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Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 4 Apr
  • COMMENTS
Should Christians Drink Alcohol?
Perhaps you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or a bottle of beer on a hot summer afternoon. You never drink enough to get drunk -- the thought of impairing your mind and dealing with an ugly hangover repulses you -- yet sometimes you feel guilty. Is God disappointed when you reach for an alcoholic drink?

Here are some principles to keep in mind when considering whether or not to drink alcohol:

  • Remember that alcohol is part of God's creation, and as such, it can either be used well or abused. Just as people have abused the gifts of food, sex, and money, people have also abused alcohol, causing great destruction in the process. Alcohol itself is not intrinsically bad; the way in which it is often used is bad. Approach alcohol with an attitude of wise stewardship.

  • Know that the Bible clearly and strongly condemns drunkenness.

  • Know that alcohol can be used in beneficial ways, such as for communion during church and for medicinal purposes. Remember that Christ drank alcohol, and His first public miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding feast. Christians are free to enjoy alcoholic beverages, but choosing to do so may not prove beneficial to some people.

  • Think and pray about whether you should choose to drink. Consider whether you have a family history of alcoholism, whether you suffer from health problems that would be exacerbated by consuming alcohol, whether you might lead someone close to you astray by indulging in alcohol, and whatever other issues God brings to your mind.

  • If you do decide to drink, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you exactly what limits you should place on your drinking, since every person's tolerance for alcohol is different. Then pray for the grace to remain faithful to those limits.

Adapted from God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., copyright 2001 by Gentry Family Trust. Published by Oakdown, Lincoln, Ca., www.oakdown.com.

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Costa Mesa, Ca., is the author of 12 books and numerous journal articles on various theological subjects, including prophecy and Christian living.

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