What Do We Believe About Alcohol?

The Eagle & Child Pub in Oxford, EnglandI often get asked about what Christians believe about alcohol. Do we drink it? Should we drink it? Can we drink it?

I was having dinner in a pub in London, England with a friend when we decided to head to a famous church in London and ended up attending their Sunday evening service. This was once a great church with a great pastor, but it has since gone off the rails into legalism… My friend and I were chatting with some of the members of the church when the issue of alcohol came up. Their current pastor has written a book about why Christian’s cannot drink alcohol at all. The members were telling my friend & I that “the wine-skin press business was different in Jesus’ time; therefore, Christians today should abstain from alcohol altogether.” Little did they know that we had just come from a pub.

Personally, I rarely ever drink at all (special occasions or historic pubs in England). The question is not what I or the pastor of that church believes about Christians & alcohol; the question is what the Bible says about this issue.

Yes. In John 2:1-11, Jesus & His disciples get invited to a wedding at Cana. Jesus is not a buzz-kill, so He got invited to stuff like that. The people at the wedding are celebrating, having a great time, and drinking wine when it suddenly runs out. Jesus gets some servants to fill 6 jars (each holding about 20 or 30 gallons) with water and then proceeds to turn that water into wine, not grape juice. In verses 9-10, the master of the feast says to the bridegroom that: “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Not only did Jesus turn that water into wine, He made it taste good too. There is no mention of Jesus, His disciples, or anyone at the wedding being drunk.

Furthermore, the last supper before Jesus dies, He has bread & wine with His disciples. He commands them to eat and drink these in remembrance of Him (which is why we have “communion.”) While dying on the cross, Jesus gets thirsty and the guards dip a sponge in sour wine to give to Him (in mockery).

The Bible is not explicitly telling us not to drink alcohol; it just gives guidelines for how we do drink it. Here are 5 things the Bible says about drinking alcohol:

1. Drinking is not a sin, but drunkenness is… so don’t get drunk.
Ephesians 5:17-18
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit

2. Even though we can drink alcohol, it may not always be best to do so. If you’re a former or current alcoholic, it would be helpful to stray away from drinking, as it only leads you towards temptation of drunkenness (which is sin).
1 Corinthians 6:12
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

1 Corinthians 10:23
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

3. Don’t drink with someone who will stumble into the sin of drunkenness (i.e. with former or current alcoholics). You are not loving that person by putting them in a position of temptation to sin.
Romans 14:21
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

4. Don’t drink and drive if you’re over the legal limit. Also don’t drink if you’re under the legal drinking age.
Romans 13:1
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.

5. Drink in such a way that God is seen as better than alcohol.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

The bottom line is that Christians can drink alcohol like Jesus & His disciples did; however, we are not to be drunk as Jesus was never drunk. Don’t drink if it’s going to cause yourself or someone else to sin.

God Bless,
Tyson Bradley

For Further Study:

 **I am not endorsing the consumption of alcohol or drinking and driving. In excess, alcohol can be harmful to the body and one must drink responsibly. The purpose of this post is to address if it is okay for Christians to drink alcohol.**


4 thoughts on “What Do We Believe About Alcohol?

  1. TysonB says:

    Dear Jesus,
    Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. Your opinion is welcome. I tend to avoid having online debates, so I will only give replies to the issues you raise in your comment.

    You address a number of issues in your comment & not all relate to this particular blog post. However, I will attempt to address your concerns.

    1. I’m sorry that you feel it is a waste of time for me to “look into a book.” As a Christian, I believe that “book” is still relevant for today and has stood the test of time. Many other books have come and gone… but there is something special about this Book.

    2. I hope you see the contradiction in saying “there is nothing worse than someone who preaches their views onto others.” Surely, you’re preaching your view about Christians in your comment, aren’t you? We’re not that different. We both share what we believe.

    3. The issue of getting drunk is more than merely being “looked down upon.” I believe that it goes against God (and even ourselves). I don’t believe it’s going against God for you to drink socially with your friends. However, drunkenness leads you into more sin & things you just wouldn’t do when sober minded. Again, I hope you see the contradiction in saying “it’s laughable that people try to look down on others.” Are you not doing the same thing against those who disagree with your view?

    4. The issue of being a taxpayer and churches not paying property tax is a governmental issue that holds no relevance to this blog post. Even if churches are not paying property taxes, it does not mean God does not exist or that Christians are “wrong.”

    5. I also did not mention homosexuality in my blog post. That is a hot topic in our world today and I will be writing about that issue later on (in addition to many others). Please check back at a later time for that post. For now, I will say that you are right in saying all men are equal, we are all sinners. We all need Jesus (homosexuals, heterosexuals, transsexuals, etc.)

    Thanks again! Love & respect,
    – Tyson

  2. Jesus says:

    What a waste of time this is…Honestly a joke that you look into a book that was printed that far back. Sure, live your life & be happy, but there is nothing worse than someone who preaches their views onto others. Being a student, I enjoy drinking socially with friends, and yes I will get drunk. So what? Why should i be looked down upon? There is no proof and it’s laughable that people try to look down upon others

    Frankly, as a tax payer, I find it sickening that Churches do not pay property taxes much like I do. As a heterosexual male who has a few friends who are “gay,” I also am disgusted that they are looked down upon by members of the church. So much for all men being equal…

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