Is it possible for Christians to drink a little alcohol?
Your subscribers can download my ebook, Alcoholism and Its Cure
There was alcoholism on both sides of my family. My father died in his
thirties partly as a result of alcoholism. My mother's brother was an
alcoholic. Later in life, my mother told me that she had prayed for the Lord
to use me in the fight against alcoholism.
Dr. John E. Russell
Some take the words for wine to mean ‘grape
juice.’ If this were so, then why would there be prohibitions against
drunkenness? One cannot get drunk on grape juice. Further, Jesus’ first miracle
was changing the water into wine at the wedding of Cana in Galilee. He made
between 120 and 180 gallons of wine! Even if this had been grape juice, it would
soon turn to wine because the fermentation process would immediately begin. But
it most certainly was not grape juice: the head waiter in John 2:10 said, “Every
man sets out the good wine first, then after the guests have drunk freely, the
poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” The verb translated
‘drunk freely’ is almost always used of getting drunk (and is so translated in
the NRSV here).
In the least, the people at this wedding
feast, if not drunk, would certainly be drinking alcohol fairly freely (if not,
this verb means something here that is nowhere else attested). And this makes
perfect sense in the context: The reason why a man brings out the poorer wine
later is because the good wine has numbed the senses a bit. Grape juice would
hardly mask anything. Note also Acts 2:13—”they are full of sweet wine”—an
inaccurate comment made about the apostles when they began speaking in tongues,
as though this explained their unusual behavior. The point is: If they were full
of grape juice would this comment even have made any sense at all? That would be
like saying, “Well, they’re all acting strange and silly because they have had
too much orange juice this morning!”
There are other references to alcoholic
beverages in the Bible: Several times in the first books of the Bible, wine and
strong drink are prohibited to those who take a Nazarite vow (cf. Num 6, Judges
13). Even grape juice and fresh and dried grapes (i.e., raisins, as the NIV
renders the word) are prohibited to the Nazarite (Numbers 6:3)! But that
restriction is only for those who make this vow. If someone today wants to claim
that believers do not have the right to drink alcohol on the analogy of a
Nazarite vow (as some today are fond of doing), they also should say that
believers ought not to eat Raisin Bran!
Further, the Bible at times speaks very harshly about becoming enslaved to drink
or allowing it to control a person, especially to the point of drunkenness.
Proverbs 20:1—“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is
intoxicated by it is not wise” (NASB). Cf. also Prov 21:17 (where heavy drinking
and gluttony are equally condemned); 1 Sam 1:14; Isa 5:11, 22; 28:1 (drunkenness
is condemned); 28:7; 29:9; 56:12; Jer 23:9; 51:7; Joel 3:3. In the New Testament
notice: Eph 5:18 (“do not get drunk with wine”); 1 Tim 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7
([elders and deacons ought not be] “addicted to wine or strong drink”); Titus
2:3 (older women, who would serve as role models to the younger ones, must not
be addicted to wine). As well, numerous passages use wine or drunkenness in an
analogy about God’s wrath, immorality, etc. (cf. Rev. 14:8, 10; 16:19; 17:2;
At the same time, there are several neutral, almost casual references to
alcoholic beverages. Genesis 14:18 refers to Melchizedek, a type of Christ, as
offering wine to Abram; Nehemiah 2:1 refers to the king drinking wine (Nehemiah
was required to taste it first to make sure it was not poisoned); Esther 5:6;
7:1-2 speaks of wine that Esther (the godly Jewess) drank with the king; Job
1:13 refers to righteous Job’s family drinking wine; Daniel 10:3 speaks of
drinking wine as a blessing after a time of fasting. Some of Jesus’ parables are
about wine, wineskins, vineyards (Matt 9:17; 21:33; even John 15 speaks of God
the Father as the vinedresser!). Paul tells Timothy to drink some wine for his
stomach’s sake and not just water (1 Tim 5:23).
There are, as well, positive statements about alcoholic beverages: Deut 14:26
implies that it is a good thing to drink wine and strong drink to the Lord: “And
you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or
wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat
in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household” (NASB).
Psalm 4:7 compares joy in the Lord to the abundance of wine; Psalm 104:14-15
credits God as the creator of wine that “makes a man’s heart glad” (cf. also Hos
2:8); honoring the Lord with one’s wealth is rewarded with the blessings of
abundant stores of wine (Prov 3:10); love is compared to wine repeatedly in the
Song of Songs, as though good wine were similarly sweet (1:2, 4; 4:10; 7:9). The
Lord prepares a banquet with “well-aged wines... and fine, well-aged wines” for
his people (Isa 25:6) [obviously this cannot be grape juice, for aging does
nothing but ferment it!].
All in all...........the Bible doesn't prohibit alcohol per sa, BUT it does
prohibit indulging excessively. MAY ALL BE BLESSED.
This topic has been debated for ages in the Christian community.
Positions range between total abstinence and drinking in moderation. Let us have
a look at some of the arguments. Before I go any further I must point out that
the answer to this question will rest with the conscience of the individual. It
is not something I intend to make a hard and fast rule about because I do not
believe the bible does so. Recommendation, sure. But not a hard and fast rule.
The bible has both good and bad things to say about wine. This can be easily
explained by understanding that the word we call 'wine' refers to both alcoholic
and non alcoholic drinks made from grape juice. The term 'strong drink' refers
to alcoholic beverages made from other than grape juice such as honey and dates.
The people used to boil the fresh grape juice into a syrup which would keep
indefinitely in that form and as required, add the syrup to water in the same
way we do cordial. This formed the standard 'wine' that was consumed for
pleasure (as we do soft drink) and with meals.
That the people also made and used alcoholic wine goes without question. All the
warnings in the bible about wine are associated with this alcoholic beverage,
and other drinks labelled 'strong drink'. They are numerous and explicit. There
is a record of priests (sons of Aaron) being fried by God for entering the
temple after drinking.
Any arguments that alcoholic wine may have been consumed by Jesus or made by Him
suffer credibility when one considers that leaven (yeast) was a symbol of sin
and was forbidden to be associated with the Passover service. God would not ban
leaven in their bread at this time and then permit it in their wine. Jesus
became our Passover and any association of alcohol with Him must therefore be
Those who support moderation with alcohol quite rightly quote the following
verses from the bible.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of
an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath [days]:
We have complete freedom in Jesus Christ to eat and drink and may make our own
decisions about what we consume. I agree. However with eating it is obvious from
medical evidence that the food laws should be taken as good advice. Again for
medical reasons the use of alcohol in anything but small quantities would be
unwise. However, the Christian's main consideration is not for the good of self,
but for the good of others.
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this
rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [his]
The Christian sets an example to others and must be responsible and not set an
example that might cause another to stumble. Even though it might be OK from
one's personal point of view to drink a little alcohol, will your doing so cause
another to think they may do the same?, and that person have a problem with it?
1Cr 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
glory of God.
Abuse of alcohol is one of the most significant factors in poor health, crime
and sin, marriage breakdown, domestic violence and ungodly behavior in the world
today. It would be difficult for a Christian to justify consumption of even a
'little' alcohol for other than medicinal reasons, in light of this epidemic of
misuse of the drug.
1Cr 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is
called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a
drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1Cr 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
So I will support your right to use a little alcohol if you in conscience know
that you are in control and do not have a problem with it, that in drinking it
you are bringing glory to God, (???) and in doing so will not be setting a bad
example to any other, a child for instance, who may later develop into a
drunkard and be lost. On the other hand, should you decide that to do so
presents too much of a risk to the eternal security of others, and that the
safest path for a Christian is to abstain completely, even though it may for
you, not be a sin, I will support you too.
Should you have a problem with alcohol and wish to be delivered, please answer
'The Savior's Call' in this newsletter.
P.S. If anyone wants to study on the matter
in detail, I have information available on request
If we change that question to "Is it possible
to do a little sin for a Christian ?" The answer is "No!" By possible, you
really mean permissible. There should be nothing between us and Jesus. God
Yes it is possible for a Christian to have a
little wine. "A little wine makes the heart glad".
Well, the bible says we cannot serve two
masters.. we will love one and hate the other. sure wish I could say where it is
in the bible. . pray for me so I can do that. can we serve the House of Bacchus
(the partying god, the spirits); liquor stores are called the house of spirits.
when you imbibe, that alcohol spirit opens you up, makes you loose. Uninhibits
opens you up to a spirit realm where other entities can come in. I know
Christians who I have seen drink champagne. I was in their presence and could
not do it;. one was a minister, another a missionary. two of us did not drink. I
did not judge them, just did not partake. I think in all things though we need
to go before the throne of grace and mercy and ask the Lord to tell us why or
why not for us.