For a lot of Christians, drinking alcohol is a complex subject. Different believers have conflicting opinions of whether or not it is alright to consume alcohol. However, if you read the bible, you will find various places where Jesus is not only found consuming wine but also encouraging consumption of it.
From the event at Cana where Jesus turned water to wine to the last supper, he is seen supporting the consumption of alcohol. However, in Christianity, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, and carnal pleasures are not only looked down upon as immoral and unpleasant but they are also forbidden. Let’s delve deeper and answer the question; can christians drink alcohol?
What Does Jesus Say About Drinking Alcohol?
“When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was.” John 2:7-11.
We have all heard the story of the miracle of Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. At a wedding, Jesus asked servants to fill seven jars with water.
The water had come from the well, but Jesus transformed it into wine, and the wine tasted better than the wine they originally bought for the wedding. No one knew where the wine had come from, but they did know it was better than before.
Had Jesus been against the consumption of alcohol, he would have never performed such a miracle. He would have stopped others from drinking, which shows there is nothing wrong with drinking, as long as it is done in moderation.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Mathew 26: 26-29.
As believers, we cannot forget the last supper either. At the supper, Jesus took a piece of bread, blessed it, and gave it to his disciples so they could eat it. He referred to the piece of bread as his own body, and by making them eat, he meant to bless them.
Then, he took a glass of wine, passed it over to his disciples, and asked them to drink from it, referring to it as his own blood. Had alcohol been something to frown upon, the Son of God would never refer to it as something as pure as his own blood.
Can Christians Drink Alcohol, or Is It a Sin?
There is a fine line between drinking alcohol and getting drunk. The Bible refers to drinking as a positive activity. However, the Bible looks at drunkenness in a very negative light. There are more than 72 places in the Bible where alcohol abuse is highlighted.
The word of God is very clear regarding the consumption of Alcohol. In the eyes of God, overconsumption of alcohol is a sin.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” – Ephesians 5:18
When a person drinks heavily, he loses his senses. When his senses are gone, he fails to distinguish between right and the wrong, lawful and the unlawful. This is why it is impossible to get too drunk and still abide by the word of God, a large part of which is abstinence.
A drunk human being is nothing more than a ferocious wild beast that lives only for the fulfillment of its temptations. Every time a person gets too intoxicated, he strays away from the path chosen by God.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians: 6:9-1
In the quote above, the Bible presents a list of people who won’t enter the kingdom of God. Besides all the wrongdoers, the Bible specially talks about drunkards. This quote from Corinthians: 6:9-1 reinforces what we just spoke of two paragraphs ago.
A drunk human being is capable of doing everything unholy. He can steal, rob, cheat, murder and rape under the influence of alcohol, as it takes away their ability to think straight.
“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:” – 1 Peter 4:3
In the quote above, the Bible doesn’t look down upon not the consumption of wine but the excess of wine. Consuming wine like any other beverage is perfectly alright, but when done in excess, that is when the problem starts.
How Should Christians Drink?
Now we know that drinking moderately is not a sin nor a criminal offense. While drinking, one must be strong enough not to succumb to the temptation of drunkenness as it will lead you to sin.
To keep yourself safe from sinning, you must practice accountability, moderation, and responsibility. By doing so, you will be able to drink in a respectful fashion.
If you are unsure of whether or not you can hold your liquor, it is better not to drink. Moreover, if you have a history of alcoholism or drug dependency, you should refrain from drinking. The problem with alcohol is, no matter how hard you try to act decent, the moment you get drunk, it is almost impossible to stay on track.
Some governments in the world have prescribed a set of rules surrounding moderation. While governments allow men to consume no more than 2-3 units, women aren’t allowed to consume more than 2. Moreover, moderation means enjoying alcoholic beverages to appreciate the craft of liquor making.
Drinking in moderation also means enjoying a drink or two as a group activity. The goal is to keep your consumption minimal.
Hold Yourself Accountable
A believer should be able to hold himself accountable for his decisions, choice, and how he impacts others around him. Hold yourself accountable for the drink you are planning to consume. Also, tell others what you will drink and how much of it.
Also, be very honest about why you want to drink and your motivations. If you drink to get rid of stress or anxiety, you shouldn’t drink. Moreover, if you are craving alcohol rather than enjoying it, it is better to slow down.
If you have had alcoholism issues in the past, chances are you won’t be able to drink responsibly. If such is the case, you can seek help from a church or a congregation. You can also reach out to a Christian addiction treatment center.
No matter where you are in life, you must remember that alcohol is a small part of socializing. The real pleasure comes from your friends and family, not from a drink.