Christians and Alcoholic Beverages
A Few Thoughts on Christian Liberty
When Christians Drink
by Dr. Ken Matto
CONTROLLED DRINKING IS OKAY -
Deuteronomy 14:26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.
Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.
GOD DOES NOT APPROVE OF DRUNKENNESS -
Isa 5:22-23 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink; that justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Isaiah 5:11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
1 Peter 4:1-8 Therefore, since Christ
suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind,
for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, (2) that he
no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts
of men, but for the will of God. (3) For we have spent enough of our
past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in
lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and
(4) In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (5) They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (6) For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
(7) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. (8) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. (6) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (7) For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. (8) But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, [to thee] that addest thy venom, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
Eph 5:18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit;
Luke 21:34-36 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. (35) "For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. (36) "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Rom 14:21 It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [to do anything] whereby thy brother stumbleth.
1Cor 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to
keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or
covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an
extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
WHAT DRUNKENNESS DOES TO US -
1) IT TAKES AWAY UNDERSTANDING -
Hosea 4:11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the understanding.
2) IT TAKES AWAY OUR JUDGEMENT -
Isa 28:7 And even these reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
Proverbs 31:4-7 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; (5) Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. (6) Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. (7) Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.
3) IT CAUSES A MAN TO SIN -
Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; And whosoever erreth thereby is not wise.
Hab 2:5 ¶ Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, [he is] a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and [is] as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
4) IT MAKES US POOR -
Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; (21) For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
Pro 21:17 ¶ He that loveth pleasure [shall be] a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
5) IT INFLAMES PASSION -
Isaiah 5:11-12 Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink; Who continue until night, till wine inflames them! (12) The harp and the strings, The tambourine and flute, And wine are in their feasts; But they do not regard the work of the LORD, Nor consider the operation of His hands.
6) IT LEADS TO VIOLENCE -
Pro 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
7) IT BITES LIKE A SERPENT -
Proverbs 23:29-35 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? (30) Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. (31) Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; (32) At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. (33) Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. (34) Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: (35) "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT SOMETHING, DON'T DO IT -
Romans 14:20-23 "Do not destroy the work of
God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil
for the man who eats with offense. (21) It is good neither to eat meat
nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is
offended or is made weak. (22) Do you have faith? Have it to yourself
before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he
approves. (23) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he
does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."
RESULTS OF DRUNKENNESS IN THE BIBLE -
Genesis 9:20-27 And Noah began to be a
farmer, and he planted a vineyard. (21) Then he drank of the wine and
was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. (22) And Ham, the father
of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers
outside. (23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both
their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their
father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their
(24) So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. (25) Then he said: "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren." (26) And he said: "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant. (27) May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant."
Genesis 19:30-35 Then Lot went up out of
Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him;
for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt
in a cave. (31) Now the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is
old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom
of all the earth. (32) "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we
will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father."
(33) So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn
went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down
or when she arose.
(34) It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, "Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father." (35) Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Leviticus 10:1-11 Then Nadab and Abihu, the
sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on
it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not
commanded them. (2) So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them,
and they died before the LORD.
(3) And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: "By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified." So Aaron held his peace.
(4) And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, "Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp." (5) So they went near and carried them by their tunics out of the camp, as Moses had said.
(6) And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons, "Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the people. But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD has kindled. (7) "You shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you." And they did according to the word of Moses.
(8) Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying: (9) "Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, (10) "that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, (11) "and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses."
1 Samuel 25:32-38 Then David said to
Abigail: "Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to
meet me! (33) "And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because
you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging
myself with my own hand. (34) "For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel
lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened
and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been
left to Nabal!" (35) So David received from her hand what she had
brought him, and said to her, "Go up in peace to your house. See, I
have heeded your voice and respected your person."
(36) Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. (37) So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. (38) Then it came about, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.