Should Christians drink alcohol?

This is something that has been argued back and forth for many years. The first section of this article is written by David R Brumbelow, the second half is written by myself.

Alcohol is condemned in the Bible.

Today many are saying that while the Bible condemns drunkenness, it never condemns the moderate use of alcohol. They say that good Christians can be biblically free to enjoy a glass of wine, or a beer on the weekends. Well, does the Bible condemn beverage alcohol? Of course it does. It condemns it both directly and indirectly.

The Old Testament tells us not to drink.Proverbs 23:29-35 gives a detailed description of fermented, intoxicating wine and its effects. King Solomon is the divinely inspired writer. And Solomon, the smartest man in the world, said not to even look on that kind of wine (v. 31). What kind of wine? The kind he is describing, the intoxicating kind. Don’t even look at it. That is a direct command against beverage alcohol.

By the way, unfermented wine does not fit the Proverbs 23 description. At the last, non-alcoholic wine does not bite like a serpent and sting like an adder (Proverbs 23:32). That is why God commends some wine (the unfermented kind) and condemns other wine (the fermented, poisonous kind).

There was not a word for “alcohol” in Bible times. So, what did Solomon do? He described an alcoholic drink by its characteristics and effects. Proverbs 20:1 also condemns this kind of wine.

The New Testament tells us not to drink.1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 commands us to be “sober.” It even contrasts drunkenness with sobriety. Any amount of alcohol make us less than sober. Moderately drink, and you will be moderately sober. Alcoholics Anonymous will be glad to explain to you that sober means no alcohol in any amount.

The New Testament (NT) portion of the Bible was originally written in the Greek language. One of the NT Greek words translated sober (or watchful) is “nepho.” W. E. Vine says of nepho, “Signifies to be free from the influence of intoxicants.” -Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee; 1997, p. 1057. Nepho literally means “wineless.”

God’s Word commands us to be sober (nepho) in 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 2 Timothy 4:5, 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8. Some have curiously argued that nepho has nothing to do with drinking, it simply means sober minded or sound minded. The reply is obvious. How can you be sober minded, how can you have a clear head, when you are drinking in any amount? Sober means sober; therefore it means no intoxicating drugs. “Sober” may not only refer to beverage alcohol, but it certainly includes it. What a contrast to those who brazenly say that God wants Christians to enjoy the “buzz” that is given by alcohol.

God commands us to be sober, not half sober. The first drink of alcohol ends your sobriety. The first drink of alcohol adversely affects your judgment and your reaction time. A Defensive Driving instructor said, “The first drink affects your judgment. Therefore if you have taken any amount of alcohol, you are unqualified to judge whether you are able to drive.” This instructor freely admitted to drinking. So, even one who was a social drinker, recognized the immediate effect alcohol has on the mind.

How can anyone drink a recreational, intoxicating, mind altering drug and then claim that they are obeying the command of God to be sober? Alcohol has caused untold damage, death, and heartache in this world. Stay away from alcohol like you would stay away from a venomous snake.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” -1 Peter 5:8

-David R. Brumbelow

Here are some of my thoughts,

Question: if Jesus turned water into wine, why can’t we drink wine?

Answer: As you saw in my last post about Alcohol, it is clearly wrong. In reference to my video/ post about baptismal regeneration when there is a story that seemingly contradicts a clear command always base your beliefs off of the clear command and study the story to understand the meaning of it. So let’s look at this story shall we…

So in John 2 Jesus turns the water into wine for his first miracle. Let’s look at what vs 10 says. John 2:9b-10 “…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.”

 Here are some things to understand:

1. The term grape juice did not exist. All juice that came from the vine, fermented and unfermented, was called wine.

2. The term “good wine” or “new wine” almost always refers to unfermented wine. (A quick check in a Greek lexicon will help you determine the difference)

The word (good) in this passage is the Greek word ‘kalon’, which comes from the Greek word ‘kalos’. According to Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, ‘kalos’ denotes “that which is intrinsically (I.e., belonging to the real nature of a thing; inherent in itself) good and ethically right” and speaks of that which is “unspoiled, untainted, and unfermented” (i.e. the pure blood of the grape).

Seeing that the exact same word is used to describe Christ in John 10:11,14, it’s quite obvious that Christ turned the water into the purest (kalos) form of grape juice (Ephesians 5:18 and Prov 23:31 & 20:1)

Outside of medicinal purposes mentioned in Proverbs 31:6, nothing good ever comes from drinking alcohol. (Gen 9:20-24 & Acts 2:15)

Now just looking at this verse without looking at the Greek I can see that he did not turn the water into fermented wine. In parties at that time they always drank unfermented wine first while they were sober so they could enjoy it. Then after the “good” wine was gone they would drink the fermented wine. Hence why they asked why they had saved the “good” wine till the end of the party.

In conclusion I don’t believe God would have us to drink alcohol for any social purposes. All I ask is that you put aside cultural norms and take God at his word. Are you willing to put aside pleasure to honor God? To many Christians refuse to inconvenience themselves to live a truly holy lifestyle.

 

2 Comments

  1. I agree with your observations.
    I think our enemy uses alcohol and drugs to give people an illusion of the Spirit.
    Unfortunately people get hooked on this illusion and ruin their lives and hurt others in the process.
    It is the Devil’s biggest weapon in the community I live in. The young people are dying from addiction daily.

    Liked by 1 person

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