I never really actually wanted to write this blog. In fact, I put it off for years now. Why? Well partially because I don’t like confrontation and I’m a recovering people pleaser! lol. I knew this one would be a controversial article.
So why did I decide to finally write it? Well here’s the deal, as much as I may not want to really be offensive, this subject of alcohol consumption seems to come up over and over. Since my I lead a ministry with my husband that many people follow, and many people trust my teachings, they reach out to me time and time again to ask what our position is on this topic.
Christians argue and divide over this topic everyday, so I want to state this up front: I refuse to be divided over this subject. If you’ve studied the Bible and come to a different conclusion than I have, then you’re welcome to your opinion. This article is my position on this subject based off of 10+ years of studying the Bible and seeking God on the issue.
My husband and I do drink alcohol sometimes. We see no problem with Christians responsibly consuming alcohol with moderation and using wisdom.
We believe the Bible supports this, and that is the real subject that I want to discuss. My opinion is completely useless if it’s not supported by the Bible, so let’s jump right in.
When I first got saved I was strongly opposed to any alcohol consumption for Christians. I was taught that it was wrong and that was that. I changed my stance on drinking after studying the things that I will present to you here in this article.
We entered the ministry about 10 years ago as youth pastors, and all the leaders who we worked with at that time also opposed alcohol consumption. We were taught that during the times that Jesus walked the earth, the wine didn’t have any alcohol content at all, or at least that it was much less than the wine that exists today.
First of all, Jesus and the disciples all drank wine that did contain alcohol, and I can back that up with scripture.
In fact, Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine. The Bible is very specific about this miracle. So specific in fact that we know from the wording that Jesus did change the water into wine with alcohol content. Jesus turned the water into STRONG wine.
John 2: 2-10 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Now there were set there six water pots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”
So what was being said here? When the master of the feast tasted of the wine, he praised the bridegroom by saying that NORMALLY when a large party is thrown, the host will start with the good wine, the strong wine, and then when everyone is good and buzzed, they then present the weaker (cheaper) wine. Unlike those hosts, the bridegroom was being praised for saving this good stronger wine until last, not knowing that it was actually JESUS who performed a miracle by turning the water into wine.
Based off this story alone, I think it’s super safe to say not only that Jesus didn’t condemn alcohol consumption, but also that the alcohol did indeed contain alcohol.
In fact, the art of pasteurizing grape juice in order to stop the fermentation process was not even in existence until 1869 when Thomas Welch invented this method.
I’ve heard other arguments that based off of Ephesians 5:17, Christians should not consume alcohol.
Ephesians 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…..
To that I would reply that there’s a big difference between drinking wine, and drinking to get drunk. I would agree that there are risks involved with getting drunk. Judgement can be impaired, and people can make regrettable decisions. My response is that people should use wisdom.
Also I would caution that people who have struggled with alcoholism should use proper wisdom and discernment. If I were counseling someone who maybe just got saved, or maybe they only now just decided to break the addiction of alcohol in their life, I would counsel them to abstain from wine completely AT LEAST for an extended season. It may be that this person abstains from alcohol for the rest of their life, and if they need to then they absolutely should.
I also recommend that Christians who do consume alcohol should not be purposefully offensive, nor should they be a stumbling block to their brother or sister. If you know that your friend struggles with alcohol addiction, it is unwise and unloving to *knowingly* drink in front of them, because it could trigger them to fall back into the addiction they seek freedom from.
In 1 Timothy 5:23, the Apostle Paul writes Timothy with lots of sound wisdom and various instructions. One of those instructions I find very interesting in light of the discussion we are having here today.
1 Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
Paul is instructing Timothy not just to drink water, but also drink some wine for his stomach issues. This actually makes sense, nutritionally speaking. Here’s why: In your stomach there are bacteria. This is called gut flora. To have a healthy gut flora, you need a good balance of healthy bacteria in your stomach. Wine and other fermented foods/drinks contain probiotics, which are live microorganisms (bacteria) that may be able to help prevent and treat some illnesses.
Nowadays there are other ways to get probiotics other than wine, but this verse does offer us an example of one of Jesus’s early disciples condoning alcohol consumption.
The idea that alcohol consumption is sinful is very unique to the United States. My Christian ministry friends who live in other parts of the world scratch their head with the oddity of demonizing alcohol to the point that it is when the Bible does speak quite candidly on the topic. There are plenty of reasons to choose not to consume alcohol, but the “Bible forbidding it” is not one of them.
I do not write any of this in order to try to convince anyone to drink alcohol, or to condone my own alcohol consumption. I couldn’t care less whether people approve or not because I feel it is a private issue, however I do want to dispel some myths that circulate within the Christian churches.
If you do prefer to abstain from alcohol, I want you to know that I support that decision completely. What I do not support is the teaching that the Bible forbids alcohol consumption or that it is a sin for Christians to drink alcohol. Based off of the specific scriptures I presented here in this article, that is untrue and is not rooted in truth.
God bless you as you walk in all wisdom and truth.
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