Summary: There is great debate on whether Christians should consume alcohol. Here is why I choose not to drink, even though this is a matter of Christian liberty.
In the Bible there is much ambiguity involved with the topic of drinking. In fact it is so ambiguous that it falls under realm of a matter of opinion. However, I think it is important for us to determine whether a Christian should drink. Before I begin it is important to further clarify that the Bible never straight out condemns drinking, and there is no “thus saith the Lord”, therefore it is a matter of opinion.
I have been asked many times whether or not a Christian should drink. This is one of the toughest questions I have had to deal with in responding. Of course I want to tell the truth and nothing more and nothing less. I do not want to allow something that God wouldn’t and I don’t want to condemn something that God didn’t.
It is agreed among all Christians that drunkenness is wrong, but the idea of social drinking is a hot topic.
Many say that drinking is in fact promoted in the Bible; I want to say tonight, that while drinking is not condemned, it is not promoted either.
In the Restoration Movement there came an idea which stated that we must obey the direct commands recorded in the Bible and we should also follow the principles that are found in the Bible. While drinking is never condemned, I would tonight like to look at some principles that speak to us on this issue.
First, I would like to clear up some misconceptions that are common regarding this topic.
1) Jesus made intoxicating wine in the miracle at Cana
a. Jesus would have been guilty of sin had he made intoxicating wine – Habakkuk 2:15
b. Jesus made what was described as “good wine”. Unfermented wine was regarded as better by all who lived during that time; this is evident from many of the Roman historians.
2) Jesus drank since he was called in Luke 7:31-35 a winebibber
a. In the same passage they accused Jesus of gluttony and charged John the Baptist as having a demon, real credible!
3) Since Paul instructed Timothy to drink wine, it is alright
a. It was clearly for medicinal reasons
I would like to share tonight my reasons for not drinking. Again, this is my opinion. I am simply trying to learn the truth and teach the truth, and I hope that we all can come to a conclusion on this matter so that we can be closer to the Lord.
Text: Proverbs 23:20-21; 29-35
I. For the Lord’s sake
One reason I will not drink alcohol is for the Lord. We all want to grow and be as close to the Lord as we can, and sometimes that means giving up certain things. We can debate all day whether we can drink alcohol or not, but we want to make sure that we are not doing something just to take advantage of a liberty we may have in Christ.
Many people seem to like to walk very closely on the line of right and wrong. I have heard and seen many people doing anything they can, coming as close to wrong as they can. The truth is we need to run from that line, because when we are close to the line we are closer to Satan’s targets.
In the Old Testament the priests were forbidden to consume alcohol when they were on their priestly duty. We as Christians are all priests 24/7, we are always on duty. I think this is symbolic of how we ought to live. We are priests and need to make sure that our minds are always alert so that we can focus on the Lord.
We as Christians need to strive to do right; we all should desire to be right with the Lord. Let us make sure that we examine ourselves to make sure there is no offensive way.
I like to play things safely. The scripture is vague on the matter of social drinking, but I sure do not want to test the Lord. I don’t want to be doing something and in reality it is wrong. So as for me I choose to run from the line and make sure that I am not doing wrong.
I Timothy 3:3 and 8
Leaders in the church are called not to drink, is that because they are called to a higher moral standard?
Shouldn’t we all strive for that standard?
Let us strive to come closer to the Lord, and make sure there is no offensive way in us. There is nothing wrong with making high standards!
II. For others sake
It is very important that we be mindful of how our actions will affect others. Everything that we do has some affect on other people. We especially need to pay attention to the things we do in regard to how it affects our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul makes very clear in Romans that it is not worth doing anything if it will cause our brothers to stumble. We must face the reality that others cans tumble simply by watching us participate in certain actions. Much about drinking is not clear in scripture, but I believe that this principle makes it clear that it is not worth consuming alcohol for our brother’s sake. The truth is if we are strong enough to handle drinking spiritually we should be strong enough and caring enough to give that freedom up for the sake of those who are not as strong.