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The Bible and drinking

Does it say anything in the Bible about drinking? Is it OK for Christians to drink?

 Hi, and thanks for your question,

We’ve answered this question before, here is what we wrote:

Previously, it was not normal for Christians to drink alcohol. Today, some Christians choose to drink, and others choose not to. The Bible does not say it is a sin to drink, but it says very clearly that it is wrong to get drunk. ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit …’ (Ephesians 5:18).

Alcohol is actually a poison that affects the central nervous system. It changes your mood, reduces your self-control and sense of judgment, and increases impulsive and risk-taking behaviour. It also leads to memory loss and a reduced sense of awareness. Alcohol is very damaging to our society, as it impacts individuals, families and their surroundings. It is our biggest socio-medical problem.

We should view alcohol not only in terms of ourselves, but in holistic terms of what is best for me, my family, people around me and society. My choices have an impact on others, and because of this moderate drinking can actually be the biggest problem. It is easy to distance yourself from drunkenness, but then those who drink in moderation may be seen as good role models. However, the phrase ‘in moderation’ doesn’t really help us as different people interpret it in different ways. For some people, ‘in moderation’ means a lager on a Friday evening, or two glasses of red wine. Other people would interpret the same phrase as meaning drinking a lot during the weekend, but not during the week. People who drink in moderation are the biggest problem for former alcoholics, as it is so difficult for them to find a totally safe environment. It’s really sad when even Christian environments aren’t safe. A lot of people feel an even greater pressure to drink in a Christian environment as people there often use several arguments to justify drinking, so it becomes even more difficult to be accepted as teetotal.

The apostle Paul challenges us to be good examples for others and take their weaknesses into account. Let’s make sure our own freedom doesn’t cause others to fall into sin (Titus 2:6–7; Romans 14:21). That’s why we need lots more sober people on the streets! We need more people who order a Coke, thus making it easier for other people to resist the pressure to drink. Our drinking habits have an impact on other people. It would be best if we could have a young generation who would make it less normal to drink alcohol.

Although the Bible does not say that it is sin to drink wine, it does say a lot about not making a problem for others, and this is important for Christians to think about.


You might also like the following answer: Alcohol and feeling lonely as a Christian.


Best wishes


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