Someone asked me recently if I thought it was ok to drink alcohol.   While I wish the answer was a simple “yes” or “no”, I don’t think it’s quite that easy.

My personal opinion really isn’t that important, but what is important is what the Bible says about the subject.

Let’s get one thing out of the way quickly.  It is wrong to get drunk.  Ephesians 5:18 says, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  If the purpose for drinking alcohol is to get a buzz, that’s a sin.



I had a doctor tell me once that a little red wine before bed would be good for my cholesterol and would help me sleep better.  The Apostle Paul seemed to agree with that doctor as he wrote 1 Timothy 5:23.  Paul said, Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.” 

For medical reasons, Paul seems to agree that it is ok and even encourages a nightly sip.   Incidentally, Paul is speaking in the context of a letter to Timothy.  Timothy was like a son to Paul, and Paul would have known about Timothy’s nagging stomach issues.


What did Jesus think of alcohol?  Jesus’ first miracle is recorded in John 2.  He was at a wedding and the wine began to run out, which was a major taboo in that culture for a wedding.   Jesus’ mother approached Jesus, asking Him to help the situation.  Jesus, it seems almost reluctantly because His “time had not come” yet, turned water into wine.  Jesus seemed to concur that in that culture, it was permissible to drink wine.

So…  it seems that in that culture, a little brewsky with your pizza was allowable.


Huh?  It seems like Paul and Jesus are in agreement!  The King of Bud is at hand!  So why am I telling you that it STILL may not be ok to drink alcohol??

Let’s look at one more passage of Scripture.

In Biblical days, false idols were everywhere and animals were often sacrificed to those idols.   Once the animal was sacrificed, the caretakers of these idols opened up what amounted to butcher shops where people could buy the meat from the animals that were sacrificed.  It was good meat at a good price.  I’m sure filet mignon tastes good even if it was sacrificed to the false god, Baal.  Bring on the A-1!

But wait!  As those who formerly sacrificed to the false idols found the true God and became Christians, their consciences would not allow them to eat the meat that had been sacrificed to those idols.

Paul basically said in 1 Corinthians 8 that there really wasn’t anything wrong with eating the meat that was sacrificed to those idols because there is only one God.  HOWEVER… and this is a BIG HOWEVER….  If his eating this meat cause someone to stumble or be confused in their faith because of their background, Paul said that he would pass on the “Idol Burgers.”  He felt that it just wasn’t worth taking the chance of harming someone’s faith.

Does Eddie Drink Alcohol Then?

Though I don’t throw stones at someone for drinking a brewsky with their pizza, especially Unknownwith the above verses in mind, you won’t find me with a Coors in my hand.

I’ve lived my life with the goal of reflecting Christ to others around me.  Even though it’s not the right thing to do, some young believers jump to the wrong conclusions when they see someone drinking a beer.  I’ve witnessed it, though I have disagreed, it happens.

Though I do believe that our culture is changing to a more positive tolerance towards alcohol, I still am not willing to take the chance that a Bud Light in my hand would discourage someone in their walk with Christ.

I also don’t want “Eddie drinks and he follows Christ” to be the reason that someone thought it was ok to drink alcohol.  There is always a chance that someone could drink as a result of my influence and they could be led into sin by abusing it.  Sometimes alcohol can be a “slippery slope.”

I’m not saying that drinking alcohol is a sin, but I don’t believe the right question is “How close to sin can I get without sinning?”  I think the right question for believers is “How close to God can I get?”

I would encourage you to weigh all of the Scripture about alcohol, take the cultures into account, and ask God if it is ok for you to drink.  I really can’t or won’t answer that question for you.  I have quite a few friends that I respect that choose the brew.  I encourage everyone to make their own decision but to really seek God, the Scriptures, and pray about it.

When 2012 ended, I made a commitment to myself that I would read 30 books in 2013.  By “reading,” I meant traditional book format, electronic format, or audible.

I thought I would post my list of 30 books for anyone that’s interested.  They are listed in the order that I read them this year.  With only a couple of exceptions, I recommend all of the books below.  My Top SIX for the year are highlighted in red.  Here goes!

1.  Walking With God, John Eldridge

Great read and encouragement in learning how to walk, be led, and depend upon God with every step.

2.     “Changing Lives Through Coaching” and “The Inspirational Leader” 
by Michael Burt
I listed these as one because there are so many repeat quotes and the same ideas in each book, it felt like I was reading the same book.
3.  Leadership, by Rudy Guiliani
Rudy tells his story of leading through the September 11 and more.  I especially like his section about communication and how he can to communicate better through owning the material and letting it flow through his passion.
4.  The Circle Maker,  Mark Batterson  
Batterson tells the story of how he walked circles around the block, praying and claiming the properties that would eventually be owned by National Community Church.  Great book that will build your prayer life.
5.  Attitude 101, John Maxwell
Encouragement to be all you can be. Typical Maxwell.
6.  Heavens Lessons, by Steve Sjogren
Great book describing Steve’s experience when he died briefly on the operating table, his recovery as he was revived, and what God has taught him through the experience.
7.  Lead Like Jesus, by Ken Blanchard
Book on leadership, “Jesus style”.  I read this one with a group of pastors from LifeChurch’s network.  Enjoyed discussing the chapters with them.
8.  The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges
Holiness is often overlooked for busyness but Bridges points out the need to be holy if we’re to experience God.  I read this one back in the college years, so this was a re-read of this classic.  Every Christian should read this one!
9.  Leadership Gold, John Maxwell
Maxwell waited until he was 60 to write this one.  He mentioned that you should write your own epitaph before you die.  Determine what you want it to say & write ire w/your life.
10.  Killing Kennedy, John O’Reilly  
Great view into Camelot and the life of the Kennedy’s.  Also gives background on Lee Harvey Oswald.  Interesting book.
11.  Plastic Doughnuts
Great short book on Christian stewardship for church leaders.
12.  American Sniper,  Chris Kyle
Chris Kyle was the most deadly American sniper in history.  He was a Navy Seal and saved countless American lives.  His story was interesting.
13.  Multiply, Frances Chan
Frances Chan is always a great read.  In “Multiply,” Frances challenges us to make disciples.  If you are a follower of Jesus, He has commanded you to make disciples.  It’s not really optional if you’re following Jesus.
14.  The Hunger Fix, Pamela Peeke
Not that great. lol  Don’t really recommend this one.
15.  7 Men & The Secret of Their Greatness, Eric Metaxas
Metaxas covered Eric Liddell, Charles Colson, Pope John Paul II, William Wilberforce, Dietrick Bonhoffer, George Washington, and Jackie Robinson.  Really enjoyed this one.  It was a great overview of the lives of these 7 truly great men.  It inspired me to look deeper into the lives of a couple of these men.  We need more men like these 7 that are willing to live their convictions for Christ.
16.  Discipleshift, Jim Putman & Bobby Harrington
Encouraging book with good ideas & stories on making disciples


17.  Killing Jesus, Bill O’Reilly
I’ve read Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln” and enjoyed them both.  Since I’d read and enjoyed those two and I am a pastor, it felt natural to read his “historical” account of the life of Jesus.  I was very surprised, but this was a very spiritual book for me.  I didn’t really expect this from Bill O’Reilly.  I highly recommend this book and it is my number one read for 2013.


18.  To Live Is Christ, Matt Chandler
Matt Chandler wrote this book as a study in Philippians.  Since Philippians is already one of my favorite books of the Bible, I was ready to pour into this book.  It was very encouraging to me and I also shared much of it in my Men’s Small Group.
19.  Gods at War, Kyle Idleman 
Idleman helps us see how behind every sin that plagues us is a god that we have put before God.  His challenge is to let God have first place in our lives.
20.  Uncommon, Tony Dungy
Dungy mixes stories of coaching, football, and life in this challenge to live a live that is different.


21.  David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell says that he was moved to a closer relationship with Christ as a result of writing this book.  Usually a business writer, Gladwell definitely helped me see David and Goliath in a different light.  In the process, he encourages us not to think that Goliath always has the advantage in life.  “David” can still win the battle today!
22.  233 Key Insights, Kerry Bural
Great short “E-Book” that offers short insights and sayings that make alot of sense for business, ministry, and life.  They are all written in pithy, twitter style length.
23.  “Mansfields Book of Mighty Men,” Stephen Mansfield
This book was a challenge to become the man God calls us to be.
24.  Prayer :  Your Own Letter to God, Andre Dugger
Andre is a friend of mine and this book is an instruction manual to prayer and ways to talk to God.  It was great reading the book since I have a relationship with the author.  Andre is a true prayer warrior and he lives what he wrote.  If you’re a new believer and you want to learn how to pray, read this book by Andre.
25.  “Do Something: Make Your Life Count,” Miles McPherson
The Pastor of “The Rock” church in San Diego shares stories of real people that are doing things for God.  Challenges us to “DO SOMETHING!”
26.  The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
I was encouraged to read this book since I enjoyed “David and Goliath” so much.  I found this book very good too.  Gladwell says that in most things there is a “tipping point” that leads to a certain outcome, which can be good or bad.  Of course in business and ministry, we want to find that “tipping point” that well lead us to reach others more effectively.  I recommend this one too.
27.  It’s Not About The Coffee, Howard Behar
One of the early movers and shakers at Starbucks tells us a few things about how the coffee shop became so successful.
28.  Limitless Life, Derwin Gray

LimitlessDerwin is a great writer and author.  In this book, he challenges us to live a “limitless life.”  Derwin says that many have “labels” that have been assigned to them, such as “addict,” “afraid,” “damaged goods,” or even “religious.”  Our labels can be a lie.  When we begin to see ourselves as God says that we are, we can live a limitless life.  He encourages us not to listen to the lie that the labels have said about us.  Good read!

29.  Totally Forgiving God, RT Kendall
I was excited to get into this one, as Kendall’s book “Total Forgiveness” is one of my all time favorite reads.  This book was not as strong as “Total Forgiveness”, but still worth the read.
30.  Faith and Doubt, John Ortberg
In typical Ortberg style, the author talks objectively about having faith and doubt.  Doubt is sometimes looked down upon in Christian circles, but Ortberg addresses it as a normal part of faith.  It’s a good explanation of what goes on in many hearts that they won’t speak out loud.  Ortberg says that Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith.  He says that the very nature of Faith requires a bit of uncertainty.
My Favorites from 2013:
Killing Jesus, Bill O’Reilly