Alcohol is often the subject of much controversy in the Christian world. With so much debate on whether it is appropriate or allowed among Christians, there are plenty of arguments on both sides on whether Christians can drink wine.
A lot of Christians will turn to certain points in the Bible for direct instruction and this is where it can get a little bit confusing.
Depending on what books you read within the Bible, you’ll find an array of passages regarding alcohol dotted throughout which argue both for and against alcohol consumption.
In this article, we’ve gathered some points for you to consider if you are a bit uncertain about drinking wine or worry that it interferes with your faith:
1. Jesus made wine
The most significant point and the main one that those who think Christians can drink wine argue is that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine.
Some scholars and pastors have suggested that the wine he made is non-alcoholic, however, this seems highly unlikely as no such thing would have existed.
It’s important to note that this miracle wasn’t to encourage everyone to consume too much and have a party but to showcase his divinity and his standing as the Son of God.
Wine appears constantly throughout the Bible with the most important moment being when Jesus passes around a goblet of wine which symbolizes his blood. In chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew, he says, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom”. The idea that wine is used to unite Jesus and his disciples through uncertain times shows how wine hasn’t been used for selfish purposes.
In fact, it is through the wine in which Jesus displays a selfless act.
2. Changes over time
As time has gone on, the Bible has seen many different interpretations of an array of topics it explores.
Alcohol consumption is one of these and while it was traditionally advocated to abstain, wine consumption has become more accepted in recent years with many pastors advising that it should only be consumed in moderation and not to cause drunkenness or harm to the self or others.
A lot of Christians who argue to abstain from drinking wine have more than likely come from a long Christian lineage in which alcohol consumption has been completely avoided. Nowadays, it seems that wine has made common appearances when having meals or a quiet night in.
There are plenty of quotes in the Bible that suggest that wine consumption is allowed but not to be overdone. For example, chapter 5 of 1 Timothy states “Do not go on drinking only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” and chapter 23 of Proverbs says, “Like anything else when abused, alcohol has the potential to lead us into sin”.
There is a clear indication that although consuming too much alcohol can be sinful, if drank in moderation and controlled then it shouldn’t be an issue.
3. When alcohol becomes a problem
Following on from the previous point, there are many passages in the Bible that lean into the argument that drinking a little wine is acceptable but too much ventures and leads to sinful activity.
One passage that many people who argue for abdication refer to is Proverbs chapter 30 which states: “It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
” What this means is that people should not drink so much that they cannot make responsible decisions and that drinking wine to the point where the person can potentially harm themselves or others is sinful.
To conclude, there is no definitive yes or no answer but all of the signs point in one direction – wine can be consumed in small amounts where one’s judgement is not clouded or in a position where harm can occur.
Therefore, both sides of the argument do have merit. It’s important to make sure that you do not feel peer pressured into any side of the argument and do what feels right to you.