In the last post, I made the point that I do not see that Scripture views alcohol as inherently evil or sinful. HOWEVER, we must balance the fact that although the USE of alcohol is not condemned, the ABUSE of alcohol most undoubtedly is; let there be no question about this point.
- “Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags” (Prov. 23:20-21).
- "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).
- “Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink; who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them!” (Isa. 5:11).
- “Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink” (Isa. 5:22).
- “Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34).
- “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy” (Rom. 13:13).
- “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."(Eph. 5:18).
- “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).
- “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money” (1 Tim. 3:2-3).
- “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine...” (Tit. 2:3).
There are plenty more references - probably all familiar to you who've investigated this issue - but I think the point is clear even from this sampling. In Scripture, drunkenness - or the misuse/abuse of alcohol - is everywhere condemned as a serious sin, both explicitly and implicitly.
In addition to considering the words of Scripture specifically regarding alcohol, I think one must also treat this matter in light of how it affects one's witness before people who are not Christians and in light of one's testimony before fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is an area that though I believe there are governing principals to guide us, there is room for discernment given each situation. I do not want to be vague on this point, so next post, I will share my personal "alcohol policy" and the reasoning behind it.