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.

Alcohol

MEDICAL ISSUES

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.

Jesus

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.

IT STILL MAY NOT BE OK

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.