Does the Christian faith permit drinking? This question continues to perturb churchgoers. Even preachers and pastors have failed to reach a consensus. Everyone agrees that the answer is complicated. It is also worth noting that attitudes towards drinking have changed drastically over the years.
For the longest time, drinking has frowned upon by the church. Most Christians believed that drinking of any kind was anathema and they preached passionately against it. But as the evangelical movement gained new ground, opinions on the issue started to transform.
Certain Christian circles began to argue that drinking wasn’t quite as unacceptable as church leaders and pastors had suggested. Today, many Christians drink. While churches don’t support the consumption of alcohol, they no longer oppose it, not with the same passion.
This has created further confusion among young Christians that do not understand whether they should support or oppose drinking. Among those circles that have debated the issue, this is the consensus that has been reached:
There is a big difference between drinking alcohol in the Bible and being intoxicated. This is the one aspect that has emerged from discussions on this issue. Everyone agrees that drinking alcohol is not the same as being intoxicated.
To become intoxicated is to drink so much alcohol that your intelligence deteriorates and your senses become obfuscated.
It is believed that, while drinking alcohol isn’t all that bad, intoxication is unacceptable. The majority of Christians approve of this stance. They agree that there is no place for intoxicated Christians in the church. Their attitudes on this matter do not differ that drastically from the opinions of non-Christians. The public at large agrees that intoxication is unacceptable especially on the open road. In the last 50 years laws against driving while intoxicated haven stiffened. Just look at Texas Laws on drunk driving.
3). What the Bible Says
The decision to oppose intoxication among believers isn’t based on mere human understanding. It is drawn from the teachings of the Bible. Verses in books like Galatians, Timothy, and Peter speak quite vehemently against intoxication.
For the longest time, preachers used these same verses to argue that the Bible prohibited drinking. But in recent times, it has been determined that these verses and more speak against drunkenness. They warn believers to avoid the overconsumption of wine because it leads to debauchery.
Rather than being drunk with wine, Christians implored to be filled with the Holy Spirit. There are no books in the Bible that describe alcohol consumption as sin. In fact, Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. Paul told Timothy to use wine to fight stomach ailments. So clearly, the Bible does not prohibit drinking. It only denounces intoxication.
4). Common Sense
Even though the church agrees with the Bible that drinking isn’t a sin, it has continued to caution Christians against drinking and drinking and driving. Preachers warn that alcohol is a trap. It is an addictive substance that can turn faithful believers into uncontrollable drunkards.
As far as many church leaders are concerned, Christians are better off abstaining from alcohol altogether. This is the only guaranteed means of avoiding intoxication. This warning has prevented devoted Christians from embracing alcohol en mass.