What's the Problem with a Little Bit of Alcohol or Marijuana?
The issue of drinking of alcoholic beverages has been a point of debate and disagreement among Christians for many years.
The Bible has both positive and negative things to say about wine.
Some Points of Widespread Agreement
1. All Christians are Subject to the laws of the land where they do not contradict God’s laws
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1–2, ESV)
2. The Scripture clearly condemns Drunkenness
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18, ESV)
“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” (Romans 13:13, ESV)
3. There may be legitimate Medical Purposes for certain drugs and alcohol
“Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” (Proverbs 31:6–7, ESV)
“He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” (Luke 10:34, ESV)
Some Questions to Consider
1. Is today’s Alcohol Beverage the same as in Bible times?
The people in the Bible would have not had any experience with Distilled Beverages
The word “Wine” in the Bible can refer to the fermented or the unfermented juice of the grapes as well as the syrup or jam produced by boiling it to make it storable.
Some wine was mixed with water before drinking.
2. Is it Necessary?
“(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)” (1 Timothy 5:23, ESV)
Are good nonalcoholic beverages available?
3. Is it potentially Destructive?
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1, ESV)
“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.” (Proverbs 23:29–32, ESV)
4. Could it Harm other people?
“But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9, ESV)
“It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” (Romans 14:21, ESV)
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4, ESV)
5. Is it the Best Choice?
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12, ESV)
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” (Proverbs 31:4–5, ESV)
The question is not: “How many things can I do and still not transgress God’s will?” but rather, “Is there anything at all that I can do or stop doing which will refine/enhance my ability to recognize and do the will of God?”
6. Will it Glorify God?
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV)
I practice abstinence from alcoholic beverages not by Precept, but by Principles
“We engage to seek God’s help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink and practices which harm the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith.”
other sermons in this series