Response: Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

A friend from Bethel posted an article on being a Christian and drinking alcohol, you can read it here: http://www.sdmorrison.org/should-christians-drink-alcohol/

Growing up I rarely saw my parents drinking alcohol, not because they didn’t want to, but because they “shouldn’t”.

If we were out to eat and the adults had a glass of wine, us kids weren’t allowed to take a picture because we couldn’t let anyone see that they were actually drinking alcohol. My parents didn’t get drunk, but it was still a “hush hush” activity.

When I went to Bethel’s Ministry School, I was in church-culture shock. It was a culture of freedom. The only no-no’s they talked to the students about were the three B’s, No Bras Butts and Bellies?… Something like that. That was probably necessary considering Bethel is made up of people from all over the world, with very different cultural acceptable norms.

Instead of giving us a bunch of rules to follow, they told us we were powerful people, representing Jesus to the world, and right from the beginning, if we hadn’t already, we needed to learn how to manage ourselves well.

The only time I had ever really heard that, in that way, was from my parents. I had more freedom then most christian and non-christian friends of mine growing up. I didn’t have a curfew, I wasn’t told to finish my homework before I went out with friends, I was allowed to date whoever at any age I would like, etc… Bad parenting? I think I turned out okay… My parents were teaching me how to manage myself internally, rather than externally.

My parents told me who I was as a daughter of God. They told me that the world was my canvas and I could do and be whatever I wanted. Their advice for me was to work hard, be a women of integrity, to walk worthy of the calling on my life, to be someone special. I never wanted to lose their trust, not out of fear of being punished, but because I knew that was the most rewarding place to be, in right relationship with them. I cared about protecting their hearts and keeping their trust, just because I really love them.

When I got to Bethel I began hearing the same sort of message… God trusts us with His heart, we should live in a way that protects Him, not because of a law but because of our love for Him.

So many churches tell their people what they shouldn’t do, the do’s and don’ts of the Bible, and that it’s all for their own good.

But so few know how amazing they are, how much God loves them regardless of what they do or don’t do, and how He wants them to have an incredibly amazing life of pure joy and fun.

I’m going off on a tangent, so I’ll get back to the point of this post: If the gospel isn’t empowering you, you’re not hearing the real gospel of Jesus Christ.

To drink or not to drink?

I’ve been told that Christian’s shouldn’t drink because they should be set apart… This blog post has been in the making for a few days now. And in these few days I’ve been thinking for hours and hours on what it means to be “set apart”. There’s tons of really great scripture on it. (click that underlined word for some)

But what does being set apart really look like? I don’t believe being set apart is defined by what you stand for or what you stand against.

I believe being set apart means that I’m living my life in a way that’s transforming the earth around me to look more and more like Heaven.

I believe being set apart means I will be known by my reckless love for people instead of my opinionated hate for their sin.

I don’t believe being set apart means that I will be the one that doesn’t drink to take a stand against the dangers of alcohol.

I believe being set apart means that I will be a representation of managing my freedom well, of being able to have a glass of wine and leave it at that.

You hear the church warning their people about the sin that alcohol will bring you into and the evil doors it will open your life up to… But if they preach that message than they need to preach the dangers of overeating as well.

In youth group you’re told not to drink and not to get tattoos because your body is a temple.

When was the last time you were told that you needed to eat well and exercise because your body is a temple?

The two go hand in hand.

The issue isn’t alcohol, food, and tattoos. The issue is that Christian’s don’t know how to manage themselves because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth of their God breathed identity, the glory that’s within them, the authority and power that they can walk in if they choose.

My heart breaks at the number of people I grew up with that have totally thrown a holy lifestyle away. But when I think of them… I understand why they’re living the way they’re living. I feel like they were told “No” so many times that it crippled them. They didn’t learn how to manage themselves because they weren’t given the freedom to make mistakes in a safe environment. They were motivated externally to try and live for God, but never did it come from a belief within them that they were just too awesome to mess with the junk of the world. They don’t know how awesome they are. They don’t know how powerful they are. They don’t know that they are not just called to be a “good Christian” but that they are called to greatness, to live a life that is as powerful as Jesus Christ’s.

This is a topic that my heart burns for. I could go on, and I feel like I’ve taken many different side routes which might be a bit confusing. So if you have questions or need clarification, please comment and I’ll try to figure out all that I’m trying to get across 🙂

{Here’s a pic from my 21st birthday. Do you know how many messages I got because of this photo? From Christian’s who were concerned for my testimony? A lot…
My testimony is this, I had so much fun on my 21st. I didn’t get drunk, I didn’t even get tipsy. I discovered that I hate cocktails, hate red wine, love sweet white wine, and love some good Asheville brewed beer. Since my 21st, I’ve learned that I can’t have more than one beer in one sitting and I can’t have more than 1 and a half glasses of wine in one sitting. I’m learning how to manage myself well, not out of fear, but out of a desire to protect my connection with the Holy Spirit — Not because God will be upset at me if I were to be drunk, but because I know being drunk from alcohol is just a pathetic counterfeit to being filled with His Spirit, a counterfeit that I don’t want to get familiar with because I know it’s not something that will result in me being more like Him.}
Cheers

 

To all commenters, after 140 comments, half or more of which do not represent Jesus’ heart of honor well:
Keep in mind the position you’re replying from, as a Christian – someone that is representing Jesus. You may disagree with me and others, and that’s totally okay. But in your response, try practicing Love, which comes from the same Bible you’re attacking preaching from 🙂 Keep Your Love On 🙂

KYLO

287 thoughts on “Response: Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

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    1. Great topic! I found this while searching for an article for my next blog on this concerning Christians and drinking. I feel it’s an individual basis and circumstance. I drank more “underage” unfortunately more than when I turned 21 the legal age. When I became a Christian, I struggled with this “issue” in my early “walk”.As I got older and became more health conscious, it hasn’t become an issue. I just don’t see any “health benefits” (except red wine with no arsenic) and I just “drink” only in “special occasions”, but I just rather drink H20! Thanks for sharing your insight!

      1. Hi! Thanks for your feedback! We’re on the same page regarding health benefits of drinking… There really aren’t any that are worth the adverse affects! The red wine health debate was a beautifully successful marketing ploy by wine companies. I’m studying for my degree in nutrition and have cleaned up my diet to primarily only whole unprocessed food and drinks. When I do enjoy just one yummy craft beer on a date night, I wake up in the middle of the night with a splitting headache and a sick stomach. That’s just one drink! I’ve become so sensitive and to me, that sick feeling doesn’t seem worth the taste. Imagine if all Christians made decisions by reading the word, thinking for themselves while listening to Holy Spirit, and taking into consideration their health and wellbeing (spiritually AND physically) ! 😉 That just might look like revival… 🙂

        1. Plus, some of that red wine has arsenic, so one has to choose a more “safer” red wine. I do have my occasional “Heineken” , but haven’t had one for a long time as I’ve gotten more health focus. I’ve learned to get a cup/can/bottle with me during “social parties”, but drink sips so people around me don’t have to “worry” about why I’m not drinking. However, Christians can be a “brighter” light for Him with our “non-conforming” lifestyle and choices. As in the Book of Acts, I rather get “drunk” with the Holy Spirit ..daily! I just read your profile and was uplifted that you went to “Bethel”, which I’ve heard so much about. We had a guy (Paul R.) that graduated there and is traveling around the world to teach “churches” on healing…https://goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/health-cancer-causes-preventive-treatment-and-healing/ Yes, praying for a revival in my heart (1st) daily to spread to others around me! May you and your husband keep shinning for Him..Amen! 🙂

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  3. To a precious couple and whoever wants to read this short note: On 3-2-14 I specifically felt the Lord say to me in regard to this issue, “Will you not fight for what sets free, rather than what takes into bondage?”

  4. A few things here:

    In the bible it says Jesus drank the fruit of the vine, as opposed to drink.

    Next, the bible holds those in leadership in a higher position convening alcohol consumption.

    Lastly, why consume alcohol when God can give you fufillment 100x better than any alcoholic beverage could bring you.

    Not here to condemn those who drink, these are just my thoughts on it. Thanks.

    1. I don’t judge or condem for drinking alcohol . I just say that alcohol is a mind altering and addictive drug . It probably has helped as well as hindered some health wise , but people under the influence do things that they wouldn’t do other wise . People will have to decide what is right or wrong for themselves and I am sure that I will make some wrong moves . I have many weaknesses , but alcohol won’t be one of them , but I have plenty of others ..

    2. “Next, the bible holds those in leadership in a higher position convening alcohol consumption.”

      Yes, the Bible does mention the subject of leaders consuming alcohol. However, it does not expressly forbid it either.

      Deacons likewise must be honorable, not double-tongued, not taking-heed to **much** wine, not covetous;
      1 Timothy 3:8 MLV 2016_2-23-16 **emphasis mine**

      If leaders were not to drink wine, at all, wouldn’t it have said, “…not taking heed to wine…” instead of, “…not taking heed to *much* wine…?” Justsaying.

      1. I’ve grown very weary of some Christians … they have much hatred for their own and others who are not in their own denominations … there is constant backbiting and senseless debating.
        Recently, I was in a Dr’s office waiting room and I encountered such a conversation as this one in this well written article … initially the conversation was good talking about how we should help the sick and needy then it turned very judgmental. We got on the topic of denominations and she wasted no time interpreting scripture for me, you know the one … being of sound mind and boy those Episcopalians how they love to drink, I wouldn’t step foot in one of those dens of demons. She was of the baptist persuasion. And as for the stated scripture … of sound mind means to me to be on the alert, to be on guard and has absolutely nothing at all to do with alcohol.
        Now you can understand why I’ve stopped organized religion. All it’s done is taught me fear and shame, along with some pretty poorly gospel exegesis … But I am free in Christ !
        Also, love has waned and waxed cold. I’ve lost more Christian friends and family through the truth of God’s word then you can shake a stick at. Through the suffering of lymphoma and being alone and isolated sick and poor, I’ve seen how marginalized Christianity can be especially if you speak your thoughts on scripture. 1 Timothy 5:8 comes to mind. So, where is everyone?
        Very good job and thank you for this article Laurel ❤️
        God bless!

  5. My dad was an alcoholic, as was my first wife. Not to forget the submarine sailor culture I was in was pretty well known for dodging tea for stronger spirits. Well, I like tea. I also have been known to tip a pint with friends, or toast the end of a day with a well-crafted single malt. I think the young lady hits a great theme: It’s not about what you do, but what you do for God. It’s about making the Lord first. Having had those terrible occasions in my life to steer me away from bad behavior, I know how to prioritize. Ever since I put Christ first in my life, I remain temperate not sterile. A lot of joy and craftsmenship goes into making these things, the fruits of labors. And we are meant for community and fellowship. One of my favorite writers, Hilaire Belloc, once penned,

    “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
    There’s always laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always found it so.
    Benedicamus Domino (Let us bless the Lord)!”

    It always makes me smile. While some will no doubt criticize it as a call for debauchery, it is the last line that is telling. It is good to be in fellowship, it is good to reflect joy, and music, and dance, and nature. Let us appreciate all the gifts and treasures that God has seen fit to bring forth into the world. But responsibly, so that ‘we bless the Lord’ always. IMHO.

    Thanks for the discussion! I.X.

  6. Very interesting to read both your post and the comments. In recent years I have stopped purchasing anything alcoholic for a few reasons, which have not really been mentioned here.

    A powerful reason for not buying alcoholic drinks: they are an indulgence in a world where many people are starving, both physically and spiritually. $1.80 US will buy a Bible for someone in China (please visit asiaharvest.org to find out more). Each Bible usually helps bring several more people to the Lord. This is an amazing investment in the kingdom of God, and I find it very difficult to indulge myself in any way when I know what such a small amout of money can do. Yes, Jesus drank wine, and so did the disciples. However they lived in a time when safe drinking water was not always available. We have clean water on tap (praise God!) and the resources to help our brothers and sisters rather than indulge ourselves. This also applies to overeating and other forms of self-indulgence. I know someone who no longer buys chocolate, but instead each week sets aside the money that she would have used to buy herself a treat, and donates it to buy Bibles for the Chinese church

    Here where I live in New Zealand we have a toxic drinking culture, with binge drinking, alcoholism, drink-driving and social problems caused or exacerbated by alcohol. I don’t want to support the brewing industry by buying their products, because they do not seem to really care about the effects that they have on the people who buy them.

    The last reason (not mentioned at all in the comments) is fetal or foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), the largest cause of intellectual disability in the Western world. Any woman who is sexually active and of child-bearing age needs to be aware of the devastating effects alcohol can have on the developing child in the womb, because many pregnancies are unplanned, either because of contraceptive failure or non-use.

    1. Hmmm, thinking about this further I don’t think it was right of me to condemn drinking alcohol as indulgence. That is a matter between the individual and God. I should not try to impose guilt on anyone else for enjoying what God has given us.
      Love this verse: ‘For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ Romans 14:17

  7. This article really grieves me. I am a Certified Faith Based Christian counselor with 15 years of experience
    at leading support groups in my church. What we experienced in our small group sessions was the outcome
    of a life of compromise. Broken families, hurting lives desiring mending. Lives wrecked by alcohol/drugs
    were dominant problems. There has to be a standard. Conviction. A life set apart. My husband and I have been married 27 years and our stance, after the 15 years of support groups 52 weeks per year, was that alcohol, either private or public consumption, was not worth even one glass of wine at dinner. God so completely fills our lives and we are blessed to say that BOTH of our children have paths in ministry today. We also take a stance against watching movies rated R, even in our home for the same reasons. Compromise. “For the Lord is truly the strength
    of my life….I will not be moved”. Be very careful how you live your life….little eyes are always watching. observing. I would never want to know that my life’s choices influenced someone in a negative way. Its not worth it.

    1. I’m glad you have mastered perfection so well, do share how you live such an inspiring life. Her point is that alcohol does not have to be a stumbling block, it does not have to be a home wrecker; with some self-control alcohol can be responsibly consumed and not sinful. Yes, there are those that are predisposed to alcoholism, and they should not allow themselves to consume any alcohol secondary to the potential of their addiction returning. However, for many Christians, alcohol does not need to have such unwarranted sin and judgement attached to it. Just like food we can use some self-control to avoid overuse.

  8. My wife came from a background of borderline alcoholism. She doesnt drink because its a familiar spirit. I dont drink because she is my wife and i want to protect her even when im not around her. Other than that, you nailed it!

  9. It’s okay for Christians to drink as long as they know their limits. I enjoy the occasional drink, but I enjoy it in moderation. For the most part, I don’t start drinking unless I know I will be able to stop. I got drunk once and I regret it, not because anyone told me that I shouldn’t drink, but because I didn’t like how being drunk affected my memory. That being said, if you know that drinking is a problem for someone, it’s best not to drink around them.

  10. The problem isn’t alcohol but how people use it. Christ Himself drank wine and even turn water into wine for the wedding. The problem would be getting drunk in which you loose control of yourself and your decision making abilities, getting addicted and damaging your body.

    1. It is about wisdom. God is what I am doing WISE not is what I am doing OK. If people had that prayer there would be far less questions about should Christians do this or not do that. There is no question what is the wisest choice. As you mature in Christ God imparts wisdom and guides you through the the decision. How is drinking, tattoo, over eatting, or any of the other topics mentioned ever a WISE choice? Spiritual maturity desires Godly wisdom.

      1. Amen to all you said! I totally agree and am slowly learning these things through my walk with Christ!

  11. Wine was the drink of choice in ancient culture. They drank everyday. Not just “a glass at dinner” but everyday, probably all day! They didn’t have coke, tea and smoothies to choose from.

    ***you contradict yourself when talking about being set apart….
    You say it’s not about what you stand for or against, and then begin talking about your opinion and how you see it.
    Set apart has EVERYTHING to do with what you stand for and against. Both in word and deed. You serve a new King, consequently, he requires a new set of ethics and virtues for his citizens, which he calls children.

    1. No no no… I do not want to be KNOWN by what I’m for and against. I want to be known by the fruit of my life – not the words of my life. EVERYBODY stands for things and stands against things- atheists do, homosexuals do, Christians do, etc. but the words from these groups that are shouted to the world mean NOTHING if they aren’t backed up by the power of God to transform and breathe life into others lives. I refuse to be known by my words, but by the power of God that people encounter when they’re with me. That’s what sets me apart, not my belief for or against alcohol.

  12. What I thought to be the most hilarious is that you are all going back and forth debating on the meaning of a historical text written by fallible men who wanted to lay ground rules to establish their own personal beliefs as law. This is so hilarious. If you want to drink and get wasted- do it. If you want to pig out and eat everything in sight- do it. If you truly think that some never seen sky fairy is going to judge you then I laugh at you all over my gigantic margarita- enjoying life.

  13. Hi, first I’d like to say I love this article. Second, I would like to know more about your parents’ approach to raising you. What you described is exactly the approach I’m striving for with my daughter’s but it’s not sinking in with them. I’d like to know more about how they handled various situations.

    Thank you =)

    1. I’m so sorry I never saw this… I recommend that you purchase Danny Silk’s book “Loving your kids on purpose”. It wasn’t written when I was a child, but it sums up the approach my parents used perfectly.

  14. I drink coffee ALL the time, and honestly think I am addicted to it. It can change my mood from depressed to happy and energetic and clears my foggy thinking. I also love the taste. It also can put a dent in my finances. Even if I’m not craving it I will drink it simply because I want to crave it and have the satisfaction of enjoying it.
    I am sure many people have this same scenario. How come no one “preaches” against a coffe addiction!? It’s not as severe as an alcohol addiction but maybe god has something to say about it. Maybe god is really concerned with anything that hinders love and keeping a pure heart towards god. If you have a drink every now and then, without drunken intentions then fine. If I on Facebook, on blogs, reading the news, talking on the phone, any of these things to the point that I am stifling gods voice in my life then there’s an issue. If I daily depend on coffee, alcohol, and antidepressant, a particular form of entertainment to keep me satisfied and going, them there’s an issue. My whole being should be dependent on god, and in the midst of that, I enjoy a drink at dinner, then God help me. It’s not a matter of “alcohol” but a matter of someone’s specific situation and heart condition. If it was an “alcohol” issue god had, he would not have turned water into wine for his first miracle through Jesus. Am I right?

  15. Laurel, I enjoyed your article. I am a believer in Christ and have walked with the Lord for close to 11yrs now, and alcohol is wonderful!!!! I love to drink. I love good beer and good fellowship, if I may use my Christianese. The Bible only clearly points out drunkenness as a sin. So, dont get drunk and all is well. 🙂 Nonetheless, whether one drinks or not is simply an American Christan cultural issue. And there is far greater joy in walking with Christ and allowing Holy Spirit to correct us if we miss the mark, “sin”, than living to not miss the mark. Again, great article and have a good glass of beer for me!!

    1. Brother I drink a little bit mostly for medicinal purposes, But to you and the writer lady I would say this BE CAREFUL ! You may be the cause of getting a weak Christian started on the rd of addiction,I say that if I have the joy of the Lord and am abiding in the vine then I don’t need alcohol to make my life complete !

  16. Mornin Food for thought In Thee Bible Jesus Drank wine But Its was wine he made It CAME FROM THEE HEAVENLY RELM ( NOT by the hands of MAN) people say in thee Bible that HIS WINE IS THE BEST
    SPIRITUAL NOT CARNAL IF YALL get a chance please read some of my posts Yall have a wonderful and blessed day
    AMEN AMEN AMEN

  17. Love this article! Jesus drank wine at the Last Supper. Many Christians as well as non Christians drank wine During Pauls time in Rome. The difference is that Roman non Christians were drunkards, Christians had a glass of wine with their meals. God will judge us, not other Christians!

  18. I feel that’s it’s based on your personal convictions. I’m a childrens pastor for a great church in Mississippi, and I feel that as a pastor, I’m held to a higher standard than most which is why I choose not to drink. However, I do not condemn the partaking of alcohol substances to others. My sister has a glass of wine with diner every night, and is more on fire for God than she’s ever been. It’s not making her more spiritual, but it’s not hurting her either.

  19. That bit about stumbling weaker brothers always gets me every time.
    So– when are you planning to get rid of your Internet connection??? Porn is a major player on the Internet, a sizable portion of all searches have to do with porn, and Christian men as well as people “of this world” have a major problem with it. How can you justify your Internet connection when so many people are weak regarding Internet porn?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. You do not understand the context of the verse. Eating meat that had been sold by temples of Greek gods, since they had been sacrifices to these gods, was very controversial much like alcohol. Paul pointed out that it is not a sin to eat the meat, but that fellow brothers and sisters of Christ who were not far enough in their walk with God to focus on such matters within the context of Gods will for their life and whether or not eating the meat was God glorifying and instead saw it as wrong and evil through their physical eyes instead of spiritual connection with God. 1 Corinthians 8:10For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. If a person addicted to pornography sees you online that is not the same as if they see you watching pornography.

  20. It is NOT wrong to drink alcohol!! What if you are married and you want to get drunk with your spouse at home? You can’t tell me that is wrong! Nor is it wrong for me to go to the bar occasionally and have a drink with my husband. It isn’t wrong for a Christian to go out for a drink with friends or have a drink at home. The only thing is, if you get too drunk, you lack self control which can open you up to doing things you wouldn’t normally do. So if that is a struggle for you,or worry for you, then just do not drink. Otherwise, I doubt my husband and I are going to hell for his beer and my Twisted Teas.

    If you think drinking is wrong, then maybe you have never had a good glass of wine. Maybe if more Christians got drunk at least one time in their life, they wouldn’t be so quick to judge other Christians. I’m not saying, become an alcoholic, just saying, Have fun! Enjoy life! And enjoy some beer or wine. And if you think it is a sin, then just don’t do it! I am tired of hearing other Christians judge other Christians for their choice to drink. Maybe it is fun sometimes! That doesn’t make me any less of a Christian to enjoy some Mango Twisted Tea after a long week at work. In fact, it feels nice and relaxing!

    1. Actually, Sarah, although a safe sounding idea, drunk with spouse at home, it is in fact considered sin to be drunk. So, whether at home with hubby, or alone at a bar, or a family party, drunk is drunk. Somtimes it can be easy to add to scripture our own thoughts or desires, which is also not the best of ideas. However, if you are drinking anywhere at any time and become drunk, Jesus can still forgive. Picture this: God’s grace is SOOOOO good, that Paul had to make it a point NOT to take it for granted. That means His grace is so amazing, that He forgives and covers, regardless, and it is so easy to obtain it that we could actually fall into doing what we want and claiming grace. Thats insane!!! lol So, that being said, its ok if we miss the mark, it is already covered by His blood. (disclaimer-although grace works, we are called to love God which is obeying His commands). I hope this doesnt sound like an attack just wanted to point out the hubby drunk part.

      1. So You are telling me that having a few drinks and sometimes getting drunk on the weekends in the privacy of my own home, is wrong? I don’t think so. What kind of trouble are two grown and married adults going to get into AT HOME? Stay up too late? Watch a movie together? Go to bed? I doubt I have sinned by doing those things all because of some alcohol. I am 26 years old and my husband is 31. We are RESPONSIBLE ADULTS! Not alcoholics! We work hard during the week and deserve to enjoy our company together even with a glass of wine or two! There are plenty of people at church that drink whether you know it or not. They do! It is not a sin for them to be drinking. If it turns to alcoholism, then that is another story.

  21. Christians ARE allowed to drink. Some people may choose not to and that is their personal choice. The thing is just not to get drunk and commit acts which are spiritually immoral. Drinking is fine. Even during the Last Supper during the Passover, Jesus and the disciples passed around a cup of wine, commemorating the event.

  22. If we’re even having to ask the question, “Is it right or is it wrong?”, shouldn’t we as Christians simply abstain?

    People always look for a “Christian point-of-view” to justify their actions (in this case drinking) and I think that can be dangerous. There’s often a fine line between moderation and being drunk so why would we even want to flirt with that line.

    In the Bible, I see a bunch people whose drinking ultimately lead to a bunch of bad decisions with grave consequences. Besides, 1 Corinthians 8:9 teaches us not to do anything that would cause others to stumble.

    As a Christian, the risk of drinking simply isn’t worth the reward.

    1. Be careful with that logic. Abstaining because of opinionated uncertainty bore a lot of the legalism that still exists in the Jewish community.

  23. The New Testament speaks clearly on this subject!!!
    Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning. (Romans 14:20-23 NLT)

  24. Scripture for consideration would be 1 Peter 4:3. This verse speaks of banqueting which refers to social drinking.

    Also scripture in regards to influence (for young people, addicts, people who seek to teach the gospel, etc) can be found in Luke 17:1,2; Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Timothy 4:12; proverbs 28:10; Titus 2:7,8; 2 Corinthians 6:3; 1 Peter 2:11,12.

    And in regards to health: 3 john 2; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Romans 12:1,2—- specifically alcohol consumption causes cirrhosis, brain damage (even in moderation brain cells are lost), damage to pancreas, stomach, intestines, etc. and is a factor in many accidents such as car wrecks. Gould’s medical dictionary also classifies Ethel alcohol a depressant, narcotic poison.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 speaks of forgiveness

    I hope this helps bring it all to light. It’s not just about controlling consumption, but it is about influence and health as well.

  25. “How Beer Saved The World”! This Discovery Channel documentary is must view material for all! None of us would most likely be here if not for beer!

  26. My late father was a Lutheran Pastor. I choose not to drink because I have seen what it has done to many families. When my friends were of drinking age, I saw their faces when they were “learning to drink” and you could see that they did not like the taste but were “hell-bent” on learning to drink. I never needed to impress anyone — be it cigarettes or grass. Years later, I was told by a number of my friends that they ADMIRED ME, standing my convictions on al lthree aforementioned recreational crutches. Incidentally, I hung around with many bands. I grew up living near BETHEL, New York — the original WOODSTOCK site and yes, I was in the neighborhood when it was all going on. “Love me, or leave me”, I don’t need to be like everybody else.

  27. I don’t drink but I also believe that the Bible never teaches that drinking is wrong. The Bible only teaches us to never get drunk. But I can tell you why I don’t drink. Because I don’t want to be a stumbling block for anyone. If someone saw me with a drink and it could possibly affect my testimony I believe I shouldn’t drink. Is it right or wrong that happens? To me I don’t care. Because it can happen, I then have to live a life that makes sure NO stumbling block to a Christian or non-Christian occurs. But as long as you live your life in a way to bring Glory and Honor to God and continually make Jesus the main thing. Your life will model a life that points people to Him.

  28. I believe if you want to drink, drink. don’t over do it by any means and never get behind the wheel of a car or in one where the driver has been drinking. People will rant and rave on the scriptures of the bible. have been doing so since it was first written. people also have different interpretations of each of those scriptures. what i read and think about one, someone else will read and think something else. i believe that God wants you to interpret the scriptures the way you read them. not to the point of rearranging them, like turning a glass of water into wine, well then every glass should be full of wine, no, not that way. but in a common sense way of thinking. that may be hard, because i know quite a few people who are very smart, book wise, but have NO common sense. Me and God are buds. we talk all the time. i don’t ever let anybody else mow my yard, when it,if it ever turns green this year, because that is our time to talk and reflect on the things i have done and am going to do. I had a cerebral hemorrhage back in 2004. People keep telling me, this was Gods way to make me slow down, since i have worked my entire life. at least as far back as i can remember. i missed most of my children’s childhood because i had 2 full time jobs and a part time job, because that was what i thought i had to do to support my family. they were asleep when i left in the morning and asleep when i go home at night and then i was at work on the weekends. since my incident, i have gotten to enjoy watching them play sports, try the scouting thing and so much more. I am alive today only by the Grace of God. i remember my brother asking the doctor, after my incident, where do we go from here? the Dr. said, i don’t know, we’ve never been from here. he should be dead. So i know that he has something special lined up for me, and i am waiting for him to show me what it is. he may have already, but i don’t see to well so he may have to knock me up side the head and yell it in my ear. Or it may have just been for me to slow down and enjoy my Beautiful wife and extraordinary children and teach them, how to become mature responsible adults, which they have done. And i have helped coach other baseball and softball teams at the local high school and try to teach these kids the same as i have my own, and i know i turned one kid around because he was going down a destructive path of anger and hate, but it took a while but i got him to change little by little and he is doing well and every time he comes to town he stops by to see me. I always tell them, when they make the team,, they become part of my family and i give them my cell phone # and if they ever need me no matter when to call. i have had a few calls 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning from a couple of them, just needing someone to talk to or whatever and it makes me fell like i have achieved a little.But i hope that is not all he has in mind, i may not be able to walk with out assistance and i have excruciating headaches every day, but i am doing my best to enjoy each day to it’s fullest and try to teach these kids to do the same, but they don’t need the drugs or alcohol or whatever to be able to do that. I also believe that going to church no more makes you a Christian than sitting in a garage makes you a car. I believe you can have your service with the Lord whenever and wherever you want to make it. i’m not saying, don’t go to church, but in the same way i don’t believe it is necessary. again, interpretation of the scriptures. “where 2 or three are gathered in my name, I am there midst of them. In other words, what i’m trying say everyone interprets the bible in different ways. May all of you have a blessed day!

  29. Never said Jesus drank alcohol. The wine spoken of in the Bible is unfermented wine, straight from the vine. Jesus did not drink alcohol. Also, at Passover, the wine was unfermented wine, not fermented wine. This is what the Bible says when it talks about wine is good for the body.

  30. I agree totally with Laurel!! It is the damning everyone to hell from these self righteous religious folks that keep people from ever wanting to know about Jesus. They feel already defeated and that there is no way ever to become that perfect so why ever even try to understand or learn about Christianity. .. God doesn’t expect us to be the ones to change minds and lives… He wants us to love… give quotes from the bible and not judge… He only wants us to plant the seed not grow the tree.. After we plant the tree allow God to be God and work on someone’s heart and mind. It’s only our job as a Christian to love and not discourage. Too many self righteous people out there trying to play God. Listen… If laurel having A beer once in a while is so horrible in God’s eyes then what is it when you stuff pies in your face and judge people and gossip. You are saying she’s wrong because the world sees what she’s doing which goes to show you may possibly just be religious and not a true spiritually led Christian. See… WHEN you you give something up do it because God sees you and is convicting you…. not the world. Everyone grows at their own pace .. don’t fault anyone cause you have grown further in one area than another because her strength could just be the very things that you’ve been struggling with your whole life. I promise more people will be led to Christ by Laurel than by you religious folks who are beating the bible scaring people away from christianity.

    1. That is your opinion which had great points to it, but why come with such backlash to those who you are trying to keep from back lashing in the opposite direction? Where is the polite conversation with the acceptance of others whether the conversation ends in agreement or not?

  31. I totally identify with this, especially the way this young lady grew up. I had the freedom to make mistakes as a young person, and like her, the only curfew imposed on me was when I had a learner’s permit. I appreciate that my parents had a hands-off approach to parenting, letting me learn why I should or shouldn’t do certain things, what worked and what didn’t. My parents said “yes” whenever they could and let me explore many hobbies. They never forced me to take music lessons, or participate in sports, but instead they let me get dirt all over the patio for potted sunflowers, let me have a butterfly farm, snails, fish, a massive hamster tank, they let me listen to audiobooks for hours, answered every question without patronizing me, let me read their books, let me role play outside instead of helping with dinner, let me use up many rolls of film taking hilarious pictures of my hamsters and pets, let me tear apart their first computer, thus learning how to build them, let me spend hours building websites and Sim mansions. By the time I was a teenager, I already had many developed interests.

    They didn’t make a big deal out of drinking, didn’t sit me down and talk about the dangers of dui’s, because I didn’t go out partying. My life was consumed already with my many interests.
    I was allowed to drink wine at home, allowed to discover my limits without peer pressure or the exuberance of being at a party. I wasn’t chastened for overdoing it, because I discovered first hand that I didn’t like feeling drunk, even borderline so, therefore I don’t want to over-do it. I don’t want to drink a whole bottle, and the mere thought of it is repulsive. It’s no different than drinking coffee or hot chocolate to me, so I’m always completely baffled when my Christian peers chide me for drinking in public. I mean, if it’s not wrong, if it’s not sinful, then why would I hide it? It’s not like I’m chugging Jack Daniels outside an AA meeting. I think, if we can enjoy a glass of wine in public without getting drunk or out of control, it says a lot more to our non-Christian friends about our self-control and temperance than not drinking at all. It says, we can enjoy wine without becoming animals.

    I can only suspect that my peers did not have a similar childhood. They probably were given a list of house rules, disobeyed them all, and suffered major consequences. They probably learned that if you want to break a rule, you must hide it, and if you’re going to break a rule without getting caught, you’d might as well make it a doozy. They learned that popularity is everything, that finding a consensus is more important than individuality, that to take a stand means being ostracized by your peers, that you must like what they like and do what they do or else be be set apart. They were probably sat down by their parents and given a lecture about the dangers of drinking, and therefore had to leave home to partake in what must be “adult-only” pleasures, and make every opportunity to do so a practice in excess and debauchery. Perhaps this is why when I say, “I’m going out for a glass of wine and appetizers”, their minds might recall images of themselves stumbling out of clubs and puking on the sidewalk, or making out with a stranger at a party after 6 rounds of tequila shots.

    I guess what I wonder is how the popular sort of heavy-handed condemnation of drinking is any different than the heavy-handed peer pressure to drink. Basically, if I want to be included in church fellowship circles and not be gossiped about or excluded, I have to tow the party line and become a teetotaler, at least in their collective company. All of them like wine, and all of them condemn it publicly for fear of being rejected by their Christian friends. We wonder why so many Christians resist joining fellowships.

    I present for consideration: Galatians 2:11-14
    11 But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I protested and opposed him to his face [concerning his conduct there], for he was blameable and stood condemned.
    12 For up to the time that certain persons came from James, he ate his meals with the Gentile [converts]; but when the men [from Jerusalem] arrived, he withdrew and held himself aloof from the Gentiles and [ate] separately for fear of those of the circumcision [party].
    13 And the rest of the Jews along with him also concealed their true convictions and acted insincerely, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy (their example of insincerity and pretense).
    14 But as soon as I saw that they were not straightforward and were not living up to the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) before everybody present, If you, though born a Jew, can live [as you have been living] like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how do you dare now to urge and practically force the Gentiles to [comply with the ritual of Judaism and] live like Jews?

  32. I think for me it’s more a difference in the permissible will of God or His perfect will. It is permissible under the new covenant to do just about anything… but what is His perfect will for us? Only our living relationship with Him can define that in each of our own lives. The other question that begs to be answered is Why drink at all? That’s it… Why? Only you can answer that. but what I will say is this… whether you drink or not whether you are an addict of alcohol or sexual perversion or whether you are an atheist or whether you, like me, are just plain a sinner He loves you and I strive every day to have that same love in my heart.

  33. The practice of communion, wether your church uses wine or not, is based on the act of drinking wine as the blood of Christ.

  34. Wow. It’s not often I see someone speak on a topic that I myself feel so passionate about with words that so accurately reflect my own views in such a way that I can say “I could not have said it better myself”. Your words ring so true to me. You are blessed to have such wisdom, and I am blessed that you shared it with me.

  35. Laurel this i one of the best blogs I have ever read. You are so right on it. So wish I had learned this life of freedom at 21 instead of 51. Not just about drinking but about all of life. About walking out your Christian life in freedom and not in shouldn’t. You are blessed with much Godly wisdom. God Bless.

  36. I think the question we each need to ask ourselves with any of these issues is “Is it giving glory to God?” We are called to be set apart and I know that I have my huge faults and I am a wicked sinner because I am a human, but I have had more people ask me about The Gospel because they knew I didn’t drink and they thought that made me different. Our goal should be to be a living example for Christ and to bring more souls to Him and His church. I am not saying drinking is a sin because the Bible doesn’t say that. It says being drunk is, but each person is going to have to give an account to a Holy God during judgement, so you have to come to that conclusion on your own. No one can make that call for you.

    However, the people who messaged you after they saw that picture on your 21st, may have been genuinely concerned with your spiritual life. THey also may have been taking a shot at you which is wrong, but we need to always be genuinely concerned about our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  37. If anyone thinks that what they “don’t” do makes them a better Christian, it doesn’t. I know many Christians that “don’t” drink but are horrible people, but they think they are righteous because they don’t drink. To drink or not drink is a matter of personal conviction and some cannot due to past abuse. You can’t abstain from drinking with the thought that you are a better Christian than those who choose to or that you care more about others than the Christian who does enjoy a drink now and then… Or that you may be possibly stumbling someone…. If you knowingly stumble someone then you have sinned. It is impossible to know, unless you take a survey of everyone you come in contact or can observe you, if something you do is going to stumble someone. Wearing the color red may offend or stumble someone. Having a t.v. in your house may stumble someone. Having a laptop may stumble someone who struggles w/ pornography oh, and better not order that chocolate fudge cake for desert because the person in the next booth may struggle with a sugar addiction or obesity. (obesity is considered a disease now you know)
    What I don’t like about these “opinions” being passed as doctrine is that it seems those who feel they have had a “revelation” about drinking as opposed to those who have not, there is always an air of arrogance and superiority, that somehow you are a better Christian than those who choose to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or in the privacy of their own home. The mature Christian realizes that you don’t drink to the point of drunkenness. If someone does, they’ve made that choice to do so and if they feel the need to get drunk then there is a larger issue to be addressed. I struggle way more w/ food…. although I will never begrudge someone who can enjoy sweets or fast food their ability to do so just because I struggle. Given the opportunity anything can be used to replace God in your life…. food, alcohol, shopping, pornography, lying, stealing.. to single out alcohol is immature and legalistic. But what about “why”… why do you need to drink or why drink at all if you don’t need to? Well, I don’t “need” to drink and I don’t need sugar in vast amounts, I don’t need french fries, I don’t need another pair of shoes, or another level of candy crush, I don’t need to eat an In and Out burger…..we can have and enjoy things even if we don’t “need” them… but taking them to extremes.. if you feel you cannot control yourself…then don’t do it, but if others can, it doesn’t make them wrong.
    If only abstaining from things made you righteous than Jesus would have had no problems with the Pharisees, the Latter Day Saints have it made cuz they wont even drink coffee, and while we’re on the subject, we better stop celebrating Christmas since it’s rooted in pagan rituals and celebrating birthdays is extremely self centered and focused (certainly doesn’t lend to dying to self….) in which case maybe the Jehovah Witnesses are right? Do you see that it isn’t what we don’t do that sets us apart? What sets us apart from these worked based faiths? Grace. If you don’t think you should drink , then don’t. Because it isn’t a sin you cannot put that on someone else or look down on someone who does.

    1. You bring up a good point that gets overshot so often. “I’m a good Christian because I don’t drink”– but the person saying that is 5’6″ and weighs over 230 lbs. He never saw a hamburger he didn’t like. Truth is, he doesn’t drink because he’s too full of food– and somehow missed the passage where it says gluttony is a sin. Or, maybe the person loves gossip. Every story of anybody’s doings is grist for the mill, and this person knows all the dirt on everybody in town– and if you pass within hearing distance they’ll be sure you know, too. Gossip is a sin, of course– but the person doesn’t drink so he’s a good Christian.
      Let’s not forget the sin of passing unfair judgement on each other. What a popular pass-time that seems to be. Just look at some of these comments for examples of folk who seem to think that they are qualified to pass judgement on their fellow based on whether or not they would ever drink– as if that decision belongs to anyone but the person making the decision and God.
      “But— what about the weaker brother!!!” If the “weaker brother” is your reason to tell all other Christians that they must never drink, then I heartily recommend that you get rid of your Internet connected device right now. I’m serious about this. One of the major uses that men– whether professing Christians or not– put the Internet to is porn. Over 75% of men have a problem with porn, and your continued use of personal computers, laptops, I-Pad,I-Phones, Androids and the like can only serve to stumble your weaker brother.
      Oh–wait– you don’t use your device to search for porn and you resent me or anybody else telling you that you have to turn your device off to be a good Christian? Well— that’s what many of us think when you get on your high horse to tell us that all drinking is bad, when clearly this is not true.

      Look– whether you drink or not, for whatever reason you choose, is none of my business. Whether you use any device to connect to the Internet, or if you choose to pull the plug and never connect to the Internet again– is none of my business. It doesn’t become my business until you inject your busybody self into it and determine that you are the appointed judge of everything whether it is holy or not. Then I have to get into scripture and see what it really says– save your pamphlets that say other things, I’m not interested– and we have these strange discussions. Scripture doesn’t say you must never drink. It says don’t get drunk to the point of debauchery. If you have a glass of wine with your meal, you do not sin. If you get smashing the bar drunk, then come home in a drunken rage and beat your wife– you better believe that’s sin. Moderation is the key there. The same is true of eating– eat just enough, and leave it at that. Gorge yourself until you can’t waddle through the door, and you’ll reap the rewards of gluttony. Do you see the difference?

  38. I didn’t read this on Facebook for a few days after my friends started reposting, because I thought, “Oh, the age old battle between legalism and excess…” when I read the title. After reading a conversation about it, I decided to read your blog post, and I just have to say, how refreshing! 🙂

  39. I appreciate some of what you are saying. I agree with some of what you say as well. Controlling ourselves in respect and awe of who God is is absolutely part of what the gospel preaches. The only point I would like to argue in compliance with the gospel, is that we are in no way awesome or powerful. Instead, we are made holy and righteous in the blood of Christ, and only through Him do we have any kind of power. It is not our awesomeness, or power, but that which is instilled by the Holy Spirit alone. The same Holy Spirit that have Him power to do what He did. Bit thank you for sharing. It is very thought provoking, and I do believe part of our spiritual growth is searching within ourselves, while searching for God and His message spoken through the Holy Spirit

  40. I doubt anyone will read this considering the length, but here is my opinion of it. Please don’t debate me or throw the hypocrite card out there. Its just how I personally feel. You can disagree all you want. No need for things to get crazy on this thing. #beniceyall #seriously #cantwealljustgetalong #herewego

    Ehh….I dunno…I kind of disagree with what she’s saying on some of this. There are a few things I may could go with, but it seems like it is the “extreme” opposite of the traditional mindset. And I’m not a fan of either one. 

    I get really annoyed at traditional people throwing contemporary services, lights, fog and other things under the bus. But I find it equally annoying when people choose to look only at God as just a God of love and grace without seeing Him as a disciplinarian. (He destroyed the people on earth in Noah’s time because He hated what had become of the earth and He also destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of the homosexuality and other sins in that area #salt #dontlookback). 

    I agree with the message she was feeling like bethel was expressing: “God trusts us with His heart, we should live in a way that protects Him, not because of a law but because of our love for Him.” I think we should live in a way that protects Him not because of the laws, but because we want to please Him in every way because we love Him so much.

    Next she says: “So many churches tell their people what they shouldn’t do, the do’s and don’ts of the Bible, and that it’s all for their own good. But so few know how amazing they are, how much God loves them regardless of what they do or don’t do, and how He wants them to have an incredibly amazing life of pure joy and fun.”  While I agree with it somewhat, you have to be careful placing things like that, because people could easily take that out of context. An unbeliever can look at that and feel as though they can do whatever, whenever and its okay. God DOES love you regardless, but that doesn’t mean that what we deem as a “amazing life of pure joy and fun” is acceptable in His eyes. 

    I almost agree with: “I believe being set apart means that I’m living my life in a way that’s transforming the earth around me to look more and more like Heaven. I believe being set apart means I will be known by my reckless love for people instead of my opinionated hate for their sin.” To me, she seemed to get it right all the way up to when she said “instead of my opinionated hate for their sin”. Well…we are supposed to hate sin. We are obviously supposed to love people and that should be our driving force in everything. But we are supposed to hate their sinful act or lifestyle…and that doesn’t mean go after them yelling and screaming and telling them that they are going to hell. I do feel we are supposed to let them see our & God’s love for them FIRST, but also let them know that what they were doing is wrong. In John 8 (Woman caught in adultery), Jesus shows love for the woman, but also tells her to go and sin no more. He expressed to her that the way she was living was wrong and gave her instructions on what to do next. He also called out the woman at the well (I believe John 4). He told her about how she could have eternal lire, but at the same time called her out on having 5 husbands, plus a boo on the side!  Anyways…moving on….

    She then talks about what she feels “set part” means…again some of it, I can roll with….other parts…not so much. She then says: “You hear the church warning their people about the sin that alcohol will bring you into and the evil doors it will open your life up to… But if they preach that message than they need to preach the dangers of overeating as well.” 

    You have to be careful with things like this because not everyone is as responsible with things such as alcohol. It could very easily open up some doors that could jack you up. (If you play with matches long enough, you will eventually get burned! And some people really struggle with alcohol)

    Following that, she says: “In youth group you’re told not to drink and not to get tattoos because your body is a temple. When was the last time you were told that you needed to eat well and exercise because your body is a temple? The two go hand in hand.”

    Well…what she heard in youth group is accurate about your body being the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NLT) 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.) 

    I honestly don’t know what all that covers as far as tattoos and other stuff…but I can see what you actually put into your body being covered under this. (Scripture can go either way on tattoos and I honestly don’t really see much wrong with them (scripture wise)…but I personally never would get one just because of my personal convictions…and it looks like it would hurt!)

    But back to the last statement…I agree with her when she talks about the eating right/ exercise because your body is a temple…the two do go hand in hand and should be preached more in churches! But just because one isn’t preached more than the other doesn’t mean you ignore what the scripture says. It’s still scripture and we have to look at it that way. 

    My honest, unfiltered opinion regarding alcohol… I feel like as if people don’t get drunk, then people can probably justify the actual act of drinking alcohol. BUT….I look at it on different level. If they saw me drinking, would their relationship with God suffer because of my actions as a leader? The girl that wrote this gave her opinion on what she thinks, but the article was just that…it was about just her beliefs mainly and what what felt. We have to remember…that its not about just us. 

    Almost everything that Jesus did during his ministry was not about Him, but about others. From his birth, to his baptism, to his miracles, to his death. It was about others. We have to follow the same leading. Here is a scripture from this past Wednesdays service that I think kind of goes along with what I mean. 

    1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (NLT)

    9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

    Sorry its so long…I just get afraid that other people see articles and justify their actions by what Christians say instead of what scripture says. Who knows though…we may all get to heaven and realize we never figured out anything the way we were supposed to. ha! 

    #rememberbenice

    1. And for the record….I don’t mean anything towards the girl who wrote this. She seems very genuine and seems like her relationship with God is strong. I guess I just think a little differently.

  41. love this! whether or not to drink is a decision to be made by each person individually while taking into consideration your personal and family history, what the Bible says, and what God is speaking to you. this has been on my heart a lot recently, and i’m so glad i read this!

    p.s. you’re gorgeous!

  42. Dear One,
    I think the spirit and message of your blog was certainly on point….that who we are in Christ is not defined by what we drink or not. That message I can applaud. I have one thought that may have been mentioned in the plethora of comments above but I did not read. I have had this debate often, and I have heard the comparison to food again and again. The only thing with that is that God has given us food and our bodies require food to sustain life. Alcohol is not so. Now, one can argue about excessive consumption etc, but the reality is that from the first drink, the alcohol goes into your blood stream and begins to change your reactions to things. You don’t have to be drunk to know this relaxed feeling. If you choose to drink, so be it. But one can live without food, not so with food. So it’s really not the strongest of comparisons. If fact, it’s no comparison at all.
    Be well, and keep engaging with the tough stuff!

  43. What a great article and one that I wished I’d heard when I was young. As an older adult, I’ve often said the same things. So many times we get lost in a list of rules that we miss the message. Thank you!!

  44. I will start by saying that I am a Christian and I do not drink. Not Drinking is something that I am very passionate about. I come from a broken family full of alcoholics and it tore my family apart!! People all the time throw in scripture and say “the Bible doesn’t say we can drink” and you’re all absolutely right. However, the Bible does say not to cause someone else to stumble. Now I imagine that all you guys who are Christians and drink don’t hide the fact that you’re a follow of Christ right? So say you’re pretty well known in your church, always helping out, cooking meals for Church parties. Just the all around Christian woman. Now say you’re having dinner out with your family an you think you need a nice glass of wine. It’s no big deal right? You’re a grown woman, you’re not going to get drunk! But let’s say another member of the church is in there and they see you as this “Godly christian woman” and if you can have a glass of wine and still be as “holy” as you are then darn it they can too! So they orer one but now they can’t stop. They don’t have it in them, and now they are addicted. Sorry honey but their blood is now on your hands. The Bible also says “all that is lawful us not always profitable” I can’t help but say that although drinking is not a “crime” it can definitely leave you with some messy hands. Is the taste or “feeling” you get really worth someone’s life!? I think not.

    1. Your never going to get away from legalism in the church. It is there just as sin is. Again, God looks at the heart. He knows your intention far beyond what we see and has a plan for each person. This lady was not looking to publicly make this lady stumble who saw her. When I was a child, I looked at everyone who smoked as a sinner going to hell. As I grew in my faith, I saw that each individual was accountable to God, and if God is with them, He will convict their heart to what is right. They will grow in their faith daily as all of us do. I don’t see Jesus saying, get ride of that stuff and come to me.. I see His arms wide open and saying Come to me, without any hesitation. David again said, “I have sinned against you, and you only”. When Jesus hung around all us sinners, and gave the the best wine for the end of the wedding, did he look at everyone who was drinking the wine he gave out…..Again I say,He was looking at their hearts. I tend to see a lot of legalism in what a lot of brothers and sisters think, and not how Jesus looks at the heart!

  45. Wow I can’t believe the response you got from this haha. Astounding. As a christian, I think a LOVE of alcohol is ‘bad’. Not the alcohol itself. Much like money and any other idolatry. If your neighbour invited you over to their house for a drink of beer or wine, that is a perfect opportunity for you to minister to them. Not straight up, but becoming friendly to them and being Jesus to them without being all “you need to know Jesus right now and that’s all we’re going to do until you know him” kinda thing. But be nice, humble, friendly, someone they can connect with and when the time is right you bring it up or mention it. Where I’m getting to (very inarticulately) is that going over to their place for a drink is making them feel comfortable in their own surroundings. And that’s exactly what we need to do. Instead of forcing people into unrealistic circumstances for them. And one drink, for goodness sake you’re not going to hell for that. It’s the love of alcohol that may get you into trouble.
    Hope you enjoyed your 21st drink! 🙂

  46. I truly respect and treasure diversity in the church. My post is not said with a spear in my hand, only to make someone think.

    When we make even the most seemingly harmless decisions, it’s not about giving others the opportunity to judge us. It’s really not about ruining our testimony.
    When the small foxes creep in and spoil the vine, it’s actually about defacing our ability to reach out to someone who is struggling with a particular area (that in our own lives is totally harmless).

    But, as lovers of Christ, our own lives are no longer our own lives.

    Even in the little things. Even in our favorite moscato. Even in our profile pictures.
    Even on our twenty first birthdays.

    Working with young adults and highschoolers, there are certain things that are socially harmless but spiritually demand caution. I never said that was fair (to the world), but it’s true.
    I know, in the core of my heart, I would lose my ability to minister to so many people if I chose my Sunday night Greek tacos + bottle of Little Black Dress because, “technically”, I could.
    It’s always about other people.
    Our decisions are always about other people in the center, and everything surrounding/above/beyond/around is about our Jesus.

    I would never judge someone with a drink in their hand. I have no place to with my past, that is only made something by the precious grace of God. I would never judge. What I’m saying, is, that I make it a point DAILY and CONSTANTLY to die to myself, the little things in my life that I think I deserve, and the justifications I could write in their defense for the cross and that others may see it clearly, with no empty bottles, shallow glasses, or salt-rimmed martinis in the way.

  47. So here I go thinking about David again..God knows my, or the heart of who ever took a drink, or indulged in something as food or all the other comments on this blog. Is my salvation based on a social drink??? You may want to see who is around you, so you don’t make them stumble, God knew everything about David. God also knew his heart and his love for the Lord. God called David a man after His own heart. When I met God and He say’s “Well done good and faithful servant” he will defiantly be looking at my heart. I’ve dealt with convictions for years and they’ve brought me to a point, my love for the Lord has not changed and I live for Him. The Holy Spirit convicts me when I’m wrong and has Never left me. I can rest in His love and assurance on that. David said..take not your Holy Spirit from me. We all can rest on that.

  48. This is for bm who posted to study my greek. OK, bm, here is what I found. In the KJV, which you misquoted, says “and when men have well drunk”. The Geek translation of the word “drunk”is methyo which is used in tandem with the phrase “to drink freely” means to be drunken. Cross reference with Mat 24:49 “drunkards” and Acts 2:15 – These people are not drunk, as you suppose, its only nine in the morning” (but it’s 5 o’clock somewhere). I’d say that it means what it says. DRUNK. Now lets look at the word “wine”. In that text, the Greek work is onios. Using scripture to cross reference the same word is used in Eph 5:18 – Do not get drunk on wine- and 1Ti 5:23 – have a little wine for your stomach’s sake and Mar 2:22. All I want to say to Laurel is. BANG! Excellent in every aspect. People that are not Christ followers will be drawn to you because you are not some over holy judgmental “Christian” who seems to be on a different plane of existence. Stay true to those convictions. Great post!

      1. I know some folks from my neck of the woods that are at Bethel right now. Hear nothing but great things about it. Im in Destin FL and we have a church that supports what your blog says. I also have a daughter who thinks like you.

      2. I feel your heart Shanna. Coming from a broken home of alcoholics is no fun. I have seen the effects of addiction in so many friends. I can see why you are against drinking. I do, however think the the whole “stumbling” thing is overplayed to adhere to a certain bias against drinking. Nowhere else in the world is alcohol treated like it is here in America. In most countries drinking doesn’t even have an age limit. It was the misrepresentation of scripture and the radical right that made prohibition happen in the 20’s and the effects of that have rung out to future generations. Drinking is taboo to a lot of “Christians” and they look down upon the ones who do partake. Looking at may earlier post refuting the Greek translations of wine and being a drunkard, I stand by my and Laurel’s convictions on this matter. I understand that an abusive alcoholic family can sure make you anti-drinking, but how would a fellow Christian having a glass of wine at dinner you to stumble? Better yet, why? Focus on an upward connection with God. We are all covered in sin, and no one sin is really greater then the other. If you are so caught up in watching someone drink a beer, there is a problem inward, and the only way to take care of that is upward. Study the history of fermentation and you will get a better understanding of why it exists in the first place. It was actually a good thing that saved lives. Maybe if you realize that alcohol isn’t the devil’s water, you might have a different view on it. Remember also that the abuse of ANYTHING is a sin. Point the finger at the Christian having a drink or two but don’t notice the Christian who weighs 300 pounds and on their third hamburger. One is a sin, the other is not.

  49. Wow!! A Christian who said what was on her heart and mind, and told of how she was raised so that we may better understand her way of thinking! Did she know she would be judged? Duh! It seems what most so called Christians do! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and life on the subject of alcohol. God created us to give us the freedom of choice! My choice is lo love God and do my best. Unfortunately, my best will always be short! Moderation is always the key to life. Food, drink, and yes Christianity! I want people to see that God is good and fun! Yes fun!! He has a sense of humor, I mean he made man and woman… Right? My choice is not to put people down for their beliefs, to make me look like a better Chrustian, but to be there for them when they need someone to pick them up! If it makes you feel and look better to judge me on my behavior as a not so good Christian, then by all means judge! I have served God well in making you look and feel. a better Christian! Thank you very much!!

  50. I don’t understand why there’s even an argument here. Drunkenness is wrong, yes, but having a little alcohol is not. In fact, having a glass of wine every day is extremely healthy!

    The fact that Jesus drank wine, and that it was a rather large miracle that Jesus turned water into wine should be evidence enough that having a little alcohol is not bad. Just don’t let it get out of control.

    I believe that God shows us that many things can be good unless they’re not kept under control. Sex is good if it’s with your permanent partner. Food is good unless you are a glutton and become obese (like I have…). Alcohol is good unless you start getting drunk off it.
    Just keep these good things under control, and I believe you’re doing nothing wrong.

    People need to stop worrying about this petty garbage when it comes to the images of Christians anyways. Worry about the things that are 100% wrong (like stealing, living in adultery, etc) rather than things like this that are completely frivolous.

  51. My father was not a Christian and was an alcoholic. He saw many “Christians” drinking and saw no difference in himself and them. I say NO. It ruins your witness to those who are watching. We’re not suppose to be of the world even though we are in the world. It was many years before he realized people who say they are Christians aren’t necessarily so. He did ask God’s forgiveness for his sins and became a Christian before he died.

    People watch.

    1. I think you might find part two to this topic of interest:

      Re: Re: Should Christians Drink Alcohol? | laurelmariekells
      https://laurelmariekells.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/re-re-should-christians-drink-alcohol/

      You can say no all you’d like, and many do. But I’ve noticed that really hasn’t done much good, because there will come a point where the person that’s shouting NO is no longer around to keep them in line. We need to empower our brothers and sisters, not control them.

  52. All i SEE is

    YES

    NOOOOOO

    YES

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    YES

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    this is why as a christian listening to this debauchery i start to rethink my values all over again. This strikes to the core of being a christian.

    What drives you to be a christian?

    Is it to show off that your following all the rules, to impress your friends, to make yourself feel like your part of something?

    Time to evaluate why you became a christian in the first place, evaluate what drives you to be a christian everyday. Time to realize going after little details in the bible wont settle it for you.

  53. I used to have a small drink before I went to sleep at night, this is also at a time I was “searching for God”. My little drink got bigger every week until one evening (you can argue whether it was a God moment or not) I looked at my glass and realized that I had poured a whole glass of whiskey to sleep on. I decided then that I didn’t need to do that because at that rate I would need a fifth to get to sleep in about 6 months. I didn’t sleep well for the next 3 nights (and still have insomnia some 20 years later) but I didn’t like the fact that I HAD to have something to sleep. As God continued to work on me over the next year I gave up smoking and all drinking. I recognized that I am the type of person that has to “Do it all, or don’t do it at all” (ie If I buy a beer I will drink it, if I buy a twelve pack I will drink it. I argued with God that it was not fair because I had friends who could moderately do things. God’s reply was loud and clear, “Thats not how I made you, now you need to learn to accept that, to live with it and understand it is a gift”. Are you kidding me? All these years later I finally understand, I am not better I am only wiser by His grace. I have a unique inside view of those with addictions, I can relate because I am only one month (name your pill or liquid) away from being homeless, addicted and broke. People who can moderate have no idea what a giant addiction is. Do I condemn those that drink, no way. They are made of different stuff than me. I didn’t touch a drop for 10 years and if I do now it is only with my wife’s strict supervision. All this to simply say I see valid points on both sides (except for the one poster who thinks the wine was grape juice, it had alcohol that is what preserves it from being spoiled). We don’t want a brother to stumble, we don’t want to miss the message if Grace… So what is the answer? Maybe try Matthew 7:15, Romans 14:17. All I know is that it’s a problem with me, as far as you go… That’s up to you and God.

  54. This article leaves me with mixed feelings. You’re asking whether we should, but perhaps a better question would have been, Do Christians need to abstain from it? All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. What is the benefit to drinking alcohol? Does it allow you to share your faith in different settings? Does it help you fall asleep at night? We could compare this to someone who occasionally smokes marijuana in a state where they are legally allowed to. They may only smoke 1 joint, a couple of times a month, but should they? Should Christians smoke marijuana? Should they smoke cigarettes? Should they date? Should they watch R rated movies? Should Christian women wear pants? Should they wear shorts? Bikinis? It’s the same conversation. It feels like you are trying to justify your actions. You have the freedom to drink, and so choose to have the occasional drink. No big deal. But you don’t seem to understand why believers would choose not to unless they are trying to follow a sense of rigid rules. Choosing not to drink is as much of a choice as choosing to drink. There is freedom on both sides of the coin.

    1. Mind if I stick my oar in?
      The issue isn’t whether or not you choose to drink alcoholic beverages. That’s between you and God, nobody else’s business. Not mine, not Laurel’s, not Raul’s nor anybody else’s. It’s not a sin to have a beer while eating a pizza. Search scripture, and from Genesis to Revelation you won’t find the prohibition. It’s also not a sin to choose NOT to drink, for any reason or no reason. Perhaps you just never developed a “taste” for alcohol– perhaps you’re allergic to it– perhaps you abstain for religious reasons– whatever. Again, it’s between you and God and nobody else’s business.
      The problem comes in when a person gets his/her nose out of joint because you, as a believer, don’t march to his/her drummer. “If you don’t believe exactly the way I do, you’re going to die lost!!!” Really? Over a can of beer? Over a glass of wine? (Full disclosure: I’ve tasted wine maybe twice in my nearly 59 years, didn’t like it so don’t drink it.) I fancy you’d have a hard time making a case of that, since for every scripture you could pull showing that drink is a demon there is another showing that drink– at least in certain conditions– is a blessing from God Himself.

      It’s a sin to get drunk. Gluttony is a sin, too. So is slander, “backstabbing” your fellow employee so you can climb the corporate ladder and quite frankly a host of other things. All of these sins can be repented of and forgiven though, only one sin is listed as being “unforgivable”. Popping the top off of a bottle of “Moose Drool” (so help me, that’s the name of that brand of beer) isn’t that sin.

  55. It’s not what you do. Is how you go about doing them. Only person you should worry about what they think is God . God is the only one that can judge. If you do drink, drink responsibly.

  56. wow. These are my thoughts exactly, but I couldn’t have put it in words like this. Thankyou for this!!
    “We are not just called to be a “good Christian” but we are called to greatness, to live a life that is as powerful as Jesus Christ’s” So powerful, im encouraged. This is what it’s about!!
    On a side note, I think Romans 14 is worth mentioning. Some people mentioned it in the comments..I didn’t read them all 😛 I think this is an important part of following Christ and living to be more like him.The chapter touches on supporting our brothers and sisters with their convictions–a part of the reckless love you mentioned. I do drink, but I have friends who don’t; and while they know I drink (it’s not a matter of keeping it secret at all) I wouldn’t drink with them because of this chapter.
    Hope that makes sense…
    Keep ‘pursuing eternal promises’!!!!
    ps. I love your definition of set apart!

  57. Oh the subject of alcohol…. Want the whips to come out? This works every time!!! I know this going to shock some of you, but Jesus drank! Yes he did. For one, in that culture they had wine with practically every meal. And please stop with the whole, “the wine wasn’t fermented” ummm yes it was. It was alcohol plan and simple. We can’t take certain scriptures and use them for our justifications. For every scripture you have to prove your point, someone will have another one to disprove it. This is why we need the Holy Spirit, to guide us through scriptures. Otherwise we sound like a bunch of contradicting loonies! It’s a book for a reason. Gotta read the whole thing. There is always a bigger picture with Jesus. That’s why people will take what Paul said about women in church and make a blanket statement that no women should be in leadership. Missed picture right there. We have to know culture, traditions and context. There is a reason Jesus said we will be known by our love. You don’t think people argued over stuff like this? They did.. The lost should look at us and think…. Man those people really love each other. They don’t agree on everything, but they aren’t a people who take on offense. It’s ok to drink and it’s ok not to drink. It’s time we put down our weapons toward each other. It’s OK to have different opinions and different convictions. We are turning the lost away with our Pharisee mindsets. Got to get to know Jesus. He’s so kind.

  58. Oh the subject of alcohol…. Want the whips to come out? This works every time!!! I know this going to shock some of you, but Jesus drank! Yes he did. For one, in that culture they had wine with practically every meal. And please stop with the whole, “the wine wasn’t fermented” ummm yes it was. It was alcohol plan and simple. We can’t take certain scriptures and use them for our justifications. For every scripture you have to prove your point, someone will have another one to disprove it. This is why we need the Holy Spirit, to guide us through scriptures. Otherwise we sound like a bunch of contradicting loonies! It’s a book for a reason. Gotta read the whole thing. There is always a bigger picture with Jesus. That’s why people will take what Paul said about women in church and make a blanket statement that no women should be in leadership. Missed picture right there. We have to know culture, traditions and context. There is a reason Jesus said we will be known by our love. You don’t think people argued over stuff like this? They did.. The lost should look at us and think…. Man those people really love each other. They don’t agree on everything, but they aren’t a people who take on offense. It’s ok to drink and it’s ok not to drink. It’s time we put down our weapons toward each other. It’s OK to have different opinions and different convictions. We are turning the lost away with our Pharisee mindsets. Gotta get to know Jesus. He’s so kind.

  59. Oh the topic of alcohol….. Want to see whips come out? This subject will always do it. I’m amazed by some of these comments. People, you can’t take one scripture and use it for your benefit, because the bible will contradict itself that way. It’s a book for a reason . Read the whole thing. This is where you need the Holy Spirit, let Him guide you. Jesus like to have fun and party. JESUS DRANK…. Omg?!?! What?!?!? He did. They had wine with every meal. Please stop with the whole, the wine wasn’t fermented or it was juice. It was an alcoholic beverage, plain and simple. We so easily quote Paul or Jesus without seeing the bigger picture. We read a verse that talks about women in church, and all of a sudden, BAM! No women can lead in church. Gotta keep reading and studying. No the culture, traditions and context. There is a reason Jesus said, we will be known by our love. We don’t always have to agree, but we do have to love. It’s ok to drink and it’s ok not to drink. Let’s be in this together. Loving one another so radically and celebrating each other so much that the lost can’t help but want in the kingdom. It’s time to out down our weapons toward each other.

  60. Excellent article. The point of Christians managing themselves is well made. We don’t like to think our way through things so we just call it sin and throw it out the window. Total abdication if responsibility.

    Here’s a scripture for for those still on the legalistic side of the fence… I’d love to see you throw some Greek and Hebrew at it to explain it away:

    Deuteronomy 14:24-26 (NLT) “Now when the Lord your God blesses you with a good harvest, the place of worship he chooses for his name to be honored might be too far for you to bring the tithe. If so, you may sell the tithe portion of your crops and herds, put the money in a pouch, and go to the place the Lord your God has chosen. When you arrive, you may use the money to buy any kind of food you want—cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household…”

    Um… Pretty much that says you can use your tithe to throw a party. With alcohol. Yeah.

  61. OK. Another one that I’ll follow.
    You’ve hit a point I’ve been thinking on for some time. It’s amazing how many “laws” we put on ourselves in an attempt to be holy that the Bible doesn’t say are laws at all. “Do not drink any alcoholic beverage”– the denomination I belong to subscribes to that, but search scripture from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find an absolute prohibition against drinking. Getting drunk to the point of debauchery– yeah, scripture has plenty to say against that, but not about having a drink. Timothy was told to have wine with his meals because of his weak stomach (he didn’t handle water well, as I understand it) and of course Jesus’ first recorded miracle in the Book of John was turning several large jars of water into wine– a thing the Son of God would surely never have done if all drinking was sinful.

    We in the Church do many things like this, putting ourselves under burdens that the scripture never intended while we declare things “sin” that the Bible never even once says are, in fact, sins. The end result is that good Christian men and women go through life convinced they’re going to Hell because they do something secretly that the Bible never even once condemned. We really need to lighten up a bit.

    1. Do you know how wine was made back then? It was fermented by the sun and not with alcohol like nowadays. It seems that among people responding to this thread are pro drinking I say go ahead and do as you pleased but if you call yourself a Christian then at least have your drinks in the privacy of your home and don’t go posting your pics on the internet “look at me I am cool, I am relevant and not a legalistic Christian”

      1. Since you replied to my reply, I’ll take the liberty of replying to yours.
        I have a suspicion that you have no idea how wine was made back then. Further, if it was fermented by the sun as you say, I have news for you: That’s how the sugars naturally present in the grapes become alcohol. By fermentation, regardless of whether any extra alcohol is added or not. People weren’t getting drunk on Welch’s Grape Juice, friend— they were getting drunk on the real deal– wine made from grapes. Fermented grapes produce alcohol naturally. They always have, they always will.

        Trying to say that the wine Jesus used way back then didn’t have alcohol because He used grapes that had been fermented in the sun rather than more modern ways shows that you had no idea how wine is made— then or now. But, it DOES show that you would desire to force your concept of the Law on everybody else who would be a Christian. Suggestion: Get rid of your computer RIGHT NOW! Reason: Porn is the biggest– by far– reason that people use home computers. Given your thought that we shouldn’t do ANYTHING that might stumble a weaker brother– and you’d be astounded how many of your brothers have a weakness for porn– your use of a home computer cannot be justified.

        Chew on that for a bit, and I fancy you can see where that goes.

      2. Just want to verify, approaching my competition of a Theology degree and I’m not big on titles or pieces of paper, but we did study the production of alcohol in Biblical era: our wine today is definitely DRANK compared to the alcohol content in those times.

        That’s why excess and alcohol often go hand in hand: you would have to throw back at least 20 to obtain the buzz we can get off 4 decent glasses (potency objective).

        Something to “chew on” as you consider where you stand.

        My life, not my own – glory to God in even my smallest decisions.

      3. Thank you Raul for your comments. I am not a “free”christian. I am a prisoner of Jesus. I cannot do what I want, I must do as I am told. And only when I come to Him on my knees, can I hear His voice as He talks to me, and He doesn’t divulge to me His conversations to others. Love to all.

  62. There is a reason I don’t have a pet lion cub. It’s because they are wild, and when they grow up, they can “turn” on their “master” and before you know it, you’re “lunch” for the grown lion if your back is turned. With alcohol, it’s kind of the same thing, in that it can “turn” on some people (10% of all those who ‘experiment’ with alcohol find out they really really like it and can’t get enough — hence, they become “alcoholics”, statistically speaking). But the larger issue is what’s in one’s heart. Alcohol “brings out” your inhibitions, and dare I say, even “secret sins” (drinking 3 or 4 or more drinks can, for some, cause them to engage in activities that they later may regret). For some, as with the author of this post, I’d say if you want to drink “socially” I won’t judge you, so go and enjoy. I may have a beer with someone as part of ‘social engagement’, or, I may be the “designated driver”. For me personally, I may drink 6 beers very 30 or 45 days or so, but do it all in one night. For me, though, I cannot allow alcohol to be something that is a regular part of my grocery inventory, nor do I offer a guest an alcoholic drink as an option to tea for dinner, but, it does depend on the occasion. The thing is, if you buy a pet lion cub with the intent to keep it around and feed it, it could eventually lead to things undesired… even though having the cute little lion around would be really fun. **** As believers in Christ, we are like grown-up lions… but without a cage. That which restrains us is not made of iron, but is our conscience, and our understanding of what it means to honor Jesus. This sort of is what the author of this post is saying about Bethel’s position on this. Reality is, in the past most of us “regret” how we lived growing up or even as adults. Alcohol was usually present on some of the most detestable times where we have the most regrets now, later in life. Instead of trying to “tame the wild beast”, it may be best to not even have the beast around at all as a general rule, but if you do, do it with a wise respect for what alcohol or anything in “excess” is capable of.

    1. I did not read your entire post, as I am just scrolling, but I thought the pet lion analogy was solid. I will have to put that one in my back pocket for later.

  63. Read the article – if I got a dollar for every time she says “I believe” , “I think” or “I feel” I would have some nice cash to spend lol
    In all seriousness, what I have been taught is to ALWAYS practice the “weak brother” – I don’t know this gal and can’t really know what her heart is really about but It is better to abstain fr anything that would make others stumble. Deny yourself and if you do drink, do it in the privacy of your home. That’s it

    1. You’d have about 7 dollars to spend 🙂 head on over to the second part of this topic of you like. It’s titled “Re: Re: should Christians drink alcohol?”. Instead of always padding the room with cushions for our weak brother, we should lead our brother into strength.

      1. “Wes should Lead our brother into strength” so may I download and use your margarita picture to share with my new convert friends? I don’t think so. You got a lot to learn and grow up young lady.

    2. So, it’s wrong for her to say what she believes, but it is ok for you? 🙂 If that is what you were taught, then you need to do that. That doesn’t mean those of us that were taught otherwise must follow suit. In what ever group you apply the “weaker brother” argument to, that weakest person ends up controlling that group! That wasn’t the intent of that verse.

      1. Just rename the heading “do you love wine more than Jesus or your weak neighbors” – Drink all you want but no need to post it to the whole world with a margarita in your hand ….Lord have mercy

  64. All I know to reply to so many of you is this, Yikes!

    While it seems you’re all throwing out random scripture to prove your points… I’ll throw out one of very few verses that has no conflicting verse that puts it up for ‘interpretation’:

    John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    Love empowers, love casts out fear, love conquers, love truly is ‘the greatest of them all’.

    So many of you have totally missed the point of this article, and I believe for some, it’s because freedom scares you. Some of you might be viewing God as a dictator rather than the loving Father that gave His Son so that we could overcome and rule the earth with power and authority just as we were created to do in the very beginning.

    If I were a nonbeliever, and I came across the article, I’d undoubtedly be like: “Christian’s are absolutely crazy! They’re no different then any other organization, arguing their beliefs with one another, dishonoring one another, making judgements about one another and trying to puff themselves up above another.” That’s what’s scary about this… Not the article that, in short, says, “Hey- You’re actually a really awesome and powerful person, you shouldn’t need the rules of any group of people to keep you in line and living a holy life, because of Jesus you can manage yourself well if you choose, but regardless, Jesus really really loves you no matter what!”
    You’re all entitled to your own opinions, and hearing them has been very thought provoking, thank you for taking the time to reply! But one thing that none of us are entitled to, is to dishonor one another with assumptions, accusations, judgements, etc.
    KEEP YOUR LOVE ON GUYS! That’s what we’re to be known for no matter what we agree or disagree about!

  65. Well stated. There are parts I totally agree with, but parts I disagree with. I’m all for letting God do the convicting rather than me, so in no way is my question meant to try convict, but to make one think. I find nothing wrong with someone choosing to drink as long as they aren’t getting drunk… But, what if someone sees you drinking, or a picture of you drinking that CAN’T control their alcohol consumption in the same way? That’s where I think Christians drinking alcohol gets messy. What if the public nature of ones choice to drink could make someone struggle? Should drinking by Christians be a public thing? Should it be done at all? Should it only be done in company of those that won’t stumble from your choice? Should we drink and not care what others think? I suppose we each have to decide for ourselves after praying about it and finding scriptures that lead to truth.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response, I answered some of your questions in a “Re: Response” to this article, it’s the first article on my main page. 🙂

    2. Then, what if someone sees you eating, or a picture of you eating that can’t control their food consumption in the same way? People are so sick and empty nowadays that they get addicted to anything and everything so should Christians not show pictures of anything?

      There are some things that are in our control and some that aren’t, but by her having a picture of her drinking something but not making a fool out of herself or looking drunk, she’s showing others that people can drink with moderation and self-control.

  66. What a great and respectful discussion! Laurel, I would love to have you share the impact of your parents’ periodic drinking as a “hush hush” activity. I am not criticizing your parents, but this is another topic we must also discuss as mature Christians. What message do we send to the lost and to the children in our home if we live our lives differently outside than we do behind closed doors? I believe we should live our lives consistently in the area of alcohol as well as every other area. (You know, like screaming at each other on the way to church, but acting like the perfect family once you hit the church parking lot.)
    Secondly, we are a Christian family who has chosen not to drink in our home or in public. The reasons may surprise you. My husband comes from a family of alcoholics, and we are very aware of the dangers of alcoholism as described by Rebecca. No one plans to be an alcoholic, but it does begin with the first controlled drink. I personally chose to not drink because the first time I was offered a drink was as a new Junior Counselor at a Christian camp after the campers were in their cabins. None of the adults were present. I did not refuse the cans of beer. I poured them out when the guys were not looking. I will spare you the details, but the alcohol was a part of a planned initiation. I cannot express how thankful I am that I chose to not drink that night, but it was a traumatic experience that has colored my opinion of Christians drinking.
    If you choose to exercise your freedom to drink, please be honest about it like Laurel and do not hide it. Please also do not assume that those of us who have chosen to abstain from drinking are making that choice because of legalism. Please also be aware and respectful that there may be those of us in your presence who may be uncomfortable around people who drink for very valid reasons.
    My sons know our stories. They will need to make their own choices when they turn 21. I hope, Laurel, that like you they search scripture and use it as the foundation of their choice.

  67. Thanks Laurel for addressing this subject from your mind and heart, It is indeed a question that leads to deeper understanding of our Christ like walk and the walk of others around us. It is a question of our faith and our faith is not in those around us but in God. What does God want? How does Jesus live through us? Its not as a dos and don’t accountant. but as one who loves and wants the best for us and those we care about and those we influence.
    Jesus told us our bodies where temples for that is where we worship God, where our spirit resides. He also told us that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out. For many the what defiles comes out the more the alcohol goes in, mostly because it was sitting and waiting there inside for an excuse to be let loose. The question is more about learning control in freedom. I am completely free in Christ, now what am I going to do? Why do I want to drink this or that drink? Does it matter to know which drink I may like over the other? how much should I consider the impact of my actions on those around me? As we strive to become like Jesus we must remember just as he did, we will live among sinners our entire lives, and though we may sometime need to enter the pit in order to pull some one out, or enter the wilderness to look for the lost, we need not to become stuck or lost ourselves.
    Each of us must make our decisions by faith, and ask “God what do you want me to do right here right now?” And when the answer is “what do you want to do, my child?” We can make that decision knowing that God will stand beside us and bless us when we make that choice in love and compassion.

    Here’s a question ………Does God want us to have fun? Let see what the answers are.

    1. I would say yes, God want us to have fun and enjoy His creation, but in a controlled and respectful matter. It must be respectful to ourselves, respectful to others and respectful to nature. If it’s not respectful to any of these, then we shouldn’t do it.

  68. From church services, whether it be a reading or a sermon, I have always been taught to love greatly, to treat others with the respect I would like to see for myself, and to live life with God. I have never once been told not to do something, the message from the worship I have been a part of has not been about strict rules or regulations, but rather I have been taught what I believe are the fundamental commandments with which to live a fulfilled Christian life;

    Matthew 22:35-40
    35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Personally, I love God, I am a Christian and that would never stop me from living my life, going to parties, having some drinks, having some fun! I believe that I would not be able to spread the word of God by hiding away, not interacting with people and by living within strict boundaries that have 1) never been to taught to me and 2) are neither appealing to me or to others of my age. I don’t want to be judged for what I do, so therefore I will not judge others. Have a drink, have a few, don’t have any, it’s entirely up to YOU. Obviously if something is damaging someone’s life I would speak up, and I would expect that love and compassion to be shown to me.

    I loved reading this article. It is refreshing to see someone at the same stage of life as me taking a stand and saying it’s OK to live your life as a young adult and still live the word of God. Personally, I believe restricting people by telling them what not to do leads to people living in excess when they finally break free from their restrictions. Rebellion at its finest.

    I have been struggling with being a Christian as of late, due to people, mainly non-Christians, attacking me for my beliefs. There are a minority of Christians giving us a bad rep. I’m always up for heated discussion with anyone if it revolves around opinions, but I do not believe in attacking people’s fundamental beliefs. It’s a challenging world we live in. I do find it hilarious though when people find out I’m a Christian (I don’t brandish it around like it’s a trophy), it usually happens when I announce that I have to leave a party early because I am leading a service in the morning. I always get a surprised look and a “really?? But you drink/are at this party/made out with that boy/swore a few seconds ago/weren’t we just talking about sex?”. No matter what though, even if people don’t know I’m a Christian, they appreciate me for how much love I give to them and to others. Success!

    I’ll leave with two messages from two great women in my life that have helped me through the last few years of being a Christian in my early twenties;

    1) God doesn’t live in Church

    2) Jesus loved to party

    Peace!

  69. There is so much That has been and could continue to be said on this topic. From the bible, from personal expiriences and from observation. The bottom line in my mind is it doesn’t actually matter whether you drink or not. Most christians would agree alchoholism is bad. Most would also agree getting drunk is not ok. Every other argument from self control to stubmling block is going to be situational.when I truned 21 I began having the occasional drink with friends and as a result one of my closest friends family was a lot more open with me I was able to speak into their lives and encourage them in ways I wouldn’t have been able to before. They knew “christians weren’t supposed to drink” but then when I did but refused more than one they asked why and I was able to share. Now I work in a city and with a christian ministry where we are not allowed to drink because we have that ministeral levitical calling in a city where alcholism is a huge problem. I go to strip clubs twice a week to share Jesus there and order pop. Are there moments where I wish I could order a cocktail instead so I didn’t feel as stupid heck yes. However for our ministry purposes now the cons of alcohol outweigh the pros. This is one of those areas in our faith that is not black and white it is situational our unity is not found in our do’s and don’ts it is found in Christ and when we are focused on him, his love, his justice and his heart and pushing others to do the same he will lead us in the way we should go. The best way for each of our lives to have an impact, not simply to keep people from stumbling but to help them run their race.

  70. it is for freedom that Christ Jesus set us all free … I think the premise of learning to manage your own being is imperative … rules and regulations; inferences to holiness being about behavior are ludicrous… Paul said that ‘all things are permitable but not all things are profitable … you nailed it here perfectly, bravo! Those under the ‘law’ will break the law … some people have an allergic reaction to drinking and ‘break out in a drunk’ and these people must come to learn that they can no longer ‘manage’ drinking fermented substances due to its effect/affect upon them. IT BECOMES FATAL for them. Bethel teaches a good word and you present a wonderful blog! thank you!

  71. Very good article. This can be a tricky subject, especially here in the United States. The Assemblies of God denomination in the US has a Zero Tolerance policy on alcohol – but only for credentialed ministers. While I’m sure they’d highly encourage their parishioners to abstain as well, the AG for lack of a better term is a “franchise denomination” and each local church can establish their own bylaws to how they want their members to live. And of course becoming a member is not mandatory.

    When our AG college choir went to Italy and Sweden to AG churches over there, they continually tried to give us alcohol with the meals they served us AT THE CHURCHES. We always politely declined. All that to say that we have a different perspective on it in the states than most of the rest of the world.

    The Bible does not anywhere say that drinking is a sin. Not one place. It does however warn us of the dangers of excess. But we also know there can be excess of any created thing. You can die from drinking too much water! The point here isn’t abstinence, but wisdom. And faith. Paul says that anything you don’t do out of faith is sin. It does also say that we should watch over those weaker in the faith than us and not make our brother stumble with our freedom. However, I don’t think that means that we live in a box, because people can’t handle me walking around outside. Again there is wisdom. Sometimes some people need to take it easy on their freedoms. And sometimes people need to grow up and “not call unclean what God has called clean.”

    Again, yes the Bible does lean more to say to the stronger person giving up their freedoms to the “weaker” brother, but unfortunately, (and I don’t really mean unfortunately, but I can’t think of a better word to use at the moment) it seems that the weaker brethren are also much more angry in their approach to how and why this subject should be handled. We would do well to realize that drinking is not a hard doctrinal issue, that is it’s not a thing that makes or breaks anyone’s salvation. Therefore if it must even be categorized, it would be a secondary issue. And if that’s the case, we must remember this mantra (not original to me): “In essentials, Unity. In non-essentials, Liberty. And in all things, Charity.”

  72. From this article I see someone who is trying to justify what she wants to do. Socially drink. There are many responses from people either for or against drinking, but be careful telling followers of Christ what to do in this area. Several times in scripture, certain people or groups of people were told not to drink. But not all followers of Yahweh in the Old Testament were told they couldn’t and not all followers in the New Testament were told they couldn’t. But some were. So drinking needs to be between the believer and God. If someone has to work so hard and lump all of us believers into a category that says we all can do this without suffering consequences from it, just shows me she has not probably been on her knees regarding His will for her life in this area. References to the above on who should not drink (because clearly there are some opinionated, yet Scripturally inaccurate statements in many of these responses) #1. Jonadab, son of Recab (Jeremiah 36, he and his whole family and descendants were told not to touch wine. Read the story to see why. It’s actually a powerful story on obedience). #2. The Nazarites, those set apart for God. (Numbers 6 and many other places in the Old Testament showed that God held His people to this). #3. The Levitical priests. #4. Kings and rulers (Proverbs 31) #5. John the Baptist (Luke 7) And there’s plenty more. Throughout Scripture it seems that those who are set apart for the work of the Lord, that were trusted with much, were some of the ones He told to not drink. I am sure there are many reasons, but for most people, even a little alcohol can cloud any thinking or judgment, even if it’s just a little. And if God has told someone to not drink, then that someone should be obedient. For those who’ve sought after the Lord on this and He has given them the approval to drink, that is for them and them alone. But that does not mean it is for every believer. This article is written on shaky grounds for she is giving approval for something that may not be right for someone else.

    1. You’ve made far too many assumptions about the author, me. Your response makes me wonder if you even read my article… The whole point of my article is to empower people to make wise choices, rather than trying to control them by telling them what to do.

      “The issue isn’t alcohol, food, and tattoos. The issue is that Christian’s don’t know how to manage themselves because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth of their God breathed identity, the glory that’s within them, the authority and power that they can walk in if they choose.” – that was part of my article, in case you didn’t read it. 🙂

      1. I read your article several times before responding the first time. Here’s what I picked up as a feel from your article that I read through (just now for the 4th time before responding again). You are part of a generation of people who believes it all revolves around them. The worship songs today that we sing here in western Christianity are all filled with “me” and “I”. Very few of our songs today are “You” (in referring to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit). I see in your article a sense of, all is good and we are all great, and that maybe parents and churches shouldn’t be so restrictive and that it’s bad to hear “NO” too much. What I also see is that there’s a lack of Him in this. The feel of your writing is that God is basically here to hand us our world on a silver platter and make us all happy and “heaven around us” and we have freedom to basically do whatever we want. Yes, we serve a magnificent God. And He does give us laws, commandments, statutes to live by. Otherwise the whole book of Psalms would need to be done away with. (Especially 119. The longest book in the Bible is dedicated to the worship of our God for his statutes, decrees, laws, commands). I went to North Central (now University and I grew up a Mennonite pastor’s daughter). I am a Bible student, teacher, mother of 4, wife, writer/author, missionary and I have gotten the privilege to memorize all of Romans, (Paul talks a lot about this kind of stuff) and the book of James (the New Testament version of Proverbs basically) and I am now in the process of memorizing John. (Amazing book, all about being obedient to the will of the Father. Btw, Father is mentioned 65 times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke but 115 times in the book of John alone, showing us the importance of doing the Father’s will). Jesus’s whole life here on earth was “to do the will of Him Who sent Me.” His Father’s will. Basically what I am saying in the last several sentences is that I don’t see a backing of scripture in what you are attempting to say. You inadvertently, I think and hope it was inadvertently, took too much of a position of authority on this and you did revolve the article around drinking alcohol. (You did throw a few other things in there like overeating and mastering every area of our lives and being whoever we want to be), without showing that God has plans for His people and He needs to work them out according to His will for their lives. It’s probably not anyone’s place to say all Christians have the freedom to drink (or for those who have been responding who don’t know much about Scripture, to say no Christian should drink). But regardless, that’s not an authority that belongs to you. It’s His! And it needs to be between Him and His follower. You have an audience. The question I have for you is this: What are you doing with the platform you’ve been given? Are you truly leading people down a scriptural path that is right? The devastation for many, at the hands of alcohol, is far more reaching than lack of exercise or overeating. So while something like drinking may be ok for you, it may not be for someone else. Paul clearly states in Romans chapter 14:21 “It is better to not eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes someone else to stumble.” Do you need to hide the fact that you drink? No. Should you flaunt it? Absolutely not. And yes, dear, you did. Your picture and your words are there for all to see. In a world where everyone wants to excuse their behavior, live the way they want to and still be a Christian (without any consequences) is dangerous. But it’s even more so for the person who has a platform (such as yourself). Take advice from someone a older than you. Rewrite this article. Rewrite it from a scriptural point of view. In John 7:18 Jesus says “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself. But he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth, there is nothing false about him.” If you want to preach about freedom in Jesus, then do so. But do so according to God’s Word. If Jesus only spoke what His Father told Him too, then shouldn’t we? My “feel” from your writing is that it wasn’t about Him, it was about you. I do hope and I do pray for you that you will strive after Truth, and let Him work this out in you. By the way, just a side note, but since you worked so hard to write this article and respond to the comments the way you have in defending yourself, God probably has more of a plan for you than this. He asked some of those that He trusted with the some of the hardest things to not drink. I wonder if maybe He is calling you to that as well?? Can He trust you with the hard things? And by hard I mean that life isn’t all fluffy. There are kids to get out of human trafficking (an area I am just getting into), there are horribly oppressed people and Christians in parts of the world and their oppression is beyond comprehension (you actually have to go there and see it to believe it even exists, I know it to some degree, I work for a missions agency to Eastern Europe and have been there several times). Sometimes when God calls His people to do the hard things, to trust them with the hard things, these are often the very people He asks if they will stay away from alcohol. You worked awfully hard trying to prove your point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite is what He’s asking of you. 🙂 Now that makes me smile. His plan for you is way bigger than any plans you are making for yourself. Blessings as you pursue your Creator!

    2. Side note: Because you don’t know me, I’ll let you in on a secret, I can count on one hand the times I have socially drank since I turned 21. You might not want to be so quick to make judgements… 🙂

      1. Your article begins with “Should Christians Drink Alcohol”? It ends with a smiling picture of you holding a glass of some kind of an alcoholic drink. Prior to the last paragraph there are 8 references to drinking. The last paragraph alone is full of it. I did not miss your point. You are missing what is being read by those reading your article. You took authority as a very young person on something that you should not have. Don’t judge the pastors who preach it is wrong from the pulpit. Maybe the pastor who preaches from the pulpit to not drink has members in his congregation who’s families are ripped apart at the hands of alcohol. Maybe he has several teens in the youth group that got started on hard drugs because they went to a party that gave them a drink of alcohol and it went downhill from there because alcohol so clouded their judgment. (And now they are in teen, and some of them adult, detox centers, trying to straighten their lives up). Maybe he has a woman sitting in his church who can barely hold it together because a drunk driver took the life of her child. Maybe he has a man in his church who caused a horrendous accident because of his drinking. All of these situations have happened to Christian people in my community and communities around me. You are too young to know the far reaching ramifications of what you are throwing out there. If God has given you the ok to go ahead and drink, you do not need to flaunt it because you don’t know who you can cause to stumble by doing this. In Romans, right after Paul talks about not eating meat or drinking wine or doing anything that would cause anyone else to stumble, he says “whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God.” Instead you flaunted it for the world to see. It is not right for many people to drink. Your smugness and your lack of listening is indicative of your generation. And that is what I saw in your article and your responses. I am being upfront with you regarding something you’ve put out there for the world to see. I am not hiding behind smugness nor snarkiness nor even sarcasm. You speak as one who is inexperienced and as one who does not care what others think and do as long as they don’t disagree with you. And you refuse the council of anyone. I’ve read your comments to others. You are as sweet as pie to those who think what you wrote is great, and a little defensive and a lot smug to those who do not think so. You give an attitude that you know better than they do if anyone comes against you. If alcohol isn’t the central theme of your article, try rewriting this without your smiling picture holding an alcoholic drink and title it something different and write about how we are free in Christ without referencing alcohol. You have plenty of other stuff in your article, but regardless of how you sugarcoat it, alcohol is the central theme.

      2. Renee, you made many excellent points. I enjoyed how you laid out why this can be such a hot-button topic for people today.

    3. Of course the article is written on shaky ground… no Christians want to talk openly about it because people act exactly the way you are acting. No one reads objectively or rationally any more. As soon as it is a topic they don’t like or disagree with, their guns come out and they start firing. She has pretty clearly (in my mind) stated in this article that it is a decision in HER faith with God that it is acceptable for her to socially drink. I didn’t read anything giving a blanket statement that ALL Christians can or should be able to socially drink. And the opposite shouldn’t be done the way many people have responded. One person shouldn’t dictate that not a single Christian should drink. People should be able to see this article rationally as each person of faith having to decided for themselves, between that person and God, if they should drink socially or not… no one else should have any influence over that. It just blows my mind how decreasingly rational the world is becoming… Oh internet, what have you done to us?

  73. Well said. 🙂 Also, kuddos on your pursuit not only of Elohim but of the things of Elohim. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and don’t you ever forget that. 🙂

  74. Such arrogance, self pretentiousness. As I read all these I see two groups. Those who desire to push their views on to others, to use guilt, reason and even scripture to do so. These people feel good about themselves because they have opinions and views superior to the rest and live their lives in a more restrained, confined and restricted manner than the rest.
    The other group seem to operate from a base of freedom, openess and grace. Not judging or criticising and not using scripture too support their personal views. If Jesus came today I know which group I believe he would rather hang with. God is much bigger than these petty debates.

      1. Indeed.
        Jesus broke “the rules” of what was socially acceptable and expected of him as the Messiah. He talked and dined with sinners to bring them into his fathers Kingdom. Who are we, mere humans, to judge the faults of others when Jesus himself preferred the company of those who sinned and were lost, but were willing to be taught over the self-righteous, condemning temple leaders.
        Cherish and support others in love and faith, do not condemn and oppress your own opinions onto them. 🙂

  75. This was great!!!! surprised me a bit actually, and I had fun playing find the ‘legalist”in the comments. Thank God for the people who think its about what you do that gets you close to Him…they provide the contrast of the true Gospel of Grace. Love them they are on a journey…that is easy to say I still in my flesh play find the legalist.
    Inspite of that He loves me how great is our God…blessings

    1. I just listened to this, thanks for sharing! I’ve sat under Jentezen Franklin’s ministry many times, his heart is so pure for God and I really respect him…
      But there’s something he’s missing… I grew up in a youth group where my pastors, my parents and every single youth members parents, all took the same stance as Franklin’s. They all wanted to leave the same ‘genes’ that he’s talking about. They wanted to eliminate sinful options from their children’s upbringing in hopes that they would forever stay away from those options. What this did was create a powerless group of people… A youth group that knew not who they were, that greater is He that is within them than he that is within the world. So once they left their home, every.single.one. of those that were in my youth group EXCEPT for me and just a couple other people totally fell away from the Lord. Because they had NO idea how to manage the freedom that they were introduced to once they left home. They now get drunk on a regular basis, a few of them are even homosexuals now; what happened to those genes that were passed down to them? You don’t empower people to live a victorious holy lifestyle by eliminating their options to sin. I don’t know if you read my whole article, but this isn’t a debate of getting drunk or not getting drunk. That’s a mute point within the church- we are never to be drunk.
      This is all about empowering people to manage themselves internally, not externally by the control of the church, their parents, etc.
      I would think Jentezen would know this… But we actually have authority over that “alcoholic gene”. We have authority to crush it under our feet because satan has already been placed below us. His message contains so much of a fear factor that I hear nothing about the power that we should walk in, to be fearful of nothing, but to walk in boldness.
      Should we play with evil things because we have power? No. But I have to disagree with his research on the alcoholic content that Jesus was around – if the pharisees called Jesus a drunkard, that means what he was drinking was alcoholic. Was he promoting being drunk? No, i believe he was promoting exactly what I’m promoting, we’re powerful people and we should know how to manage our appetite and desires well in order to release THAT gene over our children and our children’s children. That is what will carry them on once they leave our home and move into a worldly environment where there’s no one setting an example for them.

      1. Completely agree about the alcohol content. My great-uncle was a winemaker so when Jesus talks about what happens when you put new wine into old wine skins, it is pretty clear to me that he is describing the effects of fermentation and the buildup of carbon dioxide which causes pressure to build up. This pressure buildup would cause old and inflexible and brittle wine skins to burst. Somewhere (I can’t remember where), I heard that this is a symbol of our old nature being made new and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

  76. Jesus himself turned water into wine, obviously because Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol right? Let’s stop being two dimensional in our thinking and adopt some common sense. The whole point of this blog is that we are human beings with the freedom to shape ourselves within a generalized expectation in God’s eyes. Too many “Christians” are just mindless drones who live for nothing more than to quote scripture word for word and try to decider a concrete meaning within those words, which there is none. The purpose of the bible is to recite history and stories to provide lessons and instill moral fiber, the rest is up to the individual to interpret and learn for themselves what is “right” or “wrong”.

  77. 1Timothy 5:23 No longer drink water, but use a little wine on account of your stomach and your frequent infirmities.

    @Princessa Summerlin How is this scripture twisted?

  78. Ok.

    What if a fellow believer came to you, and told you that your freedom in this area made them weak in their faith? How would you respond?

    1. Lets pretend this persons name is Joe for the sake of my response:
      I would first apologize, and tell Joe that for future gatherings, I would refrain from drinking while with him. But I would also tell Joe that his faith needs to be evaluated… I would prophecy over Joe his God breathed identity of being a powerful person and tell him, until he stops depending on the actions of others to be what keeps him in line, he’s going to find the Christian walk difficult. I would tell him that I won’t forever be next to him to make sure everyone around him sets him up for success. And most importantly, I would invite him into an encounter with Holy Spirit to give him the power to stand on Christ’s strength IN him, his hope of glory…

  79. In most every church its ok to give a morbidly obese individual a brownie, in fact its even called sharing or loving on people. On my way out of church people give my 4 and 5 year olds candy, under the guise of kindness, my wife and i take it away. Millions of poeple suffer and die of obesity related issues but the church looks the other way. Thanks for pointing out that trading one indulgance for another only creates legalism.

  80. Great post.
    Thanks.
    1. Jesus made wine for people to drink, Scripture tells us, and He did so after everyone was soused. However, it WAS a party . . . Hmm. (The Wedding at Cana.) (And I KNOW, it supposedly was only “somewhat fermented grape juice, but tell me, really, what is totally fermented grape juice? The answer is: vinegar; that is when fermentation is complete. So they weren’t drinking vinegar, so they were drinking wine. And the true purists refuse to consume vinegar, too, as in pickles and ketchup…)
    2. It is not for those in authority to have alcohol. (The other half of Proverbs 31.)
    3. The priests were not to have any alcohol when they were serving. We are priests. We serve constantly. Hmm.
    4. We ARE to drink not only water, but a little wine. Hmm.
    5. When Jesus said He would not partake of the fruit of the vine anymore, He was referring to grapes, not to wine. It was a Nazarite vow. No wine, no grape juice, no grapes, no raisins, no nothin’.)

    Just thought I’d stir the pot a bit. My siblings and I grew up sipping the foam off our daddy’s beer and were given concord wine diluted with 7-Up to drink with Thanksgiving dinner. Not one of the five of us is alcoholic. We all are very, very moderate in our drinking habits and for myself, I can say, I’d rather drink from the Ganges than offend any Brother with wine. Period. We once went seven years consuming no alcohol because of the church we felt led to attend…

    Lastly: The freedom we have is supposed to be kept between ourselves and God. That may have been why your folks were so careful. Think?

  81. “The issue isn’t alcohol, food, and tattoos. The issue is that Christian’s don’t know how to manage themselves because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth of their God breathed identity, the glory that’s within them, the authority and power that they can walk in if they choose.”

    I think that paragraph of the article is the heart of the whole problem. It’s more about the relationship they have with the Father and how much they feel the Father values them. Even what we DON’T do can be done for the WRONG reasons. Great article.

  82. I just want to point out that Jesus drank and one of his miracles was turning water into wine… Not just weak wine, but the wine that was served at the end of a wedding (the best). Some Christians use the argument that “the wine was not fermented” so it would be more like juice. But Jesus also said that some called him a drunkard which references he drank alchol. So if I was hosting a party with alchohol and Jesus came, I would not hesitate to offer Jesus a drink… It wouldn’t be his first.

  83. Well written! I didn’t even notice you had a glass in your hand until you mentioned the photo. All I saw was the radiance of Jesus on your face!

    1. MMM 🙂 I love that! I knew His delight was all over me as Holy Spirited joined us for celebrating my 21st! My friends actually prayed and prophesied over me while I sipped on my first cocktail! 🙂

  84. wow lots of comments and all sorts of advice. Every situation is different depending on where you live.Who you ministering to, cultural background etc. I’m a pastor in my 50s. I’m came to Christ at 21 from a non christian family who all drank heavily. I was a binge drinker and turning into a alcoholic. The moment I encountered Christ my drinking stopped immediately without anyone saying anything and never touched a drink for years afterwards.Today I will occasionally have a glass of wine at a meal eating out somewhere but pretty rare. But in our church we have a number of people who have had drinking problems in the past and so I will not drink around them because it can become a stumbling block for them. We had an incident several years ago which illustrated the danger. I went to a birthday party with a friend of mine. I had a drink and then my friend started drinking and he got drunk. I found out later he was a person who had struggled with alcohol but when he saw me drink he thought it must be ok for Christians to drink. I go into Asia to minister and in most of those countries its an absolute no, no to drink as Christians. So in that context its an absolute no, no for me. In closing Its interesting but the Salvation Army do not have communion. Apparently it was because back when they started in the 19th century many alcoholics came to Christ. Having the wine became and issue for them. In those days i guess they had to use real wine in communion. So they decided to not serve commune for the sake of these people. Extreme! Maybe. But for the sake of our weaker brother or sister we have to be wise and walk in love for their sake.

      1. YOU FOLKS ARE GETTING WAY OFF TRACT . IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE YOU ARE FROM OR WHAT YOU DID BEFORE YOU TURNED TO GOD. THE QUESTION IS …SHOULD CHRISTIANS DRINK ALCOHOL? …AND THE ANSWER IS ABSOLUTELY NOT! AS I MENTIONED IN MY POST… IT STATES IN THE BIBLE THAT OUR BODIES ARE TEMPLES TO GOD AND NEEDS TO BE TREATED AS SUCH. YOU CAN TAP DANCE AROUND THE ISSUE ALL YOU WANT AND FIND EXCUSES AND CHANGE THE SCRIPTURE TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS. THE ANSWER IS NO ALCOHOL.

  85. Hi, my name is Mark and I came to know Christ 30 years ago because of a revelation of His unconditional love. For twenty years of my Christian life, I struggled with alcohol. I don’t think drinking is a sin, but for several million alcoholics in America, like me, my choice is not to take that first drink, because freedom for me is freedom to live a sober life. So what about loving those who struggle still? Does your freedom to drink just one drink,send a message to those who struggle, ” Go ahead take that drink, in Christ you’re free.”?
    “All things are permissible, but not all things are profitable”?
    If you saw the devastation and death that I’ve seen in my ministry with those enslaved to alcohol, you may think twice about promoting your freedom. Before you make the decision to drink “socially”, go to a few AA meetings and see where “social” drinking can lead some.

    1. Thanks for sharing 🙂 head on over to my second article on this topic, “Re: Re: Should Christians drink alcohol?” I cover the very valid point that you’re making in that one.

  86. You’re hitting on some important points in a gracious way. The best part about what you said was:

    “The issue isn’t alcohol, food, and tattoos. The issue is that Christian’s don’t know how to manage themselves because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth of their God breathed identity, the glory that’s within them, the authority and power that they can walk in if they choose.”

    God breathed identity. That we were made in the image of God and that comes before anything and everything else about us. Sometimes addictions and other issues we may have become a bigger issue than a will to stop or a choice. What’s most important here is that we first recognize they are made in the image of God and define them by that first, then walk alongside them through their problems.

    I’m in the middle of reading a book by Dave Lomas called “The Truest Thing About You” and it’s all about this. So thoughtful and gracious. I highly recommend it to everyone who takes the time to read this article. Truly amazing.

    Thank you for posting this and starting a great conversation.

  87. I would like to offer a different perspective on the issue of being “set apart”. The Bible does call us to be set apart. But what exactly does that mean? And how is it achieved?

    The following point of view is not something I have ever heard preached or taught anywhere, and yet I believe it is true. In the interest of full disclosure, let me preface this by saying I was raised in a legalistic, dominating cult, and I have great disdain for anything that even smacks of legalism. This often manifests in my thinking and many times in my writing as well. So as you read this, adjust it to a more neutral frame of reference if necessary.

    In the legalistic church of my childhood, being set apart was one of the core tenets of the faith. When someone from outside saw us, they should know instinctively we were part of God’s elect. To achieve this, we employed a great variety of carefully constructed tactics, all backed up (however tenuously) with scripture and/or the teachings of our prophet. First of these tactics was our manner of dress. Women were forbidden to wear pants. Dresses must be several inches below the knee. Jewelry was off limits, except for a wedding band and a watch, if it was a plain unadorned model. Hair could never EVER be cut. Not even the split ends. We were not allowed to have a TV, nor radio, nor magazines or newspapers. Music was limited to old-fashioned hymns and bluegrass, as long as the words were gospel-oriented. We were not allowed to talk to those outside the faith unless it was necessary for our jobs. Speaking of jobs, women were not allowed to work outside the home unless they were single or widowed. We were to be set apart, and the church did a stellar job of making sure we had no chance of blending in with “the world”.

    But all of this “set apart”-ness was accomplished through our control and our devices. Not a single thing in that list was how God set us apart. Everything was how we set ourselves apart. Looking back on it from 30 years later, I recognize all of this as mechanisms to achieve self-righteousness. God didn’t make us righteous. He had no hand in that legalism at all. We were making ourselves righteous, and our offering was every bit as pretty as Cain’s. And just about as effective.

    Wouldn’t it be great if being set apart was not something we consciously achieved, but simply a by-product of our faith? What if the driving force behind being set apart was God and not us?

    And here is the part I have never heard taught or preached before, so I’d love to hear some feedback on whether you think it’s inspired or in error. But here goes:

    Consider a tomatillo. Those are the little tomatoes you sometimes see in the grocery stores. They have a green papery husk that covers them. Some people call them husk tomatoes. Here is a picture of them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tomatillo_01_cropped.jpg

    The poisonous husk completely covers the tomatillo fruit, surrounding it, entrapping it. And yet the tomatillo grows because it is being fed from the Vine. As the tomatillo grows, it is pressured from outside by the husk. But in the fullness of time, the fruit grows so large that the husk can no longer contain it. The husk splits away from the fruit. In this manner, the fruit is set apart from the husk, and it did nothing at all except become more mature.

    When we become more mature in our walk with God, we won’t need to work to set ourselves apart. People will split away from us in droves because we’re not hip. We’re not worldly. We don’t share the same interests. And it’s not caused by anything we do other than being fed from the True Vine. It’s not an us thing. It’s a God thing.

  88. Not one person should ever drink alcohol. Depending on how your body metabolizes alcohol …2 drinks could impair your judgement and you may do something or act a certain way you normally wouldn’t. Also,many people these days take all kinds medications and even the natural products can react to alcohol. If you are a drinker and looking for an excuse… you can juggle the scripture around to make it say what you want it to say. Scripture is a matter of interpretation and it is a shame that people can get it to say what they want it to say. Our bodies our temples and God wants us to treat as such. NO DRINKING PERIOD!!

    1. If one of your arguments is, “Our bodies are temples and God wants us to treat as such” – I assume that you grow or buy strictly organic food, you don’t touch processed foods, soda’s or candy bars, and you workout regularly to stay healthy?

      1. One might assume that, Laurel. But if my experience is any indication, one would be mistaken.

        Hands down, the most through-the-looking-glass moment of my young life was when I had a 375# 5’6″ Christian friend inform me, while downing a snickers and a mountain dew, that he could not understand why any Christian in their right mind would possibly try to justify ANY alcohol consumption. What would an unbeliever think if they saw it?

        He was 375% serious. I was speechless.

  89. First of all I think this was a great blog entry. I commend you on your faith and open-mindedness on a topic that in many settings involving Christians is difficult to talk about.

    I haven’t read every line of all of the comments, but I just had some thoughts of response on some of them which I felt compelled to share.

    Mainly in the response of the “NEED” to consume alcohol. Ultimately, no, but there are a multitude of things we do not need to do, that we should do. So, the fact that we do not need to drink alcohol shouldn’t prohibit Christians form doing so.

    I know for myself, my main purpose for the consumption of alcohol is the feeling of relaxation in a social setting. What I mean by that is not to lose my inhibitions, or to not care what I am doing, but to be more personable and less uptight. Personally, I was not blessed with the Godly ability of public speaking or even standing around with a bunch of friends and cooly being able to talk for hours about whatever comes to my head. Many people are the same way, but I will not dwell on the abilities or motives of others. In a social setting, having a drink or two just allows me to enjoy myself and the company of others better… and I venture to say the reciprocal effect is probably true also. Does that make me selfish?? Maybe a little. If so, I can accept that. I don’t believe any human can go through life without a single, somewhat selfish desire. (I don’t think should be any disagreement on that statement).

    Now, when I am at my residence, with no plans of going anywhere for the evening, just going to lay on the couch and watch Netflix or my nightly shows until I am ready for bed, do I “need” a beer (wine, not my thing) then? No, of course not. Am I going to be endangering anyone else or in the slightest affecting anyone else’s life if I decide to have one. I don’t think so. In the case of other optional beverages to drink, my main liquid consumption consists of water, some type of juice, milk, soda or beer. That’s basically it and it covers a lot of options. So I will throw out the questions: Which of these sounds like a couch-lounging, end of the night drink. Not milk, not juice. So I am left with water, soda, or a beer. I will say, most of the time I will drink water, because it does the job of quenching my thirst and is healthy… because its basically 0 in liquid form. But sometimes I just don’t want any more water. So on those occasions I am left with soda or beer.

    So which of these should I choose? Neither of these are “healthy”, but which is actually worse for me? Now by no means am I a scientist or nutritionist, but this are the run down of nutrition facts for things I have close at hand.
    A can of MUG Root Beer: 160 calories, 0g fat, 65g sodium, 43g total carb., 43g sugar, 0g protein.
    A can of Yuengling Light: 99 calories, 0.1g fat, no sodium listed, 8.5g carb., .82g protein.
    So again I ask, which is less healthy? Yes, alcohol has effects on the function of your body that these nutritional facts do not convey, but in the moderation of 1 or 2 servings, those really do not apply.

    I guess I have covered my thoughts substantially. Thanks again for the post!

  90. You’re hitting on some important points in a gracious way. The best part about what you said was:

    “The issue isn’t alcohol, food, and tattoos. The issue is that Christian’s don’t know how to manage themselves because they don’t know the truth. They don’t know the truth of their God breathed identity, the glory that’s within them, the authority and power that they can walk in if they choose.”

    God breathed identity. That we were made in the image of God and that comes before anything and everything else about us. Sometimes addictions and other issues we may have become a bigger issue than a will to stop or a choice. What’s most important here is that we first recognize they are made in the image of God and define them by that first, then walk alongside them through their problems.

    I’m in the middle of reading a book by Dave Lomas called “The Truest Thing About You” and it’s all about this. So thoughtful and gracious. I highly recommend it to everyone who takes the time to read this article. Truly amazing.

    Thank you for posting this and for starting a great conversation.

  91. Hey Laurel! Great article!
    but my response would be what about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4… Now our acceptance of God is not a matter of meat. If we eat it, that does not make us better men, nor are we the worse if we do not eat it. You must be careful that your freedom to eat meat does not in any way hinder anyone whose faith is not as robust as yours. For suppose you with your knowledge of God should be observed eating meat in an idol’s temple, are you not encouraging the man with a delicate conscience to do the same? Surely you would not want your superior knowledge to bring spiritual disaster to a weaker brother for whom Christ died? And when you sin like this and damage the weak consciences of your brethren you really sin against Christ. This makes me determined that, if there is any possibility of meat injuring my brother, I will have none of it as long as I live, for fear I might do him harm….

    When reading what you wrote I felt empowered and it felt great to be reminded of the freedom I have in Christ but I could not help but think as I am addressing my freedom in Christ and how great it is, my mind went to the other call on our lives with Christ and that is our duty to others.

    So I agree with both of you… Maybe its not a question of.. should Christians drink?, maybe its more of who we are drinking around, the environment in which we are doing it and our motives behind it?… because I think that addresses both sides of it and goes along with you example of (being able to make a mistake in a controlled environment)

    Love you all God Bless.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking about Robert.
      I also think of Philipians 2:3
      Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value
      others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you
      to the interests of the others.
      If I truly love others, I will put them above myself. If something causes them to stumble, even if it’s slight, I will do everything I can to refrain. To me, this lifetime I have on earth, now that I’m a follower of Christ, is meant for going out into the world to spread the gospel and show the love of Jesus Christ. Are there certain things I will refrain from that unnecessarily cause others to stumble? Definitely. My life is no longer my own. Acts 20:24
      However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the
      race and complete the task The Lord Jesus has given me– the task of testifying
      To the good news of God’s grace.
      So if one of my freedoms come into question, I will willingly and sacrificially give it up for my brother.

  92. I especially loved this line, “I believe being set apart means I will be known by my reckless love for people instead of my opinionated hate for their sin.”! Enjoyed your insights, thanks for sharing!

  93. Well Done Laurel, I completely agree with you! (even though I am almost 27 and have never drank and probably never will…) Its all about becoming more like our Father God. Empowered to be like Him by the Holy Spirit living in and through us, to Love like He Loves…

  94. The real question here is why you even believe in a God that’s based on a book known to be based on lies and ideas repeated throughout history. The story of Jesus has been cloned by several other deities and it’s sad that there are still people around that believe all the lies. Wake up and do a little research instead of just following blindly.

    1. Um, me thinks you should do a little more research, friend. A little further down that rabbit hole & I think you’ll see that whole line of thinking comes untangled.

  95. would jesus drink socially? he DID! wedding at cana… john 2:1-12… just read it for what it says — without trying to make it fit into your own grid — like the bible school i went to where in a gospel of john class the prof spent 2 class periods trying to prove that the wine was really grape juice! come on people… let’s not be like the pharisees! if you sense god telling you not to drink, DON’T DRINK! but you just can’t legislate that for everyone else.

  96. Jason – holy or holiness actually means ‘moral perfection’ and to be set apart is to be ‘sanctified’
    This might make a difference to your arguement! As Christians we rely on Jesus’ moral perfection rather than ours and we are also sanctified through Christs work not ours!
    Regards Denise X

      1. The reason , or one reason that I don’t drink or never did is , that I believe that alcohol is a mind altering and is an addictive drug , in a happy hour situation , with each drink of alcohol the volume goes up . People do things under the influence that they would not do otherwise . While sitting on the Federal Grand Jury for 9 months , the crimes committed were over 90% alcohol involved , another 5% were harder drug involved .I being a 12 th grade school teacher for 20 years believe that the example I set had more influence on the student’s that I taught than any verbal things that I could say . I am far far far from being perfect but I believe the way you treat other people is a better witness than any statement you can make . .

    1. Beverly –

      How do you reconcile that with the fact that Jesus made the best wine ever tasted? And drank it. His coming in the seen event was I’ll make the best wine ever – miracle?

      1. Important point here…JESUS made the best wine ever. It was not distilled, brewed, manufactured, or whatever, by man and modern methods with who knows what ingredients. Think about it….

      2. Betty Jesus made wine. If you are going to assert that the “wine” referred to is not “wine” as we would understand it, then on that logic, all the other mentions of wine in the bible aren’t wine either. They are something else. Because reasons.

        The plain fact of the matter is that trying to assert that Jesus didn’t turn water into actual,alcohol containing wine is an exercise in question begging hermeneutics.

  97. Thanks for writing, this is undoubtedly helpful for people who may not no where they stand. But you aught to look into how the bible views “being set apart.” Convictions are what makes the difference, in fact, those convictions are used to show how we are set apart. In 2 Timothy chapter two, Paul tells Timothy that “those who live according to God’s word are Holy, set apart for the special work of God.” the word Holy actually means set apart. Christ was holy, what made him holy? He lived to do God’s will. Israel was called to be holy. The entire purpose of the Old Testament was to saturate the people with a desire to know God more, thus making them holy. In short, By comparing our convictions to the Bible, one can see if they are set apart from this world, or if they are of this world.
    just a quick note: If one says that they don’t have any or many convictions, and claim to follow Jesus, start asking mature Christians what they believe and do this quickly, so that you can more fully allow God to work in you.

  98. My mom was a Old Pentecostal woman of God, she always ask me the same question over and over, if I asked her if something was a sin? She would say if Jesus came to your party to visit what would you do???? Would you sit down and offer Jesus a drink and a dance or would you run and hide? Right there your question about social drinking and partying will be answered. Its between you and God, however I grew up in a Missionary home were I was held to a higher standard, it really makes you think about the actions and the life you live when people you are trying to minister to and tell abut Jesus, look at you and say, well you were there at our party and drinking and partying, it must be okay because you are doing it. People especially unbelievers watch and if they can’t see a difference in your life style then what’s the point of interest? If we are going to live like the world why would anyone be drawn to our life. I have had many people tell me, boy your dad is a gem, we love him to pieces, and he really walks around showing Jesus, People are drawn to him because of the way he lives and is different. He may go into the bar but he doesn’t have to drink with the drunk to get them saved. In fact he went into a bar not long ago on his way back home to get some soda for the road, the three people in the bar turned and looked at him and said well if it isn’t me Olson, how are you doing and what are you doing here? See people watch, You may think that Drinking socially is not a sin and it will not hurt anyone, but what you haven’t thought about is how is it affecting your witness?

    1. I agree totally with this view Reba. WHAT WILL IT DO FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST? Would you ask Jesus, would you like a Miller Lite??? I don’t think so. The Bible says Proverbs 20:1….WINE IS A MOCKER, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. If you don’t take your first drink you will never become an alcoholic. My brother is one and I truly know the repercussions of the brokenness it had caused in his life.

      1. What will you being on Facebook or the Internet in general, or watching tv, do for the cause of Christ? When a great number of the friends you’re interacting with online are probably addicted to porn? Would you ask Jesus, would you like to scan the internet mindlessly with me for hours? Or, would you like to sit down and watch this tv show with me?
        I’m sorry for your brother, but he needs the love and power of Jesus to encounter him and it truly is as simple as that.

        1. Laurel, you have a valid point on asking Jesus would he want to sit down and view TV and the internet because people are addicted to the filth of the world. That is where you have to die to the flesh and like David said Let me put no evil thing before my eyes. Like in the case of drinking, if watching tv or Internet viewing sites that are not go God, then there is a button called OFF. The devil uses many many tools of the world to get our focus off of Christ. My brothers alcohol addiction is his fault and nobody else’s. If we all just asked God to give us the spirit of wisdom, we wouldn’t be struggling with what WE want in our lives, but how is Christ is being portrayed. I don’t at all feel that I am in bondage when I set high standards for my life. When I stand at the judgment seat….my hope is that I will hear WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. JESUS IS COMING SOON AND I STRIVE TO BE LIKE CHRIST SO THE WORLD WILL LOOK AT ME AND THE LORDS PRESENCE IN MY LIFE. I don’t want people to wonder am I a Christian, if I have to give up something that is not necessarily a sin, but a conviction, I will give it up to not offend a weaker brother.

      2. In all respect, & in ALL honesty, I would NOT offer Jesus a Miller Lite, but not because it’s beer, but because it’s BAD BEER. I would, and I say this in ALL sincerity, offer Him a Yeti Chocolate Imperial Stout by Great Divide because it is an astounding work of art, and tastes and smells even better than it looks, & to not offer God the best is a great sin. Whether or not he would partake, I don’t know for sure, but I know that I would indeed offer. Also, scroll back & read my earlier post about alcoholics: a great number of alcoholics are made so BY having been raised as teetotallers, creating a specific pscychology making them predisposed to alcoholism if they ever were to “fall off the wagon” – and others are born with the genes for it, just like some are born with other genetic propensities towards certain sinful uses of otherwise natural things. Sex itself isn’t evil because there are child molesters in the world, is it? Neither is alcohol just because you know a few alcoholics.

    2. What I wonder is why do some christians think that being set apart means not drinking or dancing or that being ‘different’ means not drinking. The bible says that the world will know us by our love for each other. Love is something we do, not something we don’t do. Also, where in the bible does it say anything about dancing being wrong? Do you really think that the world thinks ‘oh wow, those people don’t drink or dance they must be really good people’? I don’t think so. True religion is caring for the widows and orphans, and I would say that that statement means that true religion is caring for the least of these. NOT drinking and NOT dancing don’t make you holy, more acceptable by God or anything else. The only people who think that are other people who don’t do it. Not the world.

      The bible talks about drinking for a reason. Because we drink. And I would say that it also talks about gluttony. Because we eat. Many don’t have self control. Being overweight is just as bad a witness as being drunk. And, being overweight is deadly. It probably kills more people. I don’t know the actual stats on that but just looking around I would say that obesity affects more people than alcoholism. How is that pleasing to God? And I do believe that if it was so bad Jesus wouldn’t have turned water into wine. Even in Psalms, I believe, it refers to wine makes hearts merry, or something to that affect.

      1. I’ve heard the food argument many times and I fully agree with your point that food can be destructive. Of course it can. However, I do NOT nearly agree that it touches more lives than alcohol.
        There’s a big difference in the whole food argument. I’m not gonna overload on chocolate chip cookies and cause a wreck on my way home. A husband isn’t going to eat one too many donuts and go home and beat his wife. A mother isn’t going to have a glass too many of coca cola and verbally abuse her kids. I’m not going to go destitute and homeless over my lack of self control for a good ole cheeseburger.
        The difference is that alcohol abuse destroys MUCH more than the person abusing it.
        You may say – well if a parent dies from overeating, it can cause their children much sorrow. I get it. But c’mon, at the end of the day are you really going to use the food issue as the top argument for drinking? Let’s be honest, alcohol is more destructive.
        PS. I agree, nothing at all wrong with dancing as long as it isn’t provocative. Dancing can be great! 🙂

  99. The issue of drunkenness is obviously out. Don’t be drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit. But to drink socially is something that everyone needs to discover. Also the issue with meat sacrificed to idols. Dont want others to slip if they feel it is wrong.

  100. It’s always good to talk about alcohol amongst Christians to open up this important discussion.
    When you consider how addictive alcohol can be; how it can harm the human body; the deaths per year caused by disease and drunk driving; the families torn apart by its abuse; economic costs (health care, social services, prison, etc.)…alcohol is arguably the most destructive drug there is.

    There are so many more cons to it than pros…so many more risks of drinking vs. not drinking (personal and societal risks). And I feel that if it’s so unbalanced, if the cons outweigh the pros so much – it should be an easy decision for a Christian to choose to abstain – out of love for others.

    I have personal and vocational experience with these things (as a social worker specializing in addictions, working at a rehabilitation facility, working extensively with the homeless population for 2+yrs, etc.). Side note: I did not grow up in a Christian household, I did not grow up hearing the “do nots” of church rules. I became a Christian at 16, started following Christ at 18, and am not a fundamentalist by any means.

    Do you (in general) love alcohol more than you care for the fact that it can cause extreme brokenness and destruction?

    The “Moderate” use you talk about can and does cause others to stumble (I’ve seen it personally many times). People don’t expect to become dependent on it when they start moderately drinking. Most alcoholics started moderately. You never know. And especially – if anyone knows anything about true alcoholism, you know that you should not want to put even the slightest temptation out there if possible. So many people at my previous church plant talked about alcohol frequently (and its always in a positive light)…and has turned away people because they don’t want to be around it. Is it really worth that? I think that’s a terrible, sad thing that people have been turned off because they’re uncomfortable being around those Christians. We should act in a way that draws everyone to us. And yes, I believe we can act in a balanced way to not be “holier than thou” as non-drinkers…I don’t live in a Christian bubble…I don’t look down upon my non-christian friends when they drink.

    Christians should be willing to give up whatever it takes to see others come to Christ and live glorifying lives. I think it’s a huge problem to give a hugely destructive drug the opportunity to be cast in a positive light so much.

    Ask yourself the simple question “WHY do I drink?” . Of course you have the freedom to…but why do you choose to?

    I really feel so much of the alcohol debate simply comes down to the fact that – admit it – you like alcohol for how it makes you feel. I’m not necessarily talking about the buzz. Maybe it’s because it makes you feel cool. You feel “adult”, sophisticated, a little brave that you as a Christian have “stood up” for your “freedom”.
    So many Christians are naive to the dangers of this drug. They are ignorant to the fact that there are many people visiting the church, at your church, contemplating Church in general…who are NOT comfortable around alcohol.

    Can some alcohol taste good? Sure, I guess. But so do many other non-alcoholic drinks. I’ve tried lots of alcohol in the past and didn’t like the taste. I’m honest enough to admit I like the buzz I got. Does wine have some health benefits? Sure…but so do many other things – such as the eating healthy that you talked about. And there are other beneficial things that have no risk involved, either. So much of it comes down to the fact that Christians that drink, do it with more selfish motives than non-selfish. (Please note: I am of course guilty of my own selfish motives most of the time…just giving my opinion on the alcohol situation). It’s important to always check our true intentions on our actions.

    You mentioned something interesting in your article. “I don’t believe being set apart is defined by what you stand for or what you stand against.”…this is a scary thought in my opinion. Did Jesus not get angry at things he thought were wrong? Do you think Jesus would stand for or against anything? Would he stand against slavery, murder, hate, an oppressive government? Yes. Would he stand for unbelievable grace, forgiving our brother, and caring for orphans? Yes. I think it is crucial to stand for and against things in order to be set apart. You mention that reckless love will set us apart as Christians. I agree that’s one of the many things. So I ask you – is your love reckless enough to give up a drink for the sake of others? Or do you love the drink more than all the cons that go with it? I digress…

    Of course you have the freedom to drink. I’m not arguing that. But what does that really mean? I encourage you to ask yourself – Do you NEED to drink? What is your intention when you have that glass and a half of white wine or a serving of Beer? I honestly don’t see the point, unless you want a buzz or want to feel cool. I’m asking a serious question – what is the point?

    Like I said at the beginning, the alcohol conversation is a good thing to have in the Church.
    I just wish the alcohol conversation would revolve more around what is good for others rather than what is right for “me”. I wished it had more concern for our brothers than it does for the exercising of our freedom to drink a trendy craft beer.

    1. Hey Rebecca. Why is self-control a fruit of the Spirit?
      Isn’t it because we are free, and in that freedom we must learn to manage ourselves well?
      Also, don’t other believers have this same self-control?
      So if that’s the case, why, if I drink alcohol, must I be held responsible for what *somebody else* does?
      They have self control too. Why should I be held responsible if they fail to use it? If someone else abuses alcohol, is it my fault? Is it yours? Of course not.
      Saying that this issue is to “me” focused is correct. Is it supposed to be other focused? Is it supposed to be focused on how we can control other people? It’s called *self* control, not *other* control.

      Also, so what if I like alcohol because of the taste (or its effects)? Do you ever watch funny movies because you’re in the mood to laugh? Just because something is pleasurable doesn’t mean it is wrong. Sex is good, and people abuse that, should we also ban sex? By that same logic you could conclude “why have sex? Because it feels good? Since it feels good, let’s just do away with the whole thing!” (And don’t say its intended for reproduction. I’m married, I know better. 1% of the time it is maybe, but the rest or the time? Definitely not.)

      Your asking what’s the point, so let me tell you. The point is that wine is a gift from God. Sure some people will abuse that gift, as with so many other gifts He gives us. (Sex, again is a great example here too) But that does not mean that we should jump ship, and remove the substance itself. Maturity is never formed by the absence of options. We learn and grow in Christ not by limiting our choices, but by learning how to make good ones.

      Bless you 🙂

      1. RebeccaB is spot on. You talk about self control, not “other” control… The bible clearly states NOT to do anything that can cause another to stumble.
        Just because you, as a Christian have the self control not to get drunk does not mean another brother or sister has that self control. So they see you drinking and think “oh, he’s doing it and he’s a good Christian!! I’ll have some then”.. Then they find out too late that they were not ready for the effects of this drug and did not have self control… You were the cause of their stumble!
        Up until VERY recently I was in the same camp as you! I have the freedom and the self control, so I drank occasionally. But then I read a recent article on this subject that changed my heart. I do not want to be the one who causes another to stumble into an addiction with this drug. Or maybe just tries it once, has one too many and drives, not knowing yet the dangers….
        What if my children see my freedom with it, try it and aren’t as “self controlled” with it? I don’t want them to ever look at me and say ” I thought it was ok, I thought I could handle it like you did” as they struggle with alcoholism…
        You never know who may be caused to stumble by your “freedom”
        As Paul said in 1 cor 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.”

      2. Stephen,
        Interesting thoughts, thank you. I think the best way to respond to your comment is chronologically:

        “Isn’t it because we are free, and in that freedom we must learn to manage ourselves well?”
        Exactly. We should manage ourselves well. I believe managing ourselves well includes loving our brother and looking out for them as best we can. For the betterment of us and for the betterment of them.
        I never said someone who drinks alcohol is directly responsible for someone else abusing it. We cannot control others actions. However – we are weak, fragile people. Congratulations on the wonderful self-control that you say you have. I wish more Christians should give grace to those that don’t have such great self-control. Instead of “it’s not my fault they’re an alcoholic”, it should be “what can I do to support you, brother”? I’m not even saying they would ask you to not drink. Most alcoholics wouldn’t expect that. The point is – it DOES help, it makes a statement, and what do you cherish more? Your drink or your brother’s life? And yes, it can be that serious.

        Regardless of others and their personal thoughts/actions…do you really not agree that there are more cons than pros to drinking? So much of the pro-alcohol argument stems from a complete lack of understanding of alcoholism. You don’t realize how quickly a 1-2 drink rule can turn to more. You don’t realize that now you may see nothing wrong with your habit…but one day when you go through a tragedy or become depressed, you may become dependent on that habit…because you’ve admit it feels good. You know what? Maybe you won’t ever become dependent. In fact, I’ll even say probably not for the sake of argument. But either way – why are you willing to risk that? Why are you willing to subject yourself and family to that risk? Why do you need to advocate for alcohol that bad? Do you think most alcoholics intended to get wasted and have it overtake their lives recklessly and instantly? For the majority, it started as a normal drinking habit. You don’t know what the future holds and how quickly a moment of weakness can come. If there are so many more cons than pros, why do you need to do it?

        “Also, so what if I like alcohol because of the taste (or its effects)? Do you ever watch funny movies because you’re in the mood to laugh? Just because something is pleasurable doesn’t mean it is wrong.”
        Well just because something is pleasurable doesn’t mean it is right, either. But yes, I watch funny movies. Yes, I enjoy sex with my husband for fun. I don’t see why you think my logic is that if something feels good, we should take it away….never said anything like that. ?? I do think it’s good that you admit you like the way alcohol makes you feel. I hope one day you find a risk-free, positive way to make you feel that same way.

        “The point is that wine is a gift from God.”
        What makes you think that? Because Jesus turned water into wine? Not everything in the bible is literal, you know. Some scholars say that many things written in the bible can be interpreted as showing Jesus’ power over the natural world. But yes, it’s also possible it is literal and he did indeed turn water into wine. I don’t want to get into hermeneutics. I’m not all-knowing. There are many things about God and the Bible that we’ll never understand and that we need to be more open-minded to. I don’t care if he did truly turn it into wine…I’m not going to use that one thing as my basis that apparently it means wine is a gift from God, so I’m going to drink up. It was also written in a different time/age/culture. I’m simply talking about the here and now. Our world today. What is best for us and the Church today. What is best for our brothers today.

        “We learn and grow in Christ not by limiting our choices, but by learning how to make good ones.”
        I completely agree with you. The choice of using alcohol will always be there. It will never be limited, in fact it’s pretty abundant. Let’s make the best choice for us, our personal family, and the church. The choice of more grace, more understanding, less risk, and more self-control all around.

      3. Stephen, you raise some excellent points here. Pretty much anything can become addictive in excess or if we have a particularly addictive personality. I love to brew beer and drink beer in moderation. I have friends who drink and friends who don’t and I respect their choices.

        God created many things for us to enjoy, and we are to be partners in co-creation of wonderful things. I enjoy alcohol, food, and exercise, for example. All of those things are good and pleasurable if we partake in them as such. They can also all become addictive or occur in a context that does not honor God (sex is a good example of this).

        If I’m being really honest, I’m tired of the argument, “The Bible says so”. I’m fed up with some other believers acting like the moral police. The Bible is Truth, but men interpret it in so many different ways. I’m filled with His Spirit just as all Christ-followers are and I believe Christian culture doesn’t give the individual enough credit for his or her own ability to discern where God is leading them. I follow Jesus; I don’t follow a bunch of man-made rules that have no bearing on my love for Him.

    2. Rebecca B, THANK you for that insightful response. Paul said it like this, “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable” or contribute to the good of the whole. Your message really encourages me. Thanks

    3. Hi Rebecca,
      I hear your heart in your response, and I understand where you’re coming from, it’s valid and makes sense to me that you feel the way you do… In my response, I’m not trying to change the way you believe, it’s totally fine to me that that’s the stance you take. I can tell that you have a much different community around you than I do, which is what has sculpted your beliefs on this topic.

      To interpret any article that’s written by a complete stranger, there’s a key piece missing – knowing the author’s heart, the fruit of their life, and why they would even need to write on this topic. So let me introduce myself to you in relation to this topic. I’m a lover of God’s presence, His intoxicating presence. Not just in believing in faith that He’s in the room with me, but of pressing into His presence in such a way that it becomes a tangible reality. For me, that’s sweeter than any buzz from alcohol, and more beneficial as well, because in those precious times in His presence I taste of His goodness and love in a way that makes me more and more like Him and gives me more of an idea of the vast glory that’s within Him. This doesn’t make me perfect, but this has set a standard for my life that has changed everything for me… My love for Him, and an understanding of His love for me is always cultivated in those times in His presence, and has set me free and empowered me to not be fearful of anything in this world, of alcohol, tattoos, different foods, etc.
      I have never been affected by alcoholism nor do I have people in my life who have.
      But the bottom line for me is that declaring a NO over something like drinking isn’t going to fix any situation or any person…
      Their problem isn’t even that they have an issue with self-control; something much more important is lacking – possibly identity, purpose, self-esteem, etc.
      So the more we minister to the surface, the “things” that “cause” someone to stumble, the less *lifelong* transformation we see in the lives of people that are struggling. I agree with what Stephen responded to you with… “The point is that wine is a gift from God. Sure some people will abuse that gift, as with so many other gifts He gives us. (Sex, again is a great example here too) But that does not mean that we should jump ship, and remove the substance itself. Maturity is never formed by the absence of options. We learn and grow in Christ not by limiting our choices, but by learning how to make good ones.”

      Television and computers are a gift from God, yet marriages are destroyed by the pornography displayed on them. Should we do away with our TVs, smartphones, laptops, etc, in order to keep our brothers and sisters in Christ from stumbling? That would never work, because these people, alcoholics & porn-addicts for example, don’t know how to manage their choices and their only help is from Holy Spirit, restoration and deliverance from the inside-out. “Deliverance” from the outside-in will never last.

      1. Laurel,
        I never questioned that you have a heart for God and others, I’m sure you do. I just think you have a lot to learn on this topic.
        I’m so frustrated with my generation of believers (I’m 27). I am so saddened by Christians that think that just because they have the freedom to drink, they think they can/should…but not only that. They feel they need to share it with the world and make it part of church culture. Why do Christians who have suddenly realized they have this freedom, feel like they need to encourage others to experience it? It honestly reminds me of high-schoolers drinking for the first time and feeling like they need to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing.
        I don’t agree, but I get it – most of the ones in this crowd grew up in the church and are starting to discover a “new” Christianity for themselves that is different than they always heard. I guess I would probably try a few drinks when I turned 21 if I hadn’t had my first drink at 16. I still only drank a handful of times until the age of 21. I never liked it. The taste, the feeling, the money spent on a drink.

        You have some dangerous thoughts on certain things. “…has set me free and empowered me not to be fearful of anything in this world, of alcohol, tattoos, different foods, etc.”
        Of course tattoos and different foods aren’t to be feared, but you aren’t fearful of anything? Really…nothing? Why do you have a 1-2 drink rule? I’m hoping it’s because you’ve set up a guard of knowing your limits. I wonder – why do you need to know your limits? There’s nothing to fear.

        I guess I can see where you’re going with that justification thing…but having an intoxicating relationship with God and discovering freedom in His presence doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious of certain things in this world. Drugs being one of them. I want to reiterate – I do NOT think alcohol is inherently evil or anything. I’m well aware the majority of people drink in extreme moderation. In my line of work in the wedding industry I’m actually around drunk people literally every weekend. I don’t look down on them or shake my finger at them. I do sometimes feel sad on my way home, but my point is – I don’t want people to box me in as a “don’t drink, don’t dance” type of person.

        I agree with your point that anyone with a drug problem has/had a deeper need that has to be fulfilled…that’s an obvious fact. But you know, we all have our demons and it would be nice if our brothers and sisters loved each other recklessly enough to give up trivial things in order to help, or show support. There are also many Christian alcoholics that actually don’t necessarily have an identity or purpose issue…they just have a hard time overcoming their addiction. And let’s always remember it’s about much more than just helping a weaker brother. I responded to that quote by Stephen above in his comment and you can see what I replied so I don’t have to rehash it.

        I’m confused as to WHY pro-alcohol Christians NEED to drink. And why they need to share it to the world, encourage it to others, and in turn make it part of the new church culture. Some will openly admit they like the buzz, some – the taste. Sometimes, it’s just because it makes them feel cool. I’m sure you would agree – that our heart is the important thing here. Let’s check our hearts before our actions. Let’s check our intentions. Let’s make the best decision for ourselves and the Church. Let’s not feel the need to encourage alcohol use in the Church by blogging how well we can control ourselves and sharing how much we “love trendy craft beers”, as if it is bringing glory to God. Many of His precious children have died, have killed people, have ruined lives because of what they thought at one point they had under control.

        I don’t doubt you love God, even though we disagree on this topic – I can tell in your writing that you do. But why do you need to advocate for something with so many more cons than pros? Everyone uses the freedom argument but at the end of the day I usually doubt that’s the bottom line. There are many more powerful and glorifying ways that we can explain how we’re free in Christ. Using alcohol to do that is an insult to His name.

    4. Well said RebeccaB. I couldn’t agree with you more. The underlying subtleness of the enemy’s ploy to make you believe that alcohol is ok is a lie. Whether you think you have it under control or not is another thing.. Continue to believe that 1 or 2 drinks is ok and harmless is the first step in the deception; that’s how it starts. I speak from 1st hand experience in the destructing effects of alcohol. And again most importantly Do you NEED to drink? and What’s the point? Can you NOT drink in the company of everyone else who is? Are you feeling singled out and uncomfortable because you’re being judged because you Don’t drink so you just join in to appease others? Food for thought.. just BE REAL here. In the end you ultimately decide and live with the consequences. If you think that you are still being ” set apart” from others…YOU”RE NOT.

      1. I can see both sides of this but feel i should start by saying I am a christian and i do have a glass of wine rarely but do still have one. The Bible says to Not make a drunkard of yourself. It doesn’t say don’t drink. Jesus drank wine. He turned water into wine and at the last supper he blessed the wine as his own blood said to drink this in rememberance of him. No i’m not saying drinking all the time is ok but i’m saying that i don’t see her having a glass of wine with her birthday dinner or special event has to be a bad thing. I had a glass of wine on my birthday with my dinner and didn’t feel I had done anything wrong. I worry more about the atmosphere i’m in or how and if God can be seen in me. I don’t go to clubs or places that would encourage alcohol abuse nor do I hang out with people who do but when my daughter got married last September did I have a drink and toast to her new life sure I did. Did I get drunk no I had one drink. i’m 40 and grew up in a household of people with addictions but i didn’t follow in there foot steps. your choices are your own and i feel you are responsible for your own actions. We are not perfect only God is strong enough to carry all the worries on his shoulders I don’t think others bad habits or their lack of self control should be her worry to bare if she lives a good wholesome life loves God and all of the people she meets should be able to see him in her. When I ask my preacher if it was wrong to drink he said if it feels wrong than it is a conviction from God so i have always followed that rule if it feels wrong than it probably is because what is wrong for some may not be for others. I guess I don’t feel like I have done anything wrong because i don’t put it above God or my love for him. I have had exactly 2 glasses of wine in the past yr. I don’t go out get drunk on saturday night and miss church on Sunday because of it and maybe she is like me and feels she does so rarely as to not have to make excuses for it. Do you think it makes her less of a christian to be and show she is human? Only God knows her heart and where her actions will lead her.

      2. Great point. The topic of NEED, and the question of WHY are important ones. Many people don’t fully understand alcoholism. Thanks, Arlene.

        1. Rebecca and Arlene, prove it with scripture that says alcohol is wrong, or a sin. If not, then all is opinion and only valuable to the one sharing and maybe some others that agree. But that is it. So, prove it in scripture that alcohol is sin, then one may consider not drinking.

        2. I don’t judge alcohol , just about anything can be sinful , the problem I see with alcohol is that it is mind altering and addictive . I am sure it has helped some but harmed others , like to many hamburgers causes obesity , but I don’t recollect to many times , a person ate an extra hamburger then killed someone in a wreck on the highway being under the influence . I served on the Federal Grand Jury for 9 months , and 90% of all crimes were committed under the influence of alcohol , another 5 % percent influenced by other drugs … How much is to much or to little . In a meeting the happy hour starts with volume set and with every drink the volume increases.People do things as it increases that they wouldn’t do otherwise . Who or what alters your mind to do what you do ??Are you in control of your body or a substance controls you . I condemn no one , I will help anyone out of the ditch and take him home . I love all mankind . I will try not to put stumbling blocks in front of no person, but I also will have many failures, Perfection is very scarce ..

        3. Garrett:
          “Rebecca and Arlene, prove it with scripture that says alcohol is wrong, or a sin. ”
          -I don’t believe I ever said scripture states “alcohol is a sin”. Did I?
          “If not, then all is opinion and only valuable to the one sharing and maybe some others that agree. But that is it.”
          -You’re exactly correct. My statements and comments made here are my opinion. I never said my comments were facts. I agree, opinion is only valuable to those sharing and those finding it valuable……………..
          I’m not trying to be rude, I’m honestly confused as to what your “reply” or point is?
          You should remember that basing your logic only on what scripture proves/disproves doesn’t always make sense…because scripture itself is interpreted in a variety of ways. Even if there was a verse stating “alcohol is wrong”, you have to look at context, genre of the writing, etc. The whole is-it-in-scripture logic doesn’t mean it is a black and white fact.
          My arguments and opinion didn’t revolve around biblical interpretation, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

    5. I noticed you didn’t mention the food she mentions in her post. Do you always eat perfect meals around others. If not, you are guilty of what you are against. I would say food is as addictive as alcohol and the obesity rate proves it touches even more lives than alcohol. I get what you are saying, but if the true love of Jesus comes through us, it will not matter if we participate in a social drink or a plate full of nachos and cheese.

      1. Actually – my husband and I are committed to a clean eating lifestyle and have been for about two years. We only buy organic/non-GMO when necessary (bc some foods aren’t affected by that), don’t eat fast food, only drink water and fresh juice, cook healthy meals have a heavy fruit/veggie/raw diet etc. We exercise regularly. Of course we aren’t perfect…I would never say I eat the healthiest out of anyone else in the world. I’ve heard the food argument many times and I fully agree with your point that food can be destructive. Although I don’t think I need to completely avoid “bad food” altogether, I actually noticed I have a sugar addiction and I’m truly working on it. I’ve been fasting from sugar for the past month actually. I have a hard time saying no to a cookie/brownie. I don’t even have a health problem from it (as of now)…I’ve just noticed I can eat it in excess and I don’t want to have a control issue with it. I do NOT nearly agree that it touches more lives than alcohol.
        There’s a big difference in the whole food argument. I’m not gonna overload on chocolate chip cookies and cause a wreck on my way home. A husband isn’t going to eat one too many donuts and go home and beat his wife. A mother isn’t going to have a glass too many of coca cola and verbally abuse her kids. I’m not going to go destitute and homeless over my lack of self control for a good ole cheeseburger.
        The difference is that alcohol abuse destroys much more than the person abusing it.
        You may say – well if a parent dies from overeating, it can cause their children much sorrow. I get it. But c’mon, at the end of the day are you really going to use the food issue as the top argument for drinking? Let’s be honest, alcohol is more destructive.
        BTW – One of my parents has an issue with food. I honestly try and be very mindful of this whenever cooking for them, eating around them, etc. I don’t want to tempt them in any way…and they like that I do that. Also, when going to a church or other gathering…lots of times I do try and find healthier options to bring. It bothers the heck out of me when churches have a bunch of crap sitting in the lobby like donuts, pastries, etc. I’m stating all this not to be boastful or anything – but simply in response to your hypocritical hypothesis. My husband and I are pretty big health food advocates, have a clean bill of health, but I admit – I don’t think certain food should be completely banned. It can be destructive the the abuser just like alcohol…but for reasons like I stated earlier, the difference is that alcohol is not in the same camp as food. Not at all.

      2. And that is where discernment comes into play. Anything in excess is dangerous. God gives us certain freedoms that others shouldnt and cant enjoy because they may have an addictive personality and vice versa.The bible calls us to make aure we are not doing things to make our brothers and sisters in Christ stumble and so again discernment, if someone is an alcoholic then dont drink in frint of them. Every relationship is different thats why it is a personal relationship.

    6. Rebecca –
      I too have been very exposed to alcoholism; 10 years of ministry on a Native Reservation. I get it.

      I’m also a nutrition coach and personal trainer and I watch death by fast food and pop every day. Death of spirit, energy, desire and drive as well as death by 50. Are you willing to make the same claims about food as you are alcohol? Processed food is MORE addictive, Pringles got it right with “once you pop you can’t stop” and it’s just as deadly. Do you put setting yourself apart by choosing chicken and salad for lunch over McDs in the same department as refusing a drink?
      If you don’t you’ve fallen into the same hypocritical line of thinking you’re fighting against.

      1. Actually – my husband and I are committed to a clean eating lifestyle and have been for about two years. We only buy organic/non-GMO when necessary (bc some foods aren’t affected by that), don’t eat fast food, only drink water and fresh juice, cook healthy meals have a heavy fruit/veggie/raw diet etc. We exercise regularly. Of course we aren’t perfect…I would never say I eat the healthiest out of anyone else in the world. I’ve heard the food argument many times and I agree with your point on the food because it can be destructive. Although I don’t think I need to completely avoid “bad food” altogether, I actually noticed I have a sugar addiction and I’m truly working on it. I’ve been fasting from sugar for the past month actually. I have a hard time saying no to a cookie/brownie. I don’t even have a health problem from it (as of now)…I’ve just noticed I can eat it in excess and I don’t want to have a control issue with it.
        However – there’s a big difference in the whole food argument. I’m not gonna overload on chocolate chip cookies and cause a wreck on my way home. A husband isn’t going to eat one too many donuts and go home and beat his wife. A mother isn’t going to have a glass too many of coca cola and verbally abuse her kids. I’m not going to go destitute and homeless over my lack of self control for a good ole cheeseburger.
        The difference is that alcohol abuse destroys much more than the person abusing it.
        You may say – well if a parent dies from overeating, it can cause their children much sorrow. I get it. But c’mon, at the end of the day are you really going to use the food issue as the top argument for drinking? Let’s be honest, alcohol is more destructive.
        BTW – One of my parents has an issue with food. I honestly try and be very mindful of this whenever cooking for them, eating around them, etc. I don’t want to tempt them in any way…and they like that I do that. Also, when going to a church or other gathering…lots of times I do try and find healthier options to bring. It bothers the heck out of me when churches have a bunch of crap sitting in the lobby like donuts, pastries, etc. I’m stating all this not to be boastful or anything – but simply in response to your hypocritical hypothesis. My husband and I are pretty big health food advocates, have a clean bill of health, but I admit – I don’t think certain food should be completely banned. It can be destructive the the abuser just like alcohol…but for reasons like I stated earlier, the difference is that alcohol is not in the same camp as food. Not at all.

      2. RebeccaB (for some reason I can’t reply to your comment – so I’m replying to the one you replied in hopes it winds up in about the right place),

        I completely understand your concerns. I do want to address something you said though, “A husband isn’t going to eat one too many donuts and go home and beat his wife. A mother isn’t going to have a glass too many of coca cola and verbally abuse her kids.”

        As someone who works with victims of domestic violence, this kind of thinking concerns me. Alcohol is the symptom, not the cause. It may lower one’s inhibitions, but it doesn’t _cause_ someone to beat their wife or verbally abuse their children. If that were true, all alcohols would be abusive in that fashion, but they’re not. I’m sure you didn’t mean it this way, but I’ve seen this line of thinking used so many times to blame the substance instead of the person using it for abuse, when the substance isn’t really the issue, that I felt like I needed to address it.

        (Not necessarily addressed to you, Rebecca, just stating generally) even when someone is an alcoholic, alcohol is the symptom, not the cause. Chemical dependency absolutely plays a part, but addiction (to anything, whether chemical or not) isn’t really about the substance. It’s about numbing pain. That’s why people can get completely clean for years, so they are no longer chemically dependent, but still relapse, and others can drink a glass of wine with dinner and be completely fine. The issue is psychological. If someone is determined (often subconsciously) to numb their pain, there are plenty of options out there, whether or not alcohol is in the mix: sex, shopping, food, etc. Each of these can be just as destructive to lives and relationships as alcohol.

        At the end of the day, like many other things in the Christian life, alcohol is an area where everyone has to follow their own conscience.

        1. You bring up a great point and I see what you mean…I give that example simply because I’ve heard the food argument one too many times as if a sugar addiction and alcohol addiction are one and the same.
          I’ve never thought that alcohol is the root of all evil and physically forces anyone who drinks it to become abusive. I know that deeper issues are involved, I’ve worked with drug addicts for years. However it does beg the question if the person doesn’t abuse unless they drink. There’s a sequence of events and alcohol is involved in that sequence. I agree that the 1st step and cause of the chain of events is a psychological/emotional one. For some people (although they may have a deeper issue that causes the drinking) alcohol IS the reason they abuse because it lowers their inhibitions. A simple “lowering of inhibitions” is a very dangerous thing to individuals and others around them that can cause either drastic tragedy instantly, or incremental damage over time.

    7. Rebecca, you make points that my mind keeps falling back upon. From a cultural standpoint, America is far different than Israel in the first century. Commercials portray it as a veritable necessity for having a good time. Almost half of all fatal motor accidents involve alcohol. It’s the primary drug to abuse for college students. As with any drug, every person will react to it differently; some may become easily addicted while others will not.

      I have to list it under one of those things that is not “profitable” for my walk. I don’t need it, and it could be a stumbling block for others. A stumbling block with potentially terrible consequences. I do not condemn or make comments to my friends that drink…I let that be their decision. It’s just difficult to ignore its marketing and potential for abuse.

    8. Rebecca, I agree with you. We should think about others instead of what is right for “me.” I look at it this way, If you sat in a room with alcoholics and Jesus came back tomorrow…In that moment would you stand out in that room with the same drink in your hand. Being that it was only one drink….would that set you apart from the alcoholic next to you that has yet to give his life over to Christ? Like you said …what is the example and standard you set for non-believers….not just yourself?

  101. Well written and such a great perspective! We really do need the opportunity to form internal boundaries, and I love that you tied it up with our connection to Holy Spirit, cause that really is what it’s all about. When we really know that place of intimacy, “cheap counterfeit” stops being a Christianize phrase and starts describing experiences we legitimately have no interest in. Love it!

    1. I feel like this is all just your opinion and justification, not really backed up by too much scripture (and the other article was not well researched but just opinions thrown on the page). One argument to think about: God told the levites not to have alcohol because they should be clean because they were the direct connection to God and spoke for the people. Now we have our own direct connection to God so does that not make us like Levites? (just something to think about). You need to ask, WHY do people drink and why you are drinking, what are you getting out of it? There are both sides to the argument. Acts Chp 14.

      1. She is drinking because she chose to and she is able to do it responsibly. Last time I checked we have a free will. She is not hurting others, herself or you. Her choice is hers and it does not inhibit her ability to love people well. Jesus himself drank wine. You are also free to have your own opinion, but it is when we try to force our beliefs and opinions masked as “concern” on others that becomes control and the real issue. God is bigger than the Bible. The Bible is a window that introduces us to him and his Son, but It’s narrow minded to think that if we can not proof text it word for word then it’s wrong. There are plenty of Jesus’ miracles not included in the book of John but it does not mean they didn’t not happen or it was not God. Where the Spirit if the Lord is, there is freedom.

      2. I don’t know from where your information comes, but the Levites were pretty regular drinkers of wine and wine-like spirits. Whether or not you approve of alcoholic beverages, Laurel makes some excellent points, worthy of any Christian study. Perhaps you could focus more on those and less on the arrogant judgmental posturing.

      3. Helom there are tons of verses in the bible about drinking most of them are pro-drink… none I repeat none say we shouldn’t drink only that we shouldn’t be drunk

      4. I drink wine because it tastes good. The same reason I eat food. Both Gluttony & Drunkenness are described as sins in the Bible. Drinking and Eating are not. Jesus partook of the Passover, therefore he also drank wine, which was an integral part of it. He also turned water into wine, which was for the wedding guests to drink. He also said he was going to drink it in the New Kingdom.

      5. Maybe you mean “Nazarite”. The Nazarite vow was a special vow that some individuals took to consecrate themselves to God. These were the extreme folks who never drank wine. Read Numbers chapter 6

      6. I really don’t like it when I hear the Levite argument. Let me explain why… You only want to take this one part from the Levitical Law because it suits your side of this argument. But, if we truly are “like the Levites”, then we have a lot more work to do. Here is some scriptural evidence you asked for in your post:

        I would imagine you are referring to Leviticus 10:8-11 in your above argument (please let me know if this in an incorrect assumption).
        Leviticus 10:8-11 (ESV)
        8 And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying,
        9 “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
        10 You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean,
        11 and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.”

        This gets into a very specific command to not drink wine or strong drink when going into the tent of meeting. That might also mean to imply that if they had to be commanded not to drink wine or strong drink in that specific situation, then it might be common for them to drink wine or strong drink in other situations.
        Also, if you want to pull out this and make the connection that we are like the Levites there are a few more things we need to consider about ourselves as well.

        Let’s just go to the verses directly above yours. Leviticus 10:6-7 says that you can not have hair that hangs loose and you shouldn’t tear your clothes or you will die.
        Leviticus 10:6-7 (ESV)
        6 And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the LORD has kindled.
        7 And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

        There are quite a few other important laws the Levites were given to follow that we should look at as well if we are to be like them. For instance, you probably should not eat pork, camel, rock badger, hare, or a whole slew of other things.
        Leviticus 11:1-8 (ESV)
        1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them,
        2 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.
        3 Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat.
        4 Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.
        5 And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.
        6 And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.
        7 And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.
        8 You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

        This could go on and on, but I think you get my point. We can’t pick one part from Leviticus and proclaim we should be like the Levites in this way, but ignore the rest of the rules for them as they pertain to our own personal needs.

        I’m not completely sure where I stand on the alcohol debate, except in one area I am sure. We each need to follow the path God has placed us on. The issue of drinking alcohol is not one of salvation. There is only one question in that equation. What do you do with Jesus? How you answer that question will also answer every other one in your life.

      7. This can also be geared towards anything like maybe eating to much food to where it’s unhealthy and we are no longer able to do Gods work. People look at alcohol like it’s the worst thing…it can be if you drink to much but so can everything else if you do to much of it. I have had trouble with this because there are so many
        (Christians) who have so many diff opinions about life and sin.

      8. The Levites were the direct connection to God in the Old Testament for the people. Our direct connection to God that would be an equivalent to your interpretation of the Levites would be Jesus in the New Testament, for he said “no one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). In the New Testament there are times when Jesus drank wine with his disciples and he is considered to be the perfect image, the image of a follower of God that we should strive to be. Many of the verses that are mentioned regarding alcohol are saying to not live in drunkeness or drink every night, but nowhere does it say or imply (that I can recall) to never drink any alcohol. Also, that’s only one part of the Levitical Law and it’s taken purely out of context, which happens often. However, if you were to read it al it describes that you should drink wine or heavy drink before wanting the tent. In that time, yes the tent was used as a safe haven for open communication with God, but now that we live under the New Covanent, not the Old Covanent like the Levites, we have the ability and freedom to choose how we react around alcohol. Personally, a social drink at a dinner party or a glass of wine and a good book on the couch is nothing to shy away from. It is when these dinner parties and glasses of wine at home come to be too much where as you are filling the space where the Holy Spirit wishes to occupy with something other than the Holy Spirit. Alcohol is also a safe bet to argue because it is something so commonly used in out society, but eating, overworking or the use of technology are all things that may be substituted for the word alcohol in this statement and it would still reign to be true that, in a responsible manner, they can be enjoyable and beneficial.

      9. Jesus liked alcohol so much he turned water into wine. And he drank the wine. Tie this is with free will, and anyone who thinks its not okay to drink alcohol is plain stupid. Good Day.

      10. Paul also said have a little wine for the stomach to Timothy 🙂 Prudence and Relevance with Conviction can produce a fruitful life.

      11. Before this post is misconstrued and twisted out of context let me make a few things very clear:
        1.) Underage drinking is against the law, and for good reason. During one’s teenage years we tend to FEEL mature, and responsible, when in-fact we are not. Unless you are given an alcoholic beverage to drink by your parents, and even then in moderation, do not drink alcohol. 21 will come soon enough, and trust me – you really aren’t missing much.
        2.) Alcoholism is terrible, sad, and destructive. Please, if you are of drinking age, and choose to do so, don’t do it in front of people you suspect may struggle with alcoholism.
        3.) Please don’t suggest that “the weaker brother” (who is, according to the Bible, the one who thinks God ordains abstinence from such things) go against his/her conscience on this issue.

        That aside, some VERY interesting new information has come forth this year, confirming several Biblical truths. The denominations/religions that view alcohol as a gift of God – where drinking alcoholic beverages is not demonized – tend to have a far less occurance of alcoholism than in the denominations where drinking alcohol is considered a sin. The study showed that the lowest level of alcoholim among religious people occured among the Jews, who also, on average, had the greatest number of members who drank. Following the Jews were the Episcopalians/Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. On the flipside, the denominations with the highest occurance of alcoholism among their membership were: Southern Baptist, Methodist, and Morman!

        On a practical side, that should encourage those of us who know the Scripture to teach it accurately and thoroughly. As one of my online friends has so accurately written,
        “…alcoholism is high in such places because teetotalist doctrine is demonic (1 Timothy 4:1-6.) and worthless in restraining sin. (Colossians 2:20-23.)”

        So, what does the Bible say about alcohol consumption?
        First, that it can be good for you, especially as a cure for certain sicknesses
        “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23.)
        Secondly, that God made it for our pleasure!
        “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” (Psalm 104:14, 15.)

        Yes, the Bible on many occasions condemns drunkeness, and if you are one who cannot be responsible (again, AND LEGAL), you should abstain. Likewise, if alcoholism tends to run in your family, you should be far more careful in your decision of if, when, and how much to drink.

        But in all of these things remember the words of Paul:
        “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

        Do it ALL – all that you do (drinking or not drinking) for the glory of God!

      12. We as Christians need to understand that correction in Christ does not equal judging one another. We should be open to correction just as Paul corrected the church in his letters to Corinthians. Helom is simply stating the truth…there weren’t many references given and as Christians who believe the word of God, we should reference Scripture to make sure we’re not being led astray by emotions. What we think or how we feel should never cause us to compromise the Word of God!

      13. I agree totally with Laurel!! It it the damning everyone to hell from these self righteous religious folks that keep people from ever wanting to know about Jesus. They feel already defeated and that there is no way ever to become that perfect so why ever even try to understand or learn about Christianity. .. God doesn’t expect us to be the ones to change minds and lives… He wants us to love… give quotes from the bible and not judge… He only wants us to plant the seed not grow the tree.. After we plant the tree allow God to be God and work on someone’s heart and mind. It’s only our job as a Christian to love and not discourage. Too many self righteous people out there trying to play God. Listen… If laurel having A beer once in a while is so horrible in God’s eyes then what is it when you stuff pies in your face and judge people and gossip. You are saying she’s wrong because the world sees what she’s doing which goes to show you may possibly just be religious and not a true spiritually led Christian. See… WHEN you you give something up do it because God sees you and is convicting you…. not the world. Everyone grows at their own pace .. don’t fault anyone cause you have grown further in one area than another because her strength could just be the very things that you’ve been struggling with your whole life.

      14. Helom,
        A common issue I see with your response is the same one I have seen for over 44 yrs in the church…that someone is attempting to “get something out of” drinking alcohol. As an evangelist who has traveled extensively, I realized many years ago that drinking alcohol and the ability to manage yourself (as mentioned in the blog) is as territorial as it is anything. Let me explain. I am from the south, Alabama to be exact. In the south we (most other than myself) drink sweet ice tea. Up north, many I have been around and yes even preached for drink wine and beer the way we drink sweet tea in the south. Mostly at meals and they think NOTHING of it! Are they sinning or defiling themselves by doing so? No that I have ever witnessed. Again, I love the concept of “managing” ourselves through our speech, actions, and love toward others…to me that is what Christ did!
        As a side note, the Levites were priests to the jews. Paul, Timothy, Peter, etc were disciples to all the nations, just as we are called to be, and they frequently consumed wine…if for nothing else than the “frequent infirmities of the stomach…”
        1 Timothy 5:23
        No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

      15. Jesus:
        10After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11″It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” 12Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”…

        Paul:
        23All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.…

        Jesus:
        8Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

        They did so, 9and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

        11What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

        Hmmm… Some more fodder for thought.

        Jesus provided wine for serving? Alcohol going in my mouth can’t defile me? The freedom in Christ makes many things lawful, but not all profitable.

        The bible is clearly against drunkenness. But, I’m not to sure your Levitical contextual law comments hold up in the total context of the Freedom of Christ and what Jesus and Paul both taught.

        A factual statement must stay afloat in the entire contextual waters of the Holy Scriptures.

        JMO. Love to all.

        =)

      16. What about the fact that Jesus clearly drank wine as He said Matthew 11:18-19 “For John (the Baptist) came neither eating nor drinking and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at Him! a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.'” (ESV). I see two areas where we are restricted on what we do specifically with eating and drinking. The first is that we are called not to do anything that would make a brother stumble as Paul said in 1 Cor 8:13 (ESV) “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” Note, he was talking about food that had been to idols. He clarifies more in verses 8-9 “Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” And from this line of thinking, I have heard of people in the church, elders, pastors, etc. who have made the decision not to drink any alcohol since alcoholism is a prevalent problem in the United States, and they do not know who might be struggling with it and they don’t want to risk accidentally causing a brother to stumble. I had this situation occur in my past. I stopped drinking alcohol for 7 years during a time when a very close friend was fighting alcoholism and I wanted to support and encourage her, and definitely not cause her to stumble. The second area where we are clearly restricted with regard to alcohol is in regards to getting drunk and being a drunkard. This is clearly not to be done as it is spelled out numerous times in the Bible (see Eph 5:18, Prov 23:20-21, Gal 5:21 to name a few).

        I believe each Christian must probe his or her own heart with the help of the Holy Spirit asking several questions:
        1) Why am I wanting to have a drink?; 2) What is the amount of wine (or your choice of alcohol) that I can have without causing me to feel inebriated or to be inebriated?; 3) Am I sure my actions will not cause my brother or sister in Christ to stumble? If with the Spirit’s help, in good and clear conscious, you feel it is appropriate to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, I do not believe you are violating God’s Word. However, I am not a Biblical scholar and have much to learn, so I may have missed something in the Bible that would say differently.

      17. The counter to your response is, of course, Jesus > Levites. If Jesus – the embodiment of connection to God – did not take the strict levitical approach you advocate (i.e. don’t ever drink), then why should I?

    2. The problem is people who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus have no understand of Grace, what they do understand in Law (do’s and don’t’s) therefore they looking at drinking as something a Christian shouldn’t do. There is not enough time to post on the Scriptures relating to Christ-like conduct, but we are not to be stumbling blocks but stepping stones for people to give Jesus a voice in their lives and if they are constantly looking at us, they can’t seem Him. Our purpose is to glorify Him. I will say this, the first place Jesus took His newly gathered disciples was to a wedding and His first miracle was to turn the water into wine, but that doesn’t violate our need to let Jesus shine through us.

      1. You guys need to study your Greek. The water Jesus turned into wine was not alcoholic, look it up. Think about it, the people at the wedding had emptied 5 huge jars of this wine, many many gallons. I am just going off memory, but i think the jars held 25 gallons, enough to smash a huge crowd of people. Now, if you say it is ok to drink and not get drunk, then you are calling Jesus a sinner if you believe this was alcohol. They would have been drunk before He made more wine, and with that much more, people’s health and lives could have been in danger. What Jesus made was like a thick, syrup, fruit type dessert. Something that would have been filling to eat (they already had their fill). If they had already had their fill of wine, wouldn’t more mean intoxication. Believe what you want, but ask yourself if Jesus could have gotten people drunk, sick, vulnerable, etc.and be the same Jesus. Look up the Greek meaning and look at the context, think on your own wisdom and research. Our bad translations will mess you up sometimes.

      2. BM, show me ONE Lexicon entry that says that οινος is EVER used as this thick syrup thing you’re talking about. Οινος is used in the NT only referring to our modern day understanding of alcoholic wine. It is rarely every used to mean anything else outside the NT either.

    3. Freedom without the boundaries of love is a terrible thing which is uncontrollable and is the greatest deception of freedom.

      Too many want freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom to be their own person, BUT any freedom without the constraints of LOVE is indeed an uncontrollable appetite for selfish gratification without boundaries.

      Freedom is at most times selfish and self serving. We enter into enslavement to what pleases us, thinking it to be freedom, but in fact it is slavery to our own desires.

      We are called to ‘love our neighbours as we love ourselves’. When this love for other people is applied to freedom, then freedom is no more about our own self gratification, it becomes about how our freedom impacts upon others.

      Yes I have the freedom of speech, but when that freedom empowers the media to enslaves women into objects of sexual gratification, then pornography, even in its mildest form, (TV, movies, magazine advertisements etc) under the guise of freedom of choice to watch whatever we want, is no freedom at all. Not only are the women and men in those production enslaved by our freedom, but we are ourself are enslaved to our own desires for personal gratification or thrills. Call it ‘eye candy’ or what ever else you want to name it, but it is nothing more than sexualising women or men.

      Sex without the constrains of love is debasing our human form below what God intended. ‘Love you neighbour as you love yourself’ is the perfect restraint for mankind. Would you like your wife, sister, daughter or mother to be used and displayed as you have watched happen in the virtual word of your computer screen, smartphone, TV, and movies? Well if you don’t want that to happen to your own family, then why is it okay to take pleasure in watching your neighbours wife, sister or mother being abused and displayed?

      But you have the freedom of choice and the media has the freedom of speech, so you consider it acceptable behaviour.

      But you have a rising uncontrollable desire to go back to magazines,websites or movies to watch over again the scenes that excite you, and you call that freedom.

      True freedom is a freedom that is constrained by LOVE, a God given love that desires the very best for our neighbour, our colleague, our friends, our family our neighbourhood, our city or our nation. This love can only be found in the truth of Jesus Christ. Many others have tried, but no other human being has ever been able to capture the ‘love of God’ and live it to its fullest.

      Discover Jesus Christ today NOT as many see him, a pointless religious exercise, but as one who can teach us all there is to learn about Love.

      For lasting change, we cry out for the ‘love of God’ to constrain us.

      1. “Freedom is at most times selfish and self serving. We enter into enslavement to what pleases us, thinking it to be freedom, but in fact it is slavery to our own desires.”
        Such a great point, Glenn!

      2. Glenn, you’ve distilled it down to what the core issue here is: WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM in light of exercising it in loving others? “When this love for other people is applied to freedom, then freedom is no (longer) about our own self gratification, it becomes about how our freedom impacts upon others.” A true and powerful statement and where our focus (loving others) should really be. Thanks, Glenn.

      3. To “BM” referencing Greek, I do wonder if you’ve studied any? The difference between “fruity substance” and “Wine” IS ALCOHOL. The reason they were surprised it was the GOOD STUFF if usually after several hours people were tipsy enough to not notice when the cheeper alcohol was brought out. Alcoholic/fermented beverages have been around for AT LEAST 9,000 years, based on current archeology finds, & were common in most cultures because it was often dangerous to drink the water. So, enjoy playing with our imaginary Greek lessons, but bro/sis – you’re flat out wrong. Wine means wine.

    4. To speak from a Christian perspective I should state the importance of a sober mind and discuss a drunken mind.
      Many things in the Word, as in the Old Testament are shadows of what is to come. The Old Testament is what is to come and the many judgements.
      Now we can avoid the obvious that Israel’s experience we may not encounter,as a whole, however; as individuals called to sanctification, we may just.

      We learn from proverbs the strange new awareness that we have, when we drink, and the lingering affect…waking that we may seek it yet again…
      If, Gods word is spiritual then why do we discern it with the natural eye. Is it due to the impossibility of man understanding the spiritual…
      Is not this very discussion a form of drunkness!…, and the delusion only becomes more and more intense.
      To drink or not to drink…Christ came to save the sinners, so He did drink, but Christ was without sin.
      You see it is the sinner who is dillussioned here, not the righteous. The sinner who was lost, not the righteous. The sinner who was filled with drink, not the righteous. Why, because the righteous discern the evil of the drink, and the sinner will know not why he stumbles.
      Now, I am no judger of persons but spiritually–I do. I condemn you not for your drink but there is one who condemns…
      Why is there in the hand of a fool the price of wisdom, if he hath not the heart for it.
      I love you all, and as Christ loved us so shall we love one another.

    5. Laurel, thank you so much for your message of freedom rather than condemnation. Very refreshing!

      May God bless you and your ministry.

    6. Seems like everybody wants to prove their own point, but what good is it doing? I read through all these responses and most of them have strife written all over them. The bottom line isn’t for us to judge whether or not Christians should or shouldn’t drink alchohol. The bottom line is are we winning souls for the kingdom of God? If the christian could just transform their mind to the will of God (Saving the lost) then this petty argument of Christians drinking would not be thought of. Think of the sinners the young lady would draw in. The young party crowd who is just looking for a reason to calm down or the “I’m trying to find myself” group. Each one of us has our own ways of reaching the lost, if that is what works for her to win souls for the Kingdom of heaven then we should be all for it. As for myself I don’t drink, I used to before I met Jesus but I was unable to just have a few. My love for Jesus was more than my taste for beer so I made the decision that since I couldn’t just have one and be responsible with it and I’d do dumb things that didn’t represent Christ, to represent him they way he should be represented I couldn’t drink. I’m not against anybody that drinks, saved or not i love them all the same with the same love that Jesus has for us.

    7. I too love this . You put what is in my heart so eloquently into words. I have faced the exact situation being ridiculed and feeling like i had failed God and my family for having one drink and there being a picture taken. This blog spoke so strongly to me that i have shared with many! Thank you and thank you for your love for the Father above and spreading truth and love.

    8. I am a 60 year old woman who has walked with God for 42 years. I don’t drink by CHOICE. All through my walk with God, He has told me what I can and cannot do. Some things He has told me not to do, others can and it’s not a sin for them. I think you show great maturity at such a young age to “know how to manage yourself”. And I completely agree with your comments on food. It is no different if we as believers don’t drink but we eat so poorly that our health and weight is affected in an adverse way. Excellent article.

    9. after reading all these comments I think I’m going to have a glass of wine…yum 🙂 God bless all of you and remember we are all his children.

    10. a good point of view. I do drink but not often and I have only been drunk once when I chose to get drunk. now in regards to the bible it mentions alcohol in a positive context only a couple times but in a negative light over 30 times. its stance on the issue is pretty clear, in moderation I do not believe it is a big issue unless it causes issues for another believer in which case it is a huge issue. i have seen a lot of references to Jesus turning water into wine and i have to give some clarification to what exactly wine was during the bible times. in bible times the strongest wine had a alcohol content of 7 % and it was cut with at least 3 parts water before consumption so at best it had a 2 percent alcohol content. it would take 3 glasses of wine to get close to having 1 beer, now when you consider that people would have been lightweights 10 glasses may have gotten people drunk but that isn’t giving us license to drink what we want and get drunk. the very notion that our wines are the same as there’s is funny. its important to study the historical context of the bible before jumping to a decision about something like this because it can lead to problems.

    11. I wanted to reply after reading several of the comments, because there is a lot of opinion being discussed but little in terms of biblical truth. I want to start by first stating that we (as believers in Christ Jesus) should seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) that we all received. Second we should all encourage one another through speaking the truth of scripture in love to the unity of the Faith (Eph. 4:13) which we should all be seeking to attain.

      Drinking has always been a contentious issue for many reasons, whether it is because of bad past experiences personally, in the family, because it has been legalistically forbidden or it has been liberally approved. But I contend that the issue of drinking as an action is the secondary part of the problem, which we all seem to care about, but we gloss over the first part of the issue. However, lets start from this common position and work backwards. We should also consider gluttony at the same time. We have seen warnings and instructions in scripture to not be given to much alcohol, drunkenness, or gluttony (Phil. 3:18-19, Prov. 23:20-21, Deut. 21:20,Eph 5:18,Gal. 5:21, 1 Cor. 6:10). This instruction is a call at the very base level to moderation. Scripture does not forbid eating, it does not forbid drinking, however it does put a hard line on the over-consumption of these things. So as Laurel was saying the base teaching of scripture is that eating and drinking should be managed in a way that we don’t over indulge. And yes over indulgence will vary depending on each person. But please don’t stop reading here thinking that this is the truth of scripture and that we can go to our favorite restaurant or bar and start putting up back as long as we stay within our limit of consumption.

      This idea of moderation of what we eat and what we drink flows (no pun intended) from the sin of sensuality (Gal. 5:19-21, Rom. 13:13, 2 Cor 12:21) Sensuality is the gratification of the senses or body the body in excess or inappropriately) both in what we take in and what we project. Whether it be in how we dress or what we see, what we taste, smell, hear or feel. Over indulging in drinking or eating is giving in to sensuality of our bodies’ desires. This is were drinking becomes a personal decision between you and the Holy Spirit, as you answer the question why am I doing this or desiring this? Is it because a nice Merlot goes with the meal or is it because I want to satisfy a craving. Here you may not violate moderation and become drunk, but your heart may not be honoring God. Remember that sin starts in the heart, and may or may not progress to our actions (1 John 3:15, Lev. 19:17, Matt. 5:28). Therefore, even if we are not getting drunk we may not be honoring God and thus sinning. This requires some careful reflection on our heart with the help of the Holy Spirit.

      Finally, we are called to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1). We have been made holy by our Holy God (1 Peter 1:14:16) and this bears the responsibility of priesthood, much like the Levites for the nation of Israel. This does not mean that we are bound by the same Levitical code for we are under the dispensation of grace and not of the law. However, the principles of priesthood still hold true. We are to reflect God’s holiness to the world, we are to live holy, and we are to teach God’s holiness and holy living to others. We are to lead others to the worship of our God and saviour Jesus Christ. We are to live our life by walking with the Holy Spirit of God being filled with the fruit of the Spirit that is in conflict with the fruit of the world. However, walking in the manner bears greater responsibility than just our actions, it also involves our testimony of how we reflect God’s holiness. Paul expressed this truth to the Corinthians when he stated that all things are permissible, but not all things are profitable (1 Cor. 6:12). Doing what is permissible focuses on our individual actions, but doing what is profitable focuses on bearing to others who God is and what he has done for us. Therefore, while drinking is permissible we have to stop and ask if it is profitable. What are we demonstrating about God to a world that does not yet know him? What are we demonstrating to other believers that have not yet grown to maturity of the faith? Are we causing them to stumble, thereby jeopardizing the unity of the spirit that we share? This last part is the most challenging and the part that I must ask myself anytime I order an adult beverage or buy a bottle of wine.

      As believers we shouldn’t stop at just moderation as we judge our drinking behavior. Remember we must judge ourselves to the standard of God’s word to prove that our actions are not legalistic followings of rules, but a true heart desire to honor God. More importantly, maintain the unity of the Spirit as we continue the discussion, and speak truth to build each other towards the unity of the Faith.

    12. Forget about all the drinking stuff….the thing that impressed upon my heart the most was:
      If the gospel isn’t empowering you, you’re not hearing the real gospel of Jesus Christ.

      That is so powerful!

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