Can Christian Drink Alcohol?

Can Christian Drink Alcohol
I used to drink too much. To be honest, I was a drunk. The Lord saved me from unbelief and addiction at the age of 21. I am now 37 and have been sober for almost 16 years. The Lord is good. For many years, my position on alcohol was simple: alcohol is not always bad, but it is never good.

  • However, I realize now that my thinking was not entirely based on Scripture.
  • I knew the Bible’s warnings against alcohol, but I didn’t see any value in drinking.
  • Since then, I’ve had to adjust my thinking on alcohol to align with Scripture.
  • Here is a biblical framework for thinking through this topic.
  • Drinking Alcohol is Not a Sin Contrary to what many Christians have grown up hearing, it is not a sin to drink alcohol.

Scripture nowhere condemns or prohibits consuming moderate levels of alcohol. Case in point—Jesus drank wine. The religious leaders accused our Lord of being a drunkard. “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” (Luke 7:34).

Of course, Jesus never got drunk, but he did drink wine. We all know he made water into wine at a party, and it would have been customary for him to enjoy a drink with his friends (John 2:1-11). It was also tradition for Jews to drink wine at the yearly Passover meal, in which Jesus routinely participated.

He also instituted the Lord’s Supper with bread and wine (Luke 22:14-20). It’s clear that drinking is not a sin; otherwise, Jesus would not have done it. Drinking Alcohol Can be a Blessing The Bible doesn’t present drinking in moderation as merely neutral; it is also depicted as a blessing.

  • The Psalmist says that in addition to the many earthly blessings God bestows, the Lord gives “wine to gladden the heart of man” (Psalm 104:15).
  • Friends enjoying a meal together may choose to enhance their gathering by sharing drinks.
  • Alcohol can encourage relaxation, happiness, and laughter.
  • These are all blessings from God (see also Eccl.9:7, Isaiah 55:1-3, Amos 9:14).

Alcohol can also be used for medicinal purposes. “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress.” (Proverbs 31:61, 1 Tim.5:23). Today, we use even stronger medications, but in the past, it was alcohol that provided relief from pain.

  • This, too, is a blessing from God.
  • In a broken world full of pain, the Lord has provided help in our times of suffering.
  • Finally, the Lord promised that in the New Heavens and New Earth, there will be wine when we feast with God Himself.
  • 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.” (Isaiah 25:6).

The Lord will share a drink with us in heaven. Drunkenness is a Sin Drinking is not a sin, and it is often a God-given blessing. However, Scripture’s overwhelming testimony is that drinking alcohol can be spiritually dangerous. Christians are allowed by God to drink alcohol, but we are forbidden to get drunk.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18; also see Proverbs 20:1, 23:20, Isaiah 5:22). This is a command from the Spirit-inspired apostle. Christians, “do not get drunk.” To get drunk, then, is a sin. Christians who drink alcohol may raise a question here.

“What does it mean to be drunk?” It’s a fair question. In most states, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving a vehicle is,08 (at this point, you are considered legally impaired). Body weight, how much one drinks, and the amount of time between drinks will determine your BAC.

For example, according to some research, a male weighing 200 lbs. can consume one 12 oz beer and only reach a level of,02 BAC. Our bodies metabolize alcohol over time, and our BAC will drop,015% every hour from our last drink. ( Source ) Additionally, many would argue that even though,08 is the legal standard for intoxication, that doesn’t necessarily meet the Bible’s definition of drunkenness.

The positive command Paul gives to believers in contrast to drunkenness is that we should be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18). The issue, then, is about control. We must be controlled by the Spirit and not alcohol. So then, drunkenness, in Paul’s mind, at least means we have lost control.

I suspect most believers would say that 1-2 drinks would not cause them to lose control. All this to say, what qualifies as being drunk varies from person to person. The command is easy: do not get drunk. Defining drunkenness, on the other hand, is not as simple. My pastoral counsel would be to err on the side of caution.

Use discretion and be wise with alcohol. Like sex, it can be wonderful, but if it is not contained and appropriately used, it can also be deadly. The measurements above are a helpful guide. Suppose we define drunkenness according to the dictionary, In that case, it means “having the faculties impaired by alcohol” and reaching “a level of alcohol in the blood that exceeds a maximum prescribed by law.” Paul’s counsel here is helpful.

  1. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful.
  2. All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor.6:12).
  3. The Dangers of Alcohol I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that everyone reading this article has been impacted by addiction in one way or another.
  4. Either you have struggled with substance abuse, or someone you know (and probably love) has struggled.

It’s an epidemic in our country, and alcohol is at the heart of it. This is why Scripture warns against the dangers of drunkenness. Several categories must be established here.

Drunkenness ruins lives. “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21). God’s judgment is on the drunkard. “Woe (a pronouncement of judgment) to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!” (Isaiah 5:11, 22) Drunkards cannot serve in church leadership. Elders must be “sober mindedand not a drunkard.” Likewise, deacons cannot be “addicted to much wine” (1 Tim.3:2-3, 8, also see Prov.31:4-5). Drunkards are considered unbelievers in the Bible. “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3; also see Romans 13:13, Luke 21:34, Isaiah 28:1). Godliness is characterized by sober-mindedness. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.” (Titus 2:3). Drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor.6:9-10, also see Gal.5:19-21).

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What’s Our Motive for Drinking? Christians are called to live every part of their lives to the glory of God, and that includes both eating and drinking: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor.10:31). If our drinking alcohol helps us in appreciating a pleasure God created, especially in fellowship with others, it can be a blessing.

Yet, if our reason for drinking is to become drunk, seek temporary escape from difficulties, or conform to the practice of others against our conscience, we are drinking to our own peril. Some Christians may also have been guilty of flaunting their freedom in defiance of the convictions of other believers or with no regard for the temptations of others to drunkenness (1 Cor.8:8-13).

As with any action we take, we must ensure it demonstrates both our love for the Lord and for others. God created alcohol, and in many places, the Bible describes it a God-given gift and blessing. But like all things the Lord has given, we must use it with wisdom and caution.

  • Unfortunately, because we are sinners, we tend to turn God’s good gifts into idolatry and sin.
  • Alcohol is no exception.
  • In fact, it stands out as one of Scripture’s major themes regarding warnings and judgment against a particular kind of sin.
  • Drunkenness, therefore, is forbidden, and for good reason.
  • The drunkard’s life is dishonoring to God and destructive to oneself, family, and friends.

Worst of all, a drunkard is a slave to alcohol and demonstrates a heart where the Holy Spirit does not reside. As Scripture says, such a person will not go to heaven. Note: This article and our many resources are made available for free through the generous support of others. Brandon is the Associate Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon, TN and leads the TJC RE:GENERATION ministry for the church. Brandon is married to Sherrie and has a daugher, Emma. Recent Articles:

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Is drinking alcohol a sin in the Bible?

Should Christians Drink Alcohol? “Here are your keys,” muttered the secretary when I arrived to pick up the keys to my office at Aberdeen University, where I would be studying for my doctorate in theology. “It looks like you’re in The Old Brewery.” Intrigued by the name, I later found out that it reflected the building’s original function.

Aberdeen was founded in the 15th century and used to train monks for ministry. In the brewery, monks brewed vast quantities of Scottish ale, which was served by the liter at mealtimes. And here I was, a post-fundamentalist Ph.D. student studying the Scriptures in a malted sanctuary where late medieval Bible college students once clapped mugs together in an act of worship.

Throughout Christian history, alcohol was rarely a taboo as it is in some circles today. John Calvin had a stipend of 250 gallons of wine per year written into his church contract. Martin Luther’s wife was a famed brewer of beer, which certainly won Martin’s heart.

  • And the Guinness family created their renowned Irish Stout as an act of worship to Jesus.
  • From Bordeaux to Berlin, wine and beer have always been part of church tradition.
  • But what was once considered the nectar of heaven was later condemned as the devil’s libation.
  • Moderation not Abstinence Even though some Christians advocate for the total abstinence of alcohol as a moral mandate for all believers, the Bible never requires all believers to abstain from alcohol.

It condemns drunkenness and being enslaved to wine (Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3), but it never says that tee-totaling is the better way to obey God. In fact, the Bible never says that abstaining from alcohol is the wisest way to avoid getting drunk. Think about it.

Alcoholism has been rampant through every age, but the Bible never says that all believers should therefore refrain from drinking. If Christians want to forbid all alcohol consumption to avoid drunkenness, then to be consistent, they should also avoid making a lot of money to guard against the crushing sin of materialism and the misuse of wealth.

What About our Testimony? I sometimes hear that when Christians drink, it ruins their testimony. But quite honestly, I’ve never understood this line of thinking. It’s one thing if you’ve struggled with alcoholism or are ministering in a Muslim country, but for the most part, most non-Christians I know are turned off by the arbitrary dos and don’ts created by modern Christians.

  • I’m not convinced that if my unbelieving neighbor sees me slipping into a pub, I will lose much traction to my Gospel witness.
  • In many cases, the Gospel will shine brighter when you break down wrong assumptions about Christianity by having a beer with your neighbor.
  • When we strip away all the man-made clutter that dims the Gospel, the full glory of Jesus shines much brighter.

A good chunk of the dying world that’s rejected Christianity hasn’t said no to Jesus, but no to a pharisaical version of Him. Some people have been turned off by the Gospel because they’ve thought that becoming a Christ-follower meant giving up having a beer with your friends after work.

  • If this is the “good news” we preach, then the true beauty of a crucified and risen King will become covered in the fog of a man-made, pharisaical “don’t drink” gospel.
  • AA didn’t hang on a cross for your sins and abstaining from alcohol won’t give you resurrection life.
  • Any Christianese, man-made, unbiblical footnotes to the gospel are actually a distraction and offense to the Gospel.

Lower Alcohol Content? Now, some say that wine in the Bible was nothing more than grape juice and therefore neither Jesus nor the Biblical writers advocated drinking alcohol. Others say that wine was so diluted that it hardly contained any alcohol. But neither of these views can be substantiated by what the Scriptures actually say.

  1. If wine was really unfermented grape juice, then why did Paul warn the Ephesians: “Do not get drunk with grape juice, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit?” This doesn’t make sense.
  2. It is true that wine back then probably had a lower ABV than today’s stuff.
  3. But whatever the alcohol content, people were quite able to get smashed by drinking too much of it (Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 5:11).

Still, the Bible never says not to drink it. There’s another alcoholic beverage mentioned in the Bible called “strong drink. The Hebrew word for “strong drink,” shakar, refers to fermented barley, which is why some translations call it “beer.” Shakar had an ABV of around 6-12 percent, similar to a Belgium Tripel Ale or a Double IPA.

  1. Like all alcoholic beverages, the Bible prohibits abusing beer (Isaiah 5:11; 28:7; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4).
  2. But in moderation, drinking beer was encouraged (Proverbs 31:6).
  3. In fact, Deuteronomy 14:26 actually commands Israelites to use some of their tithe money to buy some beers and celebrate before the Lord.
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(Ever hear that verse being read as the ushers are passing the plates?) They were also commanded to offer up two liters of beer to God six days a week and even more on the Sabbath (see Numbers 28:7-10). This is why the absence of beer (and wine) was an outcome of God’s judgment on the nation.

Wine as a Blessing But the Bible goes further than admitting that drinking is simply allowed. Throughout Scripture, the production and consumption of beer and wine are often connected to the covenant promises of God. Under the old covenant, wine is a blessing (Deut 7:13; 11:14) and the absence of wine a curse (28:39, 51).

When Israel looked to the future, God promises to flood them wine flowing from the mountaintops (Amos 9:14; Joel 3:18) and vats brimming with fresh wine (Joel 2:19, 24). Jesus signals the beginning of such blessings by creating an over-abundance (150 gallons) of wine at Cana (John 2:1-10).

And on the eve of his death, He sanctified a cup of wine as “the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:14-23). When Christ comes back, He’ll prepare “well-aged wine” (Isaiah 25:6)—the stuff I only notice on the top shelf but can never afford—and for theological reasons it will be served, as at Cana, in abundance.

Although a good beer and rich wine are blessings from God, they should be consumed with caution. There’s a growing tendency, however, among some younger evangelicals to celebrate their freedom without discipline. These young, restless, and slightly inebriated libertines are doing some great things for the Kingdom.

  1. They’re feeding the poor, living in community and planting authentic churches—or missional communities—all to the glory of God.
  2. Yes, God cares about the poor; He also cares about your sobriety.
  3. Enjoying alcohol in moderation takes discipline, and many beer drinkers, I hate to say it, aren’t known for their discipline.

A good glass of beer can be celebratory; it doesn’t belong in the hands of an undisciplined 16-year-old playing video games in his mom’s basement. Belgium ale is strong and complex. Savor it, sanctify it, and let it meditate on your palate. Give glory to God, not just to your thirst, when enjoying the blessings that flow from Eden.

  • Drunkenness may not be at the top of God’s list of most heinous sins; neither should it be tossed aside as a relic of American fundamentalism.
  • Drinking alcohol without celebrating the Cross and Kingdom is theologically anemic.
  • Abusing alcohol mocks the blood of Christ and scoffs at God’s holiness.
  • But moderate, intentional, celebratory and reflective drinking of wine and beer, which contemplates the crucified and risen King and anticipates our future glory, is rooted in the grace that poured from Christ’s veins on Calvary.

I originally wrote this post for in 2014. : Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

Does unfermented wine have alcohol?

Unfermented wine is the only true natural ‘fruit of the vine,’ containing approximately 20% sugar and no alcohol. Fermentation destroys much of the sugar and alters what the vine produced.

What Bible talks about alcohol?

Drunkenness – Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, “The sin of drunkenness, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible,” though some suggest it was a “vice of the wealthy rather than of the poor.” Biblical interpreters generally agree that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures condemn ordinary drunkenness as a serious spiritual and moral failing in passages such as these (all from the New International Version ):

  • Proverbs 23:20 f: “Do not mix with winebibbers, or gluttonous eaters of meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
  • Isaiah 5:11 f: “Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the L ORD, no respect for the work of his hands.”
  • Galatians 5:19–21 : “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
  • Ephesians 5:18 : “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

The consequences of the drunkenness of Noah and Lot “were intended to serve as examples of the dangers and repulsiveness of intemperance.” The title character in the Book of Judith uses the drunkenness of the Assyrian general Holofernes to behead him in a heroic victory for the Jewish people and an embarrassing defeat for the general, who had schemed to seduce Judith.

  1. One of the original sections of 1 Esdras describes a debate among three courtiers of Darius I of Persia over whether wine, the king, or women (but above all the truth) is the strongest.
  2. The argument for wine does not prevail in the contest, but it provides a vivid description of the ancients’ view of the power wine can wield in excessive quantity.

A disputed but important passage is Proverbs 31:4–7, Some Christians assert that alcohol was prohibited to kings at all times, while most interpreters contend that only its abuse is in view here. Some argue that the latter instructions regarding the perishing should be understood as sarcasm when compared with the preceding verses, while others contend the beer and wine are intended as a cordial to raise the spirits of the perishing, while some suggest that the Bible is here authorizing alcohol as an anesthetic,

Is it against the Bible to get piercings?

Is Body Piercing a Sin? – Body piercing and modification, in general, is a topic of contention even in modern-day society due to religious and/or conservative beliefs. Christianity In the context of Christianity, many people believe that body piercing is sinful, whereas others believe it is allowed in their religion.

Within the Christian community, there are debates around interpreting passages of the Bible to either allow or forbid body piercing. Some Christians who are against body piercing use the “Book of Leviticus” to support the view that body piercing is a sin, arguing that you “should never mark your body”.

While others read the same Book and interpret the marking of the body as more figurative than literal. In a similar vein, there is much debate around the Christian concept of seeing “our bodies as a Temple” to be treated with respect and kindness. Some, again, interpret this as not marking or changing your body with modifications such as piercings.

Whereas many Christians don’t see piercings as “disruptive” or negative to the body, but rather as something that adds to the body’s beauty. There is a Christian belief that partaking in activities or a lifestyle that one believes to be a sin indeed makes the act a sin, even if it’s not objectively clear or “fact” than the act is a sin.

Believing body piercing is a sin and doing it anyway, makes it a sin – essentially, a self-fulfilling prophecy. This highlights the subjectiveness of piercing attitudes in a religious context. Ultimately, much of the Christian debate around body piercing, tattoos, and other modifications boils down to personal interpretation of scripture and concepts.

  1. Some see piercings as self-expression and not “marking your body,” whereas others see piercing as a sin that goes against the Bible’s teachings.
  2. Neither opinion can be right or wrong, merely personal preference and interpretation.
  3. Cultural Stigma That said, views of piercing as “sinful” can have a knock-on cultural effect in the West and lead to discrimination against those with tattoos and piercings.
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Even non-religious anti-piercing opinions are popular in modern-day UK, particularly in professional and business contexts. According to in 2019, 76% of survey respondents felt that piercings and tattoos can/will hurt a job applicant’s chances of being hired, with 55% of respondents reporting that visible body piercings are always inappropriate at work.

  • The same survey concluded that older age correlates with intolerance of body modification, with the younger generation more likely to have piercings and be more tolerant of colleagues with piercings and tattoos.
  • With more young people getting body piercings, especially with celebrities getting in on the trends, the taboo is starting to break.

Non-Western Views It’s important to note that this is an extremely Westernised view of piercing taboo. In many cultures, piercing is part of traditions dating hundreds or thousands of years back, and not taboo at all. Ear and nose piercings are the most globally popular piercings, even dating back 5,000 years with mummified remains found to have ear piercings.

Tongue and lip piercings are growing in popularity in the modern day, but did you know that African and Native American tribal cultures have incorporated these piercings into their cultural practices for many years? Is Body Piercing a Sin? The most accurate answer to “is body piercing a sin?” is perhaps “it depends on who you ask.” Remember that what you do with your body is your business, no one else’s.

If you want to pierce your ears, nose, face, bellybutton, wrist do it! If you ask yourself “is body piercing a sin?” and you answer “not to me” – that’s all that should matter.

What kind of wine was in the Bible?

Story highlights – The Bible is full of references to wine, but it doesn’t say what kind Archaeology is helping to identify the grapes used to make wine in Jesus’ day “We are talking about grapes that were here for thousands of years,” one winemaker says Jerusalem CNN — The Bible is full of references to wine: Noah gets drunk on it after the flood.

Jesus turns water into wine. It is praised in Ecclesiastes and reviled in Proverbs. Yet nowhere in Scripture is the type of wine identified – until now. A small but growing number of wineries in Israel and the West Bank are trying to recreate the wine of the Bible, combining ancient grape varietals with modern science to identify and produce the wine consumed thousands of years ago in the Holy Land.

“People are very enthusiastic about drinking a wine that King David had on his table, or for the same matter, Jesus or any other biblical figure,” says Eliyashiv Drori, who started a boutique winery near his home in a West Bank settlement. “They all grew here, they all lived here, and they all ate and drank wine here.” Drori, a wine researcher at the Samaria Regional R & D Center at Ariel University, examines preserved grapeseeds found in archaeological digs to identify the types of grapes used to make wine.

He says there were different varieties of wine in biblical times: red and white, dry and sweet. But he says they likely didn’t make wine from specific grapes, such as modern-day cabernet sauvignon and merlot. His research has identified 120 varieties of grapes unique to the region, of which about 20 are suitable for making wine.

“For me, reconnecting to that is actually reconnecting to our roots, to our history, to the way of life of our ancestors. That’s a big thing for me,” Drori says. Winemaking was strictly limited in the Holy Land for hundreds of years under the Ottoman Empire.

The grapes that survived were table grapes, but not all table grapes make good wine. When Baron Edmond de Rothschild restarted Israel’s wine industry in the 1880s, he did so with grapes imported from France. Today, Israel’s 300 or so wineries produce 36 million bottles of wine. Winemakers say imported grapes will only take the wine industry so far.

Indigenous grapes bring new marketing potential to local winemakers. Recanati Winery in northern Israel has started making wine from marawi grapes, The winery makes 1 million bottles of wine a year. So far, only 2,500 bottles are marawi, but the owners hope the new old wine takes off.

This marawi is our own unique, indigenous species that’s been grown in Israel for hundreds of years. This is our chance to bring something new to the world and to show the world that we are innovative and we have tradition in this industry,” says Recanati winemaker Gil Shatsberg. Recanati’s bottle has English, Hebrew, and Arabic on the label as a way of acknowledging the different people behind the wine.

“Since the grape is Arabic origin and the grower is Palestinian, we gave respect for everybody,” says Recanati CEO Noam Yacoby. In the valley between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the cities that mark the beginning of Christ’s life and the end, Cremisan Winery was the first to make wine using only grapes indigenous to the region, starting in 2008.

  1. It uses grapes such as dabouki, hamdani, jandali and baladi.
  2. These are not well-known types of wine, but Cremisan hopes that will change.
  3. In the highly competitive wine market, offering a unique product can make a major difference.
  4. To stay strong in the market, you need unique wines such as these,” says Ziad Bitar, sales manager for Cremisan.

“We are talking about grapes that were here for thousands of years. We weren’t here, but we can imagine that they drank this type of wine.” His winemaker, Fadi Batarseh, chimes in: “And we hope that Jesus is happy with our wine!”