Should Christians Drink Alcohol?   


Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

We should first look at the how Jesus Christ may percieve drinking as a sin or not? And how quickly it was to find passages in the Old and New Testament expaining drinking alcoholic wine or beverage is frowned upon. Second, if we as Christians are to win souls, have a strong testimony, not be percieved as a hyprocite, lead by example with our light shining through, witness, than alcholic beverages would make this very difficullt. Trully consider most who just possess a conscience understands the harmful effects of alchohol. How much more should we understand right from wrong possessing the Holy Spirit? Should'nt we? If Jesus wanted us to drink alcohol would it cause the death of so many people and lead to diseases, car accidents, etc?

Consider the death of a lost person due to alcohol and not having the opportunity to be saved. Or a saved person last action was drinking wine. Seems not suitable for a Christian perhaps?      

Perhaps we should look at this intelligently. To begin the year how many people drink on "New Years Eve" and perish. The number is 54 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day during the New Year’s holiday. We must also realize the harm caused by alcohol. Let us review the harmful effects of alcohol and how many people die each year. 75,000 Americans die each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years, a U.S. government study states.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the study, estimated that 34,833 people in 2001 died from cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and other diseases linked to drinking too much beer, wine and spirits. Another 40,933 died from car crashes and other mishaps caused by excessive alcohol use.

Researchers considered any man who averaged more than two drinks per day or more than four drinks per occasion to be an excessive drinker. For women it was more than one drink per day or more than three drinks per occasion.

“These results emphasize the importance of adopting effective strategies to reduce excessive drinking, including increasing alcohol excise taxes and screening for alcohol misuse in clinical settings,” the study said.

Men accounted for 72 percent of the excessive drinking deaths in 2001, and those 21 and younger made up 6 percent of the death toll.

Excssive drinking increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disorders, certain cancers and liver disease.

Excessive drinkers are also more likely to die in car accidents. The United States aims to cut the rate of alcohol-related driving fatalities to 4 deaths per 100,000 people by 2010, a 32 percent drop from 1998.

Approximately 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012 were the result of alcohol consumption, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Additionally, 16 percent of people in the world who use alcohol could be categorized as binge drinkers. 

The new report, which examined the trends in alcohol use among 194 WHO member states, found Europe topped the list for the region with the highest rate of alcohol consumption per capita, though the rate has remained stable over the past five years. In the last half decade, alcohol use also remained unchanged in Africa and throughout the Americas. However, drinking increased in the South-East Asia and the Western Pacific regions of the world.

The report found alcohol-related mortality was more common for men than women: 7.6 percent of deaths among men versus 4 percent of deaths among women worldwide were linked to excessive drinking. However, the authors of the report say alcohol abuse among women is on the rise. A similiar report released in 2011 found 6.2 percent of all male deaths were related to alcohol, compared to 1.1 percent of female deaths at that time.

One would assume alcohol is not recommended for Christians. This is a discussion due to the usage of wine in the Old and New Testament. What does the bible have to say about drinking? Wine was the alcohol of choice at that time. With hardly any research I found this passage from the bible to reflect upon. Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans to explain that salvation is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the longest of the Pauline episltles and is often consideredhis "most important theological legacy" and magnus opus. Therefore, review what Paul has to say about drinking wine:

(KJV) Romans 14:21

 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.

 Jesus also made wine, his first miracle at a wedding John 2:1-10 and drank wine. One thing we must acknowledge is the wine was from grapes and Jesus was the only one ever without sin.

Christ often likened the church (kingdom) to vineyards (Luke 20:9; Matt 21:28). He even likened Himself to a vine, and His father to a vine dresser (John 15:1-4) Non alcoholic wine (grape juice) is referred to in many contexts It made the heart glad and face shine. (Psa 104:15). It was among the “first fruits” Neh 10:37, it was even called “wine” while still in the cluster (Isa 65:8), and was “gathered” with summer fruits (Jer 40:10). It was "wine" while it was in the wine press (Isa 16:10). In these examples it is clear that the wine was non-alcoholic.

Sometimes wine was a blessing, other times it was a curse. Intoxicating wine is never used in a good sense in Scripture. Evil is always associated with it Wine is a mocker and deceiver, (1 Prov 20:1) . It is a deadly poison that men of God should not even look upon. “ “biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” ( Prov 23:31-32)The death penalty was imposed upon the priest who drank any of it before entering the Tabernacle (Lev 10:9-10.) The priests and prophets erred in judgment and vision because of wine. (Isa 28:7). Israel were not even permitted to give their neighbour a drink of wine (Hab 2:15.) Notice in all the above verses it is the consumption of the wine itself that is condemned, not just the amount.

It is not suggested in this article that God's people in the Bible never drank wine. It is only claimed that drinking alcohol is never condoned.. Man of God's people erred through wine. Noah displayed his nakedness (Gen 9:21), and Lot committed incest (Gen 19:32-38), and the context of Leviticus 10:1-10 indicates that wine was most probably the cause of Nadab and Abihu offering “strange fire before the Lord” and being consumed by fire by God, for it was immediately after this incident that the Lord made drinking wine before religious duty in the Tabernacle punishable by death

In the Old Testament, Aaron and his sons, the priests, were strictly forbidden to drink either wine or strong drink when they went into the tabernacle to minister before the Lord (see Leviticus 10:9). Nazarites were likewise forbidden to use wine while under their vow (see Numbers 6:1-3, 20; Judges 13:4-7). The Rechabites lived as noteworthy examples of permanent abstinence from wine, adhering strictly to the command of their ancestor, Jonadab, to refrain from it (see Jeremiah 35:1-8, 14).

The Bible book of Proverbs is filled with warnings against indulging in wine and strong drink (see Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-35; 31:4). Wine mocks those who use it (see Proverbs 20:1) and rewards them with woe, sorrow, strife, and wounds without cause (see Proverbs 23:29, 30). “In the end it [wine] bites like a snake and poisons like a viper” (verse 32, NIV). The prophet Isaiah declared, “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks” (Isaiah 5:22, NIV). Daniel and his companions set a worthy example by refusing to drink the king’s wine (see Daniel 1:5-16). When fasting later in life, Daniel abstained from wine (see Daniel 10:3).

In the New Testament, the usual word for wine, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, is  οινος (oinos). Jesus likened His revolutionary teaching to new wine, which would burst the old bottles of tradition (Matthew 9:17). Paul warned believers against drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18), and declared that deacons should not be "addicted to much wine" (1 Timothy 3:8). He counseled Titus that the older women should not be "slaves to drink" (Titus 2:3).

Yet, Paul did recommend that his friend Timothy should “use a little wine” for relief from a digestive ailment (1 Timothy 5:23, NIV). Let’s take a look at this counsel more closely. In those days, physical ailments, such as dysentery, were common occurrences—often due to contaminated water. Consequently, other ways of quenching thirst were often recommended. Some Bible students believe that in this verse, Paul was advocating the temperate use of fermented wine for medicinal purposes. They call attention to the fact that through the centuries wine has been used in this way.












Other Bible scholars say that Paul is referring to unfermented grape juice. Since the Greek word translated “wine” can mean either fermented wine or unfermented grape juice, they believe Paul would not give advice inconsistent with the rest of Scripture, which warns strongly against the use of intoxicating beverages—and that he is, therefore, advising Timothy to drink pure, unfermented grape juice.

Obviously, Paul wanted Timothy to be healthy and physically fit for the heavy duties that rested upon him as administrator of the churches in Asia Minor. Mental and moral alertness are closely related to physical fitness, and the use of alcohol would not be helpful in this regard.