doesn’t mean they will always listen to you or what Gods Word says.The is no guarantee for anyone that at some point in life you wont become addicted to something. At least with Gods Word buried in your heart you will always have the chance of returning to The Father…Ask me how I know… Rob

    1. The original main article to me is from one persons personal perspective however I believe its just one small piece of the big picture or the whole story. Joe Blow can leave from NY and go to Australia by boat. Mr. Chin can leave China and fly to the same place in Australia… The problem is if there both trying to get to The North Pole they missed a connection somewhere. …That doesn’t change the fact that they both took the long way around and will eventually get to The North Pole ! The only way either of them wouldn’t make it there is if they had no idea where they were going in the first place… Here is a Great Map If you ever get lost- The straightest path to the North Pole……Let Scripture interpret Scripture….

  68. This is truly absurd. All of the posted reasons could be attri uted to many other things also. And IF one should abstain, why in the world did Christ change all that water into wine? I believe Christ was aware that anything in human hands that is used to excess or abused then becomes a moral conundrum and the person should address the reason for such behavior. But to enjoy alcohol, and not abuse it, is fine. Why must religious people spend so much time cncentrqting on the negatve aspects of things instead of the positive. Sometime thw grwater moral negativity that: s placed on such behavior can a tually be the catalyst for the abuse….I say have your cocktail, drink your glass of wine and be prudent and moderate. Don’t get intoxicated…..do people think Christ converted all that wine and didn’t drink some? Of

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