Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 4 - Alcoholic Beverages

Question #5
Hi Bev! I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for taking the time to answer questions! How fun! Well, my question I guess would be under the "beliefs" category....What do you think about Christians drinking alcohol? I'm talking ANY amount of alcohol. The Bible talks about not becoming drunk on wine but I have had many conversations where this is a grey area for some. I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Sorry if it's a "deep" question, but it's one I would love your imput on.

Here is the simple answer - Christians should not drink alcoholic beverages.  I believe we shouldn't drink wine, liquor, beer or any other alcoholic beverage.  A lot of people will use Jesus turning the water into (un-alcoholic grape juice) wine as an excuse to drink alcohol but God never changes His Word and we all know what drunks end up doing!

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Notice, there is excess in wine!  Drinking always brings on the excess - lust, orgies, rioting, improper behaviors, etc. Here is an awesome commentary by Henry:

This was a sin very frequent among the heathens; and particularly on occasion of the festivals of their gods, and more especially in their Bacchanalia: then they were wont to inflame themselves with wine, and all manner of inordinate lusts were consequent upon it: and therefore the apostle adds, wherein, or in which drunkenness, is excess. The word asōtia may signify luxury or dissoluteness; and it is certain that drunkenness is no friend to chastity and purity of life, but it virtually contains all manner of extravagance, and transports men into gross sensuality and vile enormities. Note, Drunkenness is a sin that seldom goes alone, but often involves men in other instances of guilt: it is a sin very provoking to God, and a great hindrance to the spiritual life. The apostle may mean all such intemperance and disorder as are opposite to the sober and prudent demeanor he intends in his advice, to redeem the time. 2. Instead of being filled with wine, he exhorts them to be filled with the Spirit. Those who are full of drink are not likely to be full of the Spirit; and therefore this duty is opposed to the former sin. The meaning of the exhortation is that men should labour for a plentiful measure of the graces of the Spirit, that would fill their souls with great joy, strength, and courage, which things sensual men expect their wine should inspire them with. We cannot be guilty of any excess in our endeavours after these: nay, we ought not to be satisfied with a little of the Spirit, but to be aspiring after measures, so as to be filled with the Spirit. Now by this means we shall come to understand what the will of the Lord is; for the Spirit of God is given as a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. And because those who are filled with the Spirit will be carried out in acts of devotion, and all the proper expressions of it, therefore the apostle exhorts,
Notice that in the story of Noah that starts in Genesis 9:18, where it was the first place alcohol was mentioned in the Bible, it was shown as a problem. It brought a curse on the son!

In the verse below, notice that the Hebrew word for wine, יין, was fermented wine and then the wine that Jesus made from water was a Greek word οἶνος, was for either unfermented or fermented.  We know that Jesus wouldn't introduce a fermented/alcoholic wine at a party that had such effects on people for God had already said this in His Word about fermented wine:

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Wine is a mocker it says, and using that verbage alone, do you think God would have made something that was a mocker at a wedding feast!?  Would Jesus make the fermented wine if he already knew whoever was deceived by it was stupid?  Of course not, and you have to be completely desperate to justify your sin of drinking to support that.

The Bible even talks about the fool who is deceived by such, later on, in Proverbs 23:29-35:
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Notice in the part I underlined it talks of the wine moving itself aright - basically the bubbles from the FERMENTED wine!  Look at what fermentation/alcoholic wine does to someone in the above scripture!  Even if you drink 1/4 of your cup, you are still a 1/4 drunk.  How about not even LOOKING upon the wine in the cup, thereby, not even touching the stuff or being around it?  Be not drunk with wine - the New Testament tells us because of this excess of behavior it brings!!

Check out this verse:

Habakkuk 2:15
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!

Being drunk and nakedness, just go hand in hand!  Remember the first encounter with alcohol in Genesis with Noah's son seeing him NAKED?  Yep - you can bet your clothes will probably come off or at least you will have the desire to see another's come off lol.

Drunks aren't going to be in Heaven and God's word tells us of this FACT!

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Not only is drunkeness a work of the flesh and something you can't do and make it to Heaven - notice he went on to say and "such like". That entails all the other things that come up in our society that smack of that same flavor of those things listed! The Spirit of God will help us discern what these are. But for sure - drunkeness can't enter in.

Notice the Bible adds in another place that drunkards will not make it to Heaven and tells us to BE NOT DECEIVED - these people will NOT make it in!

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Then the last verse states - "and such were some of you"!  I know I'm not the only one out there that this verse applies to.  I fit in right there because I was an alcoholic - I mean I was a bonafide alcoholic!  I would get drunk often on liquor to try and forget my past.  I can tell you from experience that Jesus would never make alcoholic beverages and give them to others because he SET ME FREE from alcohol!  I had tried it all - I tried to quit, I even went to an AA meeting, I sought a "higher power"......but nothing was working and the desire to drink was so strong, I had no control over it.  I sure had a lot of friends who loved to see me drunk because of the above verse in Habakkuk - let's just be real here!!  When God saved me - IMMEDIATELY the desire for alcohol vanished!!!!!!!  I was so amazed that I walked in around in shock for weeks!  There was no desire, there was no thirst for it anymore!! God delivered me from the hands of satan and if he delivered me from alcohol - you can bet he sure didn't want me going back to it!

Such was I.......but now I am washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus!!