Alcohol and Christians
by Robert Flores
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”—Ephesians 5:18
• No Difference
I listen to my non-Christian friends talk about drinking and, other times, I listen to my Christian friends talk about drinking, and you know what the difference is between those two types of people? Nothing. One is sinning as a Christian and one is sinning as a non-Christian. Put simply, there is no good reason for a Christian to drink alcohol. Alcohol really doesn’t lead to any good fruit in a Christian’s life.
• Bragging Rights
The only other thing more annoying thing than seeing a Christian drinking alcohol is hearing a Christian talk about drinking alcohol–where, who, when, what kind, how long, what happened, etc. How absolutely and utterly boring! Are these drunks seriously talking about drink and its wonderful properties? I don’t talk for hours of what I drink (tea, water, milk, V8, etc.) So, to me, that shows that alcoholic drinkers are completely enslaved by their idol–so much so that it makes Christian alcoholics such utter bores. I’d, personally, rather talk about how wonderful Christ is–not some mug of beer. I’d rather talk about how Christ makes me feel–not a glass of wine. I’d rather talk about how powerful Christ is–not how powerful a shot of vodka is. Alcohol is an idol in the truest sense of the word. It’s like a food-addict talking about what they ate yesterday–praising the taste of the food, how it made them feel, etc. What people talk about IS their idol. And for Christian alcoholics–they’ve pitted their idol of alcohol directly against the person of Christ. Alcohol has its eyes set on Christ’s throne and will do anything it takes–including mimicking Christ’s attributes–to be enthroned as god in a Christian’s life.
• Luther and Calvin
My wife, in her younger days, had a bad past with alcohol. It was prevalent in social settings and from her experience. She says that there is no point to alcohol; no good ending. It is an empty lifestyle. It is a destroying lifestyle that robs you of the joy of Christ. If your excuse for drinking is “Luther and Calvin drank” then your authority is men–not the Bible. If your pastor says its OK, then your authority is men; not the Bible.
• Ready to Perish
If you drink to feel good, what excuse is that if the Bible says drinking alcohol is wrong? Either you are wrong or the Bible is wrong. The Bible not only has nothing good to say about alcohol, but it actually only condemns it. Proverbs 31:6 says, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” There is no way around these verses. Calvin and Luther shouldn’t tell Christians what to do; the Bible should. Paul says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 5:12)
• Hedonism is Just Hedonism
“Christian Hedonism” is a popular term coined by John Piper. It means that a Christian is to enjoy life and by enjoying life is glorifying God. However, “Christian Hedonism” is an excuse for sinning. Too often “enjoying God’s creation” is an excuse to enjoy sin. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20a) Drinking alcohol would certainly fall into that category. • Posting To Facebook
How many Christians post pictures on Facebook of themselves drinking and partying with their friends? What does that show the world except, “Hey look at me, I’m just like you, except I have Christ in me”?From the outside, that person looks like every other drunk non-Christian on Facebook. How come people don’t post photos of themselves drinking hot chocolate or coconut milk? Because it’s a badge of “honor” to post drinking pictures . It says, “I’m a grown up, I’m responsible, I ’m free to do whatever I want and hey. It says, “I’m having fun--more fun than you!” It’s all a pride factor. For a Christian to post drinking pictures makes absolutely no sense in light of the gospel. The gospel is nowhere present in a bar scene. The gospel is nowhere present at the bottom of a glass.
• The Crutch
The world wants to live in another reality from the cradle to the grave. They never experience the real world full of joys and sorrows and lessons by God to be learned only on this planet. They would rather live in an alternate reality seemingly free from the pain, but not really free. How sad to miss out on life –as it really is–with its good and its bad–to a bottle of whiskey. You are being robbed of life–real life and given a fictional representation of life with it’s superficial joys. That’s the world’s solution to this world’s problems–drink your problems away. God’s solution was to die for you–with all the pain that he could take–and alcohol free. (Matthew 27:34) He took it all –in the real world. The real world is not something people actually live in, though people pride themselves on living in it. No, they live in a world as pain free as possible drinking their sorrows away until they wake up the next morning and start the process over again. Alcohol is a crutch for the pain people feel –health, job, finances, relationships, family, etc. But it only numbs the pain and that, only for a little bit. Alcohol , like riches, promises you the world, but in the end, only leaves you empty.
• Alcohol makes you become a different person. Is that something that should describe a Christian?
• Wine Is A Mocker
Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” It doesn’t say ,“Wine is a mocker only if you drink a lot”. Or, “Wine is a mocker only in huge quantities”. No, it says wine is a mocker period.
• Drunkenness and Drinking
It should be evident that Pro-alcohol Christians have to twist Scripture like a piece of licorice and eisegete their own meanings. They’re going against the clear teachings of God’s Word and have to justify it by their own twisted (i.e. drunk) logic. Consider Jesus statement, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” (Luke 21:34) Jesus lists drunkenness to materialism. Some would say that “drunkenness” doesn’t necessarily mean “drinking alcohol”. That is much akin to saying “a little pornography is better than a lot of it”. Isn’t it all sin?
• Drinking isn’t about “not being evil”–it is about “not being holy”. Just because something isn’t “bad” doesn’t make it “good”.
• Good Stewards
As Christians, we are to be good stewards of what God has given us. So let me ask the drinking Christian: Is drinking alcohol being a good steward of your body? Liver problems, Diabetes and all kinds of health issues answers this one. Alcohol poisoning isn’t one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Not to mention, fetal alcohol syndome (the condition of being conceived in the womb when a woman is drunk) which leads to all kinds of health issues. How is giving your child a difficult, sickly life glorifying to God just because you wanted to “party it up?” “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands." (Isaiah 5:11-12)
• A Waste of Money
Is drinking alcohol being a good steward of your finances? It is interesting to me that some of the pro-alcohol advocates won’t tithe on Sunday mornings (probably because the night before, they exhausted their money on drinks and tips). Let’s face it, alcohol isn’t cheap. It’s an expensive habit to stay drunk.
• Questions To Ask Yourself
After drinking alcohol, does it make you feel closer to God? Does alcohol make you want to serve God more? Does it give you a more broken heart for the lost? Does it make you want to fulfill your mission in life? Does it make you fall on your face to God and worship Him? Is God pleased with you and your actions? Can He use you more with alcohol than you being sober? Do you feel the fruits of the Holy Spirit being poured out of you when you drink (or is it just vomit)? • Are Paul and Moses Wrong?
Was Paul wrong when he told Christians not be drunk with alcohol but with God’s Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18). Was Moses when he said, “And they [the parents] shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” (Deuteronomy 21:20-21)
• Glorifying God or Glorifying Creation
It’s hard to imagine glorifying God (or God asking you to glorify Him) in something that has so many negatives to one’s health. Would God give us alcohol just to give us liver failure? Is God’s glory and us enjoying His creation only at the expense of our health and hurting others around us? I can’t believe that. Glorifying God–especially in something that is voluntary enjoyment (and not martyrdom) should never come at the expense of your body’s physical health. If you went to a foreign country as a missionary and were beheaded–that is something completely different. That, too, is glorifying to God. But, to destroy your body, your kidneys, your heart–all for some Christian parties or entertainment–no. There is no glorification of God in that. That is putting drink as an idol and using Scripture to justify it as God-ordained. God doesn’t ordain your own destruction. Please quit trying to quote scripture to justify your alcoholic beverages. There is not one good thing about alcohol. Don’t bring God into into it. Smoking weed, likewise, could be thought of as God-ordained. God doesn’t glory or is glorified in the destruction of His childrens’ brain cells.
• There’s a difference between freedom in Christ and freedom to sin. Too often the latter is masked as the former, but is really still sin.
• Pilots and Pastors
Should Christians trust a pastor who drinks at night any more than they should trust an airplane pilot who drinks at night. Alcohol will crash a church as fast as it crashes an airplane. A pastor who drinks alcohol and encourages others is what Habakkuk describes, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” (Habakkuk 2:15 )