Alcohol"Should Christians drink alcohol?"

This question has caused a fair bit of heated discussion over the centuries. Obviously, alcohol abuse does a lot of damage in our society and drunkenness needs to be avoided by any Christ-follower. But should a Christian totally abstain from all alcoholic beverages or is it okay to drink in moderation?

For many years our church required all leaders to abstain from alcohol, for a variety of reasons. Back in 2004, we reviewed this policy, in light of the biblical teaching on this issue, as well as our contemporary context. As a result, we made a decision to allow leaders to choose between abstinence and moderation, while also deciding to continue to make our church events alcohol free. This decision was received well by the majority of our leaders and church community, and thankfully, we have not had to discipline any leader for abusing their freedom.

Ultimately, each Christian must make a conscience decision as to whether to drink alcohol or not. There are many good reasons for choosing to abstain, while at the same time, drinking in moderation is also acceptable, as long as it is done in a way that does not cause other people to stumble.

3 thoughts on “Christians and Alcohol

  1. What do you mean by “moderation”? It is a quite broad word, it can mean couple of glasses or it can mean one glass. I personally don’t have an alchool problem, but I have some questions:
    1. It doesn’t say in the Bible that Jesus drank wine, it said he transformed water in wine at the wedding in Ghana; he participated in the party but it doesn’t say he actually drank.
    2. I always thought: you know if you drink alcohol and drive and the police finds you with alcohol in your blood, they will suspend your driving licence; and in a scenario when a friend might need your help, might be having an urgent need to be driven to a hospital for example and I consumed some wine ( in moderation), how would I be able to go on the road like that ( I will breach the human law and the God’s law, which I believe it’s superiour)?
    2. Paul said Be full of Holy Spirit not full of wine. I know this doesn’t mean don’t taste the wine, as tasting doesn’t mean “full” or intoxicated. But as Spiritual Leaders for others, who, may be, are not so strong in their faith and relationship with God we should be concerned more how to please God not how to please ourselves. And to please God means to be an example for others an unquestionable example thru personnal living in faith and devotion for Christ. I believe we need to work on being fruitful for Christ and when we are really intrested in being close to Him, being filled with Holy Spirit we won’t be even interested in alcohol. This will be the last thing to come in our mind. I have been speaking with different people about this for so long and I think it is a matter of self control, which a Holy Spirit fruit.
    May be I am a bit radical but I have learnt that from Christ. He wasn’t easy to diggest by the people of his generation. I believe he is the same today, he would be delighted if we would have our heart in fire for teh Kingdom of God not just being warm. He want’s us to burn for Him even if there are so many adversities coming our faith walk.
    I pray for you the Leaders, so God will give stregth and anointing to be a living example for us “the normal people”. And I know it is not a requirement only for you but for all of us.

  2. Hi Cristina. Thanks for your comments. ‘Moderation’ would mean not coming under the control of alcohol, which would involve a different amount of alcohol for each individual. Obviously, abstaining completely or staying as close to full soberness as possible is the wise choice.
    Jesus was criticised as being a ‘drunkard and friend of sinners’. Obviously, he wasn’t a drunkard but unlike his cousin, John the Baptist, he was not a Nazarite who totally absained. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been criticied in this way.
    This is a controversial topic. The Bible clearly prohibits drunkenness but allows either abstinence or drinking in moderation. Each person needs to make their own choice using wisdom and sensitivity to others.

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