It is very clear from these scriptures that drinking alcohol can be dangerous. That is not debated. But what about drinking in moderation? Many ministers and Christians believe that even just one drop of alcohol equals sin. However, let's continue to study this subject further:
1 Timothy 5:23 (KJV) Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
Paul would not tell Timothy to sin! Therefore, one drop cannot equal sin. But let's continue in our study:
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
The words "wine" and "drunk" in verse 10 are the same words for wine and drunk found in 1 Tim. 5:23 and Eph. 5:18! Also same as in Acts 2:15 and Rev. 17:6
Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
Yes the word "drunk" in John 2:10 is the same "drunk" that is undisputed to be intoxicated in Acts 2:15 and Rev. 17:6. Wine is the same word that is undisputed to be an intoxicant in Eph 5:18! Jesus would not have turned the water into wine, if drinking wine was a sin! John 2:10 is not saying that they got drunk off the wine that Jesus made, but rather that the ruler of the feast recognized it as true wine, not grape juice & that this wine was capable of making people drunk if drank in excess.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine (H3196) with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
Now let's look at Deut. 14:22-27
22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine (H3196), or for strong drink (H7941), or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
The words in Deut. 14 for "strong drink" and "wine" are the same as in Prov. 20:1 "Wine (H3196) is a mocker, strong drink (H7941) is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." But in Deut. 14 we see that we are told we can buy and partake of these things. But we know that we should not allow the alcohol to gain control over our lives! That is common sense and not debated. Noah, Joseph and other righteous men of the bible did drink alcohol!
2 "Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.
3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; (Nothing wrong with eating and nothing wrong with eating enough to get full, but God had made the food little because they were rebellious)
ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; (See note after this verse)
ye clothe you, but there is none warm; (Nothing wrong with putting on clothes) and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes". (Nothing wrong with earning wages)
"Drink" in verse 6 is Strong's H7937 - shakar which means drunk, intoxicated. In the context of this verse where there is nothing wrong with each of the things listed, there is also nothing wrong with drinking & nothing wrong with getting drunk, but God had made the alcohol useless. The bible speaks against alcohol abuse & warns against its consequences. It says the drunkard, which is an alcoholic, will not enter the Kingdom. But it does not forbid drinking & getting drunk. Noah got drunk & it never said anything against him for doing so! What happened afterwards was his son's fault/sin, not Noah's. I don't care how much that goes against everything that man's churches have taught you. The bible clearly does not forbid getting drunk. Song of Solomon 5:1 (KJV) "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." The words for "drink abundantly" means to "get drunk". This verse & many other verses prove that it's not a sin to get drunk. It's only a sin to allow it to control your life or to let it cause you to make stupid mistakes which result in sin. I am not encouraging anyone to live a life of drunkenness!
(Some people claim that this is only a false accusation. And that's true that it's a false accusation of Jesus being a drunk. However, to fully understand why they made this accusation, we must look at the context of the word "winebibber". Jesus explained that John the baptizer did not drink. We know that John the baptizer didn't go without food and water every day of this entire life, as that would be impossible. But this is saying that John fasted often and was also a Nazarite from birth, meaning that John never partook of any alcohol. Only some men of God were bound by the vow of a Nazarite, not every man of God. We also know that Jesus fasted for 40 days straight in the wilderness. Yet Jesus compared Himself in contrast to John, but they both fasted. The only difference was that Jesus was not born a Nazarite. There is not any verse of the bible that indicates or hints at Jesus being a Nazarite. The people could not make an accusation of Him being a winebibber/drunk if He never even drank any alcohol. So although their accusation was false, it was based on the knowledge of Him drinking in contrast to John. We also know that Jesus blessed the wine cup of Communion at the Passover Last Supper.)
The context of this verse is very clearly Passover Communion. The people were wrongfully getting drunk on the Passover wine. So this proves that the wine was real and that it wasn't as weak as water as some people try to claim. Paul told them to eat and drink at home. But he did not tell them to not drink at all. The problem is that they were not giving due high reverence to the Passover Communion. They were treating it as just another meal, party of social gathering, rather than treating it as Holy as Passover Communion should be treated. The sin/problem was not them drinking, but drinking a lot at the specific time of Passover Communion, as evidenced by what Paul said, and did not say.
Genesis 27:25 (Alpha & Omega Bible) "AND HE (Jacob/Israel) SAID, "BRING HERE, AND I WILL EAT OF YOUR GAME MEAT, SON, THAT MY SOUL MAY BLESS YOU"; AND HE BROUGHT IT NEAR TO HIM, AND HE ATE, AND HE BROUGHT HIM WINE, AND HE DRANK."
Yes, Jacob/Israel and many other men of God, drank alcohol.
Genesis 43 (AOB)
:30 AND JOSEPH WAS TROUBLED, FOR HIS BOWELS YEARNED OVER HIS BROTHER, AND HE SOUGHT TO CRY; AND HE WENT INTO HIS CHAMBER, AND CRIED THERE.
:31 AND HE WASHED HIS FACE AND CAME OUT, AND REFRAINED HIMSELF, AND SAID, “SET OUT BREAD”.
:32 AND THEY SET OUT BREAD FOR HIM ALONE, AND FOR THEM BY THEMSELVES, AND FOR THE EGYPTIANS FEASTING WITH HIM BY THEMSELVES, FOR THE EGYPTIANS COULD NOT EAT BREAD WITH THE HEBREWS, FOR IT IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE EGYPTIANS.
:33 AND THEY SAT BEFORE HIM, THE FIRST-BORN ACCORDING TO HIS SENIORITY, AND THE YOUNGER ACCORDING TO HIS YOUTH; AND THE MEN LOOKED WITH AMAZEMENT EVERY ONE AT HIS BROTHER.
:34 AND THEY TOOK THEIR PORTIONS FROM HIM TO THEMSELVES; BUT BENJAMIN'S PORTION WAS FIVE TIMES AS MUCH AS THE PORTIONS OF THE OTHERS. AND THEY DRANK AND WERE INTOXICATED TOGETHER WITH HIM.
Joseph and all of his brothers got drunk! Yet the bible never condemns them for this occurrence.
Ruth 3:7 (AOB) AND BOAZ ATE AND DRANK, AND HIS HEART WAS GLAD, AND HE CAME TO LIE DOWN BY THE SIDE OF THE HEAP OF GRAIN; AND
SHE CAME SECRETLY, AND LIFTED UP THE COVERING OF HIS FEET.
("his heart was glad" & "became merry" are biblical ways for saying that people felt good via alcohol)
Psalm 23:5 YOU HAVE PREPARED A TABLE BEFORE ME IN PRESENCE OF THEM THAT AFFLICT ME.
YOU HAVE THOROUGHLY ANOINTED MY HEAD WITH OIL; AND YOUR CUP MAKES ME LIKE (the) BEST DRUNKENNESS.
Proverbs 24:6 GIVE ALCOHOL TO THOSE THAT ARE IN SORROW, AND THE WINE TO DRINK TO THOSE IN PAIN:
7 THAT THEY MAY FORGET THEIR POVERTY, AND MAY NOT REMEMBER THEIR TROUBLES ANY MORE.
25 SHOW NOT YOUR COURAGE IN WINE; FOR WINE HAS DESTROYED MANY.
26 THE FURNACE PROVES THE EDGE BY DIPPING: SO DOES WINE THE HEARTS OF THE PROUD BY DRUNKENNESS.
27 WINE IS AS GOOD AS LIFE TO A MAN, IF IT BE DRUNK MODERATELY: WHAT LIFE IS THEN TO A MAN THAT IS WITHOUT WINE?
FOR IT WAS MADE TO MAKE MEN GLAD. (This shows that drinking is acceptable as long as it is handled well)
28 WINE MEASURABLY DRANK AND IN SEASON BRING(S) GLADNESS OF THE HEART, AND CHEERFULNESS OF THE MIND:
(Shows that drinking alcohol is not a sin as long as it is drank responsibly. It's not the drink that is a sin, it's the result of fighting, etc that is a sin, as the next verses show.)
29 BUT WINE DRUNKEN WITH EXCESS MAKES BITTERNESS OF THE MIND, WITH BRAWLING AND QUARRELING.
30 DRUNKENNESS INCREASES THE RAGE OF A FOOL TILL HE OFFEND: IT DIMINISHES STRENGTH, AND MAKES WOUNDS.
31 REBUKE NOT YOUR NEIGHBOR AT THE WINE, AND DESPISE HIM NOT IN HIS MIRTH: GIVE HIM NO SPITEFUL WORDS. AND PRESS NOT UPON HIM WITH URGING HIM TO DRINK.
:18 AND HE SAID TO THEM, "ARE YOU SO LACKING IN UNDERSTANDING ALSO? DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WHATEVER GOES INTO THE HUMAN FROM OUTSIDE CANNOT DEFILE HIM?
20 AND HE WAS SAYING, "THAT WHICH PROCEEDS OUT OF THE HUMAN, THAT IS WHAT DEFILES THE HUMAN.
21 FOR FROM WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MANKIND, PROCEED THE EVIL THOUGHTS, FORNICATIONS, THEFTS, MURDERS, ADULTERIES,
22 WORKS OF COVETING, WICKEDNESS, DECEIT, LASCIVIOUSNESS, ENVY, SLANDER, PRIDE AND FOOLISHNESS.
23 ALL THESE EVIL THINGS PROCEED FROM WITHIN AND DEFILE THE HUMAN."
Yes the bible actually requires the true followers of Jesus to drink alcohol at Passover! It was never grape juice! Passover communion is only for baptized people who are mostly adults. We shouldn't play Passover like children. The communion should be real wine unless you are an alcoholic, in which case you could substitute some red juice such as red grape juice or cranberry juice. But unless you are an alcoholic, the Passover communion should be real alcohol, but only one sip per person for this Holy communion.
:16 THEREFORE LET NO ONE CONDEMN YOU IN REGARD TO FOOD OR ALCOHOL OR IN RESPECT TO A FIESTA (annual Holy Day such as Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles) OR A NEW MOON/MONTH (Fiesta of Trumpets, & keeping tract of the true/created calender) OR A SABBATH DAY (7th Day of Rest & Worship)
:17 THINGS WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF WHAT IS TO COME; BUT THE SUBSTANCE BELONGS TO CHRIST.
(The Holy Days & 7th Day point to Christ Jesus & His new covenant salvational plan, thus these days should be important to every new covenant Christian. The substance of these holy days belong to Christ, not to Moses. In absolutely no way was Paul speaking against the keeping of the annual Holy Days and weekly Sabbath. Just the opposite is true! He was telling the church, who kept these days, to not let anyone condemn them for doing so. And to not let people condemn them for exercising their liberty to enjoy life & celebration including alcohol. In no way should these verses be used to claim that it's acceptable to partake in pagan holidays such as Christmas, Easter & Halloween. Pagan holidays are strictly forbidden by Jesus.)
Objection: Lev.10:9 We are the priest today, so we should refrain from all alcohol.
Answer: Lev.10:9 "Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations."
This was applied specifically to the Levitical priesthood which does not exist anymore. Although we are now kings & priest in the New Covenant, the Levitical priesthood was replaced with the priesthood of Jesus Christ of the Melchizedek order. Also, it applied to the Levitical priest only when they were going to the tabernacle. Not at any other time. Instead of proving that we should not drink, this verse actually proves that it is acceptable to drink. Why would the command be specified to only a specific people & only a specific location? Answer: Because there is absolutely no bible command that prohibits all use of alcohol.
Objection: Wine in the bible times was weak. It was watered down. It would take a whole lot of it to get drunk.
Answer: Some of it may have been watered down, but by no means was it weak! This is a very lame claim in an effort to try to say that biblical wine was not like the alcohol that we have today. The bible is very clear that alcohol in ancient times was just as capable of causing intoxication as alcohol is today. Noah got drunk. The bible warns of the dangers of alcohol abuse. The alcohol in the bible was capable of causing drunkenness and rage. Therefore to try to claim that it was weak as water, is an absurd claim & is a hypocritical doctrine. You cannot teach that the bible says that drinking is a sin and teach at the same time that alcohol in bible times was as weak as water!
Objection: Nothing good can ever come from drinking alcohol.
Answer: Actually, the modest consumption of alcohol has been repeatedly proven to help the heart, blood pressure, flushing of the kidneys & sleep. Of course alcohol abuse can be very damaging to a persons health. But alcohol abuse is a completely separate issue from whether or not alcohol in general in acceptable. We must completely distinguish between normal modest alcohol use & alcohol abuse. Good health can be a good & acceptable fruit of the proper modest consumption of alcohol. It can also be used as a medical disinfectant as well as to make herb tonics.
Objection: Why would we allow the devil a foothold or door way into our lives? Why allow a way of temptation?
Answer: The same could be said about the internet, the radio, newspapers, etc. The devil uses all of those things. The internet is a major tool of Satan to tempt people. There is more temptation on the internet than what there is in a 12 pack of beer. But if you can handle being on the internet and can turn down every temptation that comes your way on the internet, then a person can also do so with alcohol. It is a matter of whether or not someone can handle it. One adult beverage does not equal a foothold of the devil in your life, no more than reading one website on the internet. Of course, if you are an alcoholic, then yes one drink is a horrible temptation, just as also one website is also a horrible temptation for anyone with porn addition or who is so gullible that they fall for every internet hoax and conspiracy theory.
Objection: I wouldn't want to offend someone.
Answer: Of course we don't want to offend. We need to use commonsense and caution when drinking. We don't drink walking down the street. We don't drink while driving. We don't drink during church services or Sabbath gatherings. We don't drink around alcoholics. We don't drink around people who don't believe in drinking. But we can drink in the privacy of our own homes and at the restaurants, etc. We should not live in fear about who could possibly drop by unexpectedly or who might see us in the restaurant. We are not doing anything wrong and have no need of fear.
Objection: Why would a Christian need it?
Answer: It is not a matter of need. It's a matter of exercising our Liberty in Christ to enjoy the good and acceptable provisions that He created.
Objection: I don't need alcohol. Jesus is my Joy and all I need.
Answer: The same is true for someone who knows Christ enough that they are not burdened under legalism and men's doctrines and fears about alcohol. I would say that someone who knows Christ enough to exercise their right and freedom to drink is a person who has much more peace and joy than someone who is under the law of death.
Objection: The bible says that we are to be sober.
Answer: The 3 Greek words for "sober" do not mean "to be without any influence of alcohol".
G3525 - nepho means to be in control of yourself, to be temperate, circumspect, calm and collected in spirit, to be of sound mind.
Strong's G4993 - sophroneo, same as above.
Strong's G4998 - sophron, Same as above.
It is possible to have a drink or two and still be in control of yourself, temperate, circumspect, calm, collected in spirit and of a sound mind. For some people, they can maintain these characteristics with several drinks. Everyone is different. God is not counting how many drinks you are having, as if 1 drink is okay but 2 drinks is a sin, or 3 drinks are okay but 4 drinks is a sin, but He is concerned with whether or not you are going to be in control of yourself. Are you going to become argumentative or violent or make foolish decisions? Those are the real sins. Not the drinking itself but rather what comes out of the man, not what goes in.
Objection: What about pot?
Answer: Pot and other illegal drugs are a completely different topic. They are not related in any way. God requires us to obey the laws of man except when they are in complete contrast to obeying God first. So we have the biblical responsibility to stay away from all illegal substances.
But even if we live in a state or nation where pot is legal, the smoking of pot, even in just modest amounts, is very harmful to our body. Although it is a natural weed, the nature of the marijuana plant is that it pulls out of the ground all the toxins and poisons that it can possibly pull up and become part of the plant. It is basically a trash can of the Earth. It works against pain and cancer by killing brain cells. It is a poison. Period. And I have never met a true follower of Christ who smoked pot. I have met a lot of weak, fake Christians who smoked it. But never a true and strong follower of Jesus Christ. But I have known true/strong followers of Jesus Christ who had a refreshing cold beer after work. Click here to read the article "Why Smoking Pot is a Sin".
Question: Can a Christian go to a bar or nightclub? Is that a sin?
Answer: Of course it depends on what kind of bar or nightclub & the specific location & why you are going. It's a sin to go to a gay/homosexual bar/nightclub or a place that has strippers. It's a sin to go to any bar if you are an alcoholic. It's wrong to knowingly go to a place where you know there is trouble, drugs, fights, etc. But if you know of a nice, decent, clean bar/nightclub where you can go in safety & enjoy yourself without sinning, then no, it's not a sin and it's not wrong. Contrary to the thinking of popular traditional, legalistic religious groups, there are some decent places where people can have a drink and not sin. Not every bar/nightclub is the den of the devil. However, a person should sincerely & honestly examine their self & their motives & the place that they are considering going to. Is it a place that you want to support with your money & Christian presence? If it is, then fine. But if not, then you shouldn't go. Also ask, "Will Jesus bring this night & this location up on Judgment day?".
1 Cor. 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards (alcoholics), nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The alcoholic has allowed the alcohol to gain control over him/her. It has become a god to him/her. It has become a stumbling block and a hindrance, a burden, a sin. The bible very clearly warns us of the dangers of abusing alcohol and tells us to not drink with the drunkard/alcoholic. (Matt. 24:29, 1 Cor. 5:11) We don't want to encourage/condone the alcoholic to stay in his alcoholic abuse.
Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Isa. 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
Pro. 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
Facts on Alcohol Related Deaths
Facts and statistics show alcohol and some fatalities are intertwined.
Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related.
20 percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths involve blood alcohol concentration levels below .10 percent.
In 1991, a subway motorman was drinking just before his shift and derailed a train carrying hundreds of passengers, kill five and injuring more than two hundred.
If an alcoholic suddenly withdraws from alcohol, he or she may suffer delirium tremens. D.T.s sometimes end in death.
Many people who apparently die from overdoses of sleeping pills (barbiturates), actually die from a combination of alcohol and the medication.
One quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol related.
Between 48 and 64 percent of people who die in fires have blood alcohol levels indicating intoxication.
Alcohol is abused by some 14 million Americans and contributes to the deaths of 100,000 each year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 65 percent of fatal drunk-driving deaths involve drivers whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .15 or higher.
The risk of hemorrhagic stroke is three times higher among heavy drinkers.
Very large amounts of alcohol (such as a quart if drunk in five to thirty minutes) may occasionally cause death by anesthetizing the brain center that controls breathing.
About 20 percent of those people who commit suicide are alcohol abusers, according to the National Mental Health Association.
About 20 percent of suicide victims are alcoholics.
One thousand people die from alcohol overdoses each year. Many of them are young people who drank fast to show off for their friends.
Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top three causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
If you need help, please click below:
Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org
Christians in Recovery - Help and Support Group has over 2000 Pages of information and resources to help you. They help you to recover from life's circumstances www.christians-in-recovery.org
Click Here for sample Spiritual warfare prayer points to help combat alcoholism and drug addiction.
Do you disagree? We encourage you to take your time in prayer & fasting as you continue to examine this subject. Many times, it takes days-weeks, even years to undo man's doctrines or traditional thinking. It's a process. Many times, just reading websites is not enough. We must be willing to take the time to talk to our LORD & Savior Jesus Christ in much prayer & fasting, and continual repentance and continued growth in spiritual maturity. We should pray that He remove all deception from us & always be willing to change as He continues to teach us. If we have not changed anything that we believe in 12 months, we are not growing enough in His Truth. We must continue to grow every year until we reach full maturity to the full stature of Jesus Christ. Eph.4:11-16. May Jesus continue to bless you in all of your seeking for His Truth.
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Is alcohol always a sin? Is it ever allowed? Copyright 2008 I Saw The Light Ministries