Wine Bibber

depts.washington.edu/
depts.washington.edu/

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.

4 thoughts on “Wine Bibber

  1. good post!

    Just a few nights ago, my mother and I got into a disagreement. I told her I was going home to make some pasta and open my bottle of wine and drink a glass of wine with my pasta. She was against it. I simply told her we all have different convictions and basically covered everything you just mentioned on this post.

    What a coincidence!

  2. my favorite rule of thumb for such issues… if you have any doubt, don’t.

    on anything really, but particularly the “is it sin” issues. if you dont have peace entirely about doing so, even if you mostly think its ok but still have that bit of doubt, it will nag at you… giving potential foothold for false guilt, and other such attacks.

    not that our feelings and conscience are always right or accurately tuned to spirit things… but just seems to make life less messy to err on the side of giving fewer opportunities for dispute and issues.

  3. Yet I doubt myself on almost everything. So this rule to must be applied in wisdom. I doubt I’m good enough to server God, does this mean I should sit on my hands and do nothing?

    I doubt my guitar skills are up to par, that I’m a good enough writer/singer/performer to go out and serve God this way. Does this mean I shouldn’t?

    I grew up SDA so I could be riddled with doubts right now about my stance on Saturday vs Sunday, vegetarianism vs omnivores, and host of other issues too numerous, tedious and rabbit trail oriented to mention. If listed all my doubts, then listened to them, would I still believe in Jesus?

    You see, the only really good rule of thumb is Scripture. God saw nothing wrong in wine unless one over indulged in it. Paul said, “All things are permissible, but not everything is beneficial; all things are permissible but I will not be mastered by anything.”

    I think the wisdom here is: If it causes you or a brother/sister in Christ to stumble or fall, think twice about doing it. On the other hand, this too requires wisdom because if we allowed ourselves to be ruled by everyone’s opinions or weaknesses, we’d be so confused and confusing that we’d never stand anywhere.

    So the rule must be “to the law and the testimony, if they don’t speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.”

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