There had been different debates on the topic of “is it good to drink as a Christian?” Why does the Bible say not to drink? This debate, however, has not been dissolved as some people stick to the side of drinking is not bad or drinking is not a sin. In most denominations, drinking is prohibited and it was tagged a sin.
As Christians, we must not base our idea on mere thought but based on the scriptures. It would be nice if we can check the scriptures to know what God is saying concerning drinking. The reason why some churches forbid their members from drinking alcohol is that they have abused it.
Why does the Bible say not to Drink?
Why does the Bible Say not to Drink?
“If, then, wine does not nourish us, does not assist the decomposition of food, does not warm, does not strengthen, what does it do? We all know that, when we drink alcoholic liquor, it affects the brain immediately. Most of us are aware, too, that it affects the brain injuriously, lessening at once its power to discern and discriminate.”Parton, James – Smoking and Drinking
To examine the reason why the bible advised not to take wine, we need to know if the bible tagged it a sin or not. For the fact that the bible advised that one should not drink alcohol doesn’t mean the bible called it a sin. After a careful examination of the bible, we will be mentioning what the bible says about alcohol. In every country, there are laws for drinking alcohol.
In some countries, the age limit for alcohol is 18, some countries 21 while some countries are against it. the bible, however, talked about obeying the rules, the authorities.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and those which exist are established by God.”Rom. 13:1, NASB
After getting to the age, should we start taking it? There are many things that the Bible says about strong drink. It is a blessing according to Amos 9:14. This might sound strange. When God promised the Israelites restoration from captivity, he said they would plant vineyards and then drink the wine from it. it means God will cause their vineyards to yield good fruit. There is no place in the bible that drinking alcohol was directly called a sin.
It is good for health. Paul wrote to Timothy and advised that he takes alcohol once a while because of his health.
“No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”1 Tim. 5:23, NASB
We cannot ignore the fact that many people use this opportunity, what was written in this bible to get drunk. Many people have talked about the kind of wine that Paul advised Timothy to take. It is believed that it is not alcoholic wine. Paul would never say something contrary to the words against drunkenness in the bible.
If drinking is not completely tagged as a sin, then what are the reasons why the bible forbids drinking?
Drunkenness leads to debauchery
One of the reasons why the bible advised against drunkenness is that it leads to the loss of moral values, it leads to immorality. People under the influence of alcohol do misbehave and this leads to some sort of immorality. It might not be a sin to drink but drinking to stupor will surely lead to sin. If anyone does not have the fruit of the Spirit, self-control, it is always hard to stay out of sin that comes with drinking. Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
Sometimes, it is not on the mind of one to drink too much but temptations and greed will make one continue till drunkenness comes in. This is what the bible is saying, if you cannot control it or deal with the consequences, you should stay away from it. Instead of wasting time drinking, you can seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit which is better in all ways. Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-21.
Offend others or cause others to sin
Paul was talking to the Christians in Rome about not causing other people to fall through what they ear or drink. He was also advised that if what they do will offend others, they should make sure they don’t get into that thing. Romans 14:21 “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” If one of our goals as Christians and God’s workers presented as a living sacrifice is to make sure that people are saved through Christ, why should we do what will make them sin or go deeper in sin?
If we want to continue expanding the Gospel and the Kingdom of God, then we must not do what will reduce it. In recent times, people don’t look at the bible first, they read the Christians and then wish to be like them. You have to set a good example for them.
To avoid misuse of power
When one is under the influence of alcohol, anything can be done anything can be said. Alcohol affects the emotions or the thought of someone. It pushes people to do what they are most supposed to do. The mother of Lemuel, a king in the Bible, advised her son on the consumption of the strong drink.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”Proverbs 31:4-5
Here, one more piece of advice was given. It says “Give strong drink to who is perishing”, there is one reason why someone perishing should take a strong drink. An example is someone who just lost everything, maybe money, family. This situation brings overthinking and it may lead to depression.
“Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.”Proverbs 31:7
Even though the bible says, it will help to ease emotional pain which comes from loss, I have not seen where alcohol has solved this kind of problem. One will not be intoxicated for life. Soon, the effect of the alcohol will be over and the thoughts would be back. So, to avoid using power or authority given to us in the wrong way, it is important to avoid drinking.
It causes excess talking and lies
There is something the bible says about talking too much in Proverbs 10:19 “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” When some people get drunk, they speak uncontrollably. Out of these things they say, it is impossible not to find “sin” there.
“Do not look on the wine when it is red When it sparkles in the cup When it goes down smoothly; At the last, it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things.”Proverbs 23:31-33
Talking too much could destroy so many things especially when under the influence of alcohol. It can destroy a friendship, marriages, family, or even the church. When one is drunk, there are possibilities of speaking out some secrets that are not meant to be disclosed. Lastly, this can put someone in trouble.
It leads to poverty
“Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.”Proverbs 23:20-21
This verse is saying, drinking too much will lead to poverty. It is nothing but the truth. It is associated with mismanagement of finance. There have been cases of people spending more than they budgeted because they were drunk. Getting drunk every time brings laziness too. One becomes too weak to work and when this comes in, it becomes the road to poverty.
* All Bible verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).