Wine Bibber

Pastor Susan,

Is it wrong to drink alcohol if you are a Christian?

Ahhhh! I knew I’d get in trouble with these questions. Let me say that this is only my personal opinion based on scripture.

There are two camps. One that says, alcohol is not for those of us who follow Christ. Some in this camp say, wine was different in Jesus time, and the wine he made for the wedding wasn’t real wine. That is false, it was the best wine at the wedding according to scripture. I’ve heard that it was Palastine wine and had little or no alcohol. I guess my question with this train of thought is, if it wasn’t alcohol as we know it, then why was Jesus called a wine bibber? In today’s terms it means a person who drinks too much wine.

Camp Two says the bible doesn’t say don’t drink. The bible says don’t get drunk. This is the camp I’m in. Getting drunk impairs your judgment so I believe this is what God was cautioning us about. Free will is something that is important to God and therefore to us. I don’t think we should drink while we work. In fact, the bible says a judge shouldn’t drink while he’s judging. A king shouldn’t drink while he’s leading. It impairs judgement.

So this means that you have to search your own heart to see where you stand. You can’t make doctrine for it so it becomes a matter of opinion. I had a woman tell me once that no one drinks because they like the taste of alcohol, they drink because they want to get drunk. This is not true. I happen to know someone personally who although doesn’t drink but a glass of wine maybe two or three times a year, knows the difference between good wine and not.

Then there are the health studies. Red wine is supposed to be good for your heart if you drink one glass 2 to 3 times a week. Other studies say red wine opens the door to cancer in women. You have to be wise enough to think all these things through for yourself.

I heard a Pastor preach once that if Jesus were alive today, he would walk into a bar, order a beer and try to teach the people in that bar about the kingdom. I have to be honest and say I don’t doubt that and I don’t get hung up on it. He would be reaching for the lost. Does that mean I will be hanging out in bars? Nah, it’s not my thing and I believe in the scripture that says give no appearance of evil. Too many people would judge you without knowledge. Bottom line in this line of thinking is; can you represent Christ and would you take him with you to the places that you go.

Now, just because you become a believer doesn’t mean that if you were an alcoholic you can go back to drinking. You can’t take your liberties at the expense of your health. You also can’t go offending people who do not drink by drinking in front of them. Also, if the religious group you happen to be a part of has a rule of no alcohol, then you agree to their terms and must honor them. Let me know if that really answers your question.